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Sept. 22, 2017 - Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. and Tembec Inc. announced Thursday that, as a result of legislation that went into effect Thursday, approval of the acquisition by Rayonier Advanced Materials of all of the outstanding shares of Tembec under the Investment Canada Act is no longer required as a closing condition of the transaction.

This new legislation, entitled the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, provides for, among other things, the increase of the threshold for governmental approval of an acquisition of a Canadian business by certain non-Canadian investors (including investors from the United States, such as Rayonier Advanced Materials) from an enterprise value of the Canadian business of CDN$1 billion, to CDN$1.5 billion. As such, the transaction falls below the new threshold. 

Subject to obtaining other necessary and customary governmental approvals relating to certain forestry and energy-related agreements, as well as the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions to the transaction, it is expected that the transaction will be completed in the second half of the fourth quarter of 2017.
Sept. 22, 2017 - 
Ponsse and Epec are jointly establishing a product development unit in Tampere for designing the software and automation of mobile work machines. The aim is to ensure the continued availability of top experts in the fields of software and automation.

With Finland’s improving economic situation, competition for the top professionals in various sectors has become more intense. Given the change in the situation, the aim is to ensure the competitiveness of Ponsse and Epec and the availability of personnel by expanding the product development activities of the two companies to southern Finland. With the rapid development of technology, the importance of software in forest machines is growing rapidly. Ponsse wants to remain at the forefront of development.

Tampere was chosen as the location of the new product development unit, since the city has become a growth centre for the work machine industry. The Tampere region also has strong training expertise and business operations in software and automation.

“Ponsse’s product development will continue to focus mainly on Vieremä and Kajaani, so there will continue to be good communications between customers, manufacturing and product development. With the Tampere product development unit we are seeking to ensure the continued availability of a skilled workforce,” says Ponsse’s director of technology and R&D Juha Inberg.



Engineers will be recruited for the Tampere R&D unit to meet the needs of Ponsse’s subsidiary Epec also. Epec is actively seeking growth as a supplier of smart control system solutions. Managing director Teemu Raitis says that having the unit in Tampere also enables the company to cooperate more closely with its customers in southern Finland.

The focus of Epec’s product development will continue to be its headquarters in Seinäjoki.

The R&D unit will be located in Kampusareena, which is a hub of science, research and technology located at the heart of the campus of Tampere University of Technology.

Ponsse and Epec will arrange a recruiting and information event in the new premises on Nov. 3, 2017 and the operations are scheduled to begin before the end of the year. The product development unit will have approximately 20 employees by the end of next year.
Sept. 22, 2017 – The release of the 2018 “Canada’s Clean50” list celebrates the accomplishments of 50 sustainability leaders in 16 widely different categories. The Lifetime Achievement honouree list is led by a posthumous award for Sharkwater film maker Rob Stewart. Others include, Federal Environment & Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox and Vancouver MP Joyce Murray. Many of 2018 Clean50 champions have achieved measurable success in fighting climate change while helping Canada shift towards a low carbon economy and building a more prosperous future. 

Almost 600 nominations were considered before the Clean50 and 10 Emerging Leaders were selected. Gavin Pitchford, the Clean50 Executive Director and Delta Management Group CEO observed, “While the contribution of some winners such as Minister McKenna’s enormous contribution to protecting the environment, pricing carbon and pivoting Canada towards a much cleaner energy path are more high profile – every person on the Clean50 list has made substantive and significant contributions. Excellent examples include two of our R&D winners, who have made headlines in scientific circles around the world for the groundbreaking ways they capture carbon in algae, and return plastic to its virgin state.”  

Mr. Pitchford went on say, “Selecting Clean50 winners becomes more exciting each year. We have the luxury of considering nominations from across the country with an amazing range of backgrounds. For instance, this year winners include tidal power pioneers from Nova Scotia, an Alberta oil company executive, a cricket farmer from Ontario, BC civic leaders who are revolutionizing our approach to waste, and scientists and CEOs from Quebec and Ontario who are capturing carbon.”

On September 28, over 110 Clean50 incoming and alumni members will gather in Toronto for the Clean50 Summit 7.0. Working sessions with 10 different groups of thought leaders will consider solutions to climate change related issues, seeking to speed collaboration on solutions that can be implemented before Canada’s 175th birthday. The sessions are followed by dinner and awards.

This year’s award winners will receive plaques fashioned in-part from the “Maple Leaf Forever” tree, reputed to have inspired Alexander Muir to pen Canada’s unofficial anthem in 1867.

Past honourees include Premiers Kathleen Wynne of Ontario, Phillippe Couillard of Quebec and Rachel Notley of Alberta, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, and Galen G. Weston of Loblaw.

See the full list of 2018 honourees.



About the Clean50:

Founded in 2011 by Gavin Pitchford and Delta Management Group, the leading sustainability, CSR and clean tech search firm in Canada, Canada’s Clean50 Awards and Clean50 Summit provides a means of bringing together thought leaders and environmental experts to tackle sustainability problems, and to recognize and promote their accomplishments in the hopes of inspiring action by others. This is the seventh iteration of the awards, and they are considered the leading individual award for environmental and sustainability focused achievement in Canada.
Sept. 22, 2017- National Forest Week, held Sept. 24-30 this year, is a time for British Columbians to reflect on and learn more about the importance of forests to our history, our communities, and our economy.

"Outdoor recreation plays a large role in the lifestyles of many British Columbians and forests are a critical part of that. But with an increasingly urban population, many people may not realize that forests are much more than a collection of scenic trees where we hike, bike, and take pictures," said Bill Bourgeois, PhD, RPF(Ret) and executive director of the National Forest Week BC Coalition.

"National Forest Week provides B.C. families with opportunities to learn more about our forests. Whether it's a walk in the woods, a talk in the classroom, or a showcase of the critters that live in the forest, adults and children alike can see how registered forest professionals are managing B.C.'s forests for a wide range of uses including recreation, wildlife habitat, timber harvesting, and other values of importance to British Columbians."

Canada is an international leader in forest certification with B.C. contributing more than any other province. Wood is the only material with third-party certification programs in place to verify that products originate from a sustainably managed source. In B.C., registered forest professionals manage our forests to ensure their availability for future generations. While 95 per cent of B.C. land is Crown-owned, less than one per cent is harvested for timber each year.

National Forest Week events happen in communities across B.C. A partial listing of events is available on the Canadian Forestry Association website. Teachers across B.C. are also inviting forest professionals to speak to their students.

The annual National Forest Week children's art contest, sponsored by the Association of BC Forest Professionals and the Truck Loggers Association is also underway. Children aged 4 to 12 can win prizes by showing what the forest means to them though their art work. Contest details and entry forms are available on the BC National Forest Week website.

National Forest Week is coordinated nationally by the Canadian Institute of Forestry and in B.C. by the National Forest Week BC Coalition, a group of volunteers drawn from across the forest sector. More information as well as additional resources including event ideas, giveaways, and speakers for school class rooms, are available free of charge on the BC National Forest Week website.
Sept. 22, 2017 - More than 65 Heritage Trees have been designated in communities all across Ontario. Celebrate those already recognized or check out the new Trees announced during National Forest Week.

National Forest Week (NFW) is a tradition dating back to 1920, originally known as Forest Fire Prevention Week. In 1967, NFW took on its current moniker and became an occasion to learn more about the values our forests support and take part in efforts to care for this vital renewable resource.

What: Forests Ontario’s Heritage Tree Program collects and shares the stories of Ontario’s diverse and unique trees and brings awareness to the social, cultural, historical, and ecological value of trees. Trees are nominated for recognition based on their historical or cultural significance, and also recognized for their distinctness in size, form, age, or rarity. More about the Heritage Tree Program can be read here.  

When and Where:

Monday, September 25th, 10:00 a.m. 828190 Gray Road 40, Clarksburg (near Thornbury): 70-year old Carpathian Walnut

•   Minnie Sheridan—a lively centenarian from Clarksburg—planted this impressive Walnut Tree alongside her mother, 70-years ago. It stands at 50-feet-tall and provides a hardy variety of ‘grocery store-style’ walnuts, which Minnie continues to harvest each year.

Wednesday, September 27th, 10:00 a.m. 124 Cowley Avenue, Ottawa (Visits to three additional nearby trees will follow): Champlain Oaks

•   The Champlain Oaks are a community of healthy, pre-settlement Bur Oaks descended from the open forest of the Ottawa River shoreline. They were named after Samuel de Champlain who explored the area in the 1600s and would have seen some of the parents of these current oaks. It is very rare for urban trees of this age to be surrounded by a residential development. These trees likely survived due to a common practice of leaving clumps of trees on farmland as boundary markers and windbreaks. These oaks are prominent landmarks in the community and are defining features that connect the neighbourhood.

Thursday, September 28th, 12:15 p.m. King's Field Park, 20 Victoria Street South, Port Hope: Mighty Oaks at King’s Field Park

•   This magnificent pair of ancient white oak trees stood on the Lake Ontario shoreline before the first European settlers arrived in 1793 to establish Port Hope. It is thought this sandy oak savanna site was used by Iroquoian peoples for hunting and gathering grounds when they used the trail (now Lakeshore Road) to harvest salmon and sturgeon from the Ganaraska River. Photos of these trees grace the cover of Port Hope’s Municipal Forest Master Plan and all Trees of Distinction promotional materials.

In celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, Forests Ontario and the TD Bank Group invite Ontarians to help us collect and tell the stories of 150 heritage trees across the province. We encourage Ontarians to continue to share their heritage tree stories with us; Forests Ontario will accept nominations until December 31, 2017.

To see a full map of Heritage trees across Ontario go to https://www.forestsontario.ca/community/in-the-spotlight/heritage-trees/.
Sept. 19, 2017 - The world's leading forest certification organization, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), will hold its triennial global General Assembly in Canada for the first time from October 8-13, 2017, in Vancouver. 800 people from more than 80 countries, including leaders in global forestry, will be attending to focus on how to enhance responsible forestry worldwide.  

As FSC's highest decision-making body, the General Assembly (GA) sets the direction for the organization for the coming years, with several important areas of responsible forest management, conservation and sustainability on the agenda. These include, among others, the protection of High Conservation Value areas such as Intact Forest Landscapes, ensuring the rights and participation of Indigenous Peoples in forest development, and the future directions for forest restoration and conservation, all while permitting forests to continue to supply the vital products the world depends on for many purposes.

"This is an essential time in the development of FSC and forest certification as we address the issues that are key to the success not just of FSC but the future of the world's forests," said Kim Carstensen, director general of FSC, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. "We made a lot of progress at our last General Assembly in 2014 with the launch of several new initiatives. In Vancouver, we will review how we have progressed and chart a clear path forward to continue our work."

High Level Forum and side events

One of the highlights of the General Assembly is the High Level Forum and side events. During three days, high-profile speakers from some of the most representative businesses, social and environmental advocacy groups will explore the role that FSC can play as a voluntary certification scheme for responsible forest management and how to incentivize consumer demand for sustainably sourced forest products. 

The first High Level Forum will be dedicated to The True Value of Forests, where participants will discuss the extent of the contribution of forests to society. The Forum's second day will be on Solid Wood, which will include discussions on identifying the market drivers for certified solid wood products regionally and internationally and the increasing importance of green building. The final High Level Forum debate, FSC in our Daily Lives, will explore how companies are leading the way in promoting sustainable consumer trends. 

Among the speakers participating in the High Level Forum are: Michael Green, a Vancouver based architect who is leading the use of wood in construction; Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation; and Sarah Chandler, Director of Operations, Product Development and Environmental Initiatives at Apple Inc.

Other confirmed speakers at the General Assembly are Doug Donaldson, British Columbia Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development; Luc Blanchette, Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks; and Glenn Mason, Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Services of Natural Resources Canada.

Numerous side events at the General Assembly will also offer engaging debates on the current issues that directly touch upon world forestry. Canada's Boreal forest will be a highlight of these where participants will be able to understand the importance this biome has for Canada's forestry industry and the global environment. 

"We look forward to hosting delegates from around the world at the General Assembly in Vancouver and collaborating on vital decisions that will affect how our forest certification process will meet the requirement for responsible forestry in the 21st century," said François Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. "The collaborative process of FSC in addressing these issues with all stakeholders present is the key to our success."
Sept. 18, 2017 – Specialty building material distributor U.S. LUMBER GROUP, LLC  and wood based product supplier NILCO announced Monday that they have signed an agreement under which U.S. LUMBER will acquire NILCO. The combination will create a company with a broader geographic presence and an expanded product mix. U.S. LUMBER, based in Atlanta, is a two step distributor of specialty building products in the Eastern United States, while NILCO, headquartered in Hartville, Ohio, is a two step distributor of building and industrial products in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. 

"We are thrilled to be adding NILCO to U.S. LUMBER. The NILCO team has built a fantastic business with a well-earned reputation for providing the highest level of service to both their customers and suppliers,” said U.S. LUMBER president and CEO Jeff McLendon. “The NILCO acquisition advances our growth strategy by expanding our geographic presence and product mix. We're particularly pleased that combining these complementary businesses will enhance the value proposition we offer our trading partners."

"We are excited by what a combination with U.S. LUMBER offers to our suppliers, customers and employees,” NILCO CEO Jim Smith said. “Our combined organization will have a unique breadth of products and capabilities that will distinguish us in our industry and enable us to serve more customers and accelerate our growth."

Upon completion of the acquisition, NILCO will operate under its existing brand name as a division of U.S. LUMBER and will continue to be led by Jim Smith. Jeff McLendon will serve as president and CEO of the combined U.S. LUMBER. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) have opened applications for the sixth annual Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth program.
Sept. 15, 2017 - Representatives at WOODRISE 2017, the 1st world congress dedicated to midrise and tall wood buildings taking place in Bordeaux, France, will make a formal call to take one step closer toward carbon neutrality by strengthening the share of wood used in building construction.
Sept. 14, 2017 - Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Coast Fraser Enterprises Ltd. No. 213 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.
Sept. 13, 2017 - Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board says that – after conducting a multi-year engagement with experts and stakeholders – it is changing the way the board calculates employer premium rates, adding the process will be easier for employers to understand, and more accurately reflect the risks associated with operating their businesses.
Sept. 13, 2017 - A coalition of municipal leaders, chambers of commerce, unions, and the forest sector are raising alarm bells that draft provincial species at risk policy will jeopardize jobs in northern and rural Ontario.
Sept. 12, 2017 - Obishikokaang Resources Corporation has certified more than one million hectares of the Lac Seul Forest in Northern Ontario to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) has announced.
Sept. 12, 2017 - Robert Wright works in an office lined with reminders of the past, but his thoughts are on the future and mapping a way forward for forest science research and education at U of T.
Sept. 8, 2017 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of hemlock woolly adelgid, a regulated pest, in three counties in southwestern Nova Scotia, noting that this is the first time the pest has been detected in Atlantic Canada.
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