Canfor and Canfor Pulp are active members of the communities where we operate. We provide jobs and other economic benefits, and we support events and organizations that reflect our business goals or provide broad local value.
In 2014, Canfor Pulp directly contributed more than $668 million to British Columbia’s economy through employee pay cheques, property taxes and goods and services purchased. This support is especially significant in Prince George, and extends far beyond city limits as our employees and our suppliers come from all over the region. Our property tax contributions support important local programs such as schools, parks, emergency services and health care.
Canfor Pulp: Breakdown of Goods and Services Purchased in British Columbia
We make sure local businesses benefit from spending related to our woodlands operations. In 2013, Canfor Alberta reported that 90% of its dollars were spent on local services, based on a five-year rolling average. Fort St. John directed 83.8% of its spending to local vendors or contractors and in Chetwynd it was 83%.
Through our Corporate Sponsorship and Donation Program, we support activities of all sizes – from the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Miracle Weekend and the United Way to local dry grads. Among other things, we supported the Vanderhoof Air Show, SummerFest KidZone in Prince George, the Mackenzie Public Library’s Computers for Youth, and purchase of a primary response vehicle for Houston Search and Rescue. We even helped the City of Grande Prairie mark its centennial by breaking a world record for the longest table – they served chili to 4,000 people as part of the Stompede Showdown.
We also watch for opportunities to strengthen relationships with First Nations communities in our operating areas by sponsoring a variety of activities.
We sponsored the Canada Day fireworks in Prince George again in 2014 – complete with 3-D glasses to make the event more sensational – and held pancake breakfasts and barbecues in operating communities across British Columbia and Alberta as thanks for their support in keeping our companies strong and competitive.
We were an official community sponsor of the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, and Canfor Pulp President Brett Robinson was volunteer executive chair of the Games Host Society. Under our sponsorship agreement, we bought event tickets so high-school students from across northern British Columbia could attend the Games, and learn about careers in the forest sector. We also built a hospitality centre staffed by volunteers from Canfor and Canfor Pulp where visitors can relax, learn about Games activities, and compete to win tickets or other prizes.
In 2014, Canfor and Canfor Pulp contributed more than $318,000 for charitable donations, sponsorships, and bursaries to our operating communities, including:
- $12,000 for dry grad activities involving all the schools in our operating communities in Alberta and British Columbia that are holding dry grad events;
- $11,500 for local holiday food banks; and
- $100 each to the campaigns of the first 25 employees who sent us a photo of their Movember mustaches, raising funds and awareness for men’s health.
In addition to company support, many of our employees raise funds for local charities including $282,491 for United Way activities – we contributed $56,500, bringing the total to almost $340,000.
We were involved in a number of public education and awareness activities in 2014. We gave away 10,000 lodgepole pine seedlings donated by PRT Nursery and 600 spruce seedlings from our J.D. Little Nursery at our annual Canada Day Tree Giveaway in Prince George. Our employees volunteered to prepare the packages, and provided planting advice when they handed out the seedlings. In April, we donated seedlings to Peden Hill Elementary School in Prince George to help students mark Earth Day.
Ralph Hausot, Canfor’s Planning Coordinator for Vanderhoof Fibre, received an industry partner award from the College of New Caledonia in Prince George for his pivotal role in the college’s Research Forest Society.
Every year, we help 10 girls in rural China attend high school through a Vancouver-based organization called Educating Girls of Rural China. In rural China, girls are seldom given a chance to attend school, and by giving them the opportunity we are able to help them make a difference for communities in China, which is one of our key markets.