Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: Canada West

Business & Politics

Forestry workers park rigs near B.C. legislature for pro-industry rally

The Canadian Press in the Coast Reporter
February 18, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Hundreds of forestry workers staged a rally on the lawn of British Columbia’s legislature Tuesday, reminding the government about how important the industry is to the economy and to the survival of rural communities. …Forests Minister Doug Donaldson spoke to the crowd, saying he will take their message to the government. Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom told the group that B.C.’s forest industry is in crisis and the government needs to be reminded that a healthy industry benefits the entire province. …”We are here to ask for the protection of the working forests in perpetuity,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you are rural or urban, you benefit.” Donaldson said he expects to release the results of a recently completed consultation this spring on timber areas available for industry activities. 

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2020 budget delivers modest initiatives for struggling forest sector

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
February 18, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carole James

Loggers including a convoy of about 40 logging trucks converged on the B.C. legislature Tuesday in Victoria to deliver a message to government just as Finance Minister Carole James was preparing to deliver her budget. …James didn’t directly address the issue of the so-called working forest, but said government was committed to supporting the “industry that built this province.” …James unveiled initiatives in the budget that appeared modest with new money, in addition to emergency funds announced in the middle of last year, directed to supports for new products and wildfire protection. …The new money is welcome, said Council of Forest Industries CEO Susan Yurkovich, but government’s focus should be on the sector’s competitiveness. “We all need to work together to preserve the working forest land base and address B.C.’s position as the highest-cost forestry jurisdiction,” Yurkovich said.

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Minister’s statement on Save the Working Forest rally

By Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 18, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests…, has released the following statement in response to the B.C. Forestry Alliance Save the Working Forest rally on Feb. 18, 2020, at the Parliament Buildings: “I spoke with members of the B.C. Forestry Alliance today because I wanted to hear about their concerns. I told them that our government will support  the thousands of people who rely on the forest sector for their jobs and livelihoods. “We will continue to work with the sector to address challenges and ensure a bright and sustainable future. This includes our hard work on our Coast Forest Sector Revitalization plan to make sure more logs are processed in our province and reducing wood waste by redirecting it to our pulp and paper mills. …“I can assure the B.C. Forestry Alliance that our government is more than willing to work with them to build a better future for B.C.’s forestry sector.”

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Budget 2020 keeps building a stronger B.C. for everyone

By Ministry of Finance
Government of British Columbia
February 18, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Carole James

Budget 2020 moves British Columbia forward by building the infrastructure the growing province needs, supporting thousands of new jobs, strengthening investments in health and education and making life more affordable for everyone. “From new roads, hospitals, housing, schools and child care centres to better, more affordable services in every community, we’re seeing fundamental changes that are making life better for British Columbians,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “Together, we’ve made a lot of progress and we can’t turn back. Budget 2020 keeps our province moving forward by focusing on people.” …The Province continues to support struggling forestry workers through access to job placement, skills training, equipment loans, grants for hard-hit communities and programs to support early retirement. Budget 2020 adds $13 million for new forestry revitalization efforts, including revving up B.C.’s bio-economy with innovations that convert wood into value-added products like biofuels, bioplastics and textiles.

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The long road to recovery for island towns and residents now that the forestry strike is over

By Lori Culbert
The Vancouver Sun
February 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gaby Wickstrom

PORT MCNEILL — Forestry workers are expected to take over the front lawn of the B.C. legislature Tuesday — the day the budget is to be released — as part of a rally to advocate for the future of an industry that has been rocked by a long strike and continues to face uncertainty. “We are expecting a minimum of 5,000 people there. …Protesters will also deliver a petition to the government that demands forestry jobs be protected by ensuring harvesting will be not be curtailed in the future. …“The forests of B.C. are a renewable resource and we ask that the remaining harvestable land base be protected as ‘the working forest” reads the petition, which was started by the B.C. Forestry Alliance. Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom… is concerned about an “old growth strategic review”… could result in a reduction in logging, which she personally does not believe is necessary.

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How West Fraser is taking a phased approach to pension plan annuitization

By Yaelle Gang
Benefits
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. isn’t annuitizing multiple defined benefit (DB) plans to get out of the pension business. In fact, the wood products company is committed to DB. “We believe we get tremendous value out of our DB plans around recruitment and definitely around retention of our employees,” says Elaine Jensen, general manager of human resources. As a result of acquisitions, West Fraser had 11 DB plans in 2017. “Just because we’re taking on risks, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for opportunities to reduce or mitigate them,” says Jensen. …Whether a plan sponsor annuitizes all of its plans at once or takes a phased approach depends on the size of the deal, says Azita Bassiji, a partner in retirement solutions at Aon, which worked with West Fraser on the transactions.

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Water is a complicated issue in the District of Sooke

By Tim Collins
The Sooke News Mirror
February 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mie Hicks

The provision of safe water is certainly the case for most of Sooke where the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution System draws in water from the Sooke Reservoir. …But the provision of water for many residents is far less secure. The root of the problem lies in the trunk lines and CRD water distribution was not originally extended to all portions of the region. …problems frequently arise with these smaller systems. The Sheringham Water Works provides water for about 300 residents in Shirley. The organization recently raised concerns its watershed was threatened by a proposed development on land previously owned by Western Forest Products. The Ministry of Forests refused to intervene and Western representatives gave vague assurances they were aware of the concerns and would work to address them.

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Coastal forestry workers who were on strike for eight months ratify agreement

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
February 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

DUNCAN — Forestry workers on Vancouver Island have voted to ratify a collective agreement, ending a strike that kept 3,000 workers off the job for eight months. …Brian Butler, president of the union local, says members negotiated a contract that achieves many of its goals and did not grant the company concessions on pensions, job security and health and welfare benefits. However he says the union did not achieve its goal of ending what members believe are “dangerous” alternate shifts. Instead, he says the dispute process was improved by compelling the company to conduct trials of shift schedules proposed by the union, so that members can show alternative schedules are equally productive and also safer. …Don Demens, president and CEO of Western Forest Products, said in a statement Monday that the deal was reached with the assistance of special mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers.

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Province kneels to industry

Letter by Michael Huber, professional mortgage broker
Castanet Kelowna
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Michael Huber

Poor forest management will see BC property values fall and insurance costs rise. Why? Flooding from clear cuts — Anthony Britneff, retired senior official at BC Forest Service, predicts more Grand Forks style flooding. …Watersheds —  only account for 1.5 per cent of BC landmass but are logged at a frenzied pace. …Expense 1 — When forestry logs the watershed, water of poor and inconsistent quality flows to the water treatment plant, the plant cannot adequately treat water so boil water advisories result. …Expense 2  — Government subsidized spraying to kill deciduous trees… negatively affecting habitats, biodiversity and community fire resistance. …Government is captured by industry and politicians are too soft to mount a fight. …This has been going on for a long time. NDP are as guilty as the Liberals. …Donaldson’s kneeling to industry will drive BC property values down while insurance costs rise.

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Interfor Corporation Announces Resignation of CFO

Interfor Corporation
February 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Interfor announced that Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Martin Juravsky has advised the Company of his decision to resign from Interfor effective April 30, 2020, to pursue another opportunity with a Toronto-based publicly listed company. Mr. Juravsky joined Interfor in 2013. …“I want to acknowledge the important role Marty has played in growing Interfor into the company,” said Ian Fillinger, President & Chief Executive Officer.  “On behalf of the Interfor team, I would like to thank Marty for his contributions and wish him success in his new role”. The Company will commence an executive search for a new Chief Financial Officer. [END]

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Pulp and paper mill in B.C. faces 30-day closure due to lack of wood

Canadian Press in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, B.C. — Hundreds of forest industry workers will be affected as a pulp and paper mill on Vancouver Island shuts down for one month because it says it can’t get enough wood.  Paper Excellence Canada of Richmond says it will curtail pulp and paper production for 30 days at its Crofton operation, south of Nanaimo.  Stew Gibson, vice-president of operations, says the decision will affect about 450 members of two unions, Unifor and the Pulp Paper and Woodworkers of Canada.  He says developments in both the coastal and interior forest regions of the province have cut off the mill’s long-term contractual supplies of wood that are the basis of its operations.  Gibson says pulp and paper remains vitally important to the strength of the forest sector and he’s encouraged by a tentative settlement in a nearly eight-month strike that idled Western Forest Products operations across Vancouver Island.

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B.C. legislature braces for next protest: a budget-day forest industry rally

By Tom Fletcher
Ladysmith Chronicle
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging trucks are assembling for their third rally in six months Tuesday, this time heading for the B.C. legislature as politicians prepare for the NDP government budget.  Organized through a Facebook group called B.C. Forestry Alliance, the laid-off workers and contractors rolled more than 100 logging trucks into downtown Vancouver last September to send a message to Premier John Horgan at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. Now they’re calling for another run to Victoria to deliver a petition calling for “working forest” designation along with growing parks and protected areas.  “We see a need to defend the working land base that is being eroded at an alarming and unsustainable rate, the invitation states. “Come to the B.C. Communities Forestry Rally and show your support – please wear your high-vis shirts and vests!”

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B.C. logging costs can’t be increased now, forest industry says

By Tom Fletcher
Terrace Standard
February 14, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With continued steep border tariffs from the U.S. and new trade threats in Asia, B.C.’s Interior forest industry is grappling with new regulations on forest waste recovery that it says it can’t afford.  The NDP government moved ahead with its promised overhaul of Interior logging regulations at the start of the year, implementing what the forests ministry calls “alternative scaling methods to support cost-effective removal of logs designed to become a secondary product, such as pulp and paper, pellets and energy.”  As with new logging rules on the B.C. coast that have since been fine-tuned, the industry says its initial take on the Interior system is that it is not cost-effective.  It’s a “fundamental economic problem” for an industry that is already struggling with North America’s highest log costs, said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries.

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Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 15, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The votes are in and the nearly eight-month-long forestry strike that devastated parts of Vancouver Island has finally ended.  Eight-one per cent of the United Steel Workers Local 1-19137 membership voted in favour of ratifying the tentative agreement with Western Forest Products.  The agreement includes a 12.5 per cent increase in wages in two- and three-percent increments over five years, increased premiums for those with first aid, a safety boot allowance and changes to policies on shift work. It also includes zero concessions.  Western Forest Products said in a statement the new five-year collective agreement is retroactive to June 15, 2019. Workers have been without a contract since June 14, 2019.

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Budget-day rally at legislature to highlight forestry’s role in economy

By Roxanne Egan-Elliott
Victoria Times Colonist
February 17, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thousands of B.C. forestry workers and their supporters are planning to gather for a rally on the B.C. legislature lawn Tuesday afternoon, coinciding with the release of the province’s 2020 budget.  The rally is intended to bring attention to the revenue the forestry industry creates and the people it supports, from loggers and tree fallers to industry suppliers and business owners, said Carl Sweet, a heavy equipment salesman in Campbell River and one of the event’s organizers.  “I think people have really lost touch on how important forestry is to this province and what it pays for,” Sweet said. “We wouldn’t have the life we’ve come accustomed to with our social programs, and our hospitals, and our school systems and flat roads if it wasn’t for the revenues from forestry.”  A 2017 report by PwC said the forestry industry contributed $12.94 billion in gross domestic product to the province and supported more than 140,000 jobs directly and indirectly. 

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Let’s hope the strike is really over

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 16, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I’m quite curious to see what terms the United Steelworkers agreed to in order to recommend its members go back to work at Western Forest Products.  Thousands of coastal forestry workers, including hundreds at WFP mills in and near the Cowichan Valley, have been on the picket lines since July 1.  Many of them suffered greatly as the months dragged on with no end in sight as they tried to pay their mortgages and vehicle payments, as well as raise families, on their meagre strike pay.  But, in my discussions with the strikers over that time, they remained steadfast in their belief that WFP, B.C.’s largest coastal forestry company, was not treating them fairly in the bargaining process.  The company was demanding that the workers make dozens of concessions, with some of the biggest stumbling blocks involving pensions and benefits, and the union wasn’t having any of it.

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Premier Horgan passes on Washington trade mission

By Donna Barnett, MLA
The Williams Lake Tribune
February 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Donna Barnett

While campaigning during the last election, John Horgan promised the first thing he would do upon being elected was to head directly to Washington, D.C. to solve the softwood lumber dispute. That was almost three years ago. …Last week the federal government led a delegation to Washington along with the premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Horgan was absent. …Although a preliminary finding by the U.S. Commerce Department would see border duties cut in half, the B.C. Council of Forest Industries is greeting this recent news with a great deal of caution. We have to wait until August for a final decision, and in a presidential election year, U.S. producers could put the pressure on. In fact, the U.S. Lumber Coalition is dismissing the preliminary finding.

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Rail blockade in New Hazelton coming down, RCMP say

By Arthur Williams
The Prince George Citizen
February 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A railway blockade in New Hazelton is coming down, according to the BC RCMP. Protestors had been blocking the rail line connecting Prince George and Prince Rupert since Feb. 6, in solidarity with a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters who had been blockading construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. …The BC and federal governments have agreed to meet with Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. …The blockades could continue to have a serious economic impact… by disrupting shipments of lumber, pulp, paper and wood pellets to market. …B.C. Council of Forest Industries president and CEO Susan Yurkovich said in an email the organization is trying to assess the damage from the rail disruptions. “Forest products make up about 10% of all rail traffic that moves through Western Canada, and in many cases, [it] is the only economic transport option,” Yurkovich said. 

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Forestry diversification opportunity workshop scheduled for Williams Lake

BC Local News
February 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Walt Cobb

Forestry contractors interested in opportunities to diversify their business are invited to a free half-day workshop on doing business with government co-hosted by the Ministry of Forests, the City of Williams Lake, and the Cariboo Regional District. Participants will learn about the types of projects available through the provincial government, as well as the processes required to successfully bid and contract for those opportunities. “We are pleased to be providing this opportunity to forestry contractors in our area,” said Mayor Walt Cobb. “We believe that it is important to support the independent workers that have been the backbone of the forest industry, by providing them with an opportunity to meet directly with the contacts and resources that will enable them to keep themselves and their equipment working.”

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Vancouver Island forestry workers now voting on ending strike

CTV News Vancouver Island
February 13, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — Thousands of striking forestry workers will cast ballots over the next two days in a vote that could mark the end of a historic labour dispute. The United Steelworkers union …has been engaged in a nearly eight-month strike with Western Forest Products. USW Local 1-1937 president Brian Butler would not comment on the voting process, but did tell CTV News Vancouver Island that his bargaining committee is recommending members accept the deal.  On Monday, a tentative deal to end the strike was reached between the union and WFP, meaning a vote in favour of the agreement by union members would end the bitter dispute. …On Friday, union members will vote in Port McNeill, Gold River and Campbell River.  Ballots will be tabulated through the night and a decision could come as early Saturday morning, according to the union.

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Industry, government pushed to abolish Aboriginal title at issue in Wet’suwet’en stand-off, docs reveal

By Martin Lukacs and Shiri Pasternak
The Narwhal
February 7, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Freda Huson and Brenda Michell

The B.C. government and corporate lobbyists representing major resource industries sought the “surrender” of First Nations land rights immediately following the Delgamuukw decision, a precedent-setting legal ruling that established Aboriginal title to unceded land, according to Freedom of Information (FOI) documents obtained by The Narwhal. The records, from B.C.’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, provide a glimpse for the first time of a corporate lobbying effort urging government to push First Nations to surrender their newly recognized title rights through modern treaties to achieve “certainty” for commercial interests. Internal emails, memos and confidential briefing notes also show that, immediately after the Delgamuukw decision came down from the Supreme Court of Canada on Dec. 11, 1997, B.C. government officials discussed tactics to fight land rights with legal challenges, to curb direct action or litigation by First Nations and to use federal money intended for the healing of residential school survivors to make treaty negotiations more attractive. 

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Collaboration aims to make tree planting safer

By Thom Barker
The Interior News
February 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Northern Society for Domestic Peace (NSDP) is collaborating with the Western Forestry Contactor’s Association (WFCA) and tree planting companies to make tree planting camps safer. For two years, NDSP has been going out to the camps giving presentations on sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace developed specifically for the unique environment of the camps. Airika Owen, who has been leading the workshops, said it is not unlike the problem facing universities, although the remoteness of the work locations presents added challenges. …Last month, Owen and other NSDP representatives presented the results at the WFCA’s annual conference in Prince George. “We found the accounts as they described them, of course, shocking and distressing, but in some ways not surprising,” said John Betts, WFCA executive director. “It wasn’t a huge leap of the imagination to think it might be happening in our industry.

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Maple Ridge forester receives prestigious award

By Colleen Flanagan
The Maple Ridge-Pitt meadows News
February 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A resident forester with the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge has won a prestigious award. Cheryl Power was presented with the Distinguished Forest Professional award by the Association of BC Forest Professionals at its annual forestry conference in Nanaimo last week. The Distinguished Forest Professional award recognizes forest professionals for outstanding contribution to the forestry profession and for furthering the principles of the Association of BC Forest Professionals. “The nominations for Cheryl spoke at length about her influence and promotion of forestry through her work at UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest,” said ABCFP president Trevor Swan. …For 30 years, Power has been a leader in UBC forestry field schools and a role model for young people who want to make a difference in the management of natural resources. 

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Forestry workers could be back next week: CEO

By Andrew Duffy
The Times Colonist
February 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products workers could be called back to work as early as next week, said the head of the integrated forest company. Don Demens, Western’s chief executive. …Brian Butler, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, said he’s happy with the deal they have and expects to have voting results by Saturday morning. Demens would not comment on the deal other than saying he was pleased they have a tentative agreement. “I’m keen to turn the page and get moving and get back to work,” he said, dismissing the idea there will be lingering bad feelings between workers and management despite an acrimonious strike. …“The coastal forest business is facing real challenges, and to me it’s more clear than ever that we need everyone working together. I certainly don’t want to revisit what we’ve just gone through ever again.”

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Horgan ignores us

Letter by Shirley Bond, MLA
Prince George Citizen
February 10, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shirley Bond

Recently, John Horgan travelled to northern B.C. to tour the region — his first tour of northern B.C. …but many people expected that on this tour he would finally acknowledge the challenges we are facing and announce plans to provide meaningful support. However, despite the ongoing forestry crisis, month-after-month of decreasing job numbers, the sham of a caribou consultation and the delays facing major pipeline projects, Premier Horgan came bearing no good news for the rural British Columbians dealing with these challenges. …During his trip, he didn’t meet with disenfranchised forestry workers, he didn’t talk about reinstating the Rural Dividend Fund and he did not mention a plan to create jobs in the region where they are so desperately needed. The premier also failed to instill any confidence in the resource sector… Horgan’s actions …demonstrate the sad truth that this government does not care about rural B.C

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Horgan government limps into spring session

By Dan Davies, MLA
The Alaska Highway News
February 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

This week, members of the Legislative Assembly head back to Victoria as we begin another legislative session. …Despite being almost a year into a province-wide forestry crisis, John Horgan has still taken little action to help. Adding fuel to the fire this week was the news that he would not be joining the delegation of Canadian premiers heading to Washington D.C. for talks about the softwood lumber dispute. …The fact is, B.C. is one of the world’s largest exporters of softwood lumber, and at a time of crisis, John Horgan’s attention should be focused on helping the thousands of forestry workers that count on this industry. …B.C. has had the most job losses in Canada in seven out of the last eight months. The NDP has no plan to grow the economy.

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Campbell River city council to ‘support and attend’ forestry rally in Victoria

By Mike Davies
The Campbell River Mirror
February 11, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Campbell River wants to be “front and centre” at an upcoming forestry rally in Victoria. At Monday night’s public meeting of city council, the city received an invitation to take part in the rally, being put on by the BC Forestry Alliance and scheduled for Feb. 18 at the Parliament Building. Coun. Ron Kerr made a motion that “council support and attend” the rally. Earlier, it was announced that Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1937 had agreed to terms of a tentative collective agreement. …But Mayor Andy Adams says he understands the rally won’t be canceled. …“The focus of the rally is “about the forestry regulations that are in dire need of restructuring at the provincial level and having the conversations about how they can change for the future sustainability moving forward.”

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2020 Throne Speech

By Cheryl Jahn
CKPG News Prince George
February 12, 2020
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

PRINCE GEORGE – It was a Throne Speech lean on promises and heavy on highlighting what the government sees as achievements of the past two and a half years. …While it noted the significance of the resource sector to the BC economy it did little to open the doors for advancement in any sector and was particularly bleak when referencing forestry. “A wave of mill closures and curtailments driven by changes in global markets, reduced supply, wildfire losses and the mountain pine beetle, has left many people hurting,” said Austen. “There is no overnight fix for problems created by years of neglect. These solutions will help forestry – a foundational B.C. industry – get back on the right track.” …The BC Liberals blasted the Throne Speech, calling it a failure.

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Finance & Economics

Western Announces Fourth Quarter 2019 Results February

Western Forest Products Inc.
February 11, 2020
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products reported negative adjusted EBITDA of $18.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Results were impacted by strike action by the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 and weak markets. …Net loss of $29.2 million was reported for the fourth quarter of 2019, as compared to net income of $5.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2018 and net loss of $18.7 million in the third quarter of 2019. Western’s negative adjusted EBITDA of $18.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $18.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, and negative $16.6 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Burnaby won’t be seeing 12-storey wood-frame buildings anytime soon

By Dustin Godfrey
Burnaby Now
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Burnaby won’t be seeing 12-storey wood-frame buildings anytime in the next couple of years, with city staff expressing significant concerns with the province’s pilot program to double the height limits of wood construction. But the city will likely be removing red tape around five- and six-storey wood-frame buildings in the near future. …“While the planning department is generally agnostic with respect to construction methods for new development projects … the building division and fire department have justified reservations about early adoption of encapsulated mass timber construction,” staff wrote in their report. Staff also noted that the use of mass timber construction is still “experimental in nature.” “Staff feel that the initiative is premature, as the relevant building codes have not yet been adopted nationally. …Staff also noted that the use of mass timber construction is still “experimental in nature.”

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Buildex Vancouver explores new building methods and materials

By Peter Caulfield
The Journal of Commerce
February 12, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Moonen

Despite its well-known attachment to tradition and custom, the Canadian construction industry is slowly changing. …One of the new construction methods the industry is adopting is prefabrication, the topic of a workshop by Vancouver Island consultant Mark Taylor. …“Building ahead of time in a factory removes many of the variables that exist on a construction site, such as weather, materials, labour consistency, tools and site access,” he said. …The answer to many of the challenges faced by the Canadian construction industry is wood, both wood frame and heavy and mass timber, says Peter Moonen, national sustainability manager of the Canadian Wood Council. …“We want to show the construction industry what each wood product can deliver and how wood, steel and concrete can be used together. …These and other Buildex Vancouver 2020 presentations take place at Buildex Vancouver.

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Forestry

City of Quesnel asked to be part of new Community Forest Agreement

BC Local News
February 14, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The City of Quesnel has been invited to be part of a new Community Forest Agreement (CFA), something the mayor says has been a long time coming. Mayor Bob Simpson brought a letter he received from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) in late January forward to the Feb. 4 council meeting. The letter states that the Province intends to directly invite community groups to apply for a Community Forest Agreement (CFA), and the provincial government would like to invite the City of Quesnel to be part of the CFA, in partnership with other interested community groups. “During the recent apportionment decision for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area (TSA), 50,000 cubic metres live volume and 27,000 cubic metres deciduous volume was set aside by the minister for a CFA in the Quesnel TSA,” the letter states.

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Heli-logging operations help manage Douglas fir beetles

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
February 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fourth year of helicopter logging in the Williams Lake area is expected to start next week to help minimize the spread of Douglas fir beetles on Crown land.  These native forest pests normally attack small groups of trees, and a significant infestation can weaken and eventually kill a tree over a period of about one year. However, helicopter logging that selectively removes infested trees and protects other trees nearby, and related containment treatments, have helped to slow the spread of the beetles in the Williams Lake area over the past three years.  These logging activities are being conducted under the direction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Monitoring of Douglas fir beetle infestations in previously treated areas has identified fewer trees currently under attack, so the helicopter-logging project has been expanded to new sites around Williams Lake.

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Forest industry supporters set to deliver petition to B.C. government

By Alistair Taylor
Campbell River Mirror
February 17, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Island forest industry supporters are taking their message to Victoria Tuesday morning for a rally at the B.C. Parliament Building at 12:30 p.m.  Rally organizers, the B.C. Forestry Alliance, are delivering a petition calling for a “working forest” designation and increased awareness of the importance of forestry to the province, communities and way of life, particularly in rural communities. The Alliance says on its Facebook page that there is a need “to defend the working land base that is being eroded at an alarming and unsustainable rate.”  Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams said at a recent city council meeting that the message is “about the forestry regulations that are in dire need of restructuring at the provincial level and having the conversations about how they can change for the future sustainability moving forward.”

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Listing Seaspan barge full of wood chips nearly tips in Haro Strait

By Travis Paterson
Victoria News
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Saanich mariner on his way to the Gulf Islands on Wednesday morning posted a photo of a Seaspan barge drifting sideways between Pender and Salt Spring islands. Ian Hinkle was headed to salvage a derelict boat with the Cold Water Divers crew when he first saw the barge at about 7:15 a.m. He tweeted a photo of the listing barge and some of its load, wood chips, floating in the Salish Sea. The tug boat operator was circling in an attempt to right the barge. … It tipped sideways from an incident around 1 a.m. The barge, carrying wood chips, heeled heavily to its port side. It may ahve occurred due to the ebb tide as the tug pulled it around Stuart Island, an island just south of Pender in U.S. waters.

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Forestry’s close up: Winners of the COFI and CFI community photo contest

By Council of Forest Industries
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
February 12, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Council of Forest Industries (COFI) and Canadian Forest Industries (CFI) launched our fourth annual forestry photo contest in November 2019. This year’s photo contest called for submissions that illustrate the benefits forestry provides British Columbians. We look forward to this photo contest every year, and the submissions never fail to impress. This year was no different. We received photographs from all across the province that show the diversity and beauty of our forests and forest products. Thank you to all entrants and congratulations to the prize recipients! Grand prize winner Mark Mackay’s stunning photo is featured on the cover of this edition of CFI magazine and will also receive a $500 gift card to Canadian Tire. Lane, Lloyd Davis, and Devin Gannon have won the runner-up prizes, with a $75 gift card to Canadian Tire and their photos published in the magazine for you to admire.

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Logging opponents gather at MLA’s office

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
February 11, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging continues in the Clack Creek Forest cutblock A93884, but members of Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) say there’s still time for the province to order a halt to the harvesting, preserve the area as a potential future park and offer the logging company an alternative site to log. Supporters of ELF and the Living Forest Institute, an initiative ELF launched last year, gathered at the office of Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons Monday to try to urge him to take their message to Victoria. …“We want to send a strong message to our MLA that we don’t think it’s too late yet and if the government shows some will they can still issue a stop work order and then make an arrangement with Black Mount [Logging] and the First Nations,” Penner told the crowd of around 40.

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Lac la Hache resident honoured with forestry award

By Millar Hill
100 Mile Free Press
February 11, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dave Bedford

A Lac la Hache resident has been awarded for their outstanding contribution, dedication to the forestry industry. Dave Bedford, the founder of DWB Consulting Services, was presented with the Distinguished Forest Professional award by the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) at its annual forestry conference in Nanaimo last week. The award recognizes forest professionals for outstanding contribution to the forestry profession and for furthering the principles of the Association of BC Forest Professionals. “The nominations for Dave spoke at length of his about his integrity, professionalism, and dedication to doing the right thing,” said ABCFP president Trevor Swan, RPF. “This recognition of Dave by his peers for extended excellence over the course of a career is both humbling and meaningful to forest professionals responsible for caring for one of BC’s most treasured resources.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nelson and Regional District of Central Kootenay both eyeing waste wood to produce energy

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
February 18, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) aims to investigate how to use waste forest industry wood for energy production in the region, and the City of Nelson is reviving its plan for using waste wood to generate heat within the city. Five years ago the city developed a proposal for a biofuel plant to be located downtown that would supply heat to specific public buildings. …Nelson Hydro’s Alex Love… “To make it viable we need to defray the capital costs of about $6 million.” …So Nelson Hydro is examining the business case developed five years ago. If it still looks feasible, Love will ask council this summer to approve the spending. The business case states that the project would reduce greenhouse gases and turn a profit by selling heat.

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Logger wants Yukon Government to improve logging, biomass industry in Watson Lake

By Julien Gignac
Yukon News
February 13, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is untapped logging and biomass potential in Watson Lake that the Yukon government needs to consider, according to a logger from that community. …He said Watson Lake used to be a boomtown before sawmills were shuttered. That’s why he’s calling on the government to establish a 20-year timber harvest plan, which includes biomass. There’s upwards of a million cubic metres of burnt wood that can be used for biomass, Whimp said, adding that, when paired with his trade, it makes good business sense. …Lisa Walker, director of the Yukon government’s forest management branch, said there are timber harvest plans in the community already, and loggers can apply for additional volumes. A maximum volume of 120,000 cubic metres can be harvested, Walker said, but it usually comes in as less than this.

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