Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 26, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

When it comes to respiratory effects of wood smoke, sex matters (apparently)

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 26, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Exposure to wood smoke can have different effects on the respiratory immune systems of men and women (aka – sex matters). In related news: BC wildfires could be as deadly as California’s within 20 years; fighting fire with fire in the US West means breathing smoke year-round, but according to Bloomberg – we don’t have a choice.

In Business news: Canfor copes with its natural gas shortage in Prince George as well as strike action by the Steelworker’s union; Resolute’s investment in Thunder Bay is Premier Ford-approved; Quebec is hosting a cabinet and furniture industry show; and NY State is seeking funds to boost its forestry and wood industry.

Finally; another call to action to save BC’s old-growth rainforests and move over pumpkin, the witch-hazel tree is a better symbol for Halloween!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

The witch-hazel tree may be a fitting Halloween symbol

By Charles Seabrook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 25, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Move over, pumpkin. There’s also another plant that some folks say belongs to Halloween — the witch hazel. …It starts blooming around Halloween and continues to do so through December. At the time when most autumn leaves have fallen and the forest is going into winter dormancy, the witch hazel puts forth its fragrant, scraggly, ribbon-like yellow blossoms — the last wild blooms of the year. Some people — the so-called “dowsers” — say witch-hazel is the best wood for their “magic wands,” or divining rods, which supposedly can detect underground water sources. …Old-timers also believed that the witch hazel contained magical potions, in part because of its astringency properties.

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Business & Politics

Thursday’s small-cap stocks to watch

By Brenda Bouw
The Globe and Mail
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

…Canfor Pulp Products reported third-quarter sales of $329-million up from $284.9-million a year ago. Net income came in at $43-million, or 66 cents per share versus $12.6-million or 19 cents per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 78 cents in the third quarter. The board also declared a special dividend of $2.25 per share payable on Nov. 13 to the shareholders of record on Nov. 6. “The special dividend has been declared as a result of strong cash generated by the business over the last year,” the company stated. Canfor Corp. reported third-quarter sales of $1.3-billion up from $1.1-billion a year ago. Net income was $125.3-million or 98 cents per share versus $66.2-million or 51 cents a year ago. Adjusted net income was $156.9-million or $1.23 per share up from $84.6-million or 65 cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 98 cents per share.

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Rotating strike targets Canfor’s Prince George Sawmill

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor’s Prince George Sawmill and chip plant were targeted Thursday as the union representing Northern B.C.’s sawmill workers continued a campaign of rotating strikes. The move came the same day Canfor said their earnings for the third-quarter doubled from the year before despite lower lumber prices. The company’s net profit stood at $125.3 million for the quarter, raising the year-to-date total to $407.3 million. On Monday, West Fraser said its earnings for the quarter were $238 million, pushing its year-to-date total to $781 million. However, both figures are down from the previous quarter, when Canfor took in $169.8 million and West Fraser $346 million. As of Monday, the price of top-quality two-by-fours at the Prince George Inland Container Terminal stood at US$356 per thousand board feet, down from US$446 at the same point last year, according to Madison’s Lumber Reporter.

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Prince George mill workers on picket line as northern union’s rotating strikes continue

By Melanie Law
The Northern View
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mill workers in Prince George are striking today, with sawmill and chip plant employees unionized through United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 on the picket line. The move is part of USW Local 1-2017’s rotating strikes, which began mid-month, with Tolko Lakeview in Williams Lake taking job action on Oct. 17. Union president Brian O’Rourke was at meetings in Kelowna earlier this month, sitting in on negotiations between the Interior Forest Labour Relations Association (IFLRA) and Locals 1-417, 1-423 and 1-403, all of which represent forestry workers in B.C.’s Interior. The purpose was to attempt to conclude an agreement, in order to set a pattern for the rest of the unions in negotiation. Bargaining for USW 1-2017 with the Council of Northern Interior Forest Industry Relations (CONIFER) broke down in August.

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How B.C. proposes to roll back industry self-regulation

By Judith Lavoie
The Narwhal
October 23, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s no secret British Columbians have little faith in the province’s system of ‘professional reliance’ — an arrangement that essentially outsources government’s responsibility to  enforce environmental regulations to industry. ….Now the province is taking steps to regain control of environmental monitoring with a bill introduced in the B.C. legislature Monday. But already critics have come forward to say the new rules only superficially deal with B.C.’s broken system. …In June, environmental lawyer Mark Haddock released a report which set out 121 recommendations to pull environmental monitoring back on track. The legislation… oversight to five professional bodies… and the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals….Haddock was especially critical of the failure of professional reliance in management of B.C.’s forests. “Given the breadth of professional expertise required for forest management, government should consider whether the current laissez faire approach to the use of professionals is adequate,” he said.

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State of the Island report foresees moderate economic growth

By Greg Sakaki
BC Local News
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Mowbray

The Island’s economy is expected to keep growing, but at a moderate rate. The State of the Island Economic Report for 2018 was presented at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo. The fourth annual report was prepared by MNP for the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance…There are some challenges in forestry, MNP’s Susan Mowbray noted, pointing to timber supply shortages and job losses. There’s also been a decline in commodity-grade lumber prices this fall, she said, and if that trend continues, producers will have a harder time absorbing U.S. duties. “So far demand has remained high and has kept prices up, so producers have been able to pass those duties on to their customers and there hasn’t been a huge impact on production…” she said. “Forestry is going to continue to be really important to the Vancouver Island economy… but it’s going to be smaller.”

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Canfor Coping With Gas Shortage

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG TV News
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – Yesterday, Fortis BC released the bad news. The replacement for the natural gas pipeline will likely be re-built in November, but both pipelines will only carry a limited supply. The day after the explosion, Canfor began trucking natural gas to two of the three pulp mills in town. The company says it now has been given “a set amount of natural gas, which we are allocating amongst our three Prince George pulp mills.” In addition to the allocation from Fortis, Canfor is supplementing our natural gas needs with trucked gas. With this allotment and the current temperatures, Canfor is able to keep the mills up and running. [END]

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Premier Doug Ford Announces Economic Growth in the Thunder Bay Forestry Sector

Government of Ontario
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford

THUNDER BAY — Today, Premier Doug Ford and Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced that Resolute Forest Products will be investing $40 million into Ontario’s Northwestern operations, and an additional $13.5 million into maintenance and job creation at the Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill. …The expansion of the Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill by Resolute Forest Products signals their confidence in Ontario’s economy, and will create an additional 25 new full-time jobs. In addition, the company’s investment plan includes $14.7 million to improve energy efficiency at the mill and cut greenhouse gas emissions, $9 million for the pulp capacity expansion project, $5.3 million for facility upgrades, as well as $13.5 million for maintenance costs.

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Confederation College and Resolute Expand Partnership to Create Meaningful Opportunities for Students

Net Newsledger
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – Confederation College and Resolute Forest Products today announced the renewal and expansion of their longstanding partnership, building on an existing Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016. Resolute has also committed to contributing $150,000 to the College’s Technology, Education and Collaboration (TEC) Campaign. The growing partnership and contribution will create new and meaningful opportunities for students, particularly those studying in engineering technology programs. “We appreciate Resolute’s continued vision for supporting our students through meaningful education and employment opportunities within the technology and natural resources sectors,” said Kathleen Lynch, President, Confederation College. “A skilled workforce is a vital component to economic growth and this partnership, along with Resolute’s investment in equipment, will help our students receive the hands-on training needed for them to successfully meet the diverse labour demands of these industries.”

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Resolute spending $53.5 million on northwestern mill operations

Northern Ontario Business
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products is spending $40 million to upgrade and improve its operations in northwestern Ontario, plus an additional $13.5 million in maintenance. Company president-CEO Yves Laflamme made the announcement during an Oct. 25 press conference attended by Premier Doug Ford and Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Jeff Yurek at Fort William First Nation, the site of Resolute’s Thunder Bay sawmill. …The company is sinking $5.4 million into operations in Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Ignace to increase annual production capacity by a combined 50 million board feet of lumber. Twenty-five jobs have been created. …“A strong forestry sector is essential for our prosperity, and it has a significant impact on the people living in rural and Northern Ontario,” said Ford in a statement. “It is because of productive partnerships like ours with Resolute that the sector continues to thrive, and we will continue working to create more opportunities for the people of Ontario.”

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Hard-Working Employees Drive Forest Product Industry Success

Stan Lancey, Chief Economist
American Forest & Paper Association
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Stan Lancey

The forest product industry directly employs approximately 950,000 men and women and supports more than twice that many derivative jobs in supplier industries and local communities. While the industry lost jobs during the Great Recession, our manufacturers have been adding jobs in recent years as the economy expands. That’s worth noting as we celebrate the 58th anniversary of National Forest Products Week, and we can’t forget to point out the following. Because of our employees’ dedication, commitment and innovation, our industry ranks as one of the largest manufacturing sectors in America. Let’s take a closer look at our employees and the value they provide to the industry and the economy in producing products that play an integral part in the everyday lives of people across the country and around the world.

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Forestry and Wood Summit

By Dan North
Spectum News
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

New York State is putting its best foot forward to boost the Forestry and Wood industry. New initiatives aimed at sparking the $23 billion industry were announced Thursday at the first-ever forestry and wood products summit in Binghamton. Members of the DEC, Department of Agriculture and Markets, business and local government leaders were all there. They’re pushing for funding to support the maple industry, increased promotion and marketing efforts…and more research about the industry. “Wood products are something that has been under the radar for a while, but clearly has always been an important part of New York’s economy,” said Commissioner NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball.

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Est-For may receive pulp mill study permits from Pärnu, Häädemeeste

ERR News
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Margus Kohava

Studies regarding the planned pulp mill to be built by Est-For Invest may also be approved by the City of Pärnu as well as Häädemeeste Municipality, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports. As the Supreme Court of Estonia ruled on 11 October that, if desired, Est-For Invest may expand the location of the pulp mill in the framework of the current spatial plan or move it to Pärnu County or Southeast Estonia, the company has begun actively seeking local governments in those regions who would be willing to decide over allowing studies to be carried out on their territories.  “We have communicated with four municipalities thus far — Saarde Municipality in Pärnu County and Võru, Räpina and Setomaa Municipalities in Southeast Estonia,” Est-For Invest board member Margus Kohava told EPL.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Eastern Canada woodworking show opens in Quebec

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
October 25, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Richard Lipman

SAINT-HYACINTHE, Quebec – A cabinet and furniture industry show and exhibition is currently underway in Quebec. Show organizers expect thousands will attend. “It’s our pleasure to bring this major industry event to the hub of Eastern Canada’s woodworking industry,” says Mike Neeb, show manager. “Pre-registration numbers are soaring above levels from previous years, and we can’t wait for everyone to take in this special edition of Canada Woodworking East. The 2018 edition includes a range of exhibitors from across Canada, the United States, Europe and abroad. The venue, the BMO Centre at Espace Saint-Hyacinthe, features 60,000 square feet of exhibit space. A wide range of seminars will take place on location and will be free of charge to all show visitors. Topics will include: Recruiting a Workforce is Challenging by Richard Lipman, Wood Manufacturing Council.

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Support for Tall Timber Reaches New Heights in the Building Code

By Michael Kilkelly. Architect
Architect Magazine
October 25, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood is widely recognized as a carbon-neutral building material, but its use as a structural material has been mostly limited to residential and low-rise buildings due to its combustible nature. …The American Wood Council (AWC)… requested that the ICC investigate the viability of wood-based structural systems for tall buildings. …If approved, the code changes won’t take effect until 2021, when the next edition of the IBC is published. Even then, it will likely be several years before individual jurisdictions adopt it. Regardless, both DiGiovanni and Jones are optimistic. …If validated by the ICC’s process and available as a prescriptive option for tall buildings alongside conventional concrete and steel structural systems, mass timber will likely become a more viable and attractive option for architects and owners.

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Wood Framing At Construction Sites Increasing Arson Vulnerability

CBS San Francisco
October 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

EMERYVILLE — After yet another large fire at a Bay Area construction site, there is new scrutiny on the building techniques that turn unfinished projects into a perfect opportunity for arsonists. Developers believe arsonists know exactly when to strike. A 2009, building code change allows developers to increase the use of wood framing for up to five floors above the buildings concrete base. …Once completed, wood-framed buildings are as safe as anything made of concrete or steel. But industry insiders say using wood also carries a risk when the wood framing is fully exposed. “A certain point in a development when the property is most vulnerable,” said Greg McConnell with Oakland non-profit Jobs and Housing Coalition. …Wood is used to save money on the projects, versus the alternative. “The option would be steel framing … about 40 percent more than wood framing,” said McConnell.

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Forestry

B.C. wildfires could be as deadly as California’s within 20 years

By Michael Ruffolo
National Observer
October 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Blackwell

Scott Stevens

Wildfires in British Columbia could become just as deadly within 20 years as those burning now in California, says top Canadian forestry expert Bruce Blackwell. …”I think the pace of [housing] development, in combination with the growing probability of wildfire, are on a collision course where we will continue to see growing levels of wildfire damage, potential loss of life, and unsustainable suppression costs that will overwhelm our capabilities to recover in the short term and impact the quality of life of all British Columbians,” stated Blackwell. British Columbia just experienced two record-breaking fire seasons back to back. The 2018 season was the worst, with more than 3.2 million acres of land scorched. …Scott Stevens, fire science professor at University of California, Berkley, said that the fatalities in California were due to developing homes in fire prone areas without taking the necessary precautions to prevent future fires.

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International call for action to save B.C.’s old-growth rainforests

By Keri Coles
BC Local News in the Comox Valley Record
October 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As part of an international call for action, the voices of 185,000 people from around the world were heard Thursday at the B.C. Legislature, when a petition calling for the protection of B.C.’s old-growth forests was delivered to the government. Together with representatives from tourism businesses and local government, Sierra Club BC and German environmental organization Rainforest Rescue called for an end to the ongoing clearcutting of Vancouver Island’s last endangered ancient rainforest. “The ongoing destruction undermines the positive image of Canada internationally,” said Mathias Rittgerott, spokesperson with Rainforest Rescue. “Protecting rare old-growth forests is a crucial step in fighting global warming and saving habitat of endangered species. There is no price tag for the value of these forests.”

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Silver Lake Forest Education Centre hosts Festival of Forestry Teachers’ Tour

Festival of Forestry
October 22, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Festival of Forestry was delighted to be invited to host our 2018 summer teachers’ tour at the beautiful Silver Lake Forest Education Centre in Peachland this past August. Russ Paton (Silver Lake program director and board member with Evans Lake Forest Education Society) was the tour architect and host for this summer’s tour. The teachers loved him saying, “Russ was extremely knowledgeable and ensured that he provided insights suitable for teachers of all ages”.  … tour highlights included a special visit to BEEPS (Bat Education & Ecological Protection Society), an interactive presentation from the Canadian Women in Timber (Ann Polson and Betty-Ann McDonald from the Shuswap Branch) about teaching forestry to young people, and evening presentations from Dave Gill, RPF, General Manager of Forestry, Ntityix Resources LP (Westbank First Nation) and Bryan Darroch, Planning Forester, Gorman Bros. …Finally, teachers had a chance to try their hand at being a real life logger, participating in a classic logger sports competition!

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Fighting Fire With Fire May Mean Breathing Smoke Year-Round

By Amena Saiyid
Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs
October 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

People living in the West can’t get a break from inhaling dirty air caused by fires, even when the wildfire season comes to an end. This summer they were engulfed in smoke from a number of catastrophic fires. And this fall they could find themselves enshrouded in another smoky haze—a result of fires planned and deliberately set by state and federal officials to ward off the more dangerous wildfires that erupt during the dry summer season. …But even planned burns that go off without a hitch cause air pollution. And researchers say they don’t yet know the health effects of breathing pollution from these type of events. …“We don’t have a choice: We can use prescribed burning that will reduce future risk of fires or we can have wildfires that will produce smoke and other hazardous pollutants” Finney said.

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When it comes to respiratory effects of wood smoke, sex matters

The University of North Carolina Health Care
Medical Xpress
October 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Exposure to wood smoke can have different effects on the respiratory immune systems of men and women—effects that may be obscured when data from men and women are lumped together, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Respiratory. …The scientists… discovered that the men exposed to wood smoke had significantly higher markers of an inflammatory response in cells that line the nasal passages relative to men exposed to filtered air. By contrast, for women, the wood smoke exposure appeared to lower markers of the inflammatory response. …The scientists aren’t yet sure why. …One possibility is that women… might have had greater and more chronic exposure to smoke from cooking fires, compared to men. Other factors that may have influenced the sex-specific responses include differences in male and female hormone profiles and genetics.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A Breakthrough Biomass Fuel

By José-Luis Rivas
Biomass Magazine
October 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

José-Luis Rivas

There are many efforts from different industries to find solutions that can help us and our children live in a better, cleaner world. Among many others, three of the most important are reducing CO2 emissions, the initiative to diminish the pollution of plastics from the oceans, and the development of sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. What if a solid fuel made mainly from biomass could help with more than one of these efforts? ERS Fuel Inc. has created precisely that. Manufactured from woody biomass scientifically combined with a specific polymer, its unique fuel puck has capabilities that make it very versatile on multiple levels that go beyond what was the original idea when invented. …The company plans to build a commercial-scale facility to service customers with fuel for home heating.

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Sampling guts of live moose to understand how they break down biomass

By Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory
Phys.org
October 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants such as moose help break down recalcitrant plant biomass into carbon nutrients, but how do they do this over the course of seasons when the moose diet changes, and what microbes are involved? Now, an international research team has studied microbial communities in the rumen of live moose and gained a more holistic view of a complex microbial food web that is responsible for carbon processing in that ecosystem. …Microbes breaking down biomass play a vital role in a surprising number of processes, including which chemicals are released into the air and whether a useful biofuel or bioproduct can be formed. By understanding how microbes process woody material like twigs and bark in the guts of moose, scientists can better predict how changes in the seasonal diet of these animals affects their ability to break down these woody materials. They can then extend this understanding to help biofuel, bioproduct, and chemical processing in industry.

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Making forests the focus of global bioeconomies

Landscape News
October 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

On 11 October, the European Commission launched a new strategy to create a comprehensive bioeconomy – a ‘biosociety’ – and ultimately a carbon-neutral future. The strategy centers on waste reduction, ecosystem protection and a 100-million-euro fund to incentivize private investment in the continental bioeconomy, particularly in later phases when finance is needed to help commercialize bioeconomy products: everything from makeup and dietary supplements to bioplastics and cleaning supplies, as long as they are biomass-based. …As national and international bioeconomies grow and compete, how will forests be of use – and be protected – in the process? …Yet, a bioeconomy is not synonymous with a sustainable economy, and these go-green schemes need to detail science-based ways optimize land and resource use; recycle more from waste-intensive products such as sugarcane and swine; and substitute inefficient use of wood and charcoal biofuels with other forms of renewable energy. 

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Health & Safety

WorkSafeBC report cites safety failures in 2017 train derailment that killed three workers

By Dirk Meissner
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
October 25, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Decaying railroad ties and the failure of a safety mechanism to prevent a train derailment are cited in a report by British Columbia’s workers’ safety agency as factors in a crash that killed three people and injured two others. The accident in April 2017 happened on the now-abandoned Western Forest Products rail line at Woss. …“Besides the deficiencies related to the ties, WorkSafeBC investigators also found that an insufficient number of spikes were used to fasten the failed derail to the ties,” the report says. …Western Forest Products Inc., which was not available for comment, was cited with one violation of the Workers Compensation Act for the failure to ensure the health and safety of its workers. …The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.

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Workplace Health and Safety Award Winners

Workplace Safety North
October 21, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Chris Serratore, Judi Tetro and Paul Andre

Each year, Workplace Safety North (WSN), the provincial health and safety association for mining, forestry, and paper, printing, and converting sectors, recognizes Ontario workplaces with a strong safety culture. “The President’s Award is our highest provincial health and safety honour, and recognizes exceptional commitment to the prevention of illness and injury, and to continuous improvement in occupational health and safety,” says Paul Andre, WSN President and Chief Executive Officer. …President’s Award winners for health and safety excellence—Forestry sector: Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd., Thunder Bay; Workplace Excellence Award winners include: Brinkman and Associates Reforestation, Thunder Bay, Domtar, Dryden, Fleming’s Trucking and Logging, Hilton Beach, Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay Mill Operations

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