The committee chose to focus on realistic and pragmatic solutions based on the evidence it received from a wide range of witnesses at public hearings, held between April 2009 and December 2010. The committee heard from government officials, the primary and secondary processing industry, private woodlot owners, architects and civil engineers, the bioenergy and bioproducts industry, academia and the research sector, environmental groups, Aboriginal communities and rural associations.
The solutions put forth in the report stress the importance of finding new markets for fibre from Canadian forests through a novel usage of wood in the construction sector; of capitalizing on opportunities in the energy market for sawmill by-products and low-quality wood and forest residues; and finally, of encouraging the forest sector to develop a culture of continuous innovation through stable, long-term funding for research and targeted tax credits toward innovation initiatives in the forest sector.
Also, to mitigate the social effects of the forestry crises, the committee recommends that investments must be made in educational initiatives, community forest projects, and initiatives to enhance capacity building in all communities involved in forestry development.
As to the ecological aspect, the committee recommends that the government should create a federal-provincial forest resource development fund for silviculture initiatives and for environmental certification and wood product traceability initiatives. The committee also recommends that the government implement a personal silvicultural savings and investment plan for private woodlot owners.
In keeping with its commitment to establish a framework for a more efficient, sustainable and competitive forestry sector for future generations, the committee made 18 recommendations in its final report. For further information or for a copy of the report, visit the committee website at: http://senate-senat.ca/agfo-e.asp