Sept. 27, 2016 - Thousands of loggers and manufacturers converged in Maple Ridge, B.C., for three days last week for DEMO International 2016, the thirteenth edition of the show, held every four years by the Canadian Woodlands Forum.
Sept. 27, 2016 - In addition to all the hard data we asked Canadian loggers for in the CFI 2016 Contractor Survey, we gave them the opportunity to add their own voice. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say. You will see common threads around financial rewards, mill-logger relationships, and frustration.“By the time you figure out how to get ahead in this game, the game changes.”“The relationship between contractors and major licensees seems to be one of confrontation and disrespect. I am not sure how we got to this point, but it has poisoned the work environment right down to the equipment operator level.”“Mental health is an issue that needs more attention.”“The industry needs to provide steady employment and security to compete with other industries – there is no new blood coming into the industry, as capital costs are high, as well as the risks.”“It is well past time that the licensee-contractor relationship returned to a partnership rather than an adversarial nature. Respect for good work has gone – cheaper is what counts. The effort to look after the timber like it is your own seems to go unnoticed.”“Decisions are often made by government that have major impacts on our small businesses but without our input or any apparent consideration. The large companies are heard, but the contractors are not.”“In Alberta the consolidation of fibre supply around a few mills has removed any real competition.”“The adversarial relationship between contractors and licensees is a major distraction for both parties. It is preventing both from collectively working on improving efficiencies in the supply chain. Failure to change this will continue the trend of the coastal forest industry becoming increasingly uncompetitive in the global market.”“I would like to see more common sense and practicality when coming up with work safety regulations. There are too many changes without input from those people doing the work.”“Expenses keep going up, but the price we get for our wood is stagnant.”“Part of my profit comes from outside the forest sector, and therefor gives a small imbalance. The realistic profit from my forestry work is 2 to 3% in a good year.”“We need a voice for loggers or truckers in Alberta. Mills deal directly with the Alberta Forest Products Association to address their issues, but there is no voice for loggers.”“It is absolutely critical to improve the image of our industry among the general population, and that includes potential workers.”“The relationship between the logging contractor workforce and the sawmills needs to improve. This appears to be an issue across the board in BC. All the mills are squeezing the contractor force too tight, they need to loosen the grip and allow contractors some breathing room and financial reward.”“The bottom line is that contractor profits are completely dictated by the sawmills. It has been the same problem in this industry for 40 years. Mills want to transfer all the risk to the contractor, but still dictate the profits they can make. We are no longer independent contractors.”“Major licensees in BC were in real financial distress 5 to 10 years ago. They asked contractors for help by holding rates and being more flexible with working conditions. Today they are much healthier financially, but the system has not improved to reflect that. Rates are still too low and small, short-term contracts allow for no stability or investment.”“A major issue is how the forest is managed locally, and a lack of response for questions in the woods, like water crossings, block issues, and road concerns. That, and a lack of competition for fibre means we have to accept a take-it-or-leave-it price from the mill, with no thought to poor wood quality, slow cycle times for trucks, or poor roadbuilding conditions.”“Major licensees seem oblivious to the fact that their contractor force is aging and many are considering liquidation as the only practical exit strategy.”“Mills now require financials from their loggers. How is that an independent contractor?”“The cost of safety has gone through the roof. With more than one safety entity over-seeing our industry, the time taken for safety audits and supervision is a make or break for a number of small contractors.”“At this point government policy and the licensee approach needs to be changed to support a financially viable and sustainable contractor sector.”“Maybe you should have asked ‘Do we think the contractor can survive with such a slim profit margin’? That is the number one concern for contractors around here, and the answer is a resounding no! There is not enough money in the industry for my sons to have stability for any number of years.”“The consolidation of tenure in Coastal British Columbia is not benefiting the industry’s competitiveness, is hindering investment in secondary manufacturing, does not benefit taxpayers, and is hurting local resource-dependent communities.”Missed Survey Snippet #14 on mill diversification and consolidation? See it here.Find more news for the CFI 2016 Contractor Survey on www.woodbusiness.ca and in our enews in the coming months, with a final digital report in October and a summary in the Sept/Oct print issue. Be sure to subscribe to the enews to get every item.__________________________________________________________________________The survey was conducted in April 2016 for Canadian Forest Industries by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 230 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 50 per cent in Western Canada, 25 percent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within BC responses were almost evenly split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins, Stihl, Tigercat and Ponsse. Also made possible with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
Sept. 27, 2016 - The Nature Conservancy of Canada has finalized protection of 395 hectares (976 acres) of coastal properties in southwestern Nova Scotia in a region designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve because of its rich diversity of species.
Sept. 26, 2016 - Members of the Alberta Forest Products Association planted 74 million tree seedlings in Alberta’s forests during the 2016 planting season. This means that for every Albertan, 18 trees were planted this spring and summer. The industry replants an average of 2 trees for every 1 that is harvested."Our industry plants trees because we want a sustainable and green future for Alberta," said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker. “We know that healthy forests are one of the best defenses against climate change. Planting trees also fulfills our commitment and obligation to the people of Alberta to regenerate all forests that we harvest. We take this commitment very seriously.”The Honourable Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, emphasized the importance of reforestation. “Our forests are essential to the quality of life in Alberta. They support a healthy ecosystem, thousands of well-paying jobs, and pristine recreational spaces. Government and the forest sector work closely together to maintain our forests for future generations.”Planting trees supports renewable forests and provides jobs for Albertans. Tree planters, who are often youth and post-secondary students, worked 37,000 person days on replanting operations. Tree planting also creates jobs in support sectors like tree nursery employees and local businesses that supply goods and services to planting operations.- See more at: http://www.pulpandpapercanada.com/forestry/alberta-firms-planted-74-million-trees-in-2016-1100000392#sthash.9QAAguOu.dpuf
Sept. 26, 2016 - Mobile computers and tablets manufacturer Handheld Group has announced a major upgrade to its popular Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer with new and improved screen technology and improved GPS/GLONASS functionality.
Sept. 20, 2016 - We've compiled a list of seven not-to-miss booths at DEMO International this week. Also check out the full pocket guide and map to make the most of your trip. 
Sept. 19, 2016 - It’s a mix of good and bad news for Canadian loggers as far as diversity of markets for the logs they produce. Almost half (48%) report that there are four or more mills competing or sourcing fibre in their region. Only 31 per cent say that there are just one or two mills competing in their region. On the other hand, it appears that “competing” is a relative term, and depends on where the contractors operate and how large they are. Over half (56%) report that they supply just one or two mills with products, and seventy per cent of the largest contractors ($5M+ range) say that is the case.Regional variationsThe number of mills competing or being supplied by loggers also depends greatly on the region in which they operate. The potential diversity of clients is highest on the BC Coast and Ontario, the only regions where the majority of contractors report that four or more mills compete for fibre (63% and 71% respectively). Less diverse are the BC Interior (44% have four or mills competing), Atlantic Canada (44%), Quebec (42%) and Alberta (30%).Within these provinces are pockets of very restricted competition, with 40 per cent of Albertan loggers reporting that only one mill competes for the fibre in their region. Twenty-five per cent of loggers in Atlantic Canada say the same thing, followed by 19 per cent on the BC Coast.Yet when it comes to how many mills these loggers actually sell to, again a different picture emerges. Three-quarters of loggers in the BC Interior report that they sell to only one of two mills (58% sell to just one). Albertan loggers remain restricted, with 60 per cent selling to one or two mills (50% sell to only one), followed closely by the BC Coast where 56 per cent sell to only one or two mills, and Quebec at 48 per cent.By contrast, loggers in Atlantic Canada (40% sell to two or fewer) and Ontario (31%) appear to have more options.As far as loggers having a variety of options for their products, east is generally better. A third of Atlantic loggers and 38 per cent of Ontario loggers sell to four or more mills, in part a reflection of species variations in those regions. That is followed by Quebec where over a quarter (26%) sell to four or more. That drops to 21 per cent on the BC Coast and 14 per cent in the Interior who claim the same. No Alberta respondents claimed to be selling to four or more mills.Look for the 15th and final Survey Snippet next week when CFI shares some of the loggers’ comments and suggestions.Missed Survey Snippet #13 on what loggers like about their role and what needs to be improved? See it here.Find more news for the CFI 2016 Contractor Survey on www.woodbusiness.ca and in our enews in the coming months, with a final digital report in October and a summary in the Sept/Oct print issue. Be sure to subscribe to the enews to get every item.__________________________________________________________________________The survey was conducted in April 2016 for Canadian Forest Industries by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 230 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 50 per cent in Western Canada, 25 percent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within BC responses were almost evenly split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins, Stihl, Tigercat and Ponsse. Also made possible with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
Sept. 16, 2016 - Fleming’s Trucking and Logging from the Sault Ste. Marie region in Ontario has once again recieved the top award from Workplace Safety North (WSN), Ontario’s occupational health and safety association for forestry, mining, and paper, printing, and converting sectors.“The Workplace Excellence Awards shine the spotlight on the health and safety achievements of our members in mining, forestry, and paper, printing and converting businesses, as well as small businesses in northern Ontario with fewer than 50 employees,” says Candys Ballanger-Michaud, WSN President and Chief Executive Officer. “All submitted assessments are automatically considered for the President’s Award, and scoring is based on the self-assessment in combination with statistical performance over the past two calendar years.”“We’re proud to welcome returning winners: Fleming’s Trucking and Logging from the Sault Ste. Marie region, and ACCO Brands Canada in Mississauga – excellent achievements in health and safety!”Top scoring firms in Ontario forestry, mining, paper, printing, and converting, and small business will be officially presented with the President’s Award at the WSN annual general meeting on Sept. 28 in North Bay.“It’s important to recognize the efforts of workplaces that make health and safety a priority,” says Ballanger-Michaud. “They lead the way and set the tone for their sectors. That’s why these businesses deserve special recognition, for demonstrating their strong commitment to ensuring that every worker goes home safe and healthy each day. The award winners are positive role models for Ontario businesses to make workplace health and safety an integral part of every job and every work day.“Congratulations to all winners for your commitment to workplace health and safety. I’m honoured to recognize your dedication to workers’ well-being, and to creating and maintaining healthy and safe workplaces – well done!”President’s Award Winners Forestry – Fleming’s Trucking and Logging Inc., Hilton Beach Mining – Cementation Canada Inc., North Bay Paper, Printing and Converting – ACCO Brands Canada Inc., Mississauga Small firms (less than 50 full-time employees) – Fleming’s Trucking and Logging Inc., Hilton Beach Earlier this year, 22 companies received a Workplace Excellence Award, recognizing workplace excellence in health and safety.Workplace Excellence Award Winners ACCO Brands Canada Inc., Mississauga Alamos Gold Young-Davidson Mine, Matachewan Alex MacIntyre & Associates Limited, Kirkland Lake Brinkman & Associates Reforestation Ltd., New Westminster Cementation Canada Inc., North Bay DeBeers Canada Inc., Timmins Domtar Inc., Dryden Fleming's Trucking and Logging Inc., Hilton Beach Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, South Porcupine J.S. Redpath Limited, North Bay Kidd Operations - a Glencore Company, Timmins Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., Kirkland Lake + winner of International Mines Rescue Competition 2016 Label Supply, Whitby Lac Des Iles Mine Ltd., Thunder Bay Lake Shore Gold Corp., Timmins Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc., North Bay SCR Mining and Tunnelling L.P., Val Caron Shuniah Forest Products Limited, Thunder Bay Technica Mining, Lively Wallbridge Mining Company Limited, LIvely Wellington Wood Products (1972) Ltd., Mount Forest Weyerhaeuser, Kenora Learn more at www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/
Sept. 12, 2016 - When it comes to aspects of the contractor role that Canadian loggers enjoy, company size and location matter a good deal. The size of your company determines your likely role, with smaller contractors tending to be more hands on.
Sept. 8, 2016 - Barko Hydraulics, LLC announces the addition of Pioneer Equipment Company to its dealer network for all forestry equipment product lines. Located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Pioneer will carry Barko equipment for Wisconsin and Michigan.“Pioneer Equipment is a terrific addition to the Barko team,” said Alecia McKay-Jones, Dealer Development Manager for Barko. “Pioneer has an outstanding reputation for delivering quality products and providing timely service, and we expect these assets will serve our partnership well as they work to expand Barko’s presence in the Great Lakes region.”Pioneer Equipment Company was founded in 2008 by co-owners Dan Linsmeyer and Steve Ory. Drawing on their vast industry experience, the owners built a new sales and full-service maintenance facility in 2009 and have gradually expanded their product offering, increased support staff, and added service trucks. Pioneer will carry the full line of Barko forestry products, including harvesters and feller bunchers, loaders, industrial wheeled tractors, and biomass chippers.“We are looking forward to teaming up with Barko,” said Ory. “We’re already seeing a lot of interest in the mid-size tracked harvesters and feller bunchers, which will nicely complement our larger harvesting machines. With our expertise and Barko’s technical support, we’re hoping to sell a lot of product and supply superior service to all existing and new customers.”Forestry professionals in Pioneer’s territory can visit Barko and Pioneer Equipment Company at booths 1016-1030 at the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo, September 8-10 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.Barko Hydraulics, LLC is part of the Pettibone, LLC Heavy Equipment Group. Founded in 1963, Barko has consistently led the industry with innovative solutions to the forestry, scrap and construction markets, including industrial tractors, crawlers, handlers, loaders, forwarders, chippers and harvesters. For more information, call 715-395-6700 or visit www.barko.com 
Sept. 7, 2016 - Chevron Products Company, a Chevron U.S.A. Inc. division, and Noria, a provider of lubrication consulting services and training, today announced the launch of the ISOCLEAN Calculator, a first of its kind tool that helps companies evaluate possible equipment life based on lubricant cleanliness levels. The easy-to-use tool was developed by Chevron Products Company and is powered by Noria’s Life Extension tables to help calculate the levels of particle contamination that are typical for each user’s specific situation.
Sept. 7, 2016 - The official pocket guide and map for DEMO International is now available online for showgoers to maximize their time on site. See who's showing what and where by clicking on the link below, and map out your trip. 
Few things are as important to the successful operation of a sawmill as optimizing one’s fibre supply.
Sept. 27, 2016 - Tolko says it has signed a letter of intent with a potential buyer for its operations in The Pas, Man.
Sept. 23, 2016 - Tolko Industries says it will be closing its Nicola Valley operation in Merritt, B.C., on Dec. 16 due to lack of available fibre.Brad Thorlakson, president and CEO of Tolko, said in a news release the decision was difficult, but that the company is focused on decisions that will ensure its long-term success. Tolko bought the mill in 1987.Read the full story by CFJC Today.
Sept. 16, 2016 - Did you miss out on the inaugural OptiSaw Mill Optimization & Automation Forum last year? Well, have no fear. OptiSaw is back in Montreal on November 4!
Sept. 14, 2016 - Opticom Technologies Inc., Vancouver, has advanced CC02 HD-TVI sawmill camera technology specifically for harsh sawmill environments.
Sept. 14, 2016 - LMI Technologies (LMI), a leading developer of 3D scanning and inspection solutions, is pleased to announce the official launch of the Gocator 2400 Series, the latest addition to the Gocator series of smart, all-in-one 3D line profilers.
Sept. 8, 2016 - The mayor of The Pas has offered to drop the property tax, business tax and education tax on Tolko's operations in the town for three years if the company agrees to delay their closure. 
Sept. 7, 2016 - LMI Technologies, a leading developer of 3D scanning and inspection solutions, is pleased to announce the official launch of Gocator Firmware 4.5. The release has several features that greatly expand Gocator’s inspection capabilities including Gocator Development Kit (GDK), Gocator Accelerator, and Gocator Emulator.
Sept. 6, 2016 - The Olav Haavaldsrud Timber Company sawmill in Hornepayne, Ont., has a new owner who plans to restart it in January.
Sept. 6, 2016 - SiCam Systems Corporation has signed an asset purchase agreement with MicroRidge Systems Inc., a leading provider of measurement collection equipment solutions.SiCam has purchased the rights to the LSIZE brand name as well as the entirety of MicroRidge’s interests in the LSIZE product. LSIZE is the industry standard for caliper based quality control and provides customers with the ability to measure and analyze machine performance.“The addition of the LSIZE Brand and intellectual property to SiCam expands our capability to further our goal of providing quality control and verification systems to every area of a facility.” said Nick Barrett, President, SiCam Systems. "We plan to build off of the work MicroRidge has done and enhance LSIZE with new innovative technology and fully integrate it with our SiCam RealTime product line.”SiCam Systems is a privately owned business with 26 years of experience providing complete mill wide quality control solutions. SiCam Systems has been providing the wood products industry with innovative technology to solve challenging quality control applications. We are the only company in the wood products industry that is dedicated to providing purpose built quality control systems. Learn more at www.sicamsystems.com
Sept. 1, 2016 - An electrical issue with a large air compressor at Downie Timber in Revelstoke, B.C., sparked a fire at the sawmill Tuesday night that was quickly contained by sprinklers. 
Aug. 26, 2016 - A group representing 30 First Nations in northern Manitoba wants to re-open discussions with the province about First Nation ownership of Tolko's The Pas mill.
Sept. 27, 2016 - Mauro Calabrese, a planning forester for West Fraser in Williams Lake, contributed an article about Williams Lake Plywood for the Williams Lake Tribune's National Forest Week Celebrating Forestry 2016 supplement."Williams Lake Plywood has been operating at its Williams Lake location since 1953, but it didn’t start out as a West Fraser owned plant and it didn’t always make plywood.  It was originally known as “All Fir”- finishing rough lumber from the surrounding bush mills."Read the full story.
Sept. 15, 2016 - You won’t read about it in the sports section any time soon, but a number of Canadian cities are competing in a high-stakes global race that will directly affect more than 200 of our communities.
Sept. 2, 2016 - Columbia Forest Products’ veneer plant, Rutherglen mill, east of North Bay, Ont., is ramping up towards full-production after restarting operations in April. 
Aug. 12, 2016 - Higher demand and strong sales to construction accounts are reasons behind Hardwoods Distribution Inc.'s increase in sales in the second quarter. The company reports that total sales increased by 9.5% to $157.0 million from $143.4 million in Q2 2015. Hardwoods' U.S. operations increased sales by 3.7% to $95.5 million (USD).
July 26, 2016 - Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million for the second quarter of 2016 versus $19 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $61 million in the first quarter of 2016. The improvement versus both comparative periods is primarily due to higher North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices and shipment volumes. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $85 million in the quarter compared to $11 million in the same quarter last year and $53 million in the prior quarter. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million compared to $10 million in both comparative quarters. "Our financial and operational performance continued to improve in the second quarter. Our Adjusted EBITDA has increased for six consecutive quarters and so far in 2016, we have generated $120 million more in Adjusted EBITDA than this time last year. Further, our Adjusted earnings were more than double the first quarter," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's President and CEO. "Our North American mills produced at 96% of stated capacity during the quarter. The benchmark OSB spot price is currently up 44% since its February low, the highest level in over three years. We see further upside to our performance as recovering US housing starts, particularly single-family, continue to drive increasing OSB demand." "In Europe, our panel business delivered a 10% improvement in Adjusted EBITDA. The underlying fundamentals of our European business remain favourable in spite of the political uncertainty following the Brexit referendum. The UK is a net importer of panelboard and as a primarily UK-based producer, the recent pressure on the Pound Sterling makes Norbord's domestically-produced panels more competitive than imports. Our modernization project at Inverness will lower our manufacturing costs and is underpinned by growing European OSB demand, largely driven by increasing substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood." Market Conditions In North America, year-to-date US housing starts were up 7% versus the same period last year. Single-family starts, which use approximately three times more OSB than multi-family, increased by 13% and single-family permits were 10% higher. The seasonally-adjusted annualized rate was 1.19 million in June. The consensus forecast from US housing economists is for approximately 1.20 million starts in 2016, which suggests an 8% year-over-year improvement. Second quarter North American benchmark OSB prices increased significantly from both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter as new home construction activity and OSB demand continue to improve. OSB prices increased rapidly during the month of May before pulling back in June, and the North Central benchmark price finished the quarter at $275 per thousand square feet (Msf) (7/16-inch basis). The North Central benchmark price averaged $264 per Msf for the quarter, compared to $193 per Msf in the same quarter last year and $226 per Msf in the previous quarter. In the South East region, where approximately 35% of Norbord's North American OSB capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $245 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $174 in the same quarter last year and $215 in the prior quarter. In the Western Canada region, where approximately 30% of Norbord's North American capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $242 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $152 in the same quarter last year and $191 in the previous quarter. In Europe, Norbord's core panel markets in the UK and Germany continued to experience strong demand growth in the quarter. Second quarter average panel prices were in line with both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter. OSB prices were stable in the UK and continued to rise on the continent, resulting in average prices that were 4% higher year-over-year and 2% higher quarter-over-quarter. Medium density fibreboard (MDF) and particleboard prices were 5% lower year-over-year due to increased import competition when the Pound Sterling was stronger earlier this year, but were in line with the previous quarter. Performance Norbord's North American OSB shipments increased 8% year-over-year and 11% quarter-over-quarter due to fewer maintenance and market shuts and improved mill productivity. Norbord's operating North American OSB mills produced at 96% of stated capacity (excluding the two curtailed mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d'Or, Quebec), up from 89% in the same quarter last year and 92% in the prior quarter. Capacity utilization increased versus both comparative periods due to improved productivity, as well as fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments, partially offset by approximately three weeks of lost production due to the fire at the High Level, Alberta mill. Three of Norbord's North American mills achieved quarterly production records. Norbord's North American OSB cash production costs per unit (before mill profit share) decreased 6% year-to-date due to improved productivity, lower resin prices, improved raw material usages, fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments and the weaker Canadian dollar, which were partially offset by higher supplies and maintenance costs. In Europe, Norbord's shipments were 5% higher than the same quarter last year and 6% higher than the prior quarter. The European mills produced at 104% of stated capacity in the quarter compared to 101% in the same quarter last year and 100% in the prior quarter due to improved productivity. One of Norbord's European mills achieved a quarterly production record. Norbord's mills delivered Margin Improvement Program (MIP) gains of $14 million year-to-date from improved productivity and lower raw material use as well as merger synergies and returns on recent capital investments. MIP gains are measured relative to the prior year at constant prices and exchange rates. In the 15 months since the merger with Ainsworth, Norbord has captured $32 million in cumulative merger synergies ($39 million annualized), or 87% of the $45 million total commitment. The Company remains on track to deliver its full $45 million target by the end of 2016. In addition to these synergies, the merger has enabled the Company to avoid significant cash outlays it would otherwise have had to incur. Norbord estimates this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring formerly idle assets, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. In January 2016, the Board of Directors approved a $135 million investment over the next two years to modernize and expand the Company's Inverness, Scotland OSB mill. During the quarter, on-site construction work commenced and work began to move the unused second press from the Grande Prairie, Alberta mill to Inverness. Capital investments year-to-date were $34 million (including $6 million related to the Inverness project) compared to $28 million in the first half of last year. Norbord's 2016 regular capital expenditure budget is $75 million. In addition, the Company expects to spend $45 million on the Inverness project in 2016. Operating working capital was $163 million at quarter-end compared to $151 million at the end of the same quarter last year and $172 million at the end of the prior quarter. Working capital increased year-over-year primarily due to the impact of higher North American OSB prices on accounts receivable and the insurance receivable related to the High Level fire. Working capital decreased quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the seasonal inventory drawdown at the northern mills and the loss of log inventory due to the High Level fire (which is covered by insurance).   Due to improved Adjusted EBITDA, cash generated from operations for the first six months of 2016 was $86 million compared with $55 million of cash consumed in the same period of 2015. At quarter-end, Norbord's unutilized liquidity improved by $50 million to $374 million and consisted of $12 million in cash and $362 million in unused credit lines. During the quarter, the Company repaid $55 million that had previously been drawn under the accounts receivable securitization program. In June 2016, the Company amended its bank lines to reset the tangible net worth covenant to $500 million and extend the maturity date for $225 million of the total aggregate commitment to May 2019. The remaining $20 million commitment matures in May 2018.  The Company's tangible net worth was $799 million and net debt to total capitalization on a book basis was 48%. Both ratios remain well within bank covenants. Norbord has $200 million senior secured notes that are due in February 2017, which the Company intends to permanently repay at maturity using cash on hand, cash generated from operations and if necessary, by drawing upon the accounts receivable securitization program. Quarterly highlights On the back of strong North American pricing, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million during the quarter (Adjusted earnings per share of $0.49) – over 50% more than the previous quarter. Across our global operations, manufacturing costs declined 4% year-over-year and we had record quarterly production at four mills. Our improved mill productivity enabled a 7% increase in sales volume year-over-year, consistent with the demand increases we had been forecasting. While still a small part of our revenues, sales to Asia are also improving, with exports to both Japan and China up over last year. We continue to make progress on the synergies from our merger with Ainsworth. To-date we have captured $39 million (annualized) in cumulative synergies, or 87% of our overall $45 million target. In addition to these synergies, our now larger post-merger operations have enabled us to avoid significant cash outlays we would otherwise have had to incur. We estimate this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring and putting formerly idle assets to productive use, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. While we continue to allocate capital toward optimizing and growing our operations, we are also reducing our debt. During the second quarter we completely paid down our $55 million in accounts receivable securitization drawings, improving our liquidity position by more than $50 million to $374 million. Deleveraging remains a priority and we are committed to using our free cash flow and this liquidity to pay down our $200 million 2017 bonds when they come due next February. Well positioned to navigate political uncertainty in the UK While Norbord, like all companies active in the UK, is affected by the prevailing political environment following the referendum result, the underlying fundamentals and market dynamics that relate to our specific industry continue to be favourable. For context, our European business represents 24% of our shipments volume (of which about two-thirds remains in the UK) and contributed 12% of our Adjusted EBITDA this quarter. We are are well positioned to navigate the current economic uncertainties and this perspective is founded on two principal facts. First, OSB represents only about 45% of structural panel consumption in Europe compared to over 65% in North America. Substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood has been driving double-digit demand growth for the past several years. Since the vast majority of competing plywood is imported from outside Europe and denominated in US dollars, it has become 10% more expensive in the UK market since the referendum. Further, the UK is a net importer of OSB, MDF and particleboard, and Norbord is the largest domestic panelboard producer. The Pound Sterling has also devalued almost 10% versus the Euro, making our domestically produced panels even more appealing for UK customers. Second, there is a chronic undersupply of new housing in the UK. The UK government acknowledges that the number of new homes built annually needs to double from its current level. Over the past few years, a number of measures have been legislated to debottleneck the cumbersome planning process. This new supply may not be built out as quickly now as before the referendum, but the fact remains there is a housing gap that needs to be filled. While new home construction drives only about one-quarter of UK OSB demand, this continues to represent a significant opportunity for Norbord. We are confident the underlying fundamentals are positive and that we have the right strategy and operational approach in place. Our Inverness project is a unique and low-risk way to further strengthen our European business. Our $135 million project budget translates to $190 per thousand square feet of capacity. This is half the cost of greenfield and represents the new low water mark for capacity cost in our industry. The referendum has not changed the project economics and the benefits will be driven by significantly lowering the mill's manufacturing cost through the installation of larger scale, modern press technology that has been sitting idle at our Grande Prairie, Alberta mill. The opportunity is further underpinned by the site's access to a growing and low-cost wood basket in Europe.  
July 25, 2016 - Toronto-based Norbord Inc. is positioned to profit from the rise in the OSB benchmark price after years of carefully building its presence in the OSB space. According to a feature in the Globe & Mail, North American OSB prices in the first quarter of 2016 were 17 per cent higher than last year. That, and Norbord's acquisitions in the OSB sector position it for solid growth and profitability after years of challenges.Chris Damas, an analyst and editor of BCMI Report, says the benchmark OSB price is now in the range of $306 (U.S.) per thousand square feet, well above the $229 15-year average.Once a diversified forestry company, Norbord shed assets over the years to focus on OSB. Now boasting annual sales in the $1.5-billion range and a market capitalization of about $2.4-billion (Canadian), it bills itself as the world’s largest producer of OSB. Read the complete feature here.
June 28, 2016 – The U.S. Court of International Trade released its public decision upholding the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) core findings that Chinese and domestic plywood differ so significantly the ITC was correct to conclude imports from China had no impact on the domestic industry’s competitive and financial position.
June 23, 2016 – Weyerhaeuser plans to close its lumber and plywood mill in Columbia Falls, Montana, this summer due to a “chronic” log shortage.
June 22, 2016 – Demand for cost-effective and environmentally friendly wood products is expected to drive the global engineered wood products market through 2020, according to a new forecast from Technavio.
June 6, 2016 - Back in the fall, Columbia Forest Products mills in the U.S. were producing such a high-quality veneer that the company was having to ship it north to its mill in Hearst, Ont. to keep up with Canadian demand. The demand was so great, that Columbia ended up investing $15 million into its production facility in Hearst to upgrade the plant’s core-peeling capabilities with the same Meinan state-of-the-art peeling technology used in its U.S. mill operations.
May 24, 2016 - Norbord Inc. announced that its OSB mill in High Level, Alta. resumed production over the weekend following a fire that occurred on May 4. As previously reported, in the afternoon of May 4, a fire broke out in the mill yard which, as a result of the hot, dry, windy weather conditions in northern Alberta, quickly spread to the log storage area outside the plant. As a precaution, Norbord immediately suspended production at the mill. Shipping from finished goods inventory resumed the weekend of May 6. The High Level mill has a stated annual production capacity of 860 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) and has been ramping up towards full production since resuming operations in late 2013. High Level is located approximately 720 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and 400 kilometres west of Fort McMurray.  Norbord Profile Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world's largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately $1.7 billion and employs approximately 2,600 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OSB". This news release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by applicable securities legislation, including statements related to our strategy, projects, plans, future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expect," "believe," "forecast," "likely," "support," "target," "consider," "continue," "suggest," "intend," "should," "appear," "would," "will," "will not," "plan," "can," "may," and other expressions which are predictions of or indicate future events, trends or prospects and which do not relate to historical matters identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Norbord to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Although Norbord believes it has a reasonable basis for making these forward-looking statements, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts and other forward-looking statements will not occur. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by forward-looking statements include: assumptions in connection with the economic and financial conditions in the US, Europe, Canada and globally; risks inherent to product concentration and cyclicality; effects of competition and product pricing pressures; risks inherent to customer dependence; effects of variations in the price and availability of manufacturing inputs; risks inherent to a capital intensive industry; ability to realize synergies; and other risks and factors described from time to time in filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Except as required by applicable law, Norbord does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by, or on behalf of, the Company, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, or to publicly update or revise the above list of factors affecting this information. See the "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information" statement in the January 27, 2016 Annual Information Form and the cautionary statement contained in the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of the 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated January 27, 2016 and Q1 2016 Management's Discussion and Analysis dated April 28, 2016. Source:Norbord Inc.
May 13, 2016 – Columbia Forest Products’ recently continued its expansion efforts across Ontario with the purchase of Kitchener, Ont.- based Nova Wood Lamination. The company purchased the shares of Nova Wood Lamination from its founding owners, Frank and Donna Decicco. "Frank, Donna and the rest of the Nova Wood Lamination team have built an outstanding reputation for delivering a diverse mix of high quality products and services to the decorative hardwood panel industry," said Columbia's executive vice-president of Canadian plywood and decorative veneer operations, Gary Gillespie. "We are extremely happy to bring the Nova lamination facility into the Columbia Forest Products family.” "The Nova Wood plant’s flexible, quality-based production line and its proximity to attractive Canadian and U.S. markets will give many Columbia customers a new competitive edge,” added Gilles Levesque, Columbia's general manager of Canadian plywood operations.  Columbia's purchase of Nova Wood Lamination is the third major investment made by the company in the province over the past 12 months. The company also commissioned a new Meinan core peeling lathe at its Hearst, Ont. plywood plant this past fall and re-started hardwood veneer peeling operations in Rutherglen, Ont. earlier this month. "We are high on Ontario: its resources, suppliers, the close working relationships we enjoy with the government agencies, and especially, the dedicated workforce we employ across the province,” said Gillespie. About Columbia Forest Products Established in 1957, Columbia Forest Products has provided fine decorative hardwood plywood panels to the woodworking industry for nearly 60 years. Columbia’s decorative veneers and panels are used in high-quality cabinetry, fine furniture, architectural millwork and commercial fixtures. An employee stock owned firm (ESOP), Columbia is committed to offering products with integrity, originating from responsibly-managed forestlands and assembled with EPA award-winning PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology. All Columbia products are backed by exceptional customer service and technical support. Website address:  www.cfpwood.com.
Sept. 14, 2016 - The federal government is investing close to $4.5 million in an East Coast startup working to commercialize a technology that uses rejected wood fibers to make high-strength, lightweight composite building materials, packaging and furniture.Corruven Canada Inc. plans to use the investments, as well as about $2 million in private funds, to install its first industrial-scale corrugating line and build a market for its products in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s technology allows it to process and press veneer rejects into usable products such as packaging and bed platforms. The company says its materials are approximately 75 per cent lighter and six-time strong than traditional building materials.Supporting the Canadian forestry industry, the Canadian government’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program provided Corruven $2.5 million in funding for the project, while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency contributed the remaining $2 million in government funding.The startup expects the corrugating line and associated research will create 10 new jobs at its base in Saint-Basile, N.B., as well as an additional 14 if the project proves successful.
Aug. 26, 2016 - Brink Forest Products Ltd. has entered into an agreement with the BID Group of Companies to purchase Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products Ltd. 
Aug. 11, 2016 - With the recent closing of manufacturing plants in the North Bay, Ont., area, one can assume that most people living in the region were relieved to witness the reopening of Columbia Forest Product’s hardwood veneer plant in Rutherglen, Ont. The plant was reopened this past April with USD$1.5 million invested into the facility.
Aug. 10, 2016 - Acquisitions and high demand for residential lumber and railway ties accounts for Stella-Jones' strong second quarter sales results, up 31.5 per cent from one year ago. The company's sales reached $563.1 million, up from $428.1 million in the second quarter last year.
June 9, 2016 – Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has completed the acquisition of the equity interests of 440 Investments, LLC, the parent company of Kisatchie Treating, LLC, Kisatchie Pole & Piling, LLC, Kisatchie Trucking, LLC and Kisatchie Midnight Express, LLC (collectively, “Kisatchie”).  Kisatchie produces treated poles, pilings and timbers, with two wood treating facilities in Noble and Pineville, La. Kisatchie’s consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$51.8 million. The purchase price was US$42.5 million, including US$10.0 million of working capital, and is subject to post-closing adjustments. Stella-Jones has financed the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note.  “The acquisition of Kisatchie allows Stella-Jones to further enhance its offerings in the North American wood treating industry. It is also consistent with our objective of steadily increasing shareholder value through selective acquisitions. We expect this transaction to yield synergies and to be immediately accretive to earnings, as we continue to optimize the overall efficiency of our continental network,” said Brian McManus, president and CEO of StellaJones.  About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX: SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The company supplies North America’s railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent’s electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The company’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management’s best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the company’s products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.
May 13, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the shares of Lufkin Creosoting Co., Inc. The signature of a non-binding letter of intent in respect of the proposed acquisition was announced by Stella-Jones on Feb. 3, 2016. Lufkin Creosoting produces treated poles and timbers at its wood treating facility in Lufkin, Texas. Its consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$34.2 million. The definitive share purchase agreement provides for a purchase price of US$37.5 million which includes US$5.0 million of working capital and is subject to adjustments. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release contains information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the proposed acquisition described herein. These statements are based on suppositions, risks and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such risks and uncertainties include, without excluding other considerations, the failure to satisfy closing conditions and the failure to complete or delay in completing th e proposed acquisition for any other reason. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results and should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
May 9, 2016 - Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd., a remanufacturer of softwood lumber, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 in the death of a delivery driver who was killed while lumber was being unloaded from the truck he had been driving. On November 12, 2013, a driver working for a shipping company was delivering a tractor trailer of bundles of lumber to Monterra's facility at 12833 Highway 50 South in Bolton. Upon arrival the driver was instructed to drive to the back of the yard; a lumber company worker would then unload the lumber. The driver drove to the back of the yard, then stood on the passenger side of the trailer, rolling up the straps that were securing the bundles of lumber. Each bundle consisted of 189 pieces of board measuring 16 feet long and weighing about 6,000 pounds. The lumber company worker drove a forklift to the tractor trailer and started to unload the bundles from the driver's side of the trailer. While removing the first bundle, an adjacent bundle on the passenger's side fell off the trailer and landed on the driver, causing fatal injuries. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers called to the scene. At the time of the incident, there were no measures in place such as barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in the yard where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker. The lumber company failed as an employer to ensure compliance with Section 20 of Ontario's Industrial Establishments Regulation, which states that "barrier, warning signs or other safeguard for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker." Monterra Lumber Mills was fined $80,000 for the death by Justice of the Peace Samantha Burton in Caledon court on May 9, 2016. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
April 29, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. has announced its director election results following its annual meeting of shareholders
April 28, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced strong financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 thanks to solid growth in sales in the railway tie market.
March 16, 2016 – For the fifteenth year in a row, Stella-Jones Inc. has grown its net income. That announcement came as part of the company’s release of its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2015.
February 16, 2016 -  Luxor Industrial Corporation recently announced the closing of two definitive agreements providing for Luxor’s acquisition of two wood framing businesses in Canada and the U.S.  In the United States, Luxor has purchased all of the equity interest of Mill Frame LLC, a Washington State limited liability company. Luxor is required to issue five million common shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame LLC generating $10 million in net sales and a further five million common shares of Luxor upon Mill Frame LLC generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate).  In the past 45 days, Luxor has announced three contracts secured by Mill Frame LLC that have a total value in excess of US $ 5,000,000 or CDN $ 7,000,000. “In the summer of 2015, I approached Luxor as a supplier of pre-fab walls; 10 years ago when the exchange rate was similar we had done some great wood business together in the U.S.,” stated Steve Conboy, president of Mill Frame. “This time I saw an opportunity to sell turnkey framing to U.S. builders and took a longer term view to partner up with Luxor. I am proud to join Luxor and its group of seasoned veterans.”  In Canada, Luxor has purchased the book business and certain assets of Colt Builders Inc. of Alberta through Luxor’s subsidiary Mill Frame Inc. (Newco) which has acquired such assets for 40 per cent of the shares of Newco. Colt has agreed that it will exchange 20 per cent of its Newco shares in consideration for the issuance of 5 million common shares of Luxor upon Newco generating $10 million in net sales and will exchange the remaining 20 per cent of its Newco shares to Luxor in consideration for the issuance of an additional 5 million common shares of Luxor upon Newco generating an additional $10 million in net sales ($20 million in the aggregate).  Upon achieving the milestones, Luxor will have the right to 100 per cent ownership of Newco shares. Closing of the acquisitions was not conditional upon financing, however, Luxor will be required to provide additional funds in order to execute on its business plan and grow the respective businesses. All of the vendors are arm’s length parties to Luxor.  “Our team in Alberta is pleased to join Luxor,” said John Hunter, president of Colt. “We look forward to providing our many years of experience in turnkey framing to support Luxor’s expansion into the United States.”  Prior to the above two acquisitions, Luxor has and continues to be involved in the development, engineering, manufacturing and marketing of engineered wood products and operates in the industrial, residential and commercial sectors.  This news release contains forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance of Luxor. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and Luxor’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information, including: adverse market conditions or the inability of Luxor to raise funds to execute on its business plan with respect to the recently acquired wood framing businesses. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, Luxor does not intend to update these forward-looking statements. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
February 3, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has signed a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the shares of Lufkin Creosoting Co., Inc. (Lufkin Creosoting). Lufkin Creosoting produces treated poles and timbers at its wood treating facility in Lufkin, Texas. Its consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$34.2 million. The transaction, if finalized, is expected to close in April 2016 and is subject to customary conditions, including satisfactory due diligence and signature of a definitive share purchase agreement. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note and may consider proceeding with an equity offering depending on market conditions. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also provides residential lumber to retailers and wholesalers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release contains information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the proposed acquisition described herein. These statements are based on suppositions, risks and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such risks and uncertainties include, without excluding other considerations, the failure to satisfy closing conditions and the failure to complete or delay in completing the proposed acquisition for any other reason. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results and should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

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