At the turn of the century, Chantiers Chibougamau faced a dilemma: demand for traditional softwood lumber products – their main line of business – was on the decline and the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States put the pressure on to find new revenue streams. Since trees harvested in northern Québec are often relatively small, the company needed to be innovative to remain profitable. Through their partnership with FPInnovations, the company developed a new line of value-added engineered wood products, which opened up new building design and construction possibilities while also increasing revenue and creating jobs. Today, a quarter of the company’s workforce – 250 people – have jobs directly linked to wood products engineered in a lab and sold internationally.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation wishes to acknowledge and thank Groupe Robin in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, for access to their offices for the production of this video and photo shoot.