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Government of British Columbia: Tsunami Reconstruction Project Opens in Japan

NATORI CITY, JAPAN -- (Marketwire) -- 01/18/13 --

For Immediate Release

2013JTST0005-000075

Jan. 18, 2013

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

Natural Resources Canada

NATORI CITY, JAPAN - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training for British Columbia and industry representatives today applauded the opening of the Donguri Anne Public Library, the first building funded under the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project.

"Today's announcement demonstrates Canada's ongoing commitment to helping Japan rebuild following the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami," said Oliver. "Canadians' thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected by these traumatizing events. We look forward to the next phases of this project in support of our longtime friends and allies."

The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project is a $4.6-million commitment to help rebuild public facilities using Canadian wood products and advanced wood technologies. The project is jointly funded through $2 million from the Government of Canada, $2 million from the government of British Columbia, $460,000 from Canadian forest companies and $150,000 from the government of Alberta.

"Japanese customers have long appreciated the high quality of Canadian wood products and our commitment to their market needs," said Bell. "We're pleased that we have been able to contribute to the reconstruction effort while showcasing the beauty and functionality of our wood products in a highly attractive building."

The Donguri Anne Public Library is a C$725,000 wood-frame building built from Canadian wood products. It features the use of new, advanced wood technology products developed specifically for the Japanese market by Canadian forest companies: hemlock mouldings, Canada maple hardwood flooring, and tables and benches designed and manufactured in Canada.

"Wood construction is particularly suited to the reconstruction program now underway in Japan," said Glen Wilson, president of Vancouver-based Interex Forest Products, a major contributor to the reconstruction initiative. "Modern wood-frame building systems are earthquake resistant and the small carbon footprint of wood products matches well with the Japanese preference for natural, green public facilities."

Other funds from the reconstruction budget are being used to rebuild the Yuriage public market, which had its official groundbreaking in Natori the same day. Other reconstruction projects will be identified through a second public tendering process now underway. All projects will be completed by the spring of 2014.

The Canada Wood Group, a consortium of industry associations, is providing technical support and expertise in wood-frame construction to Japanese officials as part of the reconstruction project.

In addition to the $4.6-million reconstruction project, more than $40 million in cash and in-kind donations have been contributed by Canadians and Canadian corporations, including $1.5 million previously provided by the government of British Columbia and the forest industry to the Red Cross for humanitarian aid.

The companies providing financial assistance to the reconstruction project are: Ainsworth Engineered, Ardew Wood Products Ltd., AP Group, Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Hampton Affiliates, International Forest Products Ltd., Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd., Taiga Building Products, Teal Jones Group TimberWest Forest Corp., Western Forest Products Inc. and Interex Forest Products Ltd. representing Carrier Lumber Ltd., Dunkley Lumber Ltd., Millar Western Forest Industries Ltd. and Sundance Forest Industries Ltd.

The Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Project, in addition to demonstrating Canada's goodwill as part of a larger humanitarian effort, also demonstrates Canada's commitment to Japan as an important trading partner that has provided decades of benefits for Canadian companies, forest communities and workers.

Contacts:
Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour
250 356-8177

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613 992-4447

David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
613 996-2007

The general public may contact:
Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST
Telephone: 613 995-0947
TTY: 613 996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired)
questions@nrcan.gc.ca
www.gov.bc.ca/connect

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