Hornepayne Lumber Welcomes Government’s Release of the Draft Forestry Sector Strategy

Forestry will be impacted by climate change

Hornepayne – Business – Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power (Hornepayne) welcome the Government of Ontario’s release of the draft Forestry Sector Strategy that aims to ensure sustainable management of forest resources, while also supporting job creation, promoting economic growth, and reducing unnecessary burden and costs for businesses in the industry.

“The values of job creation, truly sustainable forests, regional economic growth, and innovation are core to our operations at both Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power, and to our community goals as well. We welcome this strategy as a key component of supporting the Northern Ontario communities whose economies depend on the future viability of this sector,” said Chief Keith Corston, Chapleau Cree First Nation

Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power is an integrated sawmill and biomass cogeneration plant, with First Nations as equity partners, that invests more than $45 million into the regional economy. Together, the Hornepayne site employs more than 130 employees with regional spending from the site for log harvesting transportation, supplies, and services creating more than 400 additional jobs in the region.

For example, the Hornepayne operations contribute more than $25 million annually into Ontario’s forestry sector for wood, stumpage and reforestation. Hornepayne is also committed to sustainable operations that ensure the full use of forest resources and environmentally sustainable operations, by, in part, converting the biomass waste from Hornepayne sawmill operations into steam and electricity from the Hornepayne biomass cogeneration power plant.

“Hornepayne Lumber views the recently released draft Provincial Forest Strategy as a signal that the Ontario government is prioritizing the long-term economic growth and prosperity of Northern Ontario,” said Chief Jason Gauthier, Missanabie Cree First Nation. “We have a standing call in to meet with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs Ontario. We look forward to working with these ministries in the spirit of economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.”

Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power include direct equity ownership by three First Nations, ensuring meaningful participation by Northern Ontario’s First Nations communities whose collective territories make up the industry’s forest area. Support for these projects to date from the Government of Ontario, as well as from, Natural Resources Canada and Indigenous Services Canada have enabled Hornepayne to get started.

Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power shares and welcomes the view that there is more opportunity to grow and prosper in our remote regions. Forestry is a sustainable industry capable of delivering environmentally positive benefits as well as creating jobs and opportunities for the future.

“Hornepayne is a bold ground-breaking model for Indigenous investment and ownership in the forest industry, but the sector is struggling and desperately need the supportive investments and policies that are required to ensure the financial and environmental sustainability of the industry so that they can provide a return to our communities and citizens,” said Chief Johanna Desmoulin, Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation). “Together, Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power are vital to the economic growth, environmental sustainability, and future viability of the region. We will look to ensure the provincial forestry strategy supports our First Nations communities whose territories provide the natural resources that have supported Ontario’s forest industry and the other communities and citizens who rely on the sector every day.”

About Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power

Hornepayne Lumber (sawmill) and Hornepayne Power (biomass cogeneration plant) are integrated and interdependent facilities operating in the region of Hornepayne. Hornepayne Lumber relies on the cogeneration power plant to consume wood waste resulting from harvesting and manufacturing operations, while Hornepayne Power relies on the sawmill for its supply of biomass and currently has a capacity output of 18 MW. Both operations had been shut down between 2015 and 2016 due to financial unviability, when the Northeast Superior First Nations Investment LP (NSFNI LP) – a consortium of three First Nation communities: Missanabie Cree, Chapleau Cree, and Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert) – raised $4 million to invest and participate in the asset revitalization at the Hornepayne operations. These three First Nations are investors and equity partners in the sawmill and cogeneration plant, which contribute more than $45 million into the regional economy, is responsible for creating over 190 direct and up to 570 indirect jobs in the community. Hornepayne Lumber also contributes approx. $4 million annually in stumpage fees into Ontario’s forestry budget. Most importantly, Hornepayne Lumber and Hornepayne Power are critical to the local economy, as locals have limited or no viable alternative for jobs in the region, and fulfills a need for meaningful engagement and self-determination for First Nations peoples in Northern Ontario.