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FPAC announces 2020 Awards of Excellence winners


September 22, 2020
By PJ Boyd
PJ Boyd

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The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has announced the 2020 recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence program, which recognizes people from across the country who have made significant contributions to forestry and their communities.

Those being recognized have been selected from a variety of categories within the industry, including:

  • Indigenous leadership
  • Women in forestry
  • Forest community champions
  • Industry partners
  • Rising stars
  • Innovation
  • Lifetime achievement.

“(This) is an opportunity for us to honour some of the remarkable people who help make our sector a world leader in sustainable forest management and are advancing the environmental, social, and economic benefits of Made in Canada forestry,” said FPAC president and CEO Derek Nighbor in a press release. “During COVID-19, we have not only witnessed the resilience of our people and communities, but we have also seen the important health, environmental, and economic benefits that forestry and forest products bring to Canada.”

And the winners are:

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Skills Awards for Indigenous Youth

  • Autumn Quenvill. Whitesand First Nation. A graduate of the welding techniques program and mechanical engineering technician program at Confederation College and former millwright at Resolute Forest Products in Thunder Bay, Ont., Quenvill is working to become a red seal millwright.
  • Raven Cardinal. Bigstone Cree Nation. A graduate of the forest technician program at Portage College with experience in the forest industry as a wildland firefighter, chainsaw operator for Firesmart projects and pulp mill woodland summer student.
  • Hunter Corbiere. Anishinaabe from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. A forest technician graduate from Fleming College. Helped shape the program to have an Indigenous Perspective Designation and was the Indigenous speaker at the Kawartha Woodlot Conference.

Community Champion

  • Lisa Raitt. Former MP and federal cabinet minister.

“Whether she was on the government side as Minister of Natural Resources, Labour, or Transport — or in the opposition benches — Lisa Raitt was always there ready to stand up for Canadian forestry workers. This was especially remarkable given she represented a Greater Toronto Area riding,” said Nighbor. “As an MP and Minister, Ms. Raitt demonstrated leadership and support for our sector, its workers and our communities. She was always quick to reach out to see how she could help. Her commitment was perhaps best demonstrated during the 2009 economic downturn when she played a lead role in securing a $1 billion green transformation package to help Canada’s struggling pulp and paper industry. The initiative saved thousands of jobs and investments allowed the sector to improve environmental performance at our mills.”

Forest Community Champion Award

  • William Amos – MP for Pontiac, Quebec and Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry.
  • Walt Cobb – Mayor, Williams Lake, B.C.
  • Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Edward Wawia, Northern Superior Region, Anishinabek Nation.

FPAC Partnership Award

  • Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta – Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance project (EMEND).
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada – Forest Management Wetlands Stewardship Initiative, Boreal Conservation Programs.

FPAC Outstanding Member Award

  • Louise Riopel – Millar Western, Edmonton.
  • Kevin Larlee – AV Group, Nackawic, N.B.

FPAC / Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Indigenous Business Leadership Award

  • Alain Paul – Granules LG Inc., Mashteuiatsh, Que.

FPAC Innovation Award

  • Bonny Wood, Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay, Ont.

FPAC Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Margaret Donnelly – Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Boyle, Alta.
  • Cindy Macdonald – West Fraser, Vancouver.
  • Mark Feldinger – Canfor, Vancouver.

FPAC Women in Forestry Award of Excellence

  • Charlene Strelaeff – Mercer Celgar, Castlegar, B.C.

FPAC Rising Star Award

  • Faye Cuadra – Canfor Pulp, Prince George, B.C.

Read more about The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) annual Awards of Excellence program here.