CALGARY, Alberta – Throughout the pandemic, lumber prices have continued to rise to historical highs and experts say the end is not yet in sight. People have been spending much more time at home and the demand for renovations is up. Case in point, the cost of a single 2’x4′ by 96″ pine board in Calgary has skyrocketed to $13 each in recent months. Builders, home DIYers, and contractors have all felt the pinch and it is decimating jobs in the city. Well it seems our fair Mayor Nenshi has a plan, and one that will cement his legacy as one of the best mayors in the city’s history.
Beginning June 1, 2021, the city has approved the deforestation and clearcut of all city parks and boulevards. The trees will be harvested and taken to rec centres throughout the city that will have their interiors converted to lumber and pulp milling operations. These mills will then sell the finished products wholesale out of tents in the abandoned parking lots.
In addition to the use of city-owned vegetation, they are offering $50 per tree to private land owners wishing to cash in on this venture. The city will show up with cash, or e-transfer if you prefer, before the crews trim and remove trees no your property for processing.
“We see this as win win. We get to create cheaper lumber to build more sprawling junk. Calgary residents never have to clean up leaves again. Green bins get emptier, landfills shrink. And as a bonus, we can pave more parks and make them easier to shovel in the winter. I mean, who likes shovelling in densely-treed areas?” – Rip Sawdown, YYC Milling and Pulp
According to the city’s sophisticated computer forecasting models, it expects the price of municipally-sourced softwood lumber to come down by 65-87%, which will have a significant impact on the bottomline for homebuilders and DIYers across the city.
Opponents to the plan include environmentalists and conservationists alike, and they aren’t happy with idea. Councillor Dew Barbell, who voted against the plan, says that the city needs it trees.
“What’s more important? Having lush greenspaces throughout our beautiful city or lower lumber prices? I sometimes wonder if my boss has lost his mind trying all sorts of hair-brained ideas knowing that he’s not running in this fall’s election… The sooner that big-smiling, barney-looking, son-of-a-gun leaves office, the better Calgary will be.” – DEW BARBELL
The city also has plans to use the 2 most recent city-owned YMCA builds, in the Rocky Ridge and Seton neighbourhoods, as processing facilities for a new product altogether. It plans to manufacture a new kind of synthetic wood pulp and bitumen hybrid building material. Dubbed Oilwood™, it would be similar to other synthetic boards but manufactured entirely in Alberta and dried to optimum hardness using previously scrapped solar arrays from southern Alberta.