The forestry sector needs time to diversify and move toward a sustainable future. That is why the transition fund announced in December will be placed in trust – so it is available for use over multiple years.
The amount will be topped back up to $50 million. So far, $13.5 million in initiatives has already been endorsed and announced by the Forestry Transition Team.
Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin announced the new trust to about 180 members of the forestry sector today, Feb. 12, at the Forest Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting in Halifax.
“We know this is a challenging time for forestry workers and their families as the sector goes through a period of significant change,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “I made a commitment to workers that we would be there for them in this transition. That’s why we have set up new supports in the short term and are creating this trust – so we have the flexibility to fund more initiatives going forward.”
A three-member trustee board will oversee spending decisions and will include one government nominee and two transition team nominees. The trustee members will be announced once appointed.
The transition team will continue to listen to and work with those in the forestry industry to provide their best advice on short-term supports for workers and businesses, and on innovative approaches that support the sector over the long-term.
- government first announced its $50 million commitment on Dec. 20
- to date, government is supporting: $7 million for more silviculture and road work on both Crown land and private lands, $5 million for government to provide a guarantee for the Forestry Contractor Financing program, $1.5 million to help workers from across the sector connect to customized programming in the skilled trades, at no cost, and emergency assistance funding for laid-off workers available through local Access Nova Scotia centres
- a toll-free line (1-888-315-0110) is available for those affected and have questions
- a confidential, 24/7 support line (1-866-885-6540) is available for anyone who may need emotional support