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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Federal officials say spruce budworm program to move forward quickly

FREDERICTON - Federal officials travelled to Fredericton today to discuss the spruce budworm initiative included in last week's federal budget.

Ottawa is setting aside 18 million dollars to develop and implement the early intervention program over the next four years.

Rob Moore, regional minister for New Brunswick, says the initiative will be led by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in Atlantic Canada and by the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec in Quebec.

Moore says the details are still being finalized, but the program is expected to move forward quickly.

Scientists say an outbreak is currently occurring in Quebec and new outbreak is imminent in New Brunswick.

Periodic explosions in the spruce budworm population can lead to widespread defoliation in evergreen forests.

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