We work and live in dozens of communities that depend on the forest for their economic and social viability. In this blog series, Resolute’s Forest Families, we are profiling families with a long history in the forest products industry – employees, suppliers, contractors and neighbors of Resolute – and asking them to share their stories of managing the resources in their care.
For some youth the summer means time at the lake learning about the outdoors and survival skills, but for 48 Aboriginal youth in Northwestern Ontario it means an opportunity to gain life skills and exposure to different industries and opportunities in the region.
Resolute’s softball team brought home a big win last week (10-9) in a friendly match against FPInnovations, one of the world’s largest private scientific R&D centers for the forest sector.
Resolute and FPInnovations work together on many different projects, from the lignin extraction demonstration plant at our Thunder Bay (Ontario) pulp mill to collaborations in identifying significant energy-saving opportunities at our Calhoun (Tennessee) pulp and paper mill and Saint-Félicien (Quebec) pulp mill.
In today’s forest products sector, jobs are high-tech, green, and specialized.
While there are still many traditional lumberjacks operating in the forest, today’s forest products sector requires a much more diverse workforce than it has in the past. From biologists and researchers, to engineers and economists, the forest sector depends on a variety of professions to operate as efficiently as possible.
Our Calhoun mill connects with this mentoring organization through sponsorship and a mill tour.
It’s a big world out there. Jonathan Porter knows that. He’s been active with the local chapter of the national mentoring and education organization 100 Black Men of America since 2004.
For people living in boreal communities, the forest is not simply a resource; it’s part of who they are and they’re deeply motivated to protect it for the future. Considering misinformation from Greenpeace, ForestEthics (now called “Stand”) and other like-minded activists, it’s important that we share these kinds of stories, providing a voice to the people of the Canadian boreal forest.
Funding to Ontario college focuses on training First Nations students, and Resolute commits to hire them.
Getting a good education is just one part of the puzzle. You also need a good job. For the six aboriginal students enrolled in the Industrial Mechanical Millwright Technician Program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario, that won’t be a problem.
Just getting to 250,000 hours without a recordable incident in any industrial environment is an important feat. That’s why our directors’ safety award uses this number as a milestone. But when an operation starts logging hours in the millions, its people are doing more than following good protocols, they’re living a culture of safety.
At Resolute, we’re proud of the strong partnerships we have built with dozens of First Nations across Ontario and Quebec. These partnerships demonstrate our commitment to working alongside First Nations to create mutually beneficial opportunities. Over the past year or so, Resolute has signed agreements representing over C$100 million in new economic investment with seven First Nations (Nigigoonsiminikaaning, Lac des Mille Lacs, Seine River, Couchiching, Mitaanjigamiing, Lac La Croix and Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek) in Ontario. These agreements have led to contracts in areas such as construction, transportation and harvesting – to name just a few. The communities involved have told us about the positive impact these agreements have on their quality of life, particularly for young people.
At our Augusta (Georgia) newsprint mill, you don’t have to look very far to find someone with a story to tell about the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Cindy Pritchard, the operation’s human resources agent has been collecting these personal accounts through the years and says employees are always eager to share them. “Everyone has some connection to the Children’s Hospital,” she explains.
True forest stewardship takes individual effort and mutual cooperation. That’s why our approach to supporting the communities where we operate starts with our employees.
Last year we welcomed 1,089 new employees. We’re building a collaborative work environment where we expect to fill 4,250 jobs by 2018. And we also foster local partnerships. We have longstanding business relationships with many First Nations communities, including the operation of a joint-venture sawmill in Quebec since 1999.
Many of our operations in Canada are located in areas where First Nations peoples form a large portion of the population. Not only do we share in the respect and importance of forest resources, we also understand that these resources are critical to the prosperity of Aboriginal communities.
How do you work with First Nations?
In a number of ways. It starts with respecting treaties, traditions and rights. That’s outlined in our Aboriginal Peoples Policy. In Canada, the legal responsibility to consult with First Nations and harmonize forest management practices with their traditional land uses lies with government.
Within this framework, we collaborate with First Nations and government to promote constructive discussions that we hope will lead to long-term solutions. And in many cases it has. Resolute maintains close ties with 27 First Nations in Ontario and in Quebec, we regularly engage with 12 different communities from five separate First Nations.
Over $520,000 invested in health, economic development and youth
$400,000 shared between two Québec regional county municipalities (RCM), Domaine-du-Roy and Maria-Chapdelaine and $120,000 shared between the Roberval and Dolbeau-Mistassini hospital foundations and the Mashteuiatsh Centre de la Petite Enfance (a daycare centre).
As previously posted, we are encouraged to read recent comments by Greenpeace that it is willing to engage Northern communities, workers, First Nations and governments in finding long-term sustainable solutions for the boreal. And we welcome this change of heart by Greenpeace.
In this spirit, Resolute welcomes a resumption of discussions, with the full inclusion of governments, communities, workers and First Nations. At the same time, we are asking Greenpeace to confirm that it will participate in this process. But until this happens, be sure that both Greenpeace and ForestEthics hear you by emailing them directly at act.resolutefp.com.
We are encouraged to read recent comments by Greenpeace that it is willing to engage Northern communities, workers, First Nations and governments in finding long-term sustainable solutions for the boreal. Clearly, Greenpeace has heard the voices of the people of the boreal.
Resolute has been consistent on the need for inclusive discussions, negotiations, and compromise solutions, developed in collaboration with governments, communities, workers and First Nations that lead to the most sustainable outcomes. And we welcome this change of heart by Greenpeace.
For the past two years, Greenpeace and ForestEthics have waged attack campaigns against Resolute and the people of the boreal forest. Resolute is demanding an end to their misinformation campaign and a seat at the table for the people who live and work in the boreal. If you want to make your voice heard, please visit act.resolutefp.com to send an email right now to Greenpeace and ForestEthics. We believe you deserve a voice.
Their market campaigning does not reflect on-the-ground forestry practices and sustainability leadership in Canada. It is based on inaccurate allegations. The fact that the Canadian boreal is considered among the best managed, if not THE best managed, forests in the world does not seem to matter to Greenpeace and ForestEthics.
By law, areas harvested by all Canadian forest products companies operating in the boreal region, are required to be regenerated to ensure there is zero net loss of tree cover. Each year, Resolute supports natural regeneration with responsible harvest practices, and in 2012, the company celebrated the planting of its one billionth tree in northern Ontario. Just a few weeks ago, we participated in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s attempt to break the world record for most trees planted in an hour, planting 38,976 trees in Northwestern Ontario with our reforestation contractors and tree planters.
Following strong demonstrations of support from a broad range of stakeholders and other interested parties, we share with you a letter from the United Steelworkers, representing 20,000 men and women employed in Canada’s forest products industry. The letter expresses ongoing concern with continued activists’ misinformation campaigns targeting the Canadian boreal.
Pedal for Kids is one of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation’s most important fundraisers. This exciting event has raised close to $10.5 million since 1992. The money is used to fund research that contributes to medical breakthroughs, purchase hospital equipment, provide professional training and improve the level of care all patients receive.
The Council of the Innu of Pessamit and Resolute signed a collaboration agreement to promote economic development for the First Nation and Resolute’s North Shore operations.
Signed on June 3, 2015 in Pessamit, the agreement, titled, A Balance Between the Protection of Nitassinan and Economic Development, provides mainly for the recruitment, training and hiring of Innu labor. Over the short and medium terms, members of the Pessamit community could benefit from dozens of job opportunities at Resolute operations. The agreement also provides for investment in Innu businesses in the forest, biofuel and wildlife industries.
On Wednesday, May 27th, close to 30 mayors and other elected officials from communities across Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec held a press conference in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, to highlight the inaccurate and deceptive anti-forestry campaign being waged by Greenpeace and other like-minded activists. Following the press conference, the regional leaders met with a range of federal officials and frankly discussed their concerns regarding market campaign activities, which specifically target the purchase of products from Canada’s boreal forest. The elected municipal officials highlighted Canada’s green credentials, its world leading forestry practices, and the socio-economic importance of the forest products industry to hundreds of communities across the country.
On May 14, 2015, Resolute signed a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Chief Wilfred King of the Gull Bay (Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek, or KZA) First Nation to identify and pursue new economic opportunities.
During a conference recently organized by the Mosaïque interculturelle régionale, Resolute’s Amos (Quebec) mill was awarded the Certification-Ethno for the mill’s efforts in integrating immigrant employees. This certification recognizes companies that recruit immigrant workers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is taking on new meaning at our Kénogami paper mill these days as the mill puts into action a cradle-to-cradle system that focuses on turning one man’s trash into another’s treasure – that is taking a waste product and converting it into a valuable input for another operation or industry.
New program gets teens out of the city and into learning about sustainable forestry.
Most of the world’s populations are concentrated in urban areas. That means the rural world – where forestry happens – can be a bit of a mystery for many of us. Forestry Connects is a new program looking to change that. And since its start, two years ago, over 100 students and educators from southern Ontario have visited the managed forests of Algonquin Park.
If you don’t live in a community in the Boreal, it can be hard to understand the deep connection that exists with the forest. But a series of short videos we’re releasing this month should change that.
We sent video crews to our Thunder Bay (Ontario) and Saint-Félicien (Quebec) operations to talk to Resolute employees, suppliers, and other interested parties – all of whom live, work and experience the Boreal.
The 18th annual Tuques Bleues Celebration combines nighttime adventures, tasty treats and an excellent cause for nearly 450 members of Montréal’s business community
Most of us will be glad to see this winter go. But for 20 Resolute employees in Montréal, one memory might not fade too quickly.
Realistic training exercises are a major factor in ensuring that Canadian soldiers get the training they need to participate safely and successfully in missions that could take them to dangerous parts of the world. Training helps participants understand and test their skills in the types of indoor and outdoor spaces they might find themselves in BEFORE they get into real world situations.
Quebec student engineering challenge highlights the beauty of wood construction.
As a construction material, wood has a lot going for it. It’s durable, structurally strong, and it’s fast and efficient to build with. There’s also its value as a renewable building material, but most of all, it’s just beautiful (yes, we’re a little biased on that front).
Resolute and six First Nations celebrate a ground-breaking agreement in Ontario
Engaging our First Nations partners to support our operations in Northwestern Ontario just became a little more official. On February 10th, we signed a Memorandum of Agreement that sets out the framework for several contracts that have resulted in C$100 million in new business for our six First Nations MOA partners.
Join the Boreal Forum Online Conversation
On February 10th, Resolute’s Boreal Forum initiative continued with a town hall discussion in Ignace Ontario, once again hosted by Resolute Forest Products’ President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Garneau. The discussion followed similar events held in Thunder Bay and Atikokan (Ontario) in late November of last year and in Quebec regions over the past 18 months.
Tyler Herbert and Guy Legarrie left Atikokan for different reasons and at different times. Now they’re coming back for the same thing: to advance their forestry careers at our new Sapawe sawmill, 30 km out of town. Several years ago Atikokan was hard hit by the closing of two forestry operations but the pendulum has swung back and the community welcomes Tyler and Guy, and their families back to Atikokan.
Resolute has launched an initiative we call the Boreal Forum in Ontario. What is it? It’s an online discussion forum designed to encourage open dialogue among all interested stakeholders in communities where Resolute has boreal forest operations. It’s our view that forest-dependent communities, including First Nations and local governments and stakeholders, must have a say in the industries that sustain them.
Calhoun has seen a busy few months on its social calendar. First it won the county economic development authority’s Innovator of the Year award this summer. Then, by the fall, its team was standing in front of the cameras again. This time they were handing two sizeable cheques to regional Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity representatives.
Those who work “manual labor” – such as farm equipment mechanics, mushers and bush pilots – are always happy to introduce the TV host of “Jobs de bras”, Patrick Groulx, to the basics of their jobs.
Every year, during the 3rd week in September, Canada marks National Forest Week to celebrate how truly valuable our forests are to all Canadians and to the entire world. This year, National Forest Week runs from September 21 to 27, and is highlighted by National Tree Day, which falls on September 24.
The 2014 campaign of the Grand Rassemblement des Premières Nations and the Fondation de l’héritage culturel autochtone, whose last activity took place yesterday (September 11), raised more than $125,000. The funds will be used to support organizations in the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Resolute’s Fairmont team has been recognized by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce for its community support and involvement. The Fairmont Mill received the President’s Award during the Chamber of Commerce’s 61st annual dinner meeting held on August 13, 2014.
At the request of an avid angler and cottager in the area north of Lac-Saint-Jean, a small team from Resolute took on the task of unblocking a culvert in the Lapointe River, which is used by speckled trout to spawn.
Management met with Laurentide paper mill workers in Shawinigan, Quebec, today to inform them that the mill will be shut down permanently on or about October 15, 2014. Unfortunately, owing to its cost structure and market conditions, economically viable options could not be found for the mill.
In 2011, after emerging from a difficult period in the Company’s history, we knew it was time for a fresh perspective. We were then known as AbitibiBowater, following the merger of Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater, and coming up with a fresh new brand identity seemed like the perfect way to move forward as a strong, united organization.
With three significant projects in the works in northwestern Ontario, our HR team has been hard at work spreading the word that a slew of jobs will become available in the region over the next year. A new wood pellet plant is under construction in Thunder Bay, our sawmill at Ignace is set to restart, and the town of Atikokan will soon have a brand new sawmill.
Yesterday was a proud day in Calhoun, Tennessee, where we broke ground on a $105 million upgrade at our pulp and paper mill. What’s involved in an investment that big? Read our Q&A and find out!
Yes, you read correctly. Resolute has teamed up with local investors in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec to build “Les Serres Toundra”, a 35-hectare greenhouse complex on land adjacent to our Saint-Félicien pulp mill.
Yesterday, Éric Pelletier, a harvest supervisor working at our forestry operations near Baie-Comeau, Quebec noticed a large-sized bird on the ground near a forest road. The bird looked injured. He communicated with the Company office by radio right away and within minutes, government conservation agents had been notified. They then realized that the bird he’d found was a young female bald eagle who had suffered a broken wing. The bald eagle has been on Quebec’s vulnerable species list since 2003.
Employees at our Catawba, South Carolina paper mill have been abuzz with excitement since the launch of the first Little Free Library!
A Little Free Library is a public station stocked with a variety of books available for borrowing at no charge. The goal of the Little Free Libraries is to bring the joy and power of reading to community members of all ages. Visitors to the Little Free Libraries can peruse the books and take home one that catches their eye – and if they have books at home that are ready to be enjoyed by someone else, they can bring those back to the Library.
Resolute’s plan to invest $90 million for three major projects in Northwestern Ontario is well underway and includes a new sawmill in Atikokan, the upgrade and restart of our idled Ignace sawmill, and the production capacity increase and building of a wood pellet plant at our Thunder Bay sawmill. The projects will create about 175 new jobs in the region – not to mention many indirect jobs in areas like harvesting, hauling and forest management.
There are people who are committed to their jobs. There are people who are committed to their communities. And then there’s Johnny Hooker. In December 2011, Johnny, a 40-year veteran with our company, saw a tornado strike his hometown of Bradley County. He knew exactly what to do. He went on vacation to volunteer full time for the American Red Cross as they came to the aid of affected families.