Canada's new government invests $200M in the fight against the mountain pine beetle

January 12, 2007

PRINCE GEORGE -- The Government of Canada today announced measures to fight the mountain pine beetle and address its impacts on communities and forests in British Columbia. The Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program will provide $200 million to minimize the consequences of the beetle infestation and assist in efforts to slow the infestation's eastward spread.

"This outbreak is a major threat to the economy and the communities of British Columbia," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. "With this program, we'll be working with the Province of British Columbia to ensure the economic and environmental well-being of our communities and forest resources. We are taking action on this important issue and delivering real results for Canadians."

The Government of Canada will work closely with the Province of British Columbia to deliver a comprehensive, integrated strategy to combat the beetle infestation.

The Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program measures focus on the following: Project activities will include measures to control the eastward spread of the beetle in British Columbia and along the British Columbia-Alberta border. The program will also assist affected communities in identifying new forest products, markets, industries and services to help ensure their long-term economic well-being.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the forest industry is an important contributor to the Canadian economy and that it has been facing considerable challenges. This investment is part of the $400 million provided in Budget 2006 to help the industry meet its challenges and ensure a more stable future for forest-based communities and economies.

Canada is the world's largest exporter of forest products, with about one third of Canada's potential harvest coming from British Columbia. Canada has 10 percent of the world's forests, including 30 percent of the world's boreal forests. Forests provide jobs and economic benefits for many communities and contribute to the well-being and health of Canadians and our environment.
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The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program. It will inject $200 million into efforts to fight the mountain pine beetle in British Columbia.

For more information, media may contact:

Kathleen Olson
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Government of Canada Response to Mountain Pine Beetle

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Natural Resources Canada

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