Contributions to Communities and Local Economies
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 July, we cancelled a company pancake breakfast planned to celebrate the anniversary of our J.D. Little Forest Centre, and instead served the meal to people who were in Prince George because they had to leave their homes as a result of the unprecedented wildfires in British Columbia.
Canfor Pulp directly contributed more than $580 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.
We make sure local businesses benefit from spending related to our woodlands operations. The 2016 Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) surveillance audit of our operations in the East Kootenays included interviews with contractors and local forest workers. It found that wages and benefits were on par or exceeded the industry average and that log rates signed with contractors were fair and flexible. Workers and contractors were given opportunities for training to upgrade relevant skills, and the number of local vendors and local expenditures has increased.
Through our Corporate Sponsorship and Donation Program, Canfor and Canfor Pulp donated close to $550,000 for community activities in 2017. We support activities of all sizes – from the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Miracle Weekend and United Way to local sports events, fall fairs and fundraisers.
In 2017, these included:
- $10,000 so the Earth Rangers could bring their informative and engaging program about biodiversity and animal habitat to schools in two of our British Columbia operating communities – Grande Prairie and Fort St. John.
- $10,000 to Wills Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed acute care facility in Washington, GA.
- $6,000 to Variety - The Children's Charity Radiothon in Prince George, BC
- $5,000 to the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative in Vanderhoof, which is working to identify how to protect, restore and manage the habitat of Canada’s largest freshwater fish.
- $5,000 to sponsor the BC Community Forest Association conference, held in June in Tumbler Ridge.
- $10,000 to sponsor International Pulp Week, held in Vancouver in May, which brought together the world’s leading producers of market pulp, suppliers, logistic companies and analysts.
In 2017, Canfor’s support for the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver included donations through its Miracle Weekend, the Child Excellence Fund, the Prince George Community for Kids Golf Tournament and the Festival of Trees. Our contributions to the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation included a $10,000 pledge for bladder cancer research, and we also supported St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation. We again sponsored a guest room at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, which offers accommodation to families whose seriously ill children are being treated at BC Children’s Hospital.
We signed on as a community partner for the Telus Cup, Canada’s annual national midget ice hockey championship, which was held in April in Prince George. It gave us a chance to bring young hockey players, aged 7 to 9, from three of our operating communities – Prince George, Mackenzie and Houston – so they would play a mini hockey game in front of a cheering crowd during game intermissions.
We donated close to $50,000 of lumber for the new state-of-the-art campus of Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. Our contribution supported construction of an Aboriginal Gathering Place, dedicated to meeting the cultural needs of the Aboriginal community.
The Aboriginal Gathering Place at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Photo credit: johnleeimages.com
Other lumber donations included Habitat for Humanity and the Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute in El Dorado, AR; Grovedale Museum and Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS) in Grande Prairie, AB; picnic tables for School District 54 in Smithers, BC; the Barriere, BC, Elementary School; Radium, BC, Community Hall; Mississippi State University; New Day in the Peace Ministries treatment centre in Fort St. John, BC; North Myrtle Beach wetlands footbridge; and a Ducks Unlimited fundraiser in Creston, BC.
In 2017, employees in British Columbia and Alberta raised $265,000 for the United Way, and a corporate donation increased this to $315,000. During the holiday season in December, we donated $25,000 to organizations such as food banks, the Salvation Army and Christmas bureau societies that do so much for people in the Canadian and US communities where we operate. In addition to this corporate donation, many of our employees helped local food banks and sponsored families in their communities.
In Alberta, we have a road patrol that enforces regulation infractions, over-weight loads or load safety infractions involving logging trucks on the 3,000 kilometres of resource roads we own and operate. The funds we collect for these penalties are donated to the community – in 2017, we collected $100,300 for Alberta communities.