Breathing new life into Québec economy

From: Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Québec, Quebec, April 9, 2021 – The environment and clean technologies will be key elements in the economic recovery. Issues related to the fight against climate change were very present before COVID-19, but the pandemic represents a unique opportunity to increase the pace of the green transition. Around the world, 91% of plastic becomes waste, and recycling is not enough because only 14% of packaging is collected.

The issue of single-use plastics is stimulating the market for biodegradable bioplastics, a sustainable solution supported by both levels of government. Founded on the model of a circular economy, BOSK Bioproducts aims to reduce the accumulation of this type of waste in the world by offering an ecological alternative to replace plastic materials produced from petrochemical materials.

A clean technology project for a strong economy

With this in mind, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Louis-Hébert and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Joël Lightbound, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region, Pierre Dufour, today announced a total of over $1 million in financial support for BOSK Bioproducts.

This financial assistance includes a $400,000 repayable contribution from the Government of Canada under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. This contribution will enable the Québec business to increase its production and marketing capacity for compostable bioplastic compounds and will lead to the creation of three jobs. A $603,012 non-repayable contribution is also being granted by the Government of Quebec through the Programme Innovation Bois (PIB) administered by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) du Québec. After a recent top-up, the PIB budget now sits at $150.5M up to March 31, 2024. It provides support for projects that will eventually lead to the engineering of new processing methods and the marketing of innovation solutions.

Finally, a separate $1-million Government of Canada grant has also been announced by MP Lightbound on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

BOSK Bioproducts develops, manufactures and distributes compounds made with PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) and that are 100% bio-based (designed from natural, renewable materials) and compostable. These compounds are sold in pellet form to plastic product manufacturers as a substitute for their petrochemical counterparts.

Sustainable business practices and clean technologies can help SMEs offer products of equal or higher quality using fewer resources and less energy and producing less waste. Businesses and organizations have much to gain by adopting environmental measures that will enable them to maintain their competitiveness and mitigate future climate impacts, in addition to meeting the growing global demand for clean technologies.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada encourages innovative SMEs and recognizes the need to take action based on each region’s strengths and assets. CED’s support for BOSK Bioproducts to increase its production and marketing capabilities will thus enable the Québec region to position itself at an advantage to participate in a green economic recovery.”

Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Our government is making concrete commitments to demonstrate that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. And that is exactly what our $400,000 contribution represents for BOSK’s clean-technology compostable bioplastics. By helping our Quebec SMEs to become more innovative and competitive and by boosting innovation to develop greener technologies and products, we are also preparing Canada and Canadians for our economic recovery and enabling growth in the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“The Government of Quebec’s participation in BOSK Bioproducts’ initiative will serve as a major lever to generate strategic investments. It will make it possible to implement an innovative project born out of the determination and creativity of those who bring life to this business and raise its profile. The MFFP’s Programme Innovation Bois will have an important role to play in Quebec’s economic recovery. That is why I am extremely proud of today’s announcement.”

Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region

Quick facts

  • The clean technology sector represents 3.2% of Canada’s GDP and accounts for 317,000 jobs across the country. Over 850 clean tech businesses are helping to position Canada as the top G20 country and fourth country globally on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index.
  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, is also the minister responsible for the six regional development agencies (RDAs), including CED.
  • CED’s minimum target for investments in clean technologies in 2019-2020 was $25M. This target was greatly exceeded, with nearly $42M invested in 161 projects aimed at improving environmental performance, using less energy-intensive technologies or developing technologies to reduce businesses’ environmental footprint.
  • CED is a key federal partner in Quebec’s regional economic development. With its 12 regional business offices, CED accompanies businesses, supporting organizations and all regions across Quebec into tomorrow’s economy.
  • With over 195 projects accepted as of April 1, 2021, the MFFP’s Programme Innovation Bois is at the core of the Quebec forest product industry’s increased competitiveness. Demonstrating its continued popularity, the nearly $125M in subsidies granted have generated close to $950M in total investments. In terms of jobs, some 9000 positions have been strengthened and over 1000 new jobs have been created.

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