Minister Byrne Announces $9.6 Million for Plan to Develop Forest Sector and Create Jobs

Industry News

June 12, 2020 - The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, today announced $9.6 million in funding to create jobs and develop forest sector products and markets.

The funding is part of a plan to support employment in rural communities and help open new markets and products for renewable, resource-based businesses during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Minister Byrne announced the funding at Stan Dawe Ltd. in Corner Brook, a diverse building supply business that began as a sawmill operation in 1947.

New initiatives include:

  • $5.7 million for forest industry development projects;
  • $400,000 for secondary forestry processing innovation pilot projects; and
  • $3.5 million to establish forestry biomass market opportunities.

Funding for these initiatives is expected to generate more than 100 seasonal and permanent jobs in the forest sector. For more information on the projects, please see the backgrounder below.


“The forest sector in Newfoundland and Labrador is valued at $380 million, and supports more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. This morning in Corner Brook we announced a plan for $9.6 million to create more than 100 seasonal and permanent jobs in our forest sector. With these investments, paired with innovative thinking and a fresh approach, we look forward to a busy and productive season ahead in our forest industry. A sector that has long known challenging times but which has always shown the tenacity and ability to persevere.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Work in our forest industry has sustained Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for generations. At a time when so many of us are facing the new economic and employment challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created, it is fitting that we turn once again to our forests to seek new and meaningful opportunities. I’m pleased to offer this suite of initiatives to support and advance our province’s forest sector as we work through the pandemic together.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s forest sector is an important contributor to our rural economy and during these challenging times, our member companies have been working tirelessly to keep people employed and businesses running. We welcome this much-needed investment and are pleased to see government’s increased commitment to silviculture and forest protection. These long-term investments speak to the importance of sustainable forest management, and attest to the vital role the forest industry plays in our province’s economy.”
Bill Dawson
Executive Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association


 Details on Forest Initiatives Being Supported through a $9.6 million Investment

Forest Industry Development

$5.7 million for a variety of actions to generate work for 100 people for 16 weeks and support forestry development, including:

  • Planting an additional two million seedlings (total 7.5 million for 2020);
  • Pre-commercial thinning on 200 hectares of young forest to shorten rotation age and increase saw log content, and an additional 600 hectares of site preparation;
  • Building an additional 20 kilometres of forest access roads (total 70 kilometres for 2020); and
  • Implementing a spray program for spruce budworm.

Secondary Forestry Processing Innovation Pilot Projects

$400,000 to provide financial supports (up to 50 per cent of project costs to a maximum of $100,000) for forestry sector businesses to undertake secondary processing projects.

Projects may include:

  • Semi-finished and finished products, such as engineered wood products;
  • Millwork, cabinets, furniture, pallets and containers, and other wood products; and
  • Remanufactured wood products that involve modifying the thickness, width or profile of the wood, or finger jointing the wood.

Residual Forestry Biomass Program

$3.5 million to establish a forestry biomass program to promote a switch from fossil fuels to alternate fuels made from forestry residue (wood chips and pulpwood), estimated to generate 10 permanent jobs. The program will begin at select College of the North Atlantic buildings in Central Newfoundland.

Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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