World’s First Fully Automated Cedar Shingle Factory Coming to Clair, NB 

News release

July 18, 2019                                                 Clair, New Brunswick                             Natural Resources Canada

Investments in wood innovation have the potential to grow the economy, tackle climate change and create jobs in rural and remote communities. 

René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska–Restigouche, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $2.4-million investment to help build the world’s first fully automated cedar shingle facility.

The funding will enable shingle manufacturer Waska to employ the novel use of lasers, sensors and advanced algorithms, which are a set of computer-generated instructions typically used to perform problem-solving operations in production.

The new, improved and highly digitalized automated process will significantly increase production, result in higher precision rates, lower production costs, reduce energy usage, and enhance efficiency.

Provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, this investment will sustain over 90 jobs, create 26 new positions, and help generate a continued revenue stream for the rural community of Clair, New Brunswick.

The construction of this new automated plant will deliver economic benefits to the surrounding region by improving the facility’s energy consumption and enhancing productive capacity, helping strengthen its forest industry.

Through Budget 2019, the government proposes an additional $82.9 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, for the IFIT program. This investment will provide continued support for the industrial commercialization and adoption of innovative technologies and processes across Canada’s forest sector.

Waska is a division of Clair Industrial Development Corporation Ltd., has been in operation for 50 years and focuses on manufacturing a variety of shingles and fences.


“Innovative companies like Waska help position New Brunswick as a leader in the forest sector, while generating economic prosperity and creating jobs in the region. By supporting the diversification of forest products in New Brunswick and throughout Canada, we are producing tangible benefits now and for future generations.”

- René Arseneault
Member of Parliament for Madawaska–Restigouche

“The technological shift our business has taken will allow us to embrace the concept of Industry 4.0. After 50 years of improving mechanical operations, it was time to incorporate digital technology in order to continue to increase productivity and make gains in efficiency.”

- Jacques LeVasseur
President, Waska

“As a leading corporate citizen, Waska has contributed and continues to contribute to the well-being and quality of life of our community. By investing in innovation to transform your forest products, you are contributing significantly to job and wealth creation for all of Haut-Madawaska. This investment will create approximately 20 jobs in addition to the 90 employees who already work for your business. This initiative can only benefit the community as a whole, and with it you are joining the world’s best processors of forest products.”

- Jean-Pierre Ouellet

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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