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Business & Politics

Forest Products Association of Canada Launches Forestry for the Future Campaign

Forest Products Association of Canada
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) launched  its Forestry for the Future campaign as it works to put issues facing Canada’s forestry workers and communities front and centre for federal election candidates across the country. “The future of our sector in Canada is facing unprecedented challenges – worsening fire seasons, more damaging pest infestations, market volatility, and trade disputes.  These are coming together in way that is putting thousands of Canadian jobs at risk and impacting our ability to use forest management as a tool to help fight climate change and make environmentally-friendly products for Canada and the world,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. The Forestry for the Future campaign is anchored by the www.forestryforthefuture.ca website, which captures details on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector and how prospective MPs can help.  

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Government outlines new forest worker support programs

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has announced $69 million to fund a new series of measures aimed at supporting British Columbia forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities. The Interior forest industry has been reducing production in an effort to adjust to the end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and the devastating 2017 and 2018 fire seasons. “The previous government knew that the end of mountain pine beetle harvest would disrupt the lives of forest workers, contractors and communities, but they did little to prepare for this inevitable transition,” said Premier John Horgan. “While the forest sector must reduce surplus milling capacity to remain competitive, it cannot do so at the expense of the workers, contractors and communities who built the industry. Our government will ensure that forest workers impacted by mill closures are supported.” …Doug Donaldson called on the forest industry to increase supports for impacted workers…

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$69m announcement doesn’t fully satisfy NDP friends in forestry industry

By Vaughn Palmer
Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vaughn Palmer

VICTORIA — When Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced $69-million worth of support for displaced forest workers, he made it sound as if the New Democrats had been on top of things all along. …though the NDP had taken its time putting together the package. Closer to the mark was Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall [who] acknowledged how news of reduced operations and mill closures had been plaguing the forest sector for months. …Why did it take the NDP so long to come to the rescue of all those workers? asked one reporter. Donaldson said he’d expected that question. If so, he might have worked out a better rationalization for the delay. …But I expect even a partial launch of the rescue package would have been welcomed by forest workers …While many of the year’s announcements affected forest operations in B.C. Liberal ridings, the Teal Jones news hit six New Democrats where they live.

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B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has announced a $69 million fund for Interior forest workers and their communities to assist with forest industry closures and curtailments that have swept the province. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said $40 million over two years goes to early retirement funds. Another $15 million funds short-term work programs, focused on wildfire prevention and “community resiliency projects.” Municipalities subject to permanent mill closures are eligible for an immediate $100,000, and those with indefinite closures can get $75,000 for community programs. …Donaldson said the province has been asking the federal government for assistance, but B.C. Liberal forest critic John Rustad said nothing is likely to happen until after the federal election… The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has its own suggestions to help the industry’s transition to a decline in allowable timber harvest that is expected to continue until 2030. …B.C. is also changing its log export and harvest regulations to reduce wood waste. 

From The Globe and Mail (Brent Jang): B.C. earmarks $69-million to help forestry industry deal with job cuts

From Global News: B.C. government rolling out plan to support workers affected by mill closures

From CBC News: $69M in aid coming to beleaguered forestry workers in B.C.’s Interior

From CKPG Today: Province announces help for those in forestry industry

From My Bulkley Lakes Now: Province announces $69 million for impacted forestry sector

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B.C. government unveils $69-million aid package for workers in beleaguered forest industry

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Since May, BC’s Interior forest industry has been hit with a cascading series of sawmill production curtailments and permanent closures that have left some 3,000 workers at least temporarily out of work. Forest Minister Doug Donaldson held out a $69-million, short-term lifeline to many of those workers in the form of early-retirement assistance, job-placement services, retraining programs, and make-work projects for logging contractors. …The measures, however, are only part of “a continuum,” Donaldson said, in dealing with a long-predicted rationalization of the industry. The minister acknowledged there will be more work to do, a point emphasized by unions. And B.C. Liberals criticized the government for taking so long and ignoring other measures at its disposal. …Industry representative Susan Yurkovich said the aid package has been “a collaborative effort,” and companies are pleased to see elements of cost-sharing with them on things such as early-retirement programs.

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B.C.’s forestry industry is in turmoil. Now the province is offering millions so some workers can retire early

By Jesse Winter
The Toronto Star
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After a brutal summer of sawmill closures, indefinite shutdowns and shift reductions, the BC government has announced $69 million in funding it says will help forestry workers in the province’s hard-hit Interior. Key among the government’s promises is a $40-million fund to establish a “cost-shared, early-retirement bridging program” for workers 55 or older who have been affected by permanent mill closures or indefinite shutdowns. …[Forest Minister] Donaldson also threw down the gauntlet… “The federal government needs to step up and support these initiatives as well.” …The BC funding also includes $15 million for establishing a short-term forest-employment program focused on wildfire prevention and community resiliency… available not just for laid-off sawmill workers, but logging contractors and others indirectly affected by the forestry slowdown. Another $12 million will go toward new-skills training for workers, and toward grants for employers and communities to support training programs.

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BC Council of Forest Industries President and CEO happy to see industry get helping hand

By Brendan Pawliw
My Prince George Now
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

The President and CEO of the BC Council of Forest Industries is pleased with the government’s 69-million dollar investment to support forestry workers who have been impacted by curtailments and shutdowns. Susan Yurkovich admits the industry is in a significant transition phase and that the province and industry need to work together to get it back on track. “I think that it’s important the industry and government are working to do everything we can to possibly support workers and communities as we move through this difficult period.” Forty million of those funds will help establish a cost-shared, early retirement bridging program. Yurkovich is satisfied to see a program of this kind in place since most of the current workforce is a decade or less away from retiring.

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United Steelworkers Responds to B.C. Government Forest Worker Announcement

By United Steelworkers
Cision Newswire
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNABY, BC – The United Steelworkers (USW) is responding to the British Columbia government’s announcement for forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments in the B.C. Interior. “Any move to provide assistance to workers who are bearing the brunt of the crisis in the forest industry is welcomed, but permanent solutions for workers, families and communities throughout the entire province are needed,” says Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada. “A jobs protection commissioner would also go a long way to assisting mills, workers and communities facing closures all around the province,” Hunt says. “From the Coast to the Interior, every community in British Columbia is being impacted by mill closures and job losses and unless there are significant changes to forest policy the crisis will continue,” says Jeff Bromley, USW Wood Council Chair.

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NDP continues to ignore Lower Mainland forestry workers in ongoing crisis: B.C. Liberals

By Rattan Mall
The Indo-Canadian Voice
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephanie Cadieux

In the face of ongoing mill closures and reduced shifts, Surrey’s BC Liberal MLAs are expressing their disappointment at Tuesday’s NDP forestry announcement, saying Premier John Horgan and his government are completely ignoring the Lower Mainland forestry workers affected by this crisis. …Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey South… “The NDP is finally starting to acknowledge that there is a crisis in B.C.’s Interior. But what about the 500 mill jobs at risk in Surrey, or the 150 jobs lost in Maple Ridge?  …“Today’s announcement confirms what we already knew: John Horgan has made up his mind that there are too many mills in B.C., and he is going to focus on getting people out of the industry rather than helping them succeed,” said Tracy Redies, MLA for Surrey-White Rock.

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Talks break down between Steelworkers, Western Forest Products

By Robert Barron
The Cowichan Valley Citizen
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Talks to end the strike at Western Forest Products on Sept. 13 ended abruptly with no deal, and both sides blaming each other for the impasse. A bargaining unit from the United Steelworkers… said it tabled a revised set of proposals for the forest company to consider, including a revised wage proposal. …Brian Butler said that after hours of negotiations, the company’s position remained unchanged. …“WFP is not bargaining and is using an American style, bargaining-by-litigation strategy which messages that they are interested in bargaining to the media, but are actually bent on inflicting damage to the union and its members,” Butler said. …Don Demens, president and CEO of WFP, said …“We are disappointed that talks have broken off and firmly believe that resuming discussions with the assistance of an independent mediator is the best way for both parties to resolve our differences”.

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‘There’s a lot of fear’: Interior forestry workers reeling from job losses will get aid, says province

By Bhinder Sajan
CTV News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC government has announced $69 million in relief for forestry workers in the Interior affected by job losses or shift reductions, as critics call the situation a “crisis.” …Marty Gibbons is with United Steelworkers Local 1-417… spoke to many workers who are now out of a job. “They’re mad as hell, generally, there’s a lot of fear.” Gibbons said… what many people now feel is akin to the grieving process. …The government charges a “stumpage fee” to companies that want to log Crown land. Some critics have suggested the way that is calculated needs to change. [Forest Minister] Donaldson said that would be difficult given court cases the province is involved in. …Gibbons – who disagrees on this point with many of the United Steelworker union bosses – said given the length of the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S., maybe it was time to re-think that position.

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Cooperative approach urged to resolve B.C.’s forest crisis

Penticton Western News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is calling for B.C.’s elected officials to set aside their differences and collectively find solutions that support the forest sector and communities. The Chamber has written to Premier John Horgan, official opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. “Mill operations are either being shut down or curtailed, impacting thousands of workers and their families as well as those associated with private contractors and suppliers. Given the uncertainty, these individuals are less likely to make major purchases such as vehicles or homes, or to visit their favourite restaurant as often. That directly affects small businesses that are the very lifeblood of communities like Vernon,” said Krystin Kempton, Chamber president, in the letter. …”Now is the time for a broad-based approach to resolving the current crisis and establishing a sustainable forest sector for years to come,” said Kempton.

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COFI Releases Plan to Secure a Strong, Competitive Forestry Future

By Mina Laudan
Council of Forest Industries
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, B.C. – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) today released a plan – “SmartFuture: A Path Forward for B.C.’s Forest Products Industry” – with 60 policy choices that can be made today to secure a stronger future for B.C.’s forest sector. …COFI and its member companies are actively participating in these discussions along with many other groups. …“B.C.’s forest industry is an industry in transition,” said Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries. …”we are putting forward our ideas for a path forward – one that will help attract investment, secure jobs, deliver value and sustain economic benefits across the province.” …The 60 choices for a better future are outlined under five major areas:

  1. Invest in, and protect, our working forest land base
  2. Have smart rules that protect the environment and encourage investment
  3. Strengthen participation of Indigenous people and partnerships with communities
  4. Double down on market and product diversification
  5. Be the global hub for expertise in low-carbon, green building

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B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the B.C. and federal governments prepare relief for laid-off forest industry workers, the industry is looking past shrinking log supplies and idle sawmills to following Europe’s path to a value-added future. BC Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and Labour Minister Harry Bains are announcing assistance for laid-off forest workers Tuesday in Prince George. Mill closures. …The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has issued a report called “Smart Future”. …Don Kayne is the new chair of COFI and CEO of Canfor Corp… said B.C. is in a similar position today to European producers 15 years ago, and Premier John Horgan’s commitment to feature wood in public construction is an important step. …“You’re seeing some brands get involved in our industry that never would have considered it before”. …“Microsoft, Google, Sidewalk Labs, Facebook, companies that in the past would probably not have looked at lumber as a product for their training centres.”

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B.C. finance minister facing her toughest test yet

By Keith Baldrey
The NewWestminster Record
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carole James

Well, it looks like the economic wave the BC NDP government has been riding since coming to power two years ago is about to hit the beach. …It’s not so much about what is going on right now, but on what is about to come. Finance Minister Carole James has slashed her ministry’s forecast of economic growth in the current year by almost one third. …James preferred to take the “glass is full” approach at her news conference, stressing the budget is still headed to a surplus this year. …However, worrying signs abound. …Then there is the forest industry, which is the local economy for scores of small towns and communities outside of Metro Vancouver. So far, 6,000 forestry workers either have been laid off or have had to sit idle as their mills are shut down for weeks at a time.

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Stumpage system driving the crisis in BC’s forestry industry

By Karen Graham
Digital Journal
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver – High log prices and dwindling timber supply are driving the crisis in British Columbia’s forestry industry that has devastated communities and kneecapped the provincial economy. …With close to 4,000 forestry industry workers laid off in British Columbia already, advocates are calling for urgent government action to stem the bleeding. …Besides the increase in the number of wildfires, low harvest levels because of mountain pine beetles, an increase in protected areas for caribou, and high log prices, it seems the provincial government is not interested in “wholesale” changes to the stumpage system. …In a nutshell, the BC Forest Ministry says the current stumpage fees are based on the scarcity of the timber supply caused by the mountain pine beetle outbreak and has been “exacerbated by several severe fire seasons.” …”any interference in B.C.’s market-based timber pricing system would lead to an increase in softwood lumber duties levied by the U.S.,” the ministry said.

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Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

By Tom Zytaruk
BC Local News in the Surrey Now-Leader
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Delta lumber mill worker’s complaint against Interfor alleging discrimination based on religion and disability will be heard by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. The tribunal rejected lumber giant Interfor’s application to have the complaint lodged by a former Sikh employee at Delta’s Acorn Mill dismissed. Mander Sohal filed his complaint against Interfor Corporation… claiming he was subjected to discrimination based on religion and physical disability before being fired from his job. …Sohal made national headlines in 2008 when he filed a human rights complaint against Interfor challenging a policy it implemented in 2007 requiring all employees to wear a hardhat. In that case Sohal, who wears a turban, also alleged religious discrimination and both parties settled with him being re-assigned a job in which he didn’t need to wear a hardhat.

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New timber license up to 444,000 m3, Hampton says

By Blair McBride
Burns Lake Lakes District News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The size of the Conifex timber license that Hampton Lumber seeks to acquire could have an annual allowable cut (AAC) as large as 444,000 cubic metres. “But we expect that to be reduced somewhat through future actions by the Chief Forester,” as Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Lumber told Lakes District News. To put that license size in perspective, the current AAC for the Lakes District Timber Supply Area is 1.6 million cubic metres. It was set in 2011 and the new determination is expected to made in the fall. Many people in the region are anxious that the new AAC might be significantly lower. Zika’s comments on the Conifex license come a few months after Hampton announced it planned to buy Conifex’ timber license and its sawmill in Fort St. James.

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Vancouver Island police look to solve theft of antique chainsaws from BC Forest Discovery Centre

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Police on Vancouver Island are asking the public to keep an eye out for two antique chainsaws stolen from a forestry museum in Duncan last week. North Cowichan RCMP say staff at the non-profit BC Forest Discovery Centre reported the chainsaws were taken during a break-in sometime overnight between Sept. 8 and Sept. 9. According to the museum, the chainsaws are a 1958 McCulloch “Super 44” and 1962 McCulloch “Mac 15,” both of which are yellow and show signs of rust. “Both are very rare and part of our extensive and popular chainsaw exhibit collected over the years by the Centre’s founder, Gerry Wellburn, and his son Vern,” manager Chris Gale said in a police statement. “They really have no value to anyone but a collector and we are unlikely to find replacements.” RCMP say they’re hopeful the chainsaws are found and returned to the museum, calling it a “valuable community partner.”

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Mill workers and forest industry staff call on B.C. for policy change amid closures

CBC News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

Job losses are mounting as mills close across British Columbia and some of the thousands of people affected are wondering what the province is doing the help them. …According to the companies, the closures are due to low lumber prices, high operating costs and dwindling timber supplies. …Susan Yurkovich ​​​​​​, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries, said the solution is timely access to fibre so companies have a chance to compete. …Yukovich said she believes the future is bright for the forest industry and there will “absolutely” still be mills running in the province — but there will be changes.  “Right now, we’re in a place where the industry is transitioning,” she said. “But this is a very difficult transition.”  The provincial government says it is taking action and providing supports like job fairs and skills training to those affected, as well as looking for ways to diversity as fibre supply declines. 

 

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‘A real shame’: Okanagan MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

By MacKenzie Britton
Nelson Star
September 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There were many reasons why Kelowna’s Tolko mill closed its doors earlier this week. Poor market conditions were tagged as the biggest factor, but for local MLA Steve Thomson the factors should have been caught earlier. From recognizing patterns throughout the forest industry in the province to the rising costs of the market, Thomson said the fault lies with the province’s leadership. “It’s a real shame that the current NDP government has been really missing in action in terms of response to this news,” said Thomson. “There are things they could have done and they haven’t taken any steps to fixing this crisis.” Thomson, the former forest minister up until 2017, pointed out the patterns in the industry throughout the province; mills in Quesnel and Maple Ridge were closed earlier in the summer, as well as job cuts to B.C.’s logging contractors. …As for any future fixes, Thomson said that as long as there is no significant response or action from the provincial government there won’t be a quick turnaround in the industry and there will be permanent mill closures across B.C.

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After a devastating series of mill closures, can B.C.’s forestry industry recover?

By Sean Boynton and Jennifer Palma
Global News
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gary Bull

B.C.’s forestry industry is not having a good year. Several pulp and sawmills in coastal, central and southern B.C. have seen curtailments and closures, putting thousands of workers out of a job and hundreds more looking at reduced shifts. The past week has been particularly devastating. …Union president for United Steelworkers Local 1-423 Pat McGregor says part of the reason for the closure in Kelowna is low lumber market prices across North America. …The trend has UBC Faculty of Forestry professor Gary Bull stressing big changes are needed for the industry to survive, including diversification. “We can make bio-plastics, we can make bio-fuels, we can make bio-energy,” he said. “We can make really high-end, value-added products of a wide array. “I think the recognition is this time, there is no coming back in the same way as we used to in the past.”

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Shut down lays off dozens of forestry workers at Honeymoon Bay

By Robert Barron
Lake Cowichan Gazette
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dozens of forest workers employed by the Teal-Jones forest company in Honeymoon Bay, west of Lake Cowichan, are out of work. …Teal-Jones’ total harvesting and logging workforce on the coast, which includes a contractor workforce and its own employees at Honeymoon Bay, its Duke Point log-sorting operation in Nanaimo and contractors at its Fraser Valley forest licence, add up to approximately 300. …Approximately 40 of Teal-Jones’ workers and contract workers in Honeymoon Bay were laid off in June when the company announced it was shutting down its second-growth logging operations in the area, which also impacted operations in the company’s mills in Surrey and other locations. …The latest shut down announcement is expected to impact about another 40 workers in the Honeymoon Bay area.

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First Nation says restarting Fort Frances mill could damage other operators

By Gary Rinne
The Thunder Bay News Watch
September 18, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, Ontario — A crack has developed in the efforts of the Town of Fort Frances to present a united front as it tries to save the former Resolute paper mill. A letter from Rainy River First Nations to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry suggests restarting the mill would jeopardize the wood supply needed by numerous other operators. This echoes an argument previously made by Resolute, which has warned about a harmful  “domino effect” on its other mills and on other companies if any fibre is diverted from the Crossroute Forest. …Fort Frances Mayor June Caul said she was surprised to hear about his letter. “I was very taken aback and disappointed. When we had our public meeting, way back in February, he actually stood up and supported the mill starting up again,” Caul told Tbnewswatch in an interview.

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About 100 layoffs underway at Kenora, Ont., sawmill, Unifor says

CBC News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A spokesperson for the union representing workers at the sawmill in Kenora, Ont., says he hopes employees who are part of an ongoing staggered layoff will not be off the job for too long. Unifor national representative Steven Boon said about 100 employees of Kenora Forest Products’ operations …are in the process of being laid off. Boon said that’s due to a number of factors, including a drop in lumber prices within the past six months. …”Layoffs have already started but they’ll be staggered over the next two to three weeks as the sawmill consumes the rest of the logs in the yard,” he said. “The next two-to-three weeks, the mill should be down production-wise and then, right now, the plan is to have some people in shipping and a number of trades to continue at the plant and work on maintenance issues.”

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Court upholds ruling requiring consultation with Nova Scotia First Nation on pulp mill

By Keith Doucette
The Canadian News in CTV News
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Appeal Court has upheld a lower court ruling that says the province must consult with a Mi’kmaq community about how public money is provided to the Northern Pulp mill’s effluent treatment plant. In a unanimous ruling issued Tuesday by a three-judge panel, Justice Joel E. Fichaud writes that the province’s funding agreements with the mill constitute government conduct with “a potential for adverse impact” on the Pictou Landing First Nation. Fichaud said that’s because the agreements and the funding they provide increase the likelihood the mill will discharge contaminants after the legislated Jan. 31 closure date of the current effluent treatment plant at Boat Harbour, N.S. He said the potential impacts are “more than inconsequential” and require the government to consult with the Mi’kmaq. …A spokeswoman… said the government is reviewing the Appeal Court decision.

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Fort Frances mill owner says it needs ‘hundreds of millions’ in repairs

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FORT FRANCES, Ont. —  Resolute Forest Products said it spent almost $35 million to maintain its Fort Frances mill in a “hot idle” state after it was shut down in 2014. Despite that, the new owner of the mill says the paper machine and other infrastructure is in a state of serious deterioration. …Justus Veldman of Riversedge Developments said it would take an investment of “hundreds of millions” of dollars to get the mill and its equipment back in shape. “Every single wire in the place has condensate in it, meaning it all needs to be done. Every electric motor, every pump, every switchgear, every transformer needs to be either replaced or redone,” he said. Damaged equipment, Veldman said, includes the papermaking machine which he described as “seized and rusty.” Fort Frances Mayor June Caul isn’t taking Veldman at his word.

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Kenora sawmill suspends production indefinitely

The Thunder Bay News Watch
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KENORA, Ont. — Kenora Forest Products is blaming a weak lumber market and American lumber duties for the indefinite shutdown of its sawmill operations. The shutdown will begin on Sept. 23, affecting about 115 employees. In a statement, the company said “the decision to curtail the operations is primarily based on sustained weak domestic and global lumber markets which are having a detrimental impact across the forestry industry.” …Kenora Forest Products stated that it had deferred the shutdown as long as it could out of consideration for its workers. Manager Glen Hansson said “we are very confident and optimistic that this is short-term,” but added “the market is going to dictate that.” Hansson indicated that the market rebound will have to be significant, however. 

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CO2 solutions announces the filing of a notice of intention to make a proposal to its creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

By CO2 Solutions Inc.
Yahoo Finance
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY – CO2 Solutions Inc. announced that it has filed a notice of intention to make a proposal pursuant to the provisions of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The filing of the Notice follows the review of the Corporation’s strategic alternatives by a committee… of significant cost overruns in connection with the completion of the CO2 capture unit located at the pulp mill of Resolute Forest Products in Saint-Félicien, Québec. At the recommendation of the Special Committee, the board of directors of the Corporation determined it would be in the best interest of the Corporation and all of its stakeholders for the Corporation to seek protection from its creditors, given the Corporation’s current financial position.

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Province silent on implementing Lahey report without Northern Pulp

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOVA SCOTIA — A microcosm of what is supposed to be the future of forestry for this province envisioned by the much touted Lahey Report was happening south of Amherst. …So under Tupper’s direction the contractor was cutting the shorter lived species while leaving the best trees… to seed in below with an eye to a better forest in 30 years. The poor quality wood headed to Northern Pulp where it fetches $38 a tonne. It’s this type of harvest that the Lands and Forestry Department, based upon the recommendations of William Lahey’s review of Nova Scotia forestry practices, wants to see more of on Crown land in this province. …The hiccup in the greatest paradigm shift this province’s forestry industry has seen in a generation is whether there’s a market to drive this forestry work in the meantime. …So, what would no Northern Pulp mean for the implementation of the Lahey Report?

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Northern Pulp suppliers, Indigenous leadership talk closure over the kitchen table

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

After Paul had heard from Julia and her husband David, both forest technicians who rely on Northern Pulp, they in turn listened to what living beside the mill’s effluent for 52 years had meant for the Pictou Landing First Nation. They spent an entire day talking. …At day’s end, they didn’t agree on whether Northern Pulp should be granted an extension under the Boat Harbour Act. …And they didn’t agree on whether that proposed facility should be allowed to pump its treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait. But they did share a bond of mutual respect. Northern Pulp plans on submitting its focus report responses to the provincial Environment Department by month’s end. …If approved, the new facility could take 21 months to build.

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U.S. plywood coalition claims fraudulent certification of Brazilian panels

By Karen Koenig
The Woodworking Network
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

LYONS, Oregon – The U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition, a group comprised of 10 domestic plywood producers, has filed a Lanham Act claim of false labeling against three U.S. certification agencies: PFS TECO, Timber Products Inspection Inc. and International Accreditation Service. The coalition claims certain structural plywood panels produced in South America are being fraudulently certified and stamped as compliant with U.S. product standards. …Although the southern Brazil plantations were planted in loblolly pine, slash pine, and other North American species typically used in domestic panel manufacturing, “when these species are planted in regions they have never naturally grown, the tree’s fiber no longer behaves like those grown in their natural regions. …”The product standards for American plywood have serious real-world implications for all homes constructed using wood panel products,” said Tyler Freres, with Freres Lumber. 

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Face of Minnesota timber industry succumbs to cancer

By John Myers
Grand Forks Herald
September 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Wayne Brandt

Wayne Brandt, the face and voice of Minnesota’s logging and timber industries for three decades, died Thursday morning, Sept. 12,./ at his home in Duluth after battling pancreatic cancer. Brandt, 61, was executive vice president of the Duluth-based Minnesota Timber Producers and Minnesota Forest Industries groups, the trade organizations that represented both the supply and production ends of the state’s timber industry. Brandt became the industry’s front person as it battled for survival in the face of global competition and environmental scrutiny, both at the Capitol in St. Paul looking for legislative changes and in front of the media when issues arose over logging or mills. Brandt also represented the industry’s interests on the Minnesota Forest Resources Council, the state-sanctioned stakeholders group that seeks to more amicably resolve issues facing Minnesota forests and timber harvest.

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Randall Brothers acquires PMC Building Materials

The LBM Journal
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA — Randall Brothers, now entering its 135th year in business as a supplier and manufacturer of architectural moldings, millwork and related building materials in the Southeastern US, completed its previously announced acquisition of Atlanta-based PMC Building Materials LLC on Aug. 21, 2019. In announcing the acquisition, the company said the combination will create a Southeastern professional dealer “with plans to leverage its unique offerings to better serve its most prominent customer segments, including custom home builders, remodelers and general contractors.” With five locations, the new company will have the ability to increase its focus and growth in the Metro Atlanta and surrounding markets, the company announced.

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Federal grant aims to boost shrinking forest products industry in Maine

By Sarah Downey
The Center Square
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A $2.8 million federal grant is set to bring new opportunity to parts of rural Maine affected by economic declines in the forest products industry. The award comes from a federal-state alliance called the Northern Border Regional Commission (NRBC). “It’s designed to help in regions with declining populations due to mills closing in rural areas,” said Andrea Smith, the NRBC program manager. “The grants are meant to revitalize the communities, to help them invest in themselves, leading to improved economy so people can stay in the communities,” Smith said. They include: $1 million to the University of Maine to help expand advanced wood-based manufacturing; $646,000 to the Maine Development Foundation to revitalize projects in communities affected by mill closures; $300,000 to the counties of Franklin and Oxford (part of the Northern Forest Center); and $450,000 to East Millinocket Industrials to help develop its shuttered mill into a vital multi-industrial site.

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Weyerhaeuser to sell Michigan timberlands

Weyerhaeuser Company
Cision Newswire
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SEATTLE — Weyerhaeuser Company today announced an agreement to sell its 555,000 acres of Michigan timberlands to Lyme Great Lakes Holding, an affiliate of The Lyme Timber Company, for $300 million in cash. The company expects to recognize a gain on the sale and anticipates no tax liability in conjunction with the transaction. “This transaction in our Northern region encompasses a diverse mix of hardwood and softwood acres and is part of our ongoing effort to strategically optimize our timberlands portfolio,” said Devin W. Stockfish, president and chief executive officer of Weyerhaeuser. …The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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Much accomplished, more to do

The Timber Trade Journal
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Thomas Goebel, chief executive of German Timber Trade Federation GD Holz, was recently appointed the new secretary-general of the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF). His mission is to develop its role further as a voice to government, a communication platform and a plug into the global marketplace. …We must also underline the wider worth of timber and the timber sector, working with wood supporting initiatives across Europe and learning from the experience of other industries. …The timber sector across Europe, including the UK, whatever the outcome of Brexit, faces a lot of issues in a fast-changing world. We regret that the UK TTF decided to leave the ETTF, the European body representing the trade. But, regardless, we all need to work together.

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Forestry industry officials gloomy about log trade

By Eric Frykberg
Radio New Zealand
September 17, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND — Forestry industry officials are still feeling gloomy about the log trade, ten weeks after a collapse in sales to China caused layoffs and left logging trucks lying idle. Volumes of log sales are still well down, but prices have inched up slightly, though to nothing like what they were. …China has long been New Zealand’s largest log market by far. But a sudden crunch in early July left New Zealand logs stranded on Chinese wharves, with buyers further inland reluctant to take on new product. …At the time, the price fall in China was estimated at 15 percent, but has since been revised to 25 percent. Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes said there had been a marginal recovery in prices since then. 

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The lowly pallet could be highly problematic for Britain in a post-Brexit world

By Paul Waldie
The Globe and Mail
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

As Britain scrambles to prepare to leave the European Union as early as next month, one unlikely product has emerged as a symbol of the fear and frustration that surrounds Brexit: wooden pallets. …Once Britain leaves the EU, the country’s wooden pallets and crates will have to meet the bloc’s regulations on heat-treated wood. Those rules are based on a global standard adopted nearly 20 years ago designed to stop the spread of tree-eating insects. Britain has been exempt from the EU rules because it’s a member and because the island country doesn’t have the kind of bugs that cause horticultural havoc. …The fallout could be substantial since just about everything that’s shipped between Britain and the EU sits on a pallet at some point. …The rule dates back to early the 2000s, when forests in the United States and Canada were being ravaged by insects. [A Globe & Mail subscription is required to access the full story]

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Asian wood demand drives $230m Japan investment in New Zealand

By Yuji Ohira
Nikkei Asian Review
September 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

TOKYO — The growing need in emerging markets for building materials and fuel has spurred Japanese trading houses to expand their forestry operations. Sumitomo Corp. plans to spend about 25 billion yen ($231 million) on acquiring more pine forest in New Zealand, one of the Asia-Pacific region’s major timber exporters, looking to double its acreage by 2021. Wood is in increasing demand to build houses in emerging markets as incomes grow. Forest waste is also emerging as a renewable energy source to replace coal. Sumitomo harvests in 30-year cycles, allowing time for trees to regrow, with the cut wood shipped as lumber to China and elsewhere. The group also will invest about 6 billion yen to expand a lumber mill in Russia’s Far East run by Terneyles, a logging company in which Sumitomo holds a 49% stake. 

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