Dec. 18, 2018 – Two Indigenous forestry projects in New Brunswick have received $295,000 in funding from the federal government.
Dec. 18, 2018 – The machine suppliers association in Sweden, MaskinLeverantörerna, has launched an all-new forestry show, the Swedish Forestry Expo, which will take place from June 3-5, 2021 at the Solvalla horse racecourse in Stockholm.
Dec. 18, 2018 – The Softwood Lumber Board is pleased to announce that it has completed its leadership succession plan. This was an important undertaking as the Board entered its second term following the successful revote of our Softwood Lumber Check-off program. To prepare for the second term, the Executive Team conducted an intense review on all programs for revalidation of all deliverables.
Dec. 17, 2018 – Doosan Infracore North America LLC, a leading manufacturer of heavy construction equipment, is proud to announce it is opening a new 100,000 square foot parts distribution centre, serving its dealers and Doosan customers in Canada and the U.S.
Dec. 17, 2018 – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Western Forest Products Inc. have reached an agreement whereby Huu-ay-aht will acquire a seven per cent interest from Western in a newly formed limited partnership for $7.2 million, subject to closing adjustments.
Dec. 17, 2018 – Canfor will be extending its temporary curtailment at sawmills in British Columbia and will be reducing operating hours at some sawmills throughout Q1 2019. This decision is due to a continuing decline in lumber prices, in addition to high log costs and log supply constraints.
Dec. 17, 2018 – B.C.’s forests are diverse and impressive, and the photos Canadian Forest Industries received as part of our third annual forestry photo contest, in partnership with COFI, reflect this. The submissions also showcase the importance of forest products in our everyday lives and the many ways we interact with them.
Dec. 14, 2018 – The British Columbia forest industry concludes its eight-day trade mission to Asia today with a focus on strengthened relationships with existing customers and future partners, as well as new opportunities to work collaboratively to advance wood construction, particularly in Asia’s green, energy-efficient and low-carbon buildings market.
Dec. 13, 2018 – Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased to support the Ministerial “Declaration on Forests for the Climate,” which was tabled today at the COP24 meeting in Poland. Today’s declaration recognizes the critical role that forests in Canada and around the world play in achieving global climate change targets.
Dec. 13, 2018 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (R17V0096) into a fatal derailment that involved an uncontrolled movement of rail cars and a subsequent collision with engineering working equipment in April 2017 near Woss, British Columbia. Although the occurrence railway company was under provincial jurisdiction, the TSB conducted the investigation at the request of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).
Dec. 12, 2018 – Bandit Industries finalized its transition to a 100 per cent ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) company on Nov. 1.
Dec. 12, 2018 – Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry released a report examining the impact of climate change and carbon pricing on forestry, agriculture and agri-food sectors. The report, called "Feast or Fame: Impacts of climate change and carbon pricing on agriculture, agri-food and forestry," also makes several recommendations for the federal government to follow to support these industries as they work towards meeting Canada's emissions reduction targets.
Dec. 13, 2018 – Trading of U.S. and Canadian softwood lumber last week continued its usual annual slide to seasonal holiday sawmill closures and curtailments.
Dec. 11, 2018 – Consumption of softwood lumber in the U.S. is forecasted to increase over the next decade and reach an all-time high by 2030. Canada is poised to continue being a dominant supplier of softwood lumber to the U.S., but there will be changes in log availability. The timber harvests on public lands in British Columbia are set to decline over the next decade and uncertainty surrounds log availability in the eastern provinces.
Dec. 4, 2018 – The Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) fell by 1.4 per cent from Q1 2018 to Q2 2018. This was the first quarter-over-quarter decline since the Q4 2016. Sawlog prices fell on all continents (in U.S. dollar terms) except for North America, where prices in Q2 2018 were 3.0 per cent higher than the previous quarter and up 13.5 per cent from Q2 2017. Most of the price increases in North America over the past year have occurred in Western U.S. and Western Canada, while log prices in Eastern Canada and the U.S. South have stayed quite stable during the same time period.
Nov. 28, 2018 – Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units in Oct. after an upwardly revised Sept. report, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the lowest sales pace since Dec. 2016. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales are up 2.8 percent from this time in 2017.
Nov. 21, 2018 - The question at hand: Why there is apparently no price difference between Canadian sales to domestic markets and sales to U.S. export markets?
Nov. 21, 2018 - Rising housing affordability concerns continue to weigh on single-family production even as total housing starts edged higher in October.
Nov. 9, 2018 – “Despite harvest challenges and market volatility, our specialty-focused lumber business continues to deliver revenue growth and higher price realizations,” said Don Demens, President and CEO, Western Forest Products, about the company’s Q3 2018 results. “Looking ahead, we expect to leverage the investments in our flexible operating platform to overcome challenging market conditions, ongoing lumber duty expense and increased stumpage costs.”
Nov. 8, 2018 – U.S. softwood lumber demand is expected to continue its upward trajectory from the lows of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, reaching an all-time high by mid 2020s, according to a newly released U.S .Lumber Outlook Study by ForestEdge LLC and Wood Resources International LLC (USLOS2018).
Nov. 1, 2018 – Despite weaker lumber markets, Resolute Forest Products’ overall operating income in Q3 2018 increased by $14 million compared to Q2 2018, supported by higher pricing and improved productivity in their pulp and paper operations. Higher manufacturing expense, mostly associated with rising fibre costs, were mitigated by the favourable impact of the weaker Canadian dollar and improved freight costs.
Oct. 31, 2018 – Timber harvests in Russia were close to 190 million m3 in 2017, as estimated by WRI based on forest industry production, log usage and net exports of logs. The derived timber harvest was up approximately 6.2 per cent from 2016 primarily due to higher log consumption by the softwood sawmilling sector and the pellet industry.
Oct. 25, 2018 - Lower lumber prices and severe forest fires in Western Canada are partially behind Canfor's Q3 decline in both its lumber and pulp and paper segments, the company reports.
Oct. 23, 2018 – Despite lower third quarter SPF and plywood prices, West Fraser produced results that, while off the record pace of the second quarter, were still significantly ahead of the third quarter of 2017.
Sept. 18, 2018 -The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), an independent public policy think tank, has released a report stating that forest harvesting is not synonymous with deforestation and doesn’t threaten the sustainability of our forests – and, in fact, Canadian forests are under-harvested.
Sept. 10, 2018 - The federal government is funding a Mi'kmaw forestry approach that will help Mi'kmaq communities incorporate traditional knowledge, data and values into a strategic forest management plan for their land.
Sept. 6, 2018 - Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) released a comprehensive report today that highlights efforts in support of caribou recovery across the country – along with a series of recommendations to the federal government that will help inform solutions to further preserve and enhance habitat for caribou and other species that inhabit Canada’s forests.
July 5, 2018 - With eight staff listed on Ontario’s Lobbyist Registry, the David Suzuki Foundation has twice the number of lobbyists in Ontario than the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). Ontario Nature has three registered lobbyists, including the main author and one of the reviewers of the opinion piece entitled, “From Climate to Caribou: How Manufactured Uncertainty is Affecting Wildlife Management.” We are asking governments and the public to reject the campaign rhetoric from anti-forestry lobbyists as science. Opinions, motherhood statements, and value-laden language belong in fundraising campaigns, not scientific literature. Having more in common with a press release, the article referenced in David Suzuki’s July 3, 2018 Chronicle Journal article offers no original data or novel research, only a thinly-veiled rant with footnotes. As such, this commentary was published in the “In My Opinion” section of the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The 2008 Environment Canada and Climate Change (ECCC) caribou disturbance model has well-known flaws, particularly when applied to Ontario’s Caribou herds, (Sleep and Loehle 2010; Fortin et al. 2017; Rudolph et al. 2017) suggesting that disturbance alone is not sufficient to predict caribou responses to management. However, this house of cards caribou policy is being built on across the country and something that the authors believe shouldn’t be questioned. Two of the authors of the opinion piece were former professors of mine, who taught our class that science was about testing hypotheses, collecting data, discussing and questioning the results. Why are they now suggesting that those who actually follow this method are “caribou science deniers”? The OFIA agrees with David Suzuki; science matters, but we cannot support dogma or muzzling debate. There is no denial from industry that woodland caribou are in trouble, Masood et al. (2017) found that caribou range extent was projected to contract by 57.2–99.8 per cent by 2050, and a complete loss of boreal caribou in Ontario if winter temperatures increase by more than 5.6C by 2070, regardless of change to human disturbances. This reinforces the need to manage the landscape holistically, for all species, and to acknowledge the multiple factors at play. The forest industry is committed to managing and protecting woodland caribou (see my Feb. 23 op-ed in the Toronto Star, Forest Industry Also Committed to Protecting Caribou). This isn’t new or ground-breaking, in northwestern Ontario forestry companies have been legally required to protect and renew caribou habitat since 1994. Forestry will continue to play an essential role in caribou management and, as a 75-year-old organization, we remain accountable to our members, the public, and our stakeholders for any public statements we make. The convenient hyperbole and emotionally-charged rhetoric from the Wildlife Society Bulletin editorial might generate fundraising dollars, but it does not belong in active forest management. Ian Dunn lives in Toronto and is a registered professional forester. He has a masters in forest conservation and is the director of forest policy at the Ontario Forest Industries Association. Literature Cited Fortin D, Barnier F, Drapeau P, et al (2017) Forest productivity mitigates human disturbance effects on late- seral prey exposed to apparent competitors and predators. Sci Rep 1–12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06672-4 Masood S, Zuiden TMV, Rodgers A, Sharma S (2017) An uncertain future for woodland caribou (Ranger tarandus caribou) The impact of climate change on winter distribution in Ontario Rudolph TD, Drapeau P, Imbeau L (2017) Demographic responses of boreal caribou to cumulative disturbances highlight elasticity of range-specific tolerance thresholds. 1179–1198. doi: 10.1007/s10531-017-1292-1 Sleep DJH, Loehle C (2010) Validation of a Demographic Model for Woodland Caribou. J Wildl Manage 74:1508–1512. doi: 10.2193/2009-474
June 12, 2018 - A federal investment of $23.8 million is set to help the people of Prince Edward Island improve energy efficiency in their homes, businesses, industries, and farm operations across the province, as well as reduce carbon pollution in the forestry sector. This joint investment between the Canadian government and P.E.I., totals $47.8 million.
June 12, 2018 - FPInnovations, the Laurentian Forestry Centre (LFC) of Natural Resources Canada, Université Laval and its faculty of forestry, geography and geomatics have announced the signature of collaboration agreements aimed at developing the full innovation potential of the wood and forest sectors.
May 23, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber have voted overwhelmingly to continue the efforts of the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB). In the referendum conducted by USDA from April 17 to May 14, 2018, to determine the future of the softwood lumber industry’s market promotion check-off known as the Softwood Lumber Board, a super-majority of manufacturing and importing companies established a strong new mandate to advance the program for another term. In a notice to the trade issued today, USDA reported that 78 per cent of companies participating in the referendum representing 94 per cent of volume voted to continue the program. For comparison, when the program began in 2011, 67 per cent of voting companies and 80 per cent of voting volume, respectively, voted to establish the program. Additional details will follow. This super-majority mandate to continue the program reflects strong industry confidence in the diligence, determination, and effectiveness of the SLB and its staff to increase market demand for softwood lumber by supporting pro-wood communications (Think Wood and Wood, Naturally), code and standards expansion (American Wood Council), educating and assisting architects, engineers and construction specifiers (WoodWorks), and supporting innovative new applications and markets for softwood lumber products. “This vote shows the softwood lumber industry’s strong support for a nation-wide promotion program," said chairman of Idaho Forest Group and chairman of the SLB Marc Brinkmeyer. "The vote affirms the industry’s view that the Softwood Lumber Board is an effective investment vehicle to grow the market for the benefit of all producers.” “The industry has realized that we all have common competitors in the form of other building materials," said president and chief executive officer of Sierra-Pacific Industries George Emmerson. "The SLB has unified the industry’s efforts to compete in the marketplace — something that none of us can do acting individually.” “With these changes the SLB is ready to move to ‘version 2.0’ and expand its activities to take advantage of new trends to more off-site construction and factory-built housing, the opportunities awaiting with mass timber applications and expansion to off-shore markets," said Don Kayne, president and chief executive officer of Canfor and chair of the SLB Programs Committee. "We are posed to build on our strong and successful campaign results of the last six years to ensure that softwood lumber is the material of choice not only in residential construction but also non-residential market segments.”
Feb. 6, 2018 – N.B. Premier Brian Gallant is travelling to Washington this week to meet with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The agenda items include trade, softwood lumber, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “New Brunswick is Canada’s most trade-driven province and the United States continues to be our province’s biggest trading partner. This economic relationship is important to New Brunswickers,” Gallant said in a statement. “New Brunswick’s and Maine’s integration of softwood lumber is a great example as to how the tariffs imposed on New Brunswick softwood lumber will hurt the American economy. This is Gallant’s third meeting with Ross in the past year.
Jan. 4, 2018 – Canada is now in the appeals stage of the softwood lumber dispute after the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed final duties on Wednesday. The International Trade Administration (ITA) published documents outlining the Commerce Department’s decision of final countervailing and anti-dumping duties on certain softwood lumber products from Canada. Canada responded by saying it will not back down. “The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry and its workers against protectionist trade practices,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. “U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair, unwarranted and troubling. “They are harmful to Canada’s lumber producers, workers and communities, and they add to the cost of home building, renovations and other projects for American middle-class families,” Freeland said. U.S. Congress-themed newspaper The Hill reported that the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s co-chairman Joe Patton called the duties “a fair enforcement of U.S. trade law.” Patton also said that, “For decades, the Canadian government has abused the law and provided massive subsidies to its lumber industry, harming U.S. producers and workers.” The United States Trade Representative Tweeted, “We are completely confident that @CommerceGov and the U.S. International Trade Commission closely followed U.S. law and that their actions are consistent with our WTO obligations. We will of course defend this case and expect to prevail.” We are completely confident that @CommerceGov and the U.S. International Trade Commission closely followed U.S. law and that their actions are consistent with our WTO obligations. We will of course defend this case and expect to prevail. https://t.co/jsIcoo24gh — USTR (@USTradeRep) January 3, 2018 Amid the final duty announcement, Commerce also marginally amended West Fraser’s countervailing, and Canfor’s anti-dumping duties. West Fraser “submitted a timely, properly filed allegation that Commerce made certain ministerial errors,” according to the document. Commerce investigated and agreed that an error was made, thus decreasing West Fraser’s subsidy rate from 18.19 per cent ad valorem to 17.99 per cent ad valorem. The “all-others” rate was consequently decreased to 14.19 per cent ad valorem. Canfor also submitted an allegation citing errors in Commerce’s decision. Commerce agreed with Canfor’s submission as well and decreased its subsidy rate to 7.28 per cent. The “all-others” rate in this case was decreased to 6.04 per cent. Nevertheless, the fact remains that final duties were imposed and Canada said it will be taking legal action. “Canada has already begun legal challenges of these duties under NAFTA and through the WTO, where Canadian litigation has proven successful in the past,” Freeland said. “We will continue to work with the provinces and territories, as well as with Canadian industry and workers, to find an enduring solution. “Canada will also continue to engage with the U.S. Administration and with American legislators to come to a new agreement on softwood lumber,” she said.
Dec. 18, 2017 - Kate Lindsay is the Forest Products Association of Canada's vice-president of sustainability and environmental partnerships.She recently wrote a Letter to the Editor which was published in The Chronicle-Journal in response to an opinion piece criticizing the forest industry's views on saving caribou populations while still implementing sustainable forestry practices.In an excerpt from her letter she writes, "The misrepresentation of the purpose and content of our informational website at www.cariboufacts.ca is unfortunate. To be clear, on behalf of Canada’s forest sector and our 230,000 direct employees, we are asking for three simple things:1. Any land use decision must be based on the most recent and comprehensive science that looks at all factors, including incorporating unique local forest realities and the impacts of action on other species in the forest.2. All impacted groups should be meaningfully engaged in the discussion, including governments, Indigenous communities, scientists, industry, tourism and recreation groups, and labour organizations.3. Socio-economic analysis should be conducted to understand what, if any, impacts might be felt by local communities."Read the full piece here.
Dec. 12, 2017 - This fall, B.C.’s forest sector released a new economic study that highlights the fact that the B.C. forest industry continues to be a cornerstone of the provincial economy and a significant economic contributor to communities around the province.
Dec. 8, 2017 – The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 unanimously on Thursday in favour of the U.S. lumber industry. The ITC holds the position that the Canadian government’s subsidies to its softwood lumber producers have harmed U.S. producers. The U.S. Lumber Coalition supports the decision. “The massive subsidies that the Canadian government provides to its lumber industry and the dumping of lumber products into the U.S. market by Canadian companies cause real harm to U.S. producers and workers,” said the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s Jason Brochu. “Now, with a level playing field, the U.S. lumber industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, can have the chance to compete fairly.” “With the enforcement of U.S. trade laws, lumber mills across the country will be able to make important investments in employees and mill operations so we can expand production to meet demand,” the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s Joe Patton said. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the tariffs will increase the price of an average single-family home built in 2018 by $1,360. "We are disappointed by the ITC ruling and believe this is a protectionist measure designed to safeguard the interests of major domestic lumber producers at the expense of American consumers,” chairman Granger MacDonald said. “The U.S. and Canada need to hammer out an equitable agreement to resolve this ongoing trade dispute that will provide American consumers a steady supply of lumber at a reasonable price," he said. BC Lumber Trade Council president Susan Yurkovich said the decision “is completely without merit.” “The ITC finding of ‘injury,’ despite the current record-setting profitability of the U.S. lumber industry, makes it very clear that this was not an objective evaluation of the facts,” she said. "There can be no doubt that this process is biased in favour of the U.S. industry.” The BC Lumber Trade Council said it plans to fight the decision and initiate appeals as soon as possible. “The U.S. Coalition’s claims of injury ring particularly hollow given the extraordinary financial performance that the U.S. lumber industry is enjoying, and given that Canadian imports are at a lower level today than at the levels deemed non-injurious under both the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement and by the ITC itself in the last round of litigation,” Yurkovich said. The Lumber Coalition petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department in November 2016 to launch an investigation to determine whether or not the Canadian government was providing unfair subsidies to its lumber producers. The Commerce Department launched its official investigation in December 2016. Over the course of the investigation, preliminary countervailing and anti-dumping duties were applied to Canadian producers. The average preliminary countervailing tax was 19.88 per cent, while the average preliminary anti-dumping tax was 6.87 per cent. Combined, that meant most Canadian producers were paying 26.75 per cent in duties. West Fraser, Canfor, Tolko, Resolute and J.D. Irving were individually investigated and paid combined taxes ranging from 9.89 to 30.88 per cent. The Commerce Department ruled in November 2017 that the two softwood markets are unequal due to Canadian producers having unfair advantages over their American counterparts and announced its final duties. However, the overall rate dropped from 26.75 to 20.83 per cent for most Canadian producers. So far, Canadian companies are reported to be doing well thanks to record-high lumber prices and a steady demand for wood from the U.S.
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