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Changing of the guards: Message from the new editor

August 11, 2022  By  Jennifer Ellson

Since assuming the role of editor for Canadian Forest Industries on May 30, I’ve been thinking about what to write for my first editorial. I thought of clever titles, and deleted clichés like “new kid in town” or “new kid on the block”, only to end up with another (although Bob Dylan used it as a song title, so it must be good.)

But I chose “changing of the guards” because it is poetic: it means handing over the responsibility of the previous sentry to the next guardian. And what a strange time to take over the reins of CFI as its editor – its custodian – with pressing issues within the sector like climate change and wildfires, as well as global challenges like the ongoing pandemic and inflation.

In this environment and against this backdrop, a trusted voice to present unique and helpful content has never been more important. 

I come to CFI from FPInnovations, where I was an editor and media relations specialist. Prior to that, I have held editorial positions in various media — including prior stints at international forest industry publications such as Pulp & Paper Canada, and Fastmarkets RISI’s Pulp & Paper International (Brussels, Belgium), and Pulp & Paper Asia News (Singapore). In between, I wrote and edited for international outlets such as Financial Times, Forbes, Newsweek, and Montreal Gazette, among others, but the forest industries kept pulling me back. 


In my more than 20 years covering the industry, I have been fortunate to visit several mills and plantations in North America, Europe and Asia, collecting materials for in-depth articles and profiles on forest product companies around the world, but also humbled to have covered forest fires in Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, reporting about the consequences not only to the companies, but also to the communities and the environment. I am convinced that these experiences will help me in my current role. 

Indeed, it’s a huge honour to be entrusted with the journalistic legacy of CFI, Canada’s leading forest industries magazine since 1881, and to be counted on to lead the publication into the future. I hope to maintain this legacy and I am committed to improve the quality even further, increase its impact and keep it relevant to benefit the readers and the forest sector.  Luckily, I have been bequeathed a magazine with an extraordinarily strong, creative and talented editorial and support team, and with an involved and very active readership. 

Your engagement with what we put out every day is very important to me because I may be the editor, but this is your CFI. I welcome your suggestions, discussions and thoughts. Tell me what you would like to read more of; who and what you would like to see featured. Write to us, but even better, write for us! Let’s keep in contact between issues. Please continue to email, tweet and message us – let us follow each other on social media — comment on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts, and if pressed for time, a simple like, heart, tag or retweet would do.

With your input, CFI will continue to publish high quality stories and in-depth articles that our readers have come to expect in every issue. 

Some such features are in the latest issue: our team went to B.C. to find out how Tor-Kel Contracting keeps its operation small and agile with winch assist; then we went to Quebec to meet the family behind Groupe de Scierie GDS, who invested $66 million to expand their sawmills, planing mill and pellet plant. 

Now I will let you go ahead and discover our other comprehensive features on wildfire and community resilience, social license, sustainable forestry and the latest technology and equipment available for mills and loggers in 2022. 

Keep in touch! 

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