Quebec and Ontario Lumber Headed to Storm-Hit Areas


A cargo ship departed Baie-Comeau, QC, on Sunday to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico, ravaged by the passing of Hurricane Maria, according to CBC Monday. Most of the US terri- tory’s 3.4 million residents remain without power and are struggling to find clean water and fuel.

Resolute Forest Products said an employee at its Montreal headquarters, who is originally from Puerto Rico, brought the idea forward. Resolute director of public affairs, Karl Black- burn estimated that the total value of the shipment has doubled to around $10,000 with the help of Baie-Comeau’s Maxi grocery store.

Canadian Forest Industry Sending Aid to Puerto Rico

‘’We were asked to send drinking water and local companies pitched in to add non-perishables,’’ said Resolute Forest Products director of public affairs, Karl Blackburn, to CBC Monday.

The cargo ship is expected to reach the country’s capital by mid-October. It was already scheduled to dock in San Juan to deliver paper supplies to its regular clients.

Resolute Forest Products is also working out the final details to send construction materials to Houston, TX, badly hit by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, as well as southern Florida, pummelled by Hurricane Irma in September.

‘’We will be sending wood from the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to rebuild homes,’’ said Karl Blackburn.

The company has partnered with the international aid organization Habitat for Humanity. Blackburn said the call for action also came from an employee who had worked in Houston. After hearing first-hand accounts of the devastation left by Irma from former colleagues he asked the company to send a truck load of wood to help reconstruction efforts.

‘’Richard Garneau [the president and CEO] answered let’s send a whole wagon load,’’ said Blackburn, estimating the value of each shipment at $50,000.

As well, White River Forest Products reported Tuesday its donation of lumber has arrived in Houston, TX, to assist in the rebuilding of 111 Habitat for Humanity homes that were affected by Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, said Soo Today.

The community-based Northern Ontario lumber mill, out of White River, ON, quietly took on the challenge laid down by Resolute Forest Products, who donated a rail-car of lumber after Hurricane Harvey and asked other lumber manufacturers to follow suit. Frank Dottori, CEO of White River Forest Products (WRFP), spurred his team to mobilize and send over $20,000 worth of eight-foot 2×4 lumber to Houston to help rebuild.