Happy Canada Day! .. eh?

Many words have been written about what it means to be Canadian.  While the slightly perturbing growth in the number of those little Maple Leafs appearing on our luggage might be indicating otherwise, it’s been said that the definition of a Canadian is someone who carries moderation to an extreme.  Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler said that Canadians are the English-speaking world’s elected squares.  Native spokesperson Chief Dan George stated that “One of these days every person in Canada will be a Canadian.” Comedian Dave Broadfoot even claimed that Adam was a Canadian: “Nobody but a Canadian would stand in a perfect tropical garden beside a perfectly naked woman and worry about an apple.”
According to a British critic, “Canadians are very nice, very nice, and they expect everybody else to be very nice,” while Bruce Hutchison, author of The Unknown Country wrote:  “In short.. Canada risks a trap of its own invention.  It remains a country affluent, fortunate and wholesome but unfinished and still unknown to a majority of its natives because they have lately ignored the plain facts of their collective life.”  Perhaps the characteristic we share in common with most other countries is the fact that we’re a work in progress.

Finding Fibre..

Where finding fibre is concerned, the politics involved in the mid-term timber supply tour is heating up.  While a final report from the Timber Supply Committee isn’t due until August 15th, recommendations already appear to be heading in the direction of relaxed logging restrictions in previously protected parks areas.  Safe to say salvage logging of beetle-killed timber is somewhere past the peak, in terms of accessibility at least.  All this in the face of predictions for a 50% jump in B.C. forest fires due to climate change.

When one considers the growing sense of optimism in the U.S. housing market, along with the rising global demand for softwood lumber, there is certainly enough fodder for a more bullish outlook to lumber markets this summer and fall.

“Volatile Mix”

With the Timber Supply Committee public hearings set to resume July 5th in 100 Mile House, there’s quite a piece in The Province this morning:
“That B.C.’s forest industry is in for a shakeup due to a grossly diminished pool of commercially harvest-able trees is a certainty.  But there is another related and equally disquieting truth…”  Full Story

#TimberSupply cont.

Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, John Inness, said that the mills running out of timber will be able to gain a short-term timber supply if reserves are logged but it could be at the expense of sustainable forests.  “What people seem to forget – and I don’t really understand this – is that there was extra capacity created to process this lumber when the beetle reached its peak.  Surely people then realized that this was a temporary thing; that it wasn’t going to last.”  Because of the risks of going into the reserves, the outcomes for industry and the environment are uncertain, he said.  “We have never had such proposals for what, in my view, are a pretty regressive step in forest management.”  Vancouver Sun, 6/26

U.S. Housing

Some conflicting data out there on the sale of new homes and re-sales.  New home sales reached a two-year high in May, highlighted by a 37% jump in the Northeast.  Sales were also up in the South (12.7%), while the Midwest (-10.6%) and the West (-3.5%) were down.   According to the full article from Bloomberg here “some economists warned that the weaker job market has also started to affect some home sales.  Sales of previously occupied homes fell in May to a seasonally adjusted sales rate of 4.55 million after nearly touching a two-year high in April.  Still, re-sales have risen 9.6 per cent from the same month last year.  Hiring slowed sharply in April and May, raising concerns about the strength of the recovery.  Employers have added an average of only 73,000 jobs a month in April and May.. much lower than the average of 226,000 added in the first three months of this year.”

“Turtle Quickie”

Perhaps it’s no wonder world stock markets fell sharply today after this news out of Germany suggested a momentary shift in focus – from the eurozone fiscal crisis to the fossilized remains of copulating turtles.  While the Fed twists and Flaherty tightens, aroused paleontologists are frantically working to determine how and why nine reptilian couples died at such an intimate moment:
“The largely aquatic turtles mate in open waters and often begin to sink when they’re copulating — which is no problem in most lakes but proved fatal in the Messel pit lake.  ‘Mating in turtles is quite strenuous and can go on for long periods,’ says Lyson.  The scenario ‘is very speculative but plausible,’ says Donald Jackson, an animal physiologist at Brown University.  It’s possible that the ancient turtles, like some modern species, were relatively oblivious to their surroundings when they were copulating and, therefore, unable to escape the deadly depths.”

Play Ball!

Sunny weather and a sell-out crowd are expected for the Vancouver Canadians home opener at beautiful Nat Bailey Stadium tonight.  Single A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays and defending Northwest League Champions, the C’s will meet the Tri-City Dust Devils, single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.  Team owner Jake Kerr, former CEO of Lignum Ltd, is featured in today’s Globe and Mail here.

Update: The B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association confirms this year’s “Night at the ‘Nat” is Tuesday, July 24th vs the Eugene Emeralds.


The Timber Supply Committee tour is underway; the first in a series of public hearings scheduled through July 12th was held yesterday in Smithers.  An audio recording of this and all future meetings available here.  Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach can be heard early in the recording humoring the crowd with an analogy which could prove prophetic: “I was thinking of analogies last night and it reminded me of when I’m working late at night and there is a piece of cake in the fridge that I promised my wife that I would save for my kids school lunches and it’s a certain size piece of cake and as the clock goes on I start thinking about whether they would notice if I took just a little bit of that piece of cake so I take a little bit and it looks the same size as it was before and another hour goes by and I am reading some more transcripts and I open the fridge door and take another piece of cake and often by morning that piece is looking pretty small.”

Related: Timber Supply Meeting Public Consultations Start in SmithersCFTK-TV 6/18

What a night!

BCWLA President Carl Dobler welcomed a boisterous sell-out crowd at 6:40 pm, and Roastmaster Jack Hetherington, in fine form indeed, set the stage for three very entertaining roasters from West Fraser: Bill LeGrow, Andy McGibbon, and Mark Thomson (including a cameo by Mike Flanagan).  Some images below of a most memorable evening in honor of the 2012 Lumberman of the Year, Joe Heath.

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BCWLA Roast this evening..

The 32nd Annual B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association Roast honoring 2012 Lumberman of the Year Joe Heath, North American Sales Manager at West Fraser, is almost here!  Harderblog will be working the red carpet, there to catch every glittering entrance at the Vancouver Club starting at 5:00 p.m.  A trading pause is already apparent in anticipation of the 5% export tax year’s biggest gala, with over twenty representatives from West Fraser alone scheduled for early departure ex Quesnel this afternoon.
Roastmaster for the evening is 2010 Lumberman of the Year and former BCWLA President Jack “Captain Canada” Hetherington.  The three roasters are all from West Fraser: Bill LeGrow (Retired VP Transportation & Energy), Andy McGibbon (North American Sales), and Mark Thomson (Transportation Manager).  Tune in tomorrow for a full review!