Province aims to boost forestry

Alberta’s government will support the province’s troubled forestrysector, but it won’t spend as much as what was recommended by theindustry.

Alberta’s government will support the province’s troubled forestry sector, but it won’t spend as much as what was recommended by the industry.

The province has agreed to follow up on 43 recommendations that were made last August by a committee made up of MLAs and forest industry leaders that it says will help the struggling sector become more competitive and environmentally sustainable.

But Sustainable Resource Minister Ted Morton says the other six recommendations couldn’t be approved because some infringe on Canada’s soft wood lumber agreement with the United States while others were too expensive for Alberta’s government.

“This government is running a significant debt this year and the kind of funds that were perceived to be available last July and August are not there today,” said Morton. “It’s not that we reject it, but the response has been deferred.”

Morton said the government, when it moves ahead with the approved recommendations, will make it easier for companies to transfer timber tenures and it will allow companies to sell wood to coal-fired power plants that will be used for fuel.

The cost of the move “is yet to be determined,” said Morton.

 
 
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