AMQUI, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, today announced the awarding of funding to the Réseau d'expertise et de valorisation en biomasse forestière.

"By lending its financial support to this network, the Government of Canada is showing proof of its firm commitment to promoting economic growth grounded in innovation," said Mr. Gourde.

Initiated in 2009, the Réseau d'expertise et de valorisation en biomasse forestière is aimed at developing an industrial cluster to maximize economic spinoffs from the conversion of biomass into energy. Through its activities, the organization supports enterprises in their efforts to develop and market products and services that meet the needs of the sector and to build expertise that can subsequently be shared throughout Quebec. The project for which the network has been granted funding involves hiring staff to coordinate and ensure the success of its activities.

The Réseau d'expertise et de valorisation en biomasse forestière is in the Regional County Municipality of La Matapédia, an area of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region that has been severely affected by the crisis in the forest sector and one where jobs have historically been centred on forest development and processing.

About the Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE)

This $194,488 in non-repayable funding has been awarded through Canada Economic Development's Temporary Initiative for the Strengthening of Quebec's Forest Economies (TISQFE).

The TISQFE was brought into force in June 2010 to help communities affected by the forestry crisis diversify their economies in order to ensure their growth and create and maintain employment. The initiative's goal is also to support secondary and tertiary wood processing projects in these communities.

This measure is one of several put in place by the Government of Canada to counteract the effects of the forest crisis. Others include the Community Adjustment Fund, with its $1-billion budget over two years to mitigate the impact of the crisis, the $1 billion granted to the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program to help enterprises carry out environmentally-friendly projects, and the $238 million invested, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, for silvicultural work and the maintenance of multi-use forest roads.

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Contact Information:

Claudie Lamontagne
Canada Economic Development

Genevieve Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Canada Economic Development