Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada East

Business & Politics

What Pictou County can learn from the Bowater paper mill closure

By Brittany Wentzell
CBC News
January 20, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The former mayor of a Nova Scotia municipality that lost its major employer in 2012 has some words of wisdom for Pictou County, N.S., which is facing the closure of Northern Pulp. Christopher Clarke was elected mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality just months after the former Bowater paper mill in Brooklyn closed in June 2012. He said the closure was felt immediately. …The closure threw 320 people out of work at Bowater and then the Oakhill Sawmill closed, which led to a ripple effect in Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. …Clarke said the Region of Queens began working closely with neighbouring municipalities to try to diversify the local economy. …He said the provincial and federal governments also… provided economic development officers, and established the Port Mersey Commercial Park at the former mill site.

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UNIFOR frustrated they aren’t included in the forestry transition team

by Dave Heintzman
Halifax Today
January 20, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian Baarda & Linda MacNeil

UNIFOR’S Atlantic Regional Director says they are trying to work with the government, and Northern Pulp to find a clear path forward that will protect workers, and keep the forestry industry alive in Nova Scotia. Linda MacNeil says… it’s not an ideal situation by a long shot to have a transition team discussing ways to help people in the entire forestry sector including Northern Pulp employees when UNIFOR representatives are not even allowed at the table to add their input. …”The company has given their commitment they will follow the provisions of the collective agreement up to and including still maintaining their pension payments,” explains MacNeil. …MacNeil says… about half their members are young, and can’t afford to wait years on a chance the mill reopens down the line.

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We need to stand united with our forest industry

The Editorial Board
The Amherst News
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOVA SCOTIA — It has not been a good month to work in Cumberland County’s forests. It was at about this time last month when Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil stepped up to the mike at Province House and announced his government would not support extending the 2015 Boat Harbour Act. …It seems with one announcement the premier has thrown the province’s forest industry into disarray and told those who have invested millions of dollars into growing their companies that it was all for naught. …It would be easy for foresters and those employed by the industry in any way to simply throw their hands up in surrender, but there is an effort gathering steam across the county to look for ways to take a stand as an industry. Led by the Athol Forestry Co-operative and the region’s two MLAs.

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Resolute Forest Products to produce cellulose filaments at Quebec paper mill

The Canadian Press in The Toronto Star
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc. says it will spend $27 million to add a plant to produce cellulose filaments at its Kenogami paper mill in Quebec. It says it will also spend $11 million to modernize equipment to produce high-grade SCA+ supercalendered paper (used in newspaper flyers), allowing the mill to access more favourable markets, for a total cost of $38 million. CEO Yves Laflamme says the investments will create synergies in its network of operations in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. …The filaments extraction technology was developed by research and development centre FPInnovations Inc. The project will be funded in part by $2.5 million from Quebec’s Department of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, $4.2 million from Investissement Quebec and $4.9 million from Natural Resources Canada.

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FPInnovations’ cellulose filament technology will be produced by Resolute

By FPInnovations
Cision Newswire
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — FPInnovations is pleased to announce that its cellulose filament production technology will once again be brought to a commercial scale following Resolute Forest Products’ announcement of a $27.7 million investment in its Kénogami plant in Quebec. This confirms FPInnovations’ ability to provide tangible support to companies that innovate with wood, which ultimately allows the forest sector to diversify its traditional and non-traditional products and markets. FPInnovations will partner with Resolute Forest Products to transfer knowledge of the technology, which was developed with contributions from industrial members, provincial governments and Canadian government funding from the Canadian Forest Service’s Transformative Technologies Program.

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Canada Invests in Innovative Forest Technology and Job Creation in Quebec

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAGUENAY, QC – …The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $4.9-million investment to Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc. for an innovative technology that will accelerate advanced biomaterial production and create over 20 full-time jobs. The funding will allow Resolute to expand its Kenogami facility in Saguenay, Quebec, to manufacture industrial-scale cellulose filaments. Cellulose filaments — a biomaterial extracted from wood pulp — have unique properties that allow them to be used as a reinforcing agent in consumer products such as polymers and cement. The innovation will increase production efficiency and product quality while taking advantage of all-fibre residue. The Government of Quebec also contributed $6.7 million towards the project through their ESSOR Program (French only) and Wood Innovation Program (French only). The project will be carried out in partnership with FPInnovations, which developed the process.

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Workers seek new careers as Northern Pulp shutdown looms

By Jack Julian
CBC News
January 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

With their mill about to close, Northern Pulp workers are exploring their employment options, and many of those opportunities may be outside Nova Scotia. …Roughly 140 Northern Pulp workers attended a recruitment session by J.D. Irving that was held at the Northern Pulp mill on Tuesday. …J. D. Irving spokesperson Mary Keith… said the company plans to hire 6,800 full-time positions by 2022, with 87 per cent of those jobs located in Atlantic Canada. The provincial government organized an employment information session Tuesday in New Glasgow. …Meanwhile, Paper Excellence, the company that owns Northern Pulp, has offered to help relocate Nova Scotia workers to fill vacancies in B.C. The company has also offered to recognize the union seniority of the Northern Pulp workers under the new contracts.

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Nova Scotia offers retraining for forestry and Northern Pulp workers

The Chronicle Herald
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s government will use transition money to create new training paths for workers affected by the pending closure of the Northern Pulp mill who want to stay in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and Nova Scotia Community College are working together to enhance programming to connect these workers to opportunities in the skilled trades. The provincial government will use $1.5 million of the $50 million transition fund to support this initiative, which is estimated to support about 200 workers from either the Northern Pulp mill or across the broader forestry sector. …The way the program is designed, some workers could pursue apprenticeship in a skilled trade as a career option while others, with work experience in a trade, could challenge for certification, which would improve re-employment opportunities.

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Post-Northern Pulp, what will forestry industry do with its stranded assets?

By Robin Wilber, President, Elmsdale Lumber Company
The Chronicle Herald
January 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Robin Wilber

Most of us realize that a healthy economy allows us to continue to improve many things we all care about, such as health care, education, environmental issues — the list is almost endless. During the past year or so, Nova Scotians have been subjected to lots of rhetoric from a few who’d like to see the Northern Pulp plant shut down. …Lots has been written on this issue, but there’s been little to explain to the general public just why it’s so very important to the economy of Nova Scotia. …Our people have come to expect well-paying jobs. Landowners want a reasonable return on their investment. The industry needs to continue good forest practices to ensure a wood supply on a sustainable basis, and the general public demands that we be good stewards of the forests. With no market for low-quality wood, none of this is possible. (a subscription is required to access the full story)

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Cumberland County wants to be a leader in response to forestry crisis

By Darrell Cole
The Chronicle Herald
January 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

AMHERST, Nova Scotia — While the weather outside was frightful, forest industry and community representatives in Cumberland County are continue to find alternatives following the closure later this month of the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou. The second Future of Forestry meeting was held Jan. 12 and… more than 50 people gathered to take the next step in plotting a future for the industry in the county. …The first steps were also taken to creating a transition and advisory team, while the group also put its emotions about the closure aside. …One of the working groups will be looking at other potential markets for wood products and working within Nova Scotia with other groups to look for ways to protect and grow the industry despite the setbacks.

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Port Hawkesbury Paper power hearing to start Feb. 11

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
January 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER, Nova Scotia — The provincial regulator will hold a hearing next month into a proposed new power rate for Port Hawkesbury Paper, the largest employer in the Strait of Canso area. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has set Feb. 11 as the opening date for the hearing. …Under the proposed rate, Nova Scotia Power would have more authority to scale back or ramp up the mill’s power usage, with the mill turning over the keys to the utility from an electricity supply perspective depending upon the system load. In essence, it would treat the mill as part of its system — NSP tells its own plants what load to run, and now that would also be extended to Port Hawkesbury Paper. The mill uses approximately 10 per cent of Nova Scotia Power’s system load, annually.

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Buyers interested in sawmill, Rickford

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
January 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greg Rickford

Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford says he remains engaged, when comes to the sale of Kenora Forest Products. “It goes without saying that Kenora right now we’re facing some new challenges in the face of Kenora Forest Products recent announcement and the challenges of the forest sector in the United States and Canada are facing in global markets. So, we want to support local industry,” said the minister last week. The owners of the sawmill filed for bankruptcy last month, which includes putting the company up for sale. “We have to work with that family and the business, and we’ll continue to see what prospects are there. We understand there are some interested parties, but I can’t comment on that right now,” the minister added.  The deadline for bids on the sawmill is mid-February.

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Softwood exporters need government backing, association

By Mike Aiken
Kenora Online
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jamie Lim

Following news of the bankruptcy at Kenora Forest Products, the Ontario Forest Industry Association is calling for more help from provincial and federal governments. “In Kenora, you have a mill that had been doing really, really well. They’d been adding shifts. They were full production and had fallen into harm’s way, because of American tariffs on softwood lumber,” said Jamie Lim, CEO and president of the association. She says $245 million dollars from Ontario producers is stuck at the border, waiting for a new softwood lumber agreement. Members of the association would like to see loan guarantees, in order to help companies ride out the latest dispute with Americans over softwood lumber. “That money would go towards keeping their mills open, paying their employees. That’s our money and we need access to it,” she said.

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NORTHERN PULP RESPONDS: How Boat Harbour became a quagmire

By Brian Baarda
The Chronicle Herald
January 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Since 1967, a kraft pulp mill has been an economic driver for Pictou County.  … In 2011, Paper Excellence was proud to carry on this tradition when we purchased Northern Pulp Nova Scotia. We operate pulp mills throughout Canada and globally, and recognized that the core fundamentals of a successful kraft mill were in place.  We also recognized that investments would be needed to bring the mill to the environmental standards expected today. …We have always said that Boat Harbour needs to close, and we continue to believe this. In June 2014, a faulty pipe resulted in an effluent leak at our facility. We took full responsibility for this very unfortunate incident and undertook immediate actions to fix it.  What is often forgotten is that our initial response efforts were delayed due to a protester blockade. [A subscription to the Chronicle Herald may be required to access full story]

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Northern Pulp begins shutdown process

The Chronicle Herald
January 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

By early next week, only the wood waste boiler will continue to operate at the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. In a news release Sunday, Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp. said it has begun to wind down operations at the Abercrombie Point mill to meet the impending Jan. 31 provincial deadline imposed by the Boat Harbour Act. The boiler will remain active – at least for now – to provide heat for the facility to protect against freezing and enable cleanup of the processing equipment, the company said. “Over the coming weeks, Northern Pulp will focus on the diligent removal of chemicals, pulp, and wood fibre from mill storage tanks, piping, and wood yards to meticulously prepare the facility for its indefinite closure,” the release states. 

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Private interests, public forests, and political influence

By Douglas Judson, Fort Frances, Ontario Councillor
The Net News Ledger
January 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Douglas Judson

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a 1985 indemnity… would not get Resolute Forest Products off the hook for a mercury waste site near Dryden. Just 200 kilometers away in Fort Frances, the judgment was hailed as comeuppance – a glimmer of the justice that evaded their own 2019 battle with Resolute. …With the deadline for the community to find a new operator for its mill, Fort Frances looks to an uncertain future. Locals question the true legacy of the sweetheart deals granted to local mill owners. The same arrangements which once marshaled their woodlands for local economic benefit now appear to constrict local economic destiny. …People in Fort Frances pin their current circumstances on deliberate corporate actions and influence which were designed to strip it of its key economic asset, deflect new opportunities that might compete with established interests, and to cast a veil over the local public’s rights to benefit from its own forest resources.

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Atlantic premiers to meet in St. John’s today with Quebec premier, Freeland

The Canadian Press in Global News
January 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Francois Legault, Dwight Ball

The four Atlantic Canadian premiers are set to meet in St. John’s, N.L. today, with another Eastern Canadian premier and a prominent federal cabinet minister scheduled to join discussions. The premiers will be joined by Quebec Premier Francois Legualt to discuss clean energy and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to meet with the premiers in the afternoon. Legault met with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball on Sunday afternoon ahead of Monday’s gathering with premiers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. …New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said last week he wants to talk with Freeland about Canada’s softwood lumber deal with the United States. Higgs is pushing to have New Brunswick exempted from tariffs imposed on softwood lumber exported to the U.S.

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Progressive Conservative Public Accounts member calls on Nova Scotia forestry transition chair to answer questions

By Jesse Thomas
Global News
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Nova Scotia forestry transition team met Thursday for the first time and moved quickly to announce a $7-million investment into the silviculture work, to directly support the hundreds of workers in the forests. Progressive Conservative Public Accounts Committee member Tim Halman calls the move a positive step, but as the closure of Northern Pulp looms closer, the effects on the forestry sector will be more widespread and so he’s calling on the Liberal government to act quicker and more transparently. …On Thursday, Halman requested that forestry transition team chair Kelliann Dean, the deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs and trade appear, before the public accounts committee. Liberal MLA and public accounts vice-chair Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, however, vetoed that. …The challenge facing woodlot owners and sawmill operators now is finding a new market for their lower-end products.

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Nova Scotia premier officially met with newly formed forestry transition team [VIDEO STORY]

By Jesse Thomas
Global News
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Premier Stephen McNeil officially met the Nova Scotia Forestry Transition Panel Thursday. The eight-member task force includes industry experts and politicians who’ll now be tasked with helping the forestry sector through the challenging times ahead. [This is a video story, click the Read More to see the video]

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Nova Scotia’s forestry transition team to spend $7M on silviculture

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
January 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stephen McNeil & Kelliann Dean

Nova Scotia’s forestry transition team will spend $7 million on silviculture work and forest road building, a move Premier Stephen McNeil says should keep up to 300 people working in the woods as usual for the next year. The money will be for programs on Crown and private land in central and western Nova Scotia and is on top of what the province already spends. “We want to make sure that all of those lands continue to be maintained and supported,” McNeil told reporters. “Whether [Northern Pulp] reopens or not, we need the expertise of those who have been working on the ground and private woodlot owners.” …The [transition] team will meet every Tuesday for the foreseeable future and McNeil said all suggestions would be evaluated to ensure they don’t risk violating the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement.

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Northern Pulp mill to move ahead with environmental assessment process

By Keith Doucette
The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

After weeks of warning of the pending end of its mill operations in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County, Northern Pulp now says it is committed to remaining in the province for the long term. In a statement Thursday, the mill’s parent company, Paper Excellence Canada, said it intends to complete an environmental assessment required by the provincial government. …The company pointed out that since purchasing the mill in 2011 it had invested more than $70 million in “people, technology, and processes to improve our production and reduce our environmental impact.” The statement came shortly before Premier Stephen McNeil announced $7 million to assist silviculture and forest road building operations… The team will advise the government on how to spend a $50-million assistance program for the forestry industry. …In the meantime, McNeil said the province …is in discussions with the Pictou Landing First Nation about allowing remaining effluent from the plant to be dumped as the province cleans the pipe out and caps it.

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Premier pledges $7 million to keep silviculture sector alive after Northern Pulp mill closure

By Andrew Rankin
Cape Breton Post
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province is pumping $7-million into the silviculture sector that is expected to keep up to 300 forestry workers employed when Northern Pulp closes at the end of the month. Premier Stephen McNeil made the announcement Thursday, saying the funding would target both private and Crown lands in central and western Nova Scotia. The money comes from the $50-million transition fund the premier announced last month after the mill failed to meet the province’s deadline for environmental approval for its proposed effluent treatment plant. The mill is slated to close Jan. 31, the legislated date ordering the mill to stop pumping effluent into Boat Harbour. The premier said the transition fund would provide financial support to affected mill and forestry workers but also to develop alternative markets for Nova Scotia wood products.

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Government Supporting Community Development in Fort Frances-Rainy River Region

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines
Government of Ontario
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Greg Rickford

FORT FRANCES – Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced Ontario is investing $83,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation in two community development projects in the Fort Frances-Rainy River region. Investments include:

  • $65,000 for the Town of Fort Frances to create redevelopment plans for two properties that were formerly part of Resolute Forest Products’ pulp and paper mill operations.
  • $18,000 for the Rainy River Future Development Corporation to study the feasibility of developing a modular house manufacturing facility in the region.

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Pictou County council sending letter to premier over pulp mill closure

By Kevin Adshade
The News
January 8, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, Nova Scotia — County council will send a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil asking for financial support to contractors hit by the pending closure of Northern Pulp. …David Parker, who said the intention is to ask the province to allocate some of the so-called transition funds to contractors who face high payments on expensive forestry equipment, which can cost millions of dollars to purchase. The motion was passed by near-unanimous consent. That way, council says, they would have financial assistance to physically transport their machines to other parts of the country, should they need to sell their equipment, some of which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to transport. Parker said the market is soft here in this region, but not elsewhere in Canada. “There’s 50 million dollars out there.

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Forest industry says province had no plan for transition after Northern Pulp decision

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
January 8, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, N.S. — …On Dec. 20 Premier Stephen McNeil had triggered what the industry expects to be one of the most widespread layoffs in this province in recent decades when he refused to extend the deadline for Northern Pulp’s operation of the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility. …The forestry stakeholders came to meeting last Thursday to hear what the province had been planning for that transition. …Stephen Cole, a wood buyer with HC Haynes…said, it quickly became apparent [government] hadn’t done anything to prepare for this.” …Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston is accusing the provincial government of not having planned for the varied outcomes of its own decision. …Two days after McNeil’s announcement harvester Kelly Tattrie sold a porter he’d paid $28,000 for used a few years ago for $11,000 just to continue making payments on his remaining land and equipment. “You can’t give forestry equipment away right now,” said Tattrie. [A subscription to the Chronicle Herald may be required to access the full story]

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A logger’s view — McNeil has made a big mess

By Chris R. Bond, owner/operator, C & D Bond Forestry Ltd.
The Chronicle Herald
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

C & D Bond Forestry Ltd. had to stop short of completion on a job recently, due to the imminent closure of Northern Pulp and the McNeil government’s decision not to extend the life of Boat Harbour. …poplar, for the most part, is pulpwood and goes to Northern Pulp. …Spruce is studwood or logs, not a Northern Pulp-bound product. But on the top of every spruce is a stick or two of pulpwood …So why in the world are we losing Northern Pulp? That mill consumed all the lower-grade wood from sites all over Nova Scotia! …So, Stephen McNeil, you had five years to put a plan in place… in the wake of Northern Pulp’s shutdown? Well, what is it? I have to know where to tell the trucks to take the pulpwood. I keep being told, “Someone will call you back in a week or two” from Lands and Forestry. What the hell, you didn’t plan anything.

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Northern Pulp mill to move ahead with environmental assessment process

The Globe and Mail
January 9, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s Environment Department says Northern Pulp intends to move ahead with the environmental assessment process for a proposed effluent treatment facility, even though the mill is scheduled to shut down at the end of the month. The company has said it would wrap up operations at the Pictou County mill after the province rejected its most recent attempt to get approval for a plan that would involve pumping treated waste water into the Northumberland Strait. …In a news release late Wednesday, Wilson said the province is legally required to continue with the assessment process, but he reiterated that the province would enforce the Boat Harbour Act deadline of Jan 31. for the closure of the mill’s current effluent facility in Boat Harbour, N.S., located near the Pictou Landing First Nation. [to access the full story a subscription is required]

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Forestry transition team member cut for being ‘focused on options for Northern Pulp’

By Jack Julian
CBC News
January 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Nova Scotia government has fired one of the members of its forestry transition team, the group being set up to guide the industry through the fallout from the imminent shutdown of Northern Pulp. Robin Wilber is president of the Elmsdale Lumber Co. and was a voice for private industry on the team. In recent days, he spoke to multiple media outlets about the possibility of the Pictou County plant going into a state of “hot idle”. “Robin Wilber is focused on options for Northern Pulp. That is not part of the transition team’s mandate therefore he is no longer part of the transition team,” Kelliann Dean, the deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and transition team leader, said. …Meanwhile, the union leader for Northern Pulp workers thinks Wilber should be reinstated. …Don MacKenzie, president of Unifor Local 440.

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Nova Scotia offering ’emotional support’ line for workers affected by mill closure

Canadian Press in Halifax Today
January 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government, facing massive job losses in the province’s forestry sector, has set up a confidential, toll-free line to offer emotional support to those affected by the pending closure of the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou. Premier Stephen McNeil said Tuesday the government will offer the round-the-clock service with the help of the human resources firm Morneau Shepell. “The impact of this situation reaches beyond those directly employed in the forestry sector, and it’s vitally important that support is available to all those who need it,” McNeil said in a written statement. However, the province’s latest bid to deal with the fallout from the closure was partly overshadowed by news that a member of an industry-government transition team, Robin Wilber, had been removed for talking about saving the Northern Pulp mill rather than the fate of forestry workers.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

80 Atlantic is Toronto’s first timber office building in generations

By Alex Abarbanel-Brossman
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 15, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A look around Toronto’s seemingly innumerable construction sites tends to reveal building materials common to many North American cities. …But a new mass timber office building in the Liberty Village neighborhood points in a different direction. Designed by Canadian firm Quadrangle for Hullmark Development… the five-story, 90,000-square-foot 80 Atlantic debuted this past fall as Toronto’s first wood-frame office building in over a century. …According to the designers, uncovering the original post-and-beam structure at 60 Atlantic inspired the idea for a mass timber neighbor, now newly legal thanks to a 2015 change in regional building codes that allows for mass timber structures of up to six stories. “We started to imagine a modern wood office building that took all of the best parts of the old post and beam building.”

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Cardinal House CLT home dubbed ‘house of the future’ for Indigenous communities

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
January 10, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cardinal House, a prefabricated, cross-laminated timber (CLT) residence erected recently on the Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, is the first of what its architect hopes will be many such houses built to meet the needs of First Nations communities across Canada. “We feel it is a house of the future,” Douglas Cardinal, of Douglas Cardinal Architect Inc., said recently about the 1,100-square-foot home. The internationally-recognized architect, noted for designs such as the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., said while the simple house is one of the smallest commissions of his storied career, it is among the most important because it represents a new housing type for First Nations communities.

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Architects chosen for new W.J. Fricker elementary school

By Jeff Turl
The Bay Today
January 8, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Near North District School Board has selected Mitchell Jensen Architects Incorporated of North Bay to design the new W.J. Fricker elementary school which will be located on the existing site. It’s slated to open in September 2021. In 2018 Mitchell Jensen Architects’ design of the North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit, in collaboration with Ottawa’s Carlyle Design Associates, was recognized by Canadian Interiors Magazine as Best in Canada, in the institutional category. Later that year the same project won the Northern Ontario Excellence Award from Ontario Wood WORKS!, an initiative of the Canadian Wood Council.

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Forestry

Forests in northern Ontario could be growing less resilient to fire, scientist says

CBC News
January 19, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“Short-interval fires” have scientists with Natural Resources Canada concerned.  A new study has shown that the increase in forest fire activity means that forests are becoming less resilient to fire.  Daniel Thompson is a Forest Fire Research Scientist with Natural Resources Canada. He said that in the past, boreal forests could go anywhere from 75 to 200 years between fires. The interval now is shortening,  Thompson said, to as little as 10 years between fires.  “Basically what happens is that once these fires we typically think of as being really large, and sort of wanting to burn that older forest which is maybe full of spruce, but only when these fires get really large during these really dry periods are they able to burn into younger forest which typically has more aspen, more willow,” Thompson said. “More of that sort of really leafy green stuff that normally doesn’t burn.”

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Ontario proposes full return of spring bear hunt

CBC News
January 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province has announced it plans to bring back a regular black bear spring hunting season, subject to annual review. On Friday, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski announced the start of government’s consultation on the proposal. “Ontario is home to a healthy bear population,” said Yakabuski. “The province will continue to monitor black bear populations, harvest results and sustainability indicators to inform an annual review and ensure bear populations are managed sustainably.” The bear hunt was cancelled by the province in 1999.  In 2014, Ontario re-introduced a spring black bear hunting season, and the pilot has continued each year since then.

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N.S. forester concerned the woods are ‘taking a backseat to business’

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
January 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wade Prest

Wade Prest knows there are people in the forest industry who need help now. But as Nova Scotia’s forestry transition team has its second meeting Tuesday, the veteran harvester says he’s hoping to hear more about long-term goals and plans. “We’ve sort of got the forest on the ropes right now, ecologically. A lot of our forestland is right on the tipping point, where it used to be productive forestland, and it’s not going to be able to be productive anymore if you continue to treat it the same way,” said Prest. A good start would be reducing the capacity of harvests in the province, he said. “We have to understand that we cannot continue to harvest young stands. We’ve got to commit ourselves to turning towards rotations of 80 or 150 years to grow sawlogs and very little pulpwood.”

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Shepody Mountain earns conservation protection in surprise announcement

By Gail Harding
CBC News
January 10, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

People attending a public meeting in Riverside-Albert Thursday night to hear about a nomination to the provincial government to protect Shepody Mountain instead heard a surprise announcement that it would become conserved Crown land. Mike Holland, minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development and MLA for Albert told those in attendance 700 hectares of Crown land would be set aside as conserved lands.  “Holland said he had just came out of a meeting with industry and he was taking the steps to put the entire 700 hectares of Shepody crown land into conservation protection,” said Deborah Carr, a member of the group Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, or WEPAC. …”Then came the but.”  Carr said the ‘but’ is JD Irving Ltd. will be permitted to go in and do a supervised select cut on about 20 hectares (50 acres) of land within the 700 hectares. 

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Innovation not optional for Atlantic Canada’s forestry sector in 2020

By Brett Bundale
The Telegram
January 8, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mike Legere

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — This is the fourth story in a five-part series. …One of the oldest industries in Atlantic Canada is set to undergo a sweeping transformation over the coming decade, as technology, climate change and shifting consumer demands reshape forestry. Despite U.S. tariffs on New Brunswick lumber and the expected closure of Northern Pulp in Nova Scotia, experts say the region’s forestry industry is focused on innovation to ensure long-term, sustainable growth. “There’s a real emergence of innovative technologies that are producing new products out of wood,” Forest NB executive director Mike Legere said in an interview. …The wide range of new uses for wood fibres to replace materials like plastics or cotton has kept demand for wood products strong, despite setbacks in the industry. [a subscription may be required to access the full story]

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Kingston climate change symposium fosters local action

By Elliot Ferguson
The Kingston Whig-Standard
January 16, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

KINGSTON, Ontario — Trees, whether growing in forests and urban green spaces or harvested and used in construction, offer an effective tool in the fight against climate change, said… Rob Keen, executive director of Forests Ontario. …It’s not just living trees, which sequester carbon as they grow, that can help with climate change, Keen said. Lumber sustainably harvested from forests can continue to hold carbon in place, and, if used in construction, can do so long beyond the expected lifespan of the tree from which the wood comes. …The Ontario building code was recently changed to permit the construction of wood-framed buildings up to six storeys high, and Keen said there are examples of buildings even taller — up to 18 storeys — that have been built.

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Health & Safety

Owner of Chapleau lumber mill fined $250,000 for workplace fatality

By Chelsea Papineau
CTV News
January 8, 2020
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

SUDBURY — The owner of a Chapleau lumber mill has been fined $250,000 after an investigation into a May 2018 workplace fatality. According to a release sent by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development… the worker was  using a loader to move bundles of wood when the incident happened. The labour ministry says there was no eye witness to the event, but it is believed that the operator had exited the machine to place material on top of the first load to create space for the next bundle when the loader rolled forward, pinning the worker between it and the pile. …Montreal-based Rayonier A.M. Canada Industries Inc. acquired the lumber mill from Tembec just a few days after the incident. Rayonier has now pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed in Ontario’s Industrial Establishments Regulation were carried out.

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Forest Fires

Ontario sends 19 fire specialists to help fight wildfires raging across Australia

By Cathy Alex
CBC News
January 8, 2020
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario has deployed 19 fire specialists, all from the northern part of the province, to help fight the wildfires raging across Australia. Record high temperatures and a long drought have combined to create a catastrophic fire season in the southern hemisphere nation. The resulting inferno has caused the deaths of at least 26 people, the destruction of approximately 2,000 homes and killed countless birds, animals and other wildlife. Officials in the state of New South Wales said the amount of area burned is now 20 times larger than an average year, with flames scorching over 60,000 square kilometres of southeastern Australia. The Ontario group, all from the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), are serving in a variety of roles, said Jonathan Scott, a MNRF fire information officer.

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