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N.S. appoints board to oversee spending of $50M forestry trust


June 17, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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The government of Nova Scotia has appointed a three-member board to oversee spending decisions of a $50-million trust fund established earlier this year to support the province’s forestry sector.

First announced in February following the closure of Northern Pulp, the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust may be accessed by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors.

Sandra McKenzie, owner of McKenzie Consulting and co-founder at The Forge Institute, an organization dedicated to thought leadership for positive change, has been appointed by the government to act as board chair. McKenzie has previously served as deputy minister of several provincial government departments.

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The other two trustees nominated by the province’s forestry transition team – established to seek short-term interventions and identify priority areas for investment – are David Saxton, a retired partner from Grant Thornton LLP, and Douglas Hall, former managing director at RBC Capital Markets and currently director of the advisory board of Southwest Properties and a director of Stanfield’s.

The trust will support projects that align with the priorities developed by the forestry transition team for Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. Advice and guidance will be sought from sector leaders and innovators.

Projects eligible for funding may include the development of new high-value products, the development of new or enhanced business models, processes or services, new inclusive economic growth opportunities in forestry, or new ecological services.

Forestry sector workers may also seek funding from the trust to support training or retraining, if all other education funding sources have been exhausted.

The trust expects to open for applications in July. Further details on the application process will be released later this month.

The fund will be available for five years, to March 31, 2025, or when the funds have been spent.

In addition to the trust, the forestry transition team has already announced projects valued at more than $25 million.