Vancouver, B.C. – Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement (“PPMS”) and West Fraser announced today that they have entered into a Strategic Initiative Framework Agreement. Under the Agreement PPMS will make a financial investment in West Fraser and the parties will work together to provide education, training and skills development to PPMS members with a goal of advancing opportunities for those members to achieve full-time employment in the forest products industry and other industries. West Fraser and PPMS have also agreed to explore other areas of potential mutual benefit including consulting and contracting relationships and cooperating in community development opportunities.
PPMS is a former owner of Manning Diversified Forest Products Ltd. (“Manning”) which owned and operated a sawmill in Manning, Alberta. West Fraser acquired Manning in late 2015 and subsequently West Fraser and PPMS entered into discussions which culminated in today’s announcement.
Greg Calliou, Chairperson of PPMS said “We are excited to partner with West Fraser towards the realization of our mutual goals. We consider the strategic initiative as a good and wise investment for Paddle Prairie and the beginning of a great relationship with West Fraser. Our community will benefit from the training and economic development proposed under the initiative. Partnering with West Fraser is a stepping stone for PPMS’s direct involvement and proactive participation in the local forest industry.”
Ted Seraphim, West Fraser’s CEO and President said “We are very pleased that our discussions have reached a more concrete stage and we believe that the mutual respect and optimism that this Agreement represents will contribute to this initiative’s long-term success. We appreciate our partner’s financial investment in West Fraser which we believe will benefit the community as a whole for many years to come. There is still much work to be done and hard work and commitment by both parties will be needed in order for us to achieve our goals.”
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.
West Fraser shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: “WFT”.
Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement is a Metis settlement in northern Alberta, Canada within the County of Northern Lights and adjacent to Mackenzie County. It is located along the Mackenzie Highway, approximately 72 kilometres south of the Town of High Level.
For more information:
Larry Hughes, Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Larry Gardner, Vice-President, Canadian Woodlands