Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada East

Business & Politics

Resolute sells mothballed Fort Frances mill to Riversedge

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The news that Riversedge Developments now owns the shuttered Fort Frances pulp and paper mill doesn’t inspire much confidence from the town’s mayor. June Caul said the CEO of the brownfield redevelopment company paid an unexpected visit to town hall, July 10, to advise… that the deal with Resolute Forest Products has been finalized. Despite the encounter, …Veldman gave them no indication of his future plans for the site. A promised public announcement… never came to be, leaving it to Resolute to break the news. Caul… openly questions whether the developer is working in “good faith” with the town, or if Veldman remains under a gag order from Resolute from fully disclosing his plans to possibly scrap the entire site. …Veldman and Riversedge are no strangers to Northerners due their acquisitions and subsequent demolitions of paper plants in Sault Ste. Marie, Iroquois Falls and Red Rock.

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Statement confirms sale of Fort Frances mill

The International Falls Journal
July 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The paper mill in Fort Frances has been sold by Resolute Forest Products according to a statement issued Monday. …The Town of Fort Frances wishes to confirm for all of its citizens, stakeholders, and regional partners that the properties comprising the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances have been sold by Resolute Forest Products. These properties have been transferred to a new owner, which we understand to be a subsidiary of Riversedge Developments that is held in partnership with a local entity. …The town’s goal has been — and continues to be — returning this key economic asset to productive use that preserves its operating capacity and makes use of our region’s publicly-owned forest resources. …Judson said while Monday is a milestone, there are still details to be learned.

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Quebec lumber company Stella-Jones plunges as long-time CEO Brian McManus steps aside

By Nicolas Van Praet
The Globe and Mail
July 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Brian McManus

An unexpected changing of the guard at Stella-Jones Inc. is stoking concern among investors as Brian McManus gets set to leave the Canadian wood-products manufacturer after an 18-year run as chief executive. …Stella shares fell 6 per cent to close at $44.03 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Monday. The CEO’s departure… “may be interpreted by some investors as a sign that the long-term growth prospects for Stella-Jones are dimming,” CIBC Capital Markets analyst Hamir Patel said. Since Mr. McManus joined Stella in 2001, the company’s share price has increased from $0.55 to $46.87, he noted. …The company pushed past $2-billion in annual revenue for the first time in 2018 but it has faced headwinds over the past two years. Mr. McManus… emphasized the management team he has assembled… and he rejected the suggestion that Stella’s best days are behind it. [to access the full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Wood products producer Stella-Jones says CEO Brian McManus to step down

The Canadian Press in the Prince George Citizen
July 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — Wood-products producer Stella Jones Inc. says company president and CEO Brian McManus will step down later this year after 18 years at the company. The company’s share price was down almost seven per cent in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange after announcing the news. Stella-Jones says McManus will leave his post on October 11 and will work with management on the leadership transition. The Montreal-based company says senior vice-president and chief financial officer Eric Vachon, who’s been with the company for 12 years, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.

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Wood studs and wood chips – the rest of the story

Letter by Don Wilson, Brule Point, N.S.
The New Glasgow News
July 11, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

RE: Wood studs under pricing pressure.  …lumber products are a commodity needed more some times than at other times. As such, the price goes up and down with demand. This is why sawmills have to be always looking for ways to be most efficient and to vary production in line with market demand. Nova Scotia sawmills that have an agreement to accept logs from the allocation given to Northern Pulp (NPNS) by the province can find themselves in an overstocked position when demand slackens. …These sawmills need to supply chips no matter how much lumber is in demand or at what price. Being forced to increase sawn lumber inventory rapidly absorbs cash flow. …If NPNS is closed the sawmills could immediately begin sawing out all the lumber in each log. That would more than double the gross margins of these mills. …Closing NPNS could be a net gain for the GDP of the province considering that clear-cutting could cease and only high-value trees are selection harvested.

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No production time lost at Port Hawkesbury Paper despite fire

By Nancy King
The Cape Breton Post
July 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

POINT TUPPER, N.S. — Port Hawkesbury Paper did not lose any production time despite a fire in one of its massive wood silos last month, a company official says. Andrew Fedora, sustainability and outreach leader with Port Hawkesbury Paper, said Tuesday the cause of the fire was wood pellets in the silo overheating. …Port Hawkesbury Paper is completing a full investigation of the fire and will act on any measures identified to ensure it doesn’t happen again, Fedora said. …The silo itself did not sustain any damage as a result of the fire, he said. …The fire sent two mill employees and two volunteer firefighters to hospital for carbon monoxide exposure. They were all subsequently treated and released. …The Department of Labour and Advanced Education is investigating the incident and Fedora said the company is co-operating with that probe.

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Unifor members encouraged by progress made by Northern Pulp

Unifor Canada
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – Unifor is pleased to see that Northern Pulp is making significant progress on the additional information required by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment in order to achieve approval to build an effluent plant at the Nova Scotia pulp mill. “We are encouraged by the progress, but to be clear this is an extremely challenging, anxious and frustrating time for our members who are worried about their jobs and their community,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. Payne and Unifor leaders from Local 440 received an update from top-ranking company officials on Wednesday, followed by an all-member town hall at the mill on Thursday about the status of the company’s response to the Department of Environment’s Focus Report, a report responding to the company’s Environmental Assessment application.

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Northern Pulp expects to have report ordered by province ready by September

By Michael Gorman
CBC News
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Officials with the company that owns the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County have told their employees they expect to complete the requirements of a focus report ordered by the province by September. That would create a scenario that could see the government revisit the date to close Boat Harbour, the treatment site for the mill’s effluent. Company officials, including Paper Excellence Canada CEO Brian Baarda, met with union leadership Wednesday in Halifax and with mill employees in Pictou County on Thursday. Don MacKenzie, president of Unifor Local 440, which represents the 240 unionized workers at the mill, said the message was the focus report work is expected to be completed soon. …The company was ordered to complete the focus report when then-environment minister Margaret Miller ruled in March that its application for a new treatment facility, which would include a pipeline running from the mill at Abercombie Point to the Northumberland Strait, lacked sufficient information.

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Unifor members encouraged by progress made by Northern Pulp

By Unifor
Cision Newswire
July 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Unifor is pleased to see that Northern Pulp is making significant progress on the additional information required by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment in order to achieve approval to build an effluent plant at the Nova Scotia pulp mill. Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director… received an update from company officials, followed by an all-member town hall at the mill on about the status of the company’s response to the Department of Environment’s Focus Report, a report responding to the company’s Environmental Assessment application. The loss of the pulp mill will have far-reaching and huge implications for the entire forestry sector. …Payne said there has always been a solution that resulted in a new treatment facility, that respected First Nations and that also ensured environmental standards were met and exceeded.

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Forest sector avoids extra duties after U.S. probe into property taxes on private timberland

By Robert Jones
CBC News
July 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick forest companies will not be hit with extra duties from the US because of low property taxes charged on privately owned timberland in the province. …The US Department of Commerce ruled New Brunswick assesses forest properties for taxes too low at $100 per hectare but not low enough to trigger extra duties on forest products.  Mike Legere of Forest NB, an association of provincial forest companies, welcomed the news. …”The decision is consistent with what you see in much of the U.S. state jurisdictions.” …A collection of US lumber companies have been arguing the tax treatment is a clear government benefit to private owners of timberland and wanted duties assessed on forest products entering the US from New Brunswick because of it. …The case being considered in Washington was narrowly focused on North American Forest Products of Saint-Quentin.  

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Emerging mid- and high-rise timber-construction projects worldwide

WoodRise 2019
July 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Join us at Woodrise 2019 where industry professionals will address many aspects of tall wood-building construction and present flagship projects that contribute to make wood a material that is increasingly used in high-rise buildings. In our first plenary session 5 speakers will examine worldrise timber-construction projects. In recent years, there has been an ever-increasing number of large-scale projects worldwide where wood has demonstrated its ability to meet the requirements of high-rise construction. Developers and professionals from many countries have taken up the challenge of using wood to construct buildings that reach unprecedented heights. This plenary session will be hosted by Eric Karsh, co-founder of Equilibrium Consulting, a firm recognized worldwide for its innovative wood designs.

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Lakehead University leads the way in innovative research

Northern Ontario Business
July 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dr. Sudip Rakshit

Three world-class professors at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay have been named in the latest cycle of the Canada Research Chairs Program. …Dr. Sudip Kumar Rakshit has been renewed as a Canada Research Chair in Bioenergy and Biorefining Processes for a second seven-year term. …His focus is on developing new technologies to produce cleaner energy and chemicals. “The challenges of replacing fossil resources by using renewable resources…is crucial for sustainable development and to limit climate change,” Dr. Rakshit said. The aim of his work is to contribute to the development of a circular bio-economy, where materials are kept within use for as long as possible. …He believes integrating such processes into existing wood-based industries – such as in the pulp and paper sector – would make the overall industry economically viable. There looms, however, the resultant environmental problem and the impact on marine and terrestrial life.

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Forestry

Stakeholders to discuss opportunities, challenges of resource supply chain

Northern Ontario Business
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario — Industry stakeholders will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the resource and manufacturing supply chain during a July 26 panel discussion hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “Resources are key to Canada’s prosperity today and tomorrow. As part of the resource and manufacturing supply chain… their impact is felt in every community across Canada,” said chamber president Don Mitchell. “The connection between the resource-energy-manufacturing supply chain is a significant economic driver and job creator of the future.” The event will include Sault Ste. Marie investment updates from Tenaris Algoma Tubes and Noront Resources as well as a panel discussion with national industry association leaders who will discuss Canada’s resource sectors in the context of national and global contributions.

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A trillion trees – Medway forest co-op manager not scared by the ‘afforestation’ numbers in report

By Lawrence Powell
Amherst News
July 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MAITLAND BRIDGE, N.S. — …when the journal ‘Science’ came out with a report about how many trees could be planted around the globe to bring down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 25 per cent, the numbers didn’t scare Mary Jane Rodger. …The report from ‘Science’ shows where those trees can be planted and how many are needed. “The report is positive, creating future forests is a step in the right direction, but can’t be our only solution in the fight against climate change,” said Rodger, general manager of the Medway Community Forest Co-op where they’ve already planted almost 100,000 trees in areas on Highway 8 in Annapolis County. …Rodger said … ordinary people can get involved. “Get their hands on a few trees and plant in their own backyard,” she said. “If every homeowner in Canada did this, we’d already make a huge impact.”

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Why Halifax is cataloguing up to 30,000 trees on the peninsula

By Frances Willick
CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Halifax Regional Municipality is planning to create an inventory of almost every tree on municipal property in peninsular Halifax. The municipality issued a tender last week for a company to collect data on each tree’s global positioning system (GPS) location, species and trunk diameter. While the project may seem daunting to industry outsiders, Crispin Wood, the municipality’s superintendent of urban forestry, doesn’t characterize it that way… “We decided to start small,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a huge amount of labour.” The inventory will include all trees that were intentionally planted, but will not include trees in naturalized areas. Wood estimates there are 20,000 to 30,000 trees on the peninsula that will be eligible for inclusion in the inventory. The data will be used to improve budget planning for pruning, removal and replanting, as well as to help monitor and prevent the spread of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer.

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Feds announce funding for youth employment program in forestry sector

By Michael Charlebois
The Thunder Bay News Watch
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY –  Zac Wagman had a dream of biking across Canada, he just needed a purpose. This summer, that purpose came in the form of an opportunity for young Canadians as a part of Project Learning Tree Canada and the Green Jobs program. …On Friday, the federal government announced $4.4 million in funding for the Project Learning Tree Canada. …Wagman, biking with his brother Nick, made a stop at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay on Friday, where they were greeted by Minister Patty Hajdu to announce the investment, which will support more than 500 local and Canadian youth, particularly those facing barriers. …The investment is part of the Youth Employment Strategy launched by the Liberal government in June. …Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of Project Learning Tree Canada, says the funding provides opportunities for over 100 employers throughout the country to provide employment opportunities.

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Scientist ‘shocked’ by results of strategy to halt spruce budworm infestation

CBC News
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A fresh approach to controlling the infestation of spruce budworm in New Brunswick forests has surpassed expectations and minimized the effect of the devastating insect, according to the project’s lead scientist. An early intervention strategy focused on proactive detection and targeted spraying was adopted in 2014, as officials feared a growing infestation in Quebec would cross the border. Dr. David MacLean, emeritus professor of forest ecology at the University of New Brunswick, and the project lead, said the results are “extremely promising.” The spruce budworm population across New Brunswick fell by more than 90 per cent in 2018. That year, 220,000 hectares were treated with biological insecticide. In 2019, only 10,000 will be treated, MacLean said. …With an analysis still ongoing, MacLean speculated the reason for the massive drop in numbers is a mix of spraying, climatic influences and natural enemies.

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Feds announce funding for youth employment program in forestry sector

By Michael Charlebois
TB Newswatch
July 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Patty Hajdu

THUNDER BAY –  Zac Wagman had a dream of biking across Canada, he just needed a purpose. This summer, that purpose came in the form of an opportunity for young Canadians as a part of Project Learning Tree Canada and the Green Jobs program. Wagman works as Green Jobs program manager for Project Learning Tree, a workplace program that provides youth with employment opportunities in the forest and conservation sector, and resources to succeed in those positions. Wagman decided he would take his passion of biking and use it as inspiration for the youth involved in the program. “It helps them see the bigger picture of what they’re a part of,” Wagman said. On Friday, the federal government announced $4.4 million in funding for the Project Learning Tree Canada.

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Shortage of workers, cancellation of program all challenges to local forestry industry

96.1 Renfrew Today
July 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rob Keen

There’s a staffing crisis in the forest industry. That was the gist of a presentation to Renfrew County Council by the CEO of Forests Ontario, Rob Keen. Keen says they need to encourage youth and high school students to learn more about the forest industry, so even if they don’t end up working in that field, they see the benefits it provides. He adds seven per cent of the population, or 6,900 people in Renfrew County are employed by the industry. Keen told county council there’s a staffing crisis in the forest industry and with the cancellation of the 50 Million Trees program, nurseries won’t be planting and stocking trees for 4-years down the road.

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Communities working to ‘help those in need’ during forest fire season

CBC News
July 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As crews battle forest fires across northern Ontario, several communities are stepping up to help those who have to leave their homes. According to the province, there are 20 active fires in Ontario, posing a risk to about 14 communities. Two communities in northwestern Ontario, Keewaywin and Pikangikum First Nations, have declared a state of emergency due to smoke. …The province says it is “actively working on a contingency plan in the event a large-scale evacuation becomes necessary.” That includes asking host communities to take in more people or asking other towns or cities to step in and help. In Kapuskasing, the community has increased how many people it can house from 300 up to 450.

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Provinces must act on species protection: report

By Andrea Gunn
The Western Star
July 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA, Ont. — Provincial governments are failing to protect species at risk, according to a new federal report. As part of the federal government’s 2018 commitment to track and report on critical habitat protection for terrestrial species at risk, the Department of Environment and Climate Change released its initial report last week, the first of a series of twice-yearly reports examining species at risk. The assessment reviews the provincial and territorial laws across the country, affecting the habitat of more than 200 threatened or endangered plants and animal species, including moss, flowers, turtles, snakes, mammals and more. “What we see today is that there are still big gaping holes across the country when it comes to protecting the homes of our species at risk,” said Florence Daviet, national forest program director at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

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Emerald ash borer confirmed in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli and expansion of the regulated area in Quebec

By Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Government of Canada
July 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec. This finding is outside of the current regulated areas for EAB in Canada. After assessing the situation and evaluating the risk of EAB spreading to the adjacent territories, CFIA decided to expand the regulated area in Quebec to include the regional county municipalities of Montmagny, L’Islet and Kamouraska. Effective immediately, the movement of ash materials, including logs, branches and woodchips, and all species of firewood out of the regulated areas is restricted.  If individuals or businesses, such as nurseries, sawmills, forest companies, firewood facilities and municipalities need to do so, they must first contact their local CFIA office to request written authorization.

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Nova Scotia Government: Bridging the Divide in Forestry, Op-ed

By Iian Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry
Indigenous Lands & Resources Today
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Iian Rankin

Forestry has been part of the foundation of our economy for many decades and has experienced significant changes over time. It is time for this industry to change once again. A cultural shift is underway that will transform how we value and manage our forests. It’s a move that fully embraces the true meaning of ecological forestry. This industry needs to bridge the divide between a sustainable path forward and achieving better environmental standards. At times, I hear misunderstanding from all sides in this sector. However, I am optimistic we can reach a place where everyone involved sees the importance of increasing our efforts to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. We will get there by being thoughtful, respectful and most importantly by working together. I believe we will find a practical plan that will deliver better ecological outcomes in the forest.

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Fired college instructor’s views on glyphosate at root of dismissal, says former colleague

CBC News
July 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rod Cumberland

Rod Cumberland, a well-known wildlife biologist, has been fired from his teaching post at the Maritime College of Forest Technology in Fredericton. A letter from the college outlined multiple reasons for his dismissal on June 20, but a former employee believes Cumberland’s outspokenness against glyphosate, a controversial herbicide used by the New Brunswick forest industry, was a factor. …The deer biologist and competitive lumberjack has spent 29 years working for the provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Fredericton-based ranger school. After leaving government, he began publicly discussing the effects of the herbicide glyphosate on New Brunswick’s forests and, in particular, the deer population.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Researchers take stock of how Canada’s urban forests protect our health

By Michelle Lalonde
The Montreal Gazette
July 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Alain Paquette is passionate about his research on urban forests — trees that grow in cities — and their potential to improve human health and protect us from the ravages of climate change. Paquette, a biology professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, was awarded a $540,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for a project that… examining the resilience and benefits of Canada’s urban forests in the context of climate change. …The project has three goals: to better understand how trees grow in the urban milieu, the way climate change affects them, and how that affects the health of people in cities. …Most cities do inventories of the number and types of trees that the municipality is responsible for… But public trees account for only about half the trees growing in cities.

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New Brunswick has been unwilling to impose carbon pricing costs on consumers or on key industries

The Matto Mildenberger
Policy Options
July 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

…New Brunswick is small. …And a provincially owned power plant in Belledune and J.D. Irving and Irving Oil — are responsible for 23 percent of all provincial emissions. This makes New Brunswick a hard place to implement carbon pricing. The few large carbon polluters enjoy structural power within the economy and the political system. …Unfortunately, rather than offering lessons about provincial policy action, the New Brunswick experience better illustrates the power of national political coalitions to impose costs on subnational actors who would otherwise avoid costly reforms. …The current government wants to replace the federal framework with weaker provincial measures, including an alternative framework for large emitters that would exempt them from the federal output-based pricing system. …In New Brunswick, governments have not been willing to impose costs on the energy and forestry industries critical to the provincial economy, or on consumers.

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Health & Safety

Environment Canada issues air quality advisory in wake of forest fires

Timmins Today
July 10, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

High levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires will continue tonight for a large part of Northern Ontario. Smoke plumes are moving over the region from several forest fires located in the Sandy Lake – Pikangikum region. There are also additional smaller fires in Northeastern Ontario. Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke descends to ground level. If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. 

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Air Quality Warning Issued For Montreal As Smoke From Ontario Wildfires Looms Over Quebec

By Teddy Elliot
MTL Blog
July 9, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

Environment Canada has just issued an air quality warning for the city of Montreal and the surrounding area. Most of Southern Quebec around the city is under smog warning. Currently, the air quality index in some parts of Montreal is well over 60, which can be detrimental to people who are sensitive to air pollutants.  According to The Weather Network, “high levels of pollutants” are expected until Wednesday morning. It’s recommended that people with asthma, respiratory problems, or heart disease avoid strenuous outdoor activity. The smog warning is predominantly affecting the North Shore of Montreal but Downtown is still under the warning despite showing a higher level of air quality. …Smoke plumes from forest fires in Northern Ontario are being carried along by the air current and are dispersing their pollutants over parts of Southern Quebec.

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Forest Fires

Ontario wildfire officials say they expect ‘increased demand’ as infrastructure spreads north

By Matt Prokopchuk
CBC News
July 17, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wildfire officials in northern Ontario say they expect an “increased demand” for their services as forest fires are projected to become more frequent and intense, and as more infrastructure gets built through remote parts of the province. But Darren McLarty, a fire response coordinator with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, says advances in information and imaging technology, along with appropriate planning and communication, will be key to protecting communities, outbuildings, power and telecommunications lines as well as other values in remote areas during forest fire season. …Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said he expects Canadian summers will see more and more fires due to climate change, adding that about 2.5 million hectares burn in a given summer — or about half the size of Nova Scotia.

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Regional Chief asks communities to accept forest fire evacuees

By Rocco Frangione
My North Bay Now
July 15, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As forest fires continue to affect more remote regions of Ontario, Ontario’s Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald, has a question about the evacuations. Archibald is trying to find out why members of the Pikangikum First Nation are being sent to Saskatchewan. Archibald is thanking the local leadership at PFN as well as the Canadian Rangers, Ontario Fire Marshall, Emergency Management Ontario, Indigenous Affairs Ontario and Indigenous Services Canada for all the work everyone has done to get people safely out of the community. However, Archibald is wondering why the community members are being evacuated to Saskatchewan. “There’s no good reason why we aren’t looking after our own here in Ontario,” Archibald says in a release. “We are requesting that municipalities open their doors to their northern neighbours during this crisis.”

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Forest Fire Situation Update Northwest Region

The Net News Ledger
July 15, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are currently 20 active fires in the region. Seven are not under control, one fire is being held, two fires are under control, and ten fires are being observed. Red Lake Fire Number 23 is 8 kilometers south of the community of Keewaywin. This fire is 95,623 hectares in size. …Red Fire Number 39 –The fire size has been remapped to 44,736 hectares. …Red Lake Fire Number 40 is not under control at 30,212 hectares and is located near Nungesser Lake, approximately 40 kilometres north of Red Lake.  Recent precipitation has assisted in suppression efforts. …The fire hazard in the Northwest Region is generally low to moderate with rain either occurring today or overnight in the forecast. Some stations in the far north and in the Nipigon District will remain in the high range for another day until the forecast precipitation occurs.

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Evacuation of Pikangikum First Nation on hold as forest fire gets smaller

Canadian Press in CTV News
July 14, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

PIKANGIKUM, Ont. — Officials say evacuations have been put on hold in Pikangikum First Nation as the forest fire near the northern Ontario community has reduced in size. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says that as of Sunday, the fire burning near Pikangikum was about 447 square kilometres. Jonathan Scott says the fire was reduced by about 60 square kilometres because of rain over the previous few days, which also helped improve the air quality in the area. Mathew Hoppe, commander of Pikangikum’s emergency operations centre, says the full evacuation of the First Nation was paused in light of the good news. He says the community will take it day by day in deciding what to do with the residents who remain in Pikangikum.

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Forest fire threatening Pikangikum First Nation grows as evacuation continues

By Emerald Bensadoun
The Canadian Press in Global TV News
July 11, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire threatening a First Nation in northwestern Ontario has grown in size, officials said Thursday as more flights were planned to airlift residents out of the community. Members of Pikangikum First Nation have been leaving their homes since a full evacuation was ordered on Monday, although departures via buses and boats were put on hold Wednesday because of a lack of places to send evacuees. Saskatchewan has since said it would take in up to 2,000 displaced residents. The Ministry of Natural Resources said the fire – dubbed Red Lake Fire 39 – has now grown to more than 507 square kilometres in size, which is larger than Quebec City. …Meanwhile, Red Lake Fire 23, a forest fire raging eight kilometres south of the community of Keewaywin, has grown to 926 square kilometres.

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City’s evacuation hosting ‘stretched beyond capacity

By Matt Vis
The Thunder Bay News Watch
July 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY – With fierce forest fires forcing an evacuation of Pikangikum First Nation for the second time this year, up to 400 people from the community are expected to make their way to Thunder Bay through provincially coordinated evacuation efforts. Thunder Bay will start receiving evacuees, with 200 people expected to arrive on Wednesday. Increased capacity will allow the city to host an additional 100 starting on Friday with a further 100 people expected to be able to be accommodated next week. …The latest wildfire – Red Lake 39 – has grown to 50,000 hectares and is burning six kilometres southwest of the community. Smoke from the blaze forced the evacuation of vulnerable community members last week before a full evacuation began on Monday.

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Restricted travel in Red Lake area

By Ryan Forbes
Dryden Now
July 10, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has imposed access and travel restrictions in the Red Lake area, due to public safety hazards as a result of many active forest fires in the area. There are currently 19 active forest fires in the region, including a 92,648 hectare fire near Keewaywin, a 40,439 hectare fire near Pikangikum, and a 31,762 hectare fire near Nungesser Lake. Unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Red Lake District office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, no person shall enter into the identified areas, and all persons must immediately evacuate said area. All travel and use of Nungesser road, Morins road, Coli road, Sidace road, Bandit road, Rita lake road, North road, Caribou road, and Pikangikum all weather road is prohibited. All travel and use of Golden road, Silver road, Zinc road, Copper road, Tall pines road, and Waz road is prohibited.

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The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General’s statement on Northern Ontario Fires

By the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General
Wawa News
July 8, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sylvia Jones

This year is proving to be a challenging one for forest fires in Northern Ontario. There are currently numerous active fires in the northern part of our province and several of them are threatening First Nation communities. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is leading fire fighting efforts and Ontario’s emergency management personnel are working closely with the Ontario Provincial Police, community leaders, provincial ministries, the federal government and other agencies to ensure the health and safety of those affected. …Yesterday, I began reaching out to mayors across the province to ask that their communities host evacuees. We are working with municipalities to find sufficient space to safely house those in need over the coming days and weeks. I want to thank all of those engaged in responding to the fires and in ensuring the health and wellbeing of those in affected communities. 

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Pikangikum First Nation faces second wildfire evacuation in just over a month

Canadian Press in National Post
July 7, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

PIKANGIKUM, Ont. — For the second time in just over a month, residents of Pikangikum First Nation in northwestern Ontario are being asked to evacuate due to smoke from nearby wildfires. Officials in the remote community say vulnerable residents, including the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory problems are being flown out, along with their immediate families. In a series of Facebook posts on Saturday, Chief Amanda Sainnawap said two planes were available at the local airport to move the most vulnerable. This is the second time this year that Pikangikum residents have had to evacuate due to nearby wildfires. More than 2,000 community members were forced from their homes in late May and early June, with many only returning a few weeks ago.

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Wildfire Smoke Impacting Northwestern Ontario

Net News Ledger
July 7, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Across Northwestern Ontario, smoke from wildfires is impacting the region. The smoke from fires in the Red Lake District are drifting across the province. There are air quality alerts in effect for the Kenora region, Red Lake, Sandy Lake, Pikangikum, Ear Falls, Pickle Lake, Sioux Lookout and down into Thunder Bay. For Thunder Bay, while Environment Canada is calling for a high under sunny skies of 25c for Sunday, it was 9c at 8:45 am. The smoke in the air has the sun mainly hidden. …High levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires will continue today. Smoke plumes are moving over the region from several forest fires located in the Sandy Lake – Pikangikum region.

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Forest fire near Keewaywin First Nation in northern Ontario continues to grow but officials hope to limit spread

Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
July 7, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Provincial officials say the forest fire heading towards Keewaywin First Nation in northwestern Ontario continues to grow. The province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the fire, dubbed Red Lake 23, has grown more than 100 square kilometres since Friday to a current size of 719 square kilometres. It’s currently burning just eight kilometres south of the remote Indigenous community. Meantime, fire crews are trying to limit the spread of the blaze, and officials were expecting light winds to blow the fire east away from the community. Half of Keewaywin’s roughly 450 residents were flown out to Timmins, Ont., on Friday, according to former chief Joe Meekis.

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Ministry Natural Resources and Forestry battle growing forest fires in northwestern Ontario

CBC News
July 4, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the forest fire hazard ranges from high to extreme in northwestern Ontario, officials with the Ministry Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) said 12 new forest fires have been confirmed as of Wednesday night. The fires range from 0.1 to 40 hectares and occurred in the districts of Red Lake, Fort Frances, Dryden and Sioux Lookout, with majority of them in the Sioux Lookout District. The MNRF said the fire near the community of Keewayin First Nation has grown to 54,643 hectares in size and is 12 km southwest of the community. An incident management team has been deployed to assess the sprinkler requirements in the area and fire crews and equipment were funnelled into the area all day Wednesday.

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