Understanding the lumber shortage

Published / Updated on

PLEASE NOTE: This guide was originally written in French. If you are using the English version of our site, you will see an automatic translation. You can change the language from the menu in the site header or see our English language guides here.

Several causes have contributed to the current shortage of lumber. While demand has increased sharply during periods of containment, sawmills are having difficulty getting their heads out of the water! In addition, for several years, the price of lumber had been so low that they were already struggling to make a profit. So it's a huge turnaround. Let's take a closer look!

“The price of wood has increased on average 200 to 300 % in Canada since the start of 2020. Is it time to better manage our forests? At least that's what Professor Christian Messier believes. "

SOURCE: RAD

This video from RAD, published on June 18, 2021, tells us that before the pandemic, specialists had predicted a decrease in demand for wood in Canada, so local manufacturers had started to reduce their production. In addition, in British Columbia, one of the main producing provinces in the country, an epidemic of insects has infected much of the wood intended for processing into lumber (that which is used in particular for residential construction. ), causing an even greater reduction in supply.  

Thus, several causes have contributed to the shortage we are currently experiencing. While demand has increased sharply during periods of containment, sawmills are having difficulty getting their heads out of the water! In addition, for several years, the price of lumber had been so low that they were already struggling to make a profit. So it's a huge turnaround. 

Still according to Christian Messier, professor of forest ecology at UQAM and UQO, we should now change our way of doing things and adapt to the diversity offered by our forests. From the outset, the industry turns to spruce or even pine, while other species can very well play the role of lumber if they are well processed. By raising consumers' awareness of the impact of their demand on forests, he said we could avoid having to control plantations, which would reduce the vulnerability of woodlots and would once again avoid a crisis like the one we are currently experiencing. 

For further :

1- In the video, we are talking about British Columbia, one of the main suppliers of lumber in the country. Using the app Google Earth, it is possible to fly over this region and see its geographical features.  

Following the exploration, the students are invited to record in a document the observations made, such as the characteristics of the relief, the territory, the vegetation or even the names of certain towns. We can take this opportunity to use applications such as Book Creator or ThingLink in order to present the region. An image of a map of British Columbia can be used as a shading to illustrate the territory. 

2- Also, why not choose one of the types of trees found there, such as Douglas fir, make a reproduction in drawing using an application like Paper or on cardboard while having fun with textures, patterns and colors? Then, we can insert information about other places where we find the type of tree in question and its main characteristics. 

To find the required information, here is a video that offers students tips for efficient research

In this guide

Discipline: Geography (Social universe), Plastic arts
Degree: Second / Third cycle of primary and lower secondary

Dimensions of digital competence: 

  • Innovate and be creative with digital
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Develop and mobilize their technological skills

Elements of the program: 

Lower secondary geography 

  • Locate a forest area
  • Give the characteristics of a forest area

Plastic arts (primary)

  • Experiment with elements of visual arts language / use a combination
 

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