Region Archives: Canada East

Business & Politics

The province is paying $22 million for electricity from Kruger — and it has been for 6 weeks

By Ryan Cooke
CBC News
March 19, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

CORNER BROOK, Newfoundland — A $22-million deal between the provincial government and paper giant Kruger has been in effect since Feb. 1, though the first scant details of it were not released until last Friday afternoon as the provincial government headed into the St. Patrick’s Day long weekend. The province — through Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro — had been paying for electricity from Kruger’s hydroelectric dam at Deer Lake for six weeks by the time Kruger sent a news release saying a deal had been reached between the two parties. Kruger has been mired in financial trouble since at least November, when it had to shut down operations at the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill for a week. At the time, Premier Andrew Furey pledged his support for the 300 workers who were temporarily out of work. …This isn’t the first time the province has stepped in to help the struggling newsprint mill.

Related coverage in Yahoo News: Kruger mum on dollar figures in new power agreement

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Kruger, Province Ink Deal To Prop Up Paper Mill, Forestry Sector

VOCM News Now
March 15, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

NEWFOUNDLAND and LABRADOR — The provincial government has agreed to buy hydro power “when needed” from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper to help the struggling mill through more tough times. In exchange, Montreal-based parent company Kruger “will work to identify new revenue sources from wood-based bioproducts” to diversify the operation and keep it afloat amid a dying global newsprint market. In addition, the company has agreed to sell saw logs to Newfoundland’s three large sawmills, in line with its operating plans, which government says is “essential for the stability of the forest sector.” The six-month agreement was announced in separate news releases from the company and government on Friday afternoon, with the province insisting any power purchased from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, generated by its Deer Lake facility, won’t affect ratepayers. …Corner Brook Pulp and Paper employs more than 300 workers, with annual sales in the range of $130 million.

Gov’t of Newfoundland: Province Announces Agreement with Corner Brook Pulp & Paper

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Nova Scotia grants Northern Pulp mill one-year extension for environmental assessment

The Canadian Press in CTV News Atlantic
March 15, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

An idled Nova Scotia pulp mill has been given another year to complete an environmental assessment for its project to build a new effluent treatment facility. The provincial Environment Department says it granted Northern Pulp the extension last week after the company had requested one. In March 2022 Environment Minister Tim Halman released the terms of reference for the Abercrombie, N.S., mill’s assessment report. The two-year deadline for that report was originally set for this week.The mill closed operations in January 2020 after the former Liberal government of Premier Stephen McNeil rejected plans for a new effluent treatment facility. That government passed legislation in 2015 requiring effluent to stop flowing into a tidal estuary near the Pictou Landing First Nation by 2020. [END]

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Who is looking after Fort Frances?

Letter by Fred Laverdure
The Fort Frances Times
March 13, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

On March 28, 2022, Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, announced the Ontario government’s first Forest Biomass Action Plan. According to the announcement, the plan was a way to promote economic opportunities, drive economic growth and help secure, for future generations, a strong forestry sector in the north. At the time of the announcement, Fort Frances had a biomass facility, originally funded with lots of your hard earned tax dollars. Perfect for the Town to take advantage of this program. From my perspective, Council took no initiative to take advantage of this program. By late 2022 the biomass was demolished and it was recently revealed that Thunder Bay received funding for a new biomass facility. I feel this was just another failure by this and the last council to do anything to make sure Fort Frances continues to benefit from the forest around it.

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Laid-off Terrace Bay mill workers appeal for support

By Gary Ring
Superior North News
March 6, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

QUEEN’S PARK — A delegation representing laid-off workers at the Terrace Bay pulp mill travelled to Queen’s Park on Tuesday “looking for some hope” that the mill will be restarted in the near future. India-based Aditya Birla Group announced the indefinite shutdown of the mill in early January, and laid off close to 400 people. The Steelworkers union, representing about 270 workers, says it’s had no luck getting any information from the company about its plans. Michelle Richardson, the recording secretary for local 665, made an emotional appeal at a news conference held jointly with the NDP. “We are here to ask for the government’s support to fight for us, to fight for our community and the people who work in the pulp mill. We can’t afford to wait. The last time we were down – and this is the fourth time we’ve been through this – we were out of work for 18 months.”

Video coverage in CBC: Sparring over shuttered Terrace Bay pulp mill leads to heated exchange

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Finance & Economics

GreenFirst Reports Financial Results for Fiscal 2023

GreenFirst Forest Products Inc.
March 14, 2024
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada East

TORONTO, ON — GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. announced results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023. Fourth quarter 2023 net loss from continuing operations was $21.6 million or $0.12 per share, compared to net earnings of $2.7 million or earnings of $0.01 per share in the third quarter of 2023. For fiscal 2023, net loss from continuing operations was $48.8 million or $0.27 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.1 million or $0.02 per share in 2022 on the same basis. “Despite ongoing pricing pressures in the fourth quarter, we are starting to see some positive momentum in lumber markets at the beginning of 2024,” said Paul Rivett, GreenFirst’s Executive Chair. “This coupled with an enhanced operational focus with Joel Fournier as CEO are factors that bode well for GreenFirst’s resiliency in the current environment. On the paper side we expect productivity gains and a better cost profile with Terry Skiffington’s tenacious focus on operations, along with his many years of experience in this area.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

University of Toronto Academic Wood Tower intended as prototype for the world

By Angela Gismondi
The Daily Commercial News
March 20, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

A new academic timber building at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus is intended to be a prototype for designers and engineers building mass timber structures around the world. …Ryan Going said “The University of Toronto is really taking a strong leadership approach when it comes to meeting their sustainability and climate goals. In some ways it’s also a proof of concept that this type of construction is possible.” …Once complete it will be 74.5 metres high, 127,000 square feet and is expected to be the tallest academic timber structure in Canada and one of the tallest mass timber and steel hybrid buildings in North America. “The hybrid structural design is very unique,” Going said. “It’s a structural steel elevator and stair core that’s essentially hung from a mass timber exoskeleton and structure.” It will be built on top of the existing four-storey Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

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Montreal Wood Convention 2024 preview

Wood Business
March 20, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

The Montreal Wood Convention is gearing up for its annual event, scheduled to take place from April 9-11 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. …Central to this year’s agenda are the keynote speakers. Leading the lineup is Michele Romanow, a familiar face to many as a prominent judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Romanow’s session, titled “Getting to Success: Embracing Change, Encouraging Disruption, and Incentivizing Innovation.” …Another keynote speaker is David Usher, the lead singer of the band Moist and his ground-breaking work in artificial intelligence. Usher’s session will explore the fascinating intersection of creativity and AI. …Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, will offer his insights into the current economic climate and the factors shaping the wood industry’s future. …Another highlight of the MWC is the CEO Panel… including Amar S. Doman, Doman Building Materials Group; L.T. Gibson, US LBM; and Ian Fillinger at Interfor.

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Timber construction and Indigenous practices a natural fit, say panellists

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
March 15, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

The connection between timber construction and First Nations communities goes back ages, long before today’s mass timber movement in major cities such as Toronto. That movement should grow, however, in Indigenous communities as relationships are forged between mass timber proponents and First Nations partners. Patrick Chouinard, of mass timber manufacturer Element5, said he hopes more Indigenous fabrication centres for mass timber can be established by Element5 in First Nations communities. He said Element5 could produce “truckloads of billets” and ship them to Indigenous areas to set up in First Nations-owned facilities for fabrication tailored to local projects. “They own their own projects, hire local labour.” Chouinard was a conference speaker on a panel session on Indigenous collaboration. “Mass timber generally is ideally suited for First Nations communities because you can use it for so many kinds of buildings,” he said, pointing out firehalls to housing as examples.

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A facility in Kirkland Lake proposes to transform wood waste into natural gas

By Aya Dufour
CBC News
March 13, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

High-temperature pyrolysis is a technical term that can scare some people away – but over the years, CHAR Technologies CEO Andrew White has developed a succinct way to explain it. “We heat up wood in the absence of oxygen. We heat it up to 900 degrees celsius, with no oxygen so the wood can’t burn, but it cracks apart into a gas and a carbon,” he said. The gas is then upgraded to renewable natural gas and pumped directly into the pipeline. The carbon can be converted into biochar, an environmentally friendly substitute to the coal-based fuels used in steel making or nickel smelting. This is the process that underpins a new proposed biomass conversion facility in Kirkland Lake in northeastern Ontario. Some elements of this technology are very old, and others, like controlling the environment more tightly, are relatively new, according to White.

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$215M mass timber plant in Nova Scotia a ‘groundbreaking’ Indigenous collaboration

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
March 13, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

A $215 million mass timber manufacturing plant being developed in Nova Scotia could reap economic benefits that ripple through its community, region, province and Atlantic Canada. It will be “one of the most modern plants of its kind,” producing 50,000 cubic metres of commodity mass timber and large-scale glulam products for up to 3,100 residential units annually, said Patrick Crabbe, director of mass timber with Bird Construction and leader of the MTC Mass Timber Company. “The anticipation is it will be capitalized by May/June this year.” Crabbe, who spoke at a conference recently themed Indigenous Collaboration, said he sees the venture as “a circular economic opportunity that is a diamond in the rough.” Through integration with the First Nation sawmill industry in the region, the plant could help the small Pictou Landing First Nation community of about 650 residents maintain its large swath of evergreen forest.

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Ontario company unveils world’s first paper bottle machine

By Joe McGinty
Village Report
March 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario – For the last 10 years, KinsBrae Packaging has been trying to figure out how to disrupt the world and create a better and more efficient system for its customers. Now with its first-of-a-kind paper bottle machine, the company is hoping to change how consumers and companies look at bottles and enjoy some of their favourite drinks. …The bottles start as 100 per cent recycled cardboard printed and cut into templates that can have any graphic printed 360 degrees around the bottle. The bottle can only be used for non-carbonated liquids such as wine, juice and iced coffee. …Since paper bottles weigh five times less than glass, KinsBrae can maximize how much product they can fit on a truck. There is also no breakage with paper, so they can eliminate the inserts that prevent glass bottles from hitting each other and shattering during transport.

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Ontario Structural Wood Association and the wood industry meet at the recent Light-Frame Wood Solutions Conference

By Mike Phillips, Ontario Structural Wood Association
Ontario Construction News
March 8, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

Close to 300 wood industry experts gathered together on Feb. 13 to discuss solutions to Ontario’s housing crisis. The Light-Frame Wood Solutions Conference explored how modular, prefabricated and offsite manufactured construction methods can be used for all types of construction, but could be of particular value in the delivery of much needed housing. The conference was a joint production of WoodWorks Ontario and Ontario Structural Wood Association (OSWA). WoodWorks is the technical outreach office of the Canadian Wood Council (CWC). …OSWA members were joined at the conference by a broad mix of engineers, architects, building and other government officials and developers. The conference kicked off in the morning with a speech from the Hon. Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources & Forestry, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka.

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Forestry

Ford government to give out $5,000 bonuses to wildland firefighters

By Liam Casey
National Observer
March 21, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

TORONTO — Ontario plans to give front-line wildland firefighters and pilots a $5,000 bonus and make 100 of those jobs permanent in an effort to recruit and retain more workers. But the union representing those fire rangers says it’s little more than a drop in the bucket and will not fix the “dire and ongoing crisis.” Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Graydon Smith says the province wants more people fighting wildland fires and is planning a recruitment blitz ahead of the start of the wildfire season that begins in April. The majority of the 660 forest firefighters in the province are part-timers and the union representing them has long said that part-time work, along with low pay, are major problems in retaining them. Smith says the government is working on longer-term plans to stabilize the workforce, which will include the purchase of new equipment, including water bombers.

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‘Be vigilant’: Northwestern Ontario municipalities prepare for upcoming wildfire season

By Kris Ketonen
CBC News
March 21, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

As a warm winter with little precipitation gives way to a dry spring, municipalities in northwestern Ontario are getting ready for a potentially intense wildfire season. Preparations for the season — which begins in less than two weeks — are underway in Red Lake, a municipality in the western reaches of the province that has faced several environmental challenges, including a full evacuation due to a wildfire in recent years. …The fire season officially begins on April 1. Mota said there’s “some general anxiety for a lot of our population, and of course for myself and council, in regards to having those preparations done.” “I’m hopeful that the MNRF will be hiring lots of crews. I know there’s been shortages of crews, and especially crew leaders, to take on new MNRF firefighters, so that’s also a concern for me as well.”

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Ontario needs to press reset on the forestry sector

By Jeremy Williams, Bud Knauff, Tom Clark and Don Huff
Northern Ontario Business
March 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

The state of Ontario’s forest industry, particularly the pulp mills that anchor it, is a matter of concern that demands immediate attention from the provincial government. There has been inadequate public and private investment in the sector causing a significant loss of production capacity. The industry has seen a continuous decline over the past few decades. …Job losses have unfortunately been a consequence of this downward trend. The recent announcements that two of Northern Ontario’s remaining four pulp mills have been idled indicates that the sector is not well. …Neither the government nor the forest industry seem to have a response to this situation. Ontario deserves better. …In light of this, it is imperative for the Ontario government to establish an independent expert panel to delve into why there has been a lack of major investment in Ontario’s forest sector for the past two to three decades.

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Quinte Conservation Contributes 10,357 Hectares to Canada’s Protected Areas Target

By Ontario Nature
Cision Newswire
March 21, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

BELLEVILLE, ON – Quinte Conservation Authority (QCA) proudly announces its contribution of 10,357 hectares of conservation areas and reserves towards Canada’s international commitment to protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030. Commonly known as the 30×30 target, it was adopted by nations around the world as part of the Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15). The target aims to protect biodiversity, mitigate impacts of climate change and ensure the sustainability of ecosystems. Based on an assessment completed in partnership by Ontario Nature and QCA, it was determined that 66 properties meet the rigorous pan-Canadian standards, warranting their designation as protected areas in the national database that is monitored and maintained by Environment and Climate Change Canada. …The celebration of International Day of Forests on March 21st acknowledges the critical role that forests play in sustaining life on Earth. 

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A Noah’s Ark to Preserve Canada’s Forests

Blue Dot Living
March 20, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

The National Tree Seed Centre houses a collection that now represents 273 of Canada’s 720 tree and shrub species. Preserving this genetic diversity is an ongoing job. A Nova Scotia mountain now has 110,000 more trees than it did in 2023. …But these weren’t just any seedlings. Throughout the preceding year, a conservation team collected millions of seeds from these species. Beginning in the fall of 2022 and through 2023, the team has harvested seeds from twenty-one different species in the park and shipped them to the National Tree Seed Centre (NTSC) in neighboring New Brunswick. There, tree seed specialists cleaned, dried, cataloged, and stored them indefinitely — depending on the species, seeds are viable for decades — so the park can access them anytime in the future for growing and planting. The NTSC then sent some of these seeds to a private forestry company that grew those 110,000 seedlings for planting in the park.

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Canada is logging Ontario’s forests too fast and the environment is suffering

By David Suzuki
Streets of Toronto
March 19, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Canada is regarded as a country of spectacular nature, with magnificent forests. The boreal forest alone makes up 55 per cent of Canada’s land mass. In Ontario, 66 per cent of the land is made up of forests. The government wants you to think our forest management practices are beyond reproach. They aren’t. New research confirms that industrial logging isn’t ecologically sustainable. Rather, it’s rapidly degrading forest habitats and threatening species. A study by Brendan Mackey, from Griffith University in Australia, looked at forestry in Ontario and Quebec and found, “The Canadian Government claims that its forests have been managed according to the principles of sustainable forest management for many years, yet this notion of sustainability is tied mainly to maximizing wood production and ensuring the regeneration of commercially desirable tree species following logging.” …It’s past time to put words into action and do better at protecting forests. 

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Fired New Brunswick forestry college instructor seeking thousands more in compensation

By Aidan Cox
CBC News
March 19, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Rod Cumberland

A forestry college instructor who was found to be entitled to more than $50,000 for the way his employer fired him is seeking another $230,000 in damages. Rod Cumberland is appealing a May 2023 decision by New Brunswick Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Tracey DeWare, who ruled he was only entitled to payment equalling seven months’ notice for his firing from the Maritime College of Forest Technology. On Tuesday, Paul Champ, Cumberland’s Ottawa-based lawyer, argued before three New Brunswick Court of Appeal judges that his client should have also received compensation for aggravating and punitive damages. “With the greatest respect to the chief justice and trial judge, this is a very troubling precedent for employment law,” Champ said in his opening arguments. “A very troubling precedent.” …The lawyer for the college, Clarence Bennett argued Cumberland is not entitled to punitive damages, as there’s no evidence the college’s conduct caused him to suffer “mental distress.”

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Concern, confusion among members as $10B treaty settlement looms

By Jenny Lamonthe
The Bay Today
March 14, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

NORTHERN ONTARIO — In just a few weeks, $10 billion will land in northern Ontario, but how it will be disbursed among the thousands of Robinson Huron Treaty members is causing confusion, concern, and even anger among some members of the 21 signatory First Nation communities. As the settlement amount from the Robinson Huron Treaty annuities claim is divided among each First Nation, members are being asked to vote on how much will be given to each individual person, and how much will be kept by the band. …The only time the annuity was increased was in 1874, when the government augmented it to $4 per person. It remains $4 per person today, despite the billions in dollars of resource wealth extracted from signatory territories over the past more than 100 years.

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Scientists track invasive species discovered in Haldimand woodlot

By Brian Thompson
The Stratford Beacon Herald
March 13, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

ONTARIO — A pilot community-science project that utilizes a 3D-printed trap is helping scientists track the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) discovered in a Haldimand County woodlot. The tiny insect’s presence can be determined by the wool it creates to protect itself and its eggs. …“In Canada the bug was discovered in southern Nova Scotia in 2017 causing significant mortality to old-growth hemlock forests,” said Laura Thomas of NRC Science Communications. “A large infestation was found in the Niagara region in 2019 and since then there have been one or two new detections every year in Ontario.” …HWA spread through bird migration at the crawler stage when they stick to birds’ legs and feathers. …The 3D-printed traps are being deployed in woodlots containing hemlock trees … in higher-risk areas. …people who own or manage property with hemlock trees in Southwestern Ontario can join the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Monitoring Network at invasivespeciescentre.ca.

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Quebec questions its long-term timber harvest targets

FEA – Forest Economic Advisors
March 13, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Quebec had planned to nearly double its timber harvest by 2080, but the targets are now being called into question due to wildfires, climate disruption, and the province’s commitments to protect territory, Radio-Canada’s ICI Quebec reported. …Now, that plan is being called into question by Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Among the factors being considered, the MNRF points to the threat of forest fires and the province’s commitments to protected areas. Quebec wants to reach a goal of 30% protected areas on its territory by 2030. Furthermore, a recent MNRF study shows Quebec plantations are not meeting expected yields, Radio-Canada’s ICI Quebec reported. Due to recent forest fires, Quebec has already reduced its allowable cut for the 2023–28 period on the recommendation of the Office of the Chief Forester. Some 1.3 million hectares of forests burned in 2023, including 920,000 hectares subject to calculations of the allowable cut in public forests.

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Bruce Trail Conservancy preserves 463 acres on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula

By Bruce Trail Conservancy
Cision Newswire
March 14, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

DUNDAS, ON – The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is thrilled to announce the creation of the MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay, forever preserving 463 acres on the majestic Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. The creation of this nature reserve protects an ecological corridor containing dense interior forest, a declining habitat in Ontario. This environment is critical for area-sensitive bird species, such as American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler and Ovenbird, as well as mammals like the elusive Fisher and Black bear. This area also boasts cliff and talus features, which are uncommon in Ontario and provide sheltered habitats for many rare bats and snakes. The MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay will preserve these precious ecosystems, ensuring a natural haven where wildlife can thrive.

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Study shows lightly regulated logging threatens forests and wildlife

By Patrick Quinn
Canadian Press
March 12, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

As a new study declares major changes are needed to protect biodiversity and wildlife in Quebec’s boreal forests, the Cree and other First Nations are increasingly resistant to forestry activities in the region. In the scientific journal Land, researchers analyzed data over 40 years to show the cumulative impacts of commercial logging. Intact old-growth forests most crucial to caribou and other species were found to be dwindling to “a vast scatter of patches” across “a highly anthropically disturbed forest.” While the industry promotes its sustainable practices, plantation efforts focus on “commercially desirable” trees that maximize wood production. …At a “Future of the Forest” roundtable with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (MRNF) on February 15, Kebaowek Chief Lance Haymond alleged that MRNF consultations are “superficial” with decisions made unilaterally.

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Canada and Ontario commit to significant collaboration on shared nature conservation goals

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
March 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

TINY, ON — Canada and Ontario are working together to protect and conserve biodiversity, habitat, and species at risk in Ontario by expanding and establishing new protected areas. Protecting and conserving species at risk, and their habitat, requires collaboration. The Governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to protect environmentally sensitive land throughout the province. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment announced an investment of nearly $10 million over three years to support the expansion of protected areas in the province. The agreement will see the addition of new—or expansion of existing—protected areas, including provincial parks and conservation reserves across Ontario. Canada’s investment is made through the Enhanced Nature Legacy program and contributes to Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of land and water in Canada by 2030. 

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Fleming College Expands Forestry Programs

Kawartha 411 News
March 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

KAWARTHA LAKES, ONTARIO -Two new and unique Forestry programs at Fleming College are preparing students for careers in a growing industry. Fleming’s new Forestry Equipment Operator certificate is the only one of its kind offered in Ontario. This 15-week course provides students with introductory training in heavy forestry equipment operation, forestry principles and proper safety techniques. The course also focuses on preventive maintenance, minor repairs, forest fire preparedness, forestry operations and harvest systems. Applied learning is a big part of Fleming’s Forestry Techniques program. This two-semester course teaches the skills to conduct field work and forest management operations in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence and Boreal Forest regions. Students graduate ready to move directly into the workforce. Fleming has also reworked its Forestry Technician-Adaptive Practices program that includes a paid co-op, providing students with networking opportunities as they meet and work alongside professionals within the forestry industry.

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A five-year battle comes to an end in Ontario

By Fatima Syed
The Narwhal
March 9, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

In 2019, I broke the news that the Doug Ford government would weaken the role of the conservation authorities that have protected Ontario watersheds for nearly 80 years. …This tension played out for five years. In that time, conservation authorities tried to work with the government to address its concerns while still protecting watersheds, but Ontario kept reducing their powers. …As you’ll read in my latest story, Ontario’s minister of natural resources will soon be able to overrule conservation authority permit denials, or the conditions they put in place to protect the environment. Developers can ask the minister to review denials and permits, and challenge the studies used to justify those. It will be easier to build docks and other small structures, even in places prone to floods, and the distance between development and sensitive shorelines and wetlands has been reduced. These changes take effect April 1, but they aren’t a joke. 

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‘It’s scary’: Crew leader demands changes to wildland fire program

By Alex Flood
The Soo Today
March 10, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

The ministry’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services program has begun hiring crews in Ontario for this year’s upcoming fight against forest fires – nearly one month before the season technically begins. …But as recruitment and retention issues remain atop the biggest concerns for OPSEU – the union which represents fire rangers – veteran workers within the program don’t feel they’re prepared to adequately defend communities from inevitable blazes. …Former employees of the program joined Noah Freedman, a ninth-year forest fire crew leader, along with OPSEU president JP Hornick at Queen’s Park last week to share their disappointment with the “Ford government’s disregard for forest firefighters’ health and safety.” Their frustrations include inadequate health and safety training, lack of compensation for work-related illnesses and diseases, and “ineffective” protection methods like using bandanas and dry cloths to cover their mouths while in action. 

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Quebec plans to set aside Mount Kaaikop territory as wildlife reserve

By Stephane Blais
Canadian Press in CTV News Montreal
March 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Quebec plans to turn the Mount Kaaikop territory into a reserve after a group of residents spent a decade in relentless pursuit of protecting the territory at the junction of the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions. The government’s announcement on Wednesday is the culmination of years of struggle to protect Mount Kaaikop for Claude Samson, president of the Mount Kaaikop Conservation Coalition. “We’re entering our 12th year of activism to preserve this territory,” Samson told The Canadian Press. In 2014, his citizens’ group won its case in Superior Court when a judge ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources to suspend its logging authorization. Since that ruling, the coalition says it has invested over $85,000, mostly in studies, to document the ecological value of the area, with a view to eventually turning it into a conservation project.

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Quebec forest fire agency issues first warning of the season — its earliest ever

By Olivia O’Malley
CTV News
March 8, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

QUEBEC — With the snow melting and the ground beginning to dry, Quebec’s forest fire protection agency is already on watch, issuing its first warnings on Thursday. The province experienced the worst forest fire season in 2023, and authorities fear another major wildfire season. The SOPFEU (Societe de protection des forets contre le feu) danger warnings were the earliest the agency has issued them in its history. “It’s very, very, early,” said Isabelle Gariepy. While spring is not peak wildfire season, SOPFEU said it can often be more dangerous than summer. …This year, SOPFEU is anticipating another busy season. “We know that we have an early spring, so usually when we have already spring, the amount of fire is bigger,” said Gariepy. Meteorologists say above-normal temperatures over the winter are expected to continue through the spring.

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Union says region still short on forest firefighters

By Randy Thoms
Kenora Online
March 7, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

The official start of the forest fire season in northwestern Ontario is less than a month away, but the union representing forest firefighters says the region does not have the personnel it needs. According to the Ontario Public Services Employees Union, the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Fort Frances fire district has six of ten fire crews in place. There are six of ten in the Kenora fire district, seven of 15 ready in the Red Lake fire district, and four of 18 set in the Geraldton fire district. Noah Freedman, a crew leader and a local vice president, attributes it to the ongoing health concerns being raised about the job. “People are definitely interested in the job. The problem is who wants to soak in carcinogenic emissions without being recognized that those carcinogens can give you cancer,” says Freedman.

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Borealization of New Brunswick’s forest revisited

By Lawrence Wuest, Ecologist
Coop Media New Brunswick
March 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

In 2018, a forestry industry/academia dustup occurred after a CBC interview with University of New Brunswick forestry professor Tom Beckley. Beckley referred to “borealization” of New Brunswick’s forests caused by industrial forestry practices, some private woodlot management practices, and government policy. …In light of the recent announcement of a new provincial forest management strategy by Mike Holland, Minister of Natural Resources, this history of debate about “borealization” is particularly poignant. …Given that climate change indicates a growing affinity of New Brunswick forests to the mixed-wood Acadian forest type, and given that it has been documented that hardwood forests provide a more proficient foundation for turning the forest resource into employment via expanded wood processing, it behooves the New Brunswick government to reverse the trend toward borealization, to embrace a more ecologically driven forest strategy and to become more transparent in its annual “State of the Forest” reporting.

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Corner Brook paper mill asking to cut timber near city water supply

By Arlette Lazarenko
CBC News
March 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper has asked for permission to cut wood near the city’s water supply, prompting the mayor to assure the public that such requests undergo a stringent approval process. Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons says requests to perform work near the watershed go through the city’s watershed management committee. …There are different zones that make up the 11,000-hectare lake. Some zones are strictly forbidden to access, and some are more accessible but governed by safety protocols. Those guidelines are available to the public online, the mayor says. The watershed management committee — which is composed of representatives from council, environment, energy and mining industries, residents of Corner Brook and nearby towns that use the water supply, and the province — is reviewing the request to ensure it follows protocol.

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Ontario bracing for climate change to ‘express itself’ in ‘new and unique’ ways

By Isaac Callan and Colin D’Mello
Global News
March 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

An unusually warm start to the year and less snowfall than normal have Ontario preparing for a potentially difficult summer as climate change shows itself in “new and unique” ways across the province. At the end of February, the Ontario government warned people to put away bird feeders and protect outdoor food waste as black bears began coming out of hibernation early. …The warm weather that marked much of the start of 2024 is set to continue, according to Global News’ Chief Meteorologist Anthony Farnell. …The warm weather comes after a difficult 2023 firefighting season, marked by smoke that drifted thousands of kilometres across North America, reaching cities in the United States. Wildland forest firefighters, who have struggled for years with recruitment and retention issues, are in the midst of a campaign calling for concessions from the Ontario government.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Acadian Timber Announces Sale of Voluntary Carbon Credits

By Acadian Timber Corp.
Globe Newswire
March 20, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick — Acadian Timber announced an agreement for the sale of voluntary carbon credits relating to the first reporting period of its ongoing carbon credit project. “We are pleased with the agreement to sell nearly all of our currently registered carbon credits,” commented Adam Sheparski, CEO. …The credits are expected to be delivered prior to the end of the third quarter of 2024, generating net proceeds to Acadian of approximately U.S.$14 million. Acadian’s project is registered on the American Carbon Registry and requires balancing harvest and growth, long-term planning, periodic carbon inventory verification, and maintenance of the Acadian’s sustainable forestry certification. …The project is expected to generate an additional 1.1 million credits over the remainder of the 10-year crediting period. Acadian Timber is one of the largest timberland owners in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern U.S. and has a total of approximately 2.4 million acres of land under management.

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Dal engineer explores how agriculture and forestry by‑products could accelerate our shift to clean energy

By Stephanie Rogers
Dalhousie University
March 21, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

Sonil Nanda

The only abundant source of renewable carbon is biomass or organic residue from agricultural farms, forests, livestock farming and municipal solid waste. Using it more efficiently can catalyze a shift to a low-carbon economy. To achieve the net-zero emission targets… it is imperative to accelerate innovation and market deployment of clean energy, biofuels, and carbon offsetting solutions. …Dr. Nanda was recently awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Clean Agricultural Technology and Energy to advance his research program, which aims to demonstrate how advanced thermochemical, hydrothermal, and biological methods can be used to convert the by-products of agriculture and forestry into high-value biofuels. By creating a circular economy for fuel production, his work promises to develop scalable and commercially viable solutions for clean energy and decarbonization that leverage currently available infrastructures for fuel production and distribution.

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Brian Mulroney ‘got’ the issue of climate change, long before others did

By Donald Wright political science professor, University of New Brunswick
The Ottawa Citizen
March 18, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney, whose state funeral is Saturday, is rightly remembered for his leadership on acid rain, yet he also took climate change seriously. Put simply, he got it when most world leaders didn’t, and some still don’t, or at least one doesn’t. Indeed, Mulroney was one of only two heads of state to attend the first World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere. Held in Toronto in June 1988, the conference brought together more than 300 scientists and policymakers from over 40 countries. That the conference — later dubbed the “Woodstock of climatology” — was hosted by Canada was Mulroney’s doing. It reflected his environmentalism and confirmed his belief in Canada as a middle power and helpful fixer on the global stage. Welcoming delegates to the World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere, Mulroney didn’t mince his words. It “is not just about the atmosphere, it is not just about the environment, it is about the future of the planet itself.”

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CHAR Tech and Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. Sign Partnership Agreement

By CHAR Technologies Ltd.
Globe Newswire
March 13, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

THUNDER BAY, Ontario — CHAR Technologies, a leader in sustainable energy solutions, is proud to announce the formalization of a partnership agreement with the First Nations co-operative Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc., marking a significant milestone for both parties as they advance forestry sustainability programs in Northern Ontario. The partnership, Lake Nipigon Forest Sustainable Energy Solutions, builds upon the foundation laid by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in April 2023. LNFMI is a forest management co-operative comprised of four local First Nation Communities who hold the Sustainable Forest License on the Lake Nipigon Forest… The Partnership will continue advancing development of the jointly-owned facility modeled after CHAR Tech’s flagship facility in Thorold, Ontario. The project is projected to annually produce 500,000 gigajoules of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and 10,000 tonnes of biocarbon and begin operations by 2026.

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Government of Canada invests $15 Million in Clean Fuels Projects in the Niagara Region and Across Canada

By Natural Resources Canada
Cision Newswire
March 8, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

THOROLD, ON — The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a federal investment of $15 million to support six clean fuels projects across Canada, including $10 million for two projects in the Niagara region. The investments include: Over $5 million to CHAR Technologies to support FEED studies that will enable CHAR to replicate their first-of-its-kind woody-biomass-to-renewable-energy facility in Thorold, Ontario in other parts of Canada. Supported by an existing investment of $5 million from NRCan, CHAR is finalizing its construction of its clean fuels production facility in Thorold, which will convert woody biomass to renewable energy like RNG and biocarbon. The new NRCan funding will enable CHAR Technologies to replicate this work at four new facilities in Kirkland Lake, Ontario; Drayton Valley, Alberta; and Saint Félicien and La Salle, Quebec and create a distributed network of low-carbon fuels production facilities across three provinces in Canada.

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