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Alberta investigates competitiveness challenges facing its forest sector

By CO Staff @canadaone |

The government of Alberta in partnership with the Alberta Forest Products Association will spend $300,000 to investigate global market competitiveness challenges facing the province's forest sector.

The review was initiated as Alberta's forest industry faces economic pressures due to the rising value of the Canadian dollar, shortages of skilled labour, higher input costs and competition from lower-cost offshore producers.

"These are tough times for Canada's forest industry," said Sustainable Resource Development Minister David Coutts in announcing the partnership. "While Alberta's forest sector has not suffered as much as other jurisdictions, we want to get ahead of the situation so our industry continues to be competitive and minimizes the potential for the significant plant shutdowns and job losses experienced in other parts of Canada."

Competitiveness issues facing all forest industry producers in Alberta, from small tenure holders to larger entities owned by integrated forest products companies, will be explored. Factors ranging from timber allocations to day-to-day operating costs will be included in the assessment.

The review is expected to be completed within one year and to produce a recommendation to government on possible adjustments to the current forest business model to better address global competitiveness challenges.

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