In rural, remote and Indigenous communities across the country, the Canadian forest sector continues to play a significant role in maintaining and creating good jobs.
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, with Irene Neeposh, Chief of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, Paul Gull, President of the Mishtuk Corporation, and Michel Filion, Chief Operating Officer of Chantiers Chibougamau, today announced a $20-million investment, including a $4.7-million federal investment, to support the upgrade and restart of the Cree Forestry Project in Waswanipi, Quebec.
This is a unique partnership between Mishtuk Corporation and Chantiers Chibougamau, a private firm in the region that operates forestry products facilities.
The funding will support business and partnership planning for a more economically sustainable upgrade to the facility and site and for equipment reconditioning. The recommissioned facility will also produce mill-finished timber for retail markets with a focus on addressing the housing shortage in the Cree region of Quebec.
By creating 30 jobs in the region, the project will contribute to the growth and socio-economic development of the Cree community of Waswanipi by utilizing local natural resources responsibly and sustainably.
A first financial contribution in the amount of $2.3-million comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Indigenous Forestry Initiative (IFI), which provides financial support to Indigenous-led economic development projects in Canada’s forest sector. Benefits of the program include:
increased Indigenous participation in forestry-related opportunities, businesses, careers and governance;
increased engagement and economic development for Indigenous communities and peoples involved in the forest sector; and
increased investment and collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and other natural resource development stakeholders, including governments, industry and non-governmental organizations.
CED is also providing a $2.4-million repayable contribution to enable the Cree Lumber Limited Partnership to increase its productivity by acquiring and modernizing equipment. The funding announced today has been granted under the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) program. This program targets businesses and economic organizations to help them prepare local economies for long-term growth. It involves strategic investments in projects aimed at reducing Canada’s environmental impact and fostering a green, resilient economy.
The Government of Canada is dedicated to collaborating with First Nation, Métis and Inuit Peoples and communities to ensure that they take part in and benefit from natural resource developments.