Innovative Projects Launch New Ways to Utilize Sustainable Forest Resources  

News release

October 25, 2022                British Columbia                   Natural Resources Canada                             

Canada has vast forest resources that have the potential to drive low-carbon economic growth and create sustainable jobs. The creation of renewable bioproducts from dead or damaged trees, as well as the utilization of hybrid wood products, is a step forward in using innovative technologies for environmental sustainability.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced two contributions through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program that support Canada’s forest sector in becoming more economically competitive and environmentally sustainable through targeted investments in advanced technologies. The program is providing $1.14 million to Deadwood Innovations and the Nak’azdli Development Corporation (NDC) to build and optimize a pilot-scale facility deploying an innovative process to manufacture value-added engineered wood products from underutilized dead and damaged wood fibre, as well as $4.25 million to Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko) to expand and diversify its production beyond commodity plywood products to include specialty, industrial and engineered wood products.

Deadwood Innovations, together with the Nak’azdli Development Corporation and in partnership with the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation, has established a pilot plant at the Tl’oh Forest Products mill in Fort St. James, B.C. The project provides an opportunity to develop products from underutilized fibre to support local economic diversification and job creation and to minimize wildfire risks. The joint venture is also currently working with the Government of British Columbia to commercialize these wood products through the provincial Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program.

Additionally, with the support of the IFIT program, Tolko aims to use innovative manufacturing equipment to produce new value-added wood products with environmental sustainability in mind. In addition to maximizing value from Tolko’s operations, this project will also increase the availability of low-carbon building materials produced in Canada.

Both projects will open up new employment opportunities in the forest sector, provide economic development benefits to the local communities and advance innovative products and technologies that support the low-carbon economy.


“Canada’s forest sector supports economic growth and thousands of jobs right across the country. Through initiatives such as the IFIT program and funding projects like those announced today, the Government of Canada is working collaboratively to advance innovative technologies that will make our forest sector more competitive and more sustainable through the utilization of dead or damaged wood fibre as well as hybrid wood products.”

Jonathan Wilkinson

The Honourable Minister of Natural Resources

“The IFIT program has provided our partnership with essential contributions to design, build and develop our wood modification technology from concept to pilot. The funding closed a gap for our forest technology startup and helped position us to prepare for commercialization due diligence. Deadwood and Nak’azdli Whut’en are on the precipice of driving sustainable, valuable change in forestry; we are sincerely grateful for the support of the knowledgeable IFIT team.”

Owen Miller

President, Deadwood Innovations

“With the support of the IFIT program, we are a step closer to the commercialization of the Deadwood Innovations project, a project that is of utmost importance to the community by providing jobs and continuing the path to an environmentally sustainable forest industry.” 

John-Paul Wegner

CEO, Nak’azdli Development Corporation

“Tolko is grateful to receive funding from the IFIT program as we continue to develop innovative new products for our customers. This investment by the Government of Canada demonstrates its commitment to the future of Canada’s forest industry, and it will allow Tolko to continue to meet market demands for sustainably produced forest products while maintaining jobs in B.C.”

Brad Thorlakson

President and CEO, Tolko

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Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations


Keean Nembhard

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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