The forestry industry is very important in the Canadian economy but is subject to large variations. In 2000, it was the largest exporter in the world of market pulp, newsprint and softwood lumber, accounting for 20% of the world trade in forest products. Direct employment (excluding logging) totaled about 65,000, while indirect employment was in the order of 264,000. Open this toggle to read more.

Since that year, the situation has drastically altered. While the industry remains significant, its relative importance has seriously declined. Growth projections that were made at its peak no longer have any validity.

There is no uniform system amongst governments to identify, track and monitor pulp and paper facilities. The federal government (primarily Environment Canada) is the main source of information on the status of mills and pollutants released.  Reporting categories for pollutants are not specific to pulp and paper mills, however, so some mills may not be included while it is not certain that all facilities reporting in the category are pulp and/or paper mills.  The industrial classification systems currently used are confusing and inconsistent. It is even left up to each facility to choose its own classification.

Environment Canada identifies 114 Pulp and Paper Reporters for 2009 in its National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) data. It has also identified 11 mills that have temporarily shut down and 14 mills that are no longer in operation. Since that time closures, both temporary and permanent, have continued.  Latest Environment Canada Pulp and Paper listings can be found on the Environment Canada website.  The site is not current to 2010 and, with all its limitations in isolating mills, it remains the best source of information.

In British Columbia, extensive work was done by Reach for Unbleached on the permit status of pulp mills in the province.  That data can be found below.

* The information on this page was last updated in 2006

BC Pulp and Paper Mills - 2006