Outland Reforestation/Restoration

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Nate
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Nate » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:01 pm

Scooter wrote:Maybe we should consult with Mr. Machiavelli ...
"Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved." - NM

Good advice for running a crew.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Tupperfan » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:04 am

Machiavelli and Sun Tzu as planting motivators? And no one cited Nietzsche yet?

Then here's a good one for you:

"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal."
-Leo Tolstoy

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by the_dude » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:31 am

"Such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves." ~Hobbes

I take back my understanding contribution to this post earlier. I'm ashamed to have written it. anyone who buys into the defense of management after multiple warnings deserves it for not paying attention. There is a reason myself, the hamster and others who have worked for Outland in several different camps slag on this company day in and out. because there is no slander, I will say this, Outland managed to exploit me in every way imaginable. some of the vehicles are dangerously unsafe (El crumino being an example of a crummy that should not be on the road). Dangerously unsafe work is forced on people. . They screw up payment, will only advance you money and not pay throughout the season, often times no advance was waiting for us, stuck in town relying on visa or the generosity of friends, and they promote people who tow the company line rather then being complete planters. I've been put in several comprimising situations with the supervisors full knowledge. heres an impressive stat, I think every Outland checker that I've worked with has gotten a job because they were sleeping with management, fucking ladder climbers. TO ALL ROOKIES, AVOID LIKE THE FUCKING PLAGUE. guess why people who work for outland have never worked for someone else??

and tupper, I'm not gonna engage you again on this, we know how you feel, replant.ca knows how you feel, and you've been quite eloquent on the pro-Outland side. Loyalty in any case is admirable. we also know your a deliverer and tow the company line, perhaps based on positive experiences with Outland. How you managed to avoid the shit year in and year out is beyond me if thats the case, but that's awesome! We should go the casino. your opinion is yours regardless. but this was a rookie looking for honest advice, and I feel I misled him because of my last post. That and my mistrust for Outland management runs far deeper then you could possibly imagine.

My rant turned out to be much longer then expected, but Outland makes my blood boil.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Tupperfan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:00 am

"Such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves." ~Hobbes

I take back my understanding contribution to this post earlier. anyone who buys into the defense of management after multiple warnings deserves it for not paying attention. There is a reason myself, the hamster and others who have worked for Outland in several different camps slag on this company day in and out. because there is no slander, I will say this, Outland managed to exploit me in every way imaginable. some of the vehicles are dangerously unsafe (El crumino being an example of a crummy that should not be on the road). Dangerously unsafe work is forced on people. . They screw up payment, will only advance you money and not pay throughout the season, often times no advance was waiting for us, stuck in town relying on visa or the generosity of friends, and they promote people who tow the company line rather then being complete planters. I've been put in several comprimising situations with the supervisors full knowledge. heres an impressive stat, I think every Outland checker that I've worked with has gotten a job because they were sleeping with management, fucking ladder climbers. TO ALL ROOKIES, AVOID LIKE THE FUCKING PLAGUE. guess why people who work for outland have never worked for someone else??

and tupper, I'm not gonna engage you again on this, we know how you feel, replant.ca knows how you feel, and you've been quite eloquent on the pro-Outland side.we also know your a deliverer and have a limited career as a planter. your opinion is yours regardless. but this was a rookie looking for honest advice, and I feel I misled him because of my last post. That and my mistrust for Outland management runs far deeper then you could possibly imagine.

My rant turned out to be much longer then expected, but Outland makes my blood boil
"Ma condescendance n'avait point reconnu tant de prééminence (My condescension never recognized such superiority)" -Voltaire

Okay.

Yes, I believe rookies should research their future employer, and fuck man, if they find the negative stuff that's been written, they should definitely take it into account!

Crummies, dude? Crummies can't even roll on Alberta roads anymore...

I do have a limited career of four years as a planter, plus my "famous" years as a deliverer for one company, so you're completely right. Yet I think I've busted my ass as much as any of you for any of the years I've worked in this industry. Look down on my sole sylviculture employer the way you want, mostly since you have personal experience with them, I believe you're entitled to. I've conceded many points to you, publicly and privately, but never associate whatever feelings you have towards the company to me personally, because I know you don't know me nor my work ethics, and I feel confident about everything I've done, no matter what you believe...and no matter if you edited your post (I did as well, frenchness comes back with a vengeance when I'm intoxicated).

And yes, after all this, I do not think the whole actual company is reflected in your experiences...But I'm definitely not trying to convince you with such a statement, except maybe if I'd claim I'm completely sold out to them, that I know you'd believe.

Fuck, I had my qualms too, dealing with some shit, but they were so minor comparing to the stuff you've cited that I guess I planted on Mars for many years! Good land, not too organic though...doubt the trees will thrive!

I love your Hobbes' quote, and you're giving me intentions I don't have, but so it is with anonymous internet forums. Maybe I try to sound wiser than I am, yet so do you with such a quote and this condescending (albeit slightly edited, therefore sweetened) post. But hey, that's something to expect in this field of work...

Happy continuity with the loathing.

Drunken rant ends now...
Last edited by Tupperfan on Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:12 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by the_dude » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:04 am

Note:
removed the limited career shot. Not fair.

also, that post was designed for irony. i'm fully aware.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Tupperfan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:40 am

Point well-taken.

And while we're on the irony; Me lucky? Not at all, I would actually be the worst person to bring to a casino. Dumb, though? Maybe... probably.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by TheHamsterizer » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:30 am

You guys and your quotes.... I can use wikipedia too, you know.

"It's better to stay silent and look a fool, rather than speak and remove all doubt." Mark Twain

:mrgreen:
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Tupperfan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:34 am

TheHamsterizer wrote:You guys and your quotes.... I can use wikipedia too, you know.

"It's better to stay silent and look a fool, rather than speak and remove all doubt." Mark Twain

:mrgreen:
I and a few others should definitely keep that one in mind... and wikipedia's encyclopedic reliability!

Was drunk last night, but I'm done with this discussion. People are entitled to their opinions on companies they worked for, I just have a problem when they make personal assumptions on people they don't know.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mr. Amazing » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:41 pm


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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by therock » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:03 pm

I hear they got 8.5 for those trees! no j-roots

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by mblackfly » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:42 pm

the_dude wrote:sorry, I should clarify, by treating rookies well I mean not treating them like worm shit, your the lowest on the ladder, but Outland doesn't care about it. That being said, don't let your guard down. Know when bullshit is going on, and familiarize yourself with Alberta labour laws, so you can not deal with their shit, I wish I had (see previous posts for explicit details re: Outland).
I agree with this, and Glantz will run you into the ground But go for it, you'll make some money and Glantz is an amazing planter and can teach you the ropes.

EDIT: I edited this post because my original post wasn't fair to Glantz. He is a hard ass and a prick, but sometimes a supervisor has to be.
Last edited by mblackfly on Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by mblackfly » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:51 pm

Nate wrote:
Scooter wrote:Maybe we should consult with Mr. Machiavelli ...
"Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved." - NM

Good advice for running a crew.
You have got to be kidding me, how did you get to that conclusion... You may get a planter to fear you for one season, but they won't come back to you the next. That and a shitty work environment = shitty numbers.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Scooter » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:06 pm

Planters come back to foremen who make them money. I had to make a choice once between two foremen. Once was a great guy to hang out with, party with, fun and relaxed and it would have been an awesome time. The other was a bit of a prick, but worked his ass off to make sure that we made money.

I chose the latter.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by mblackfly » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:36 pm

Scooter wrote:Planters come back to foremen who make them money. I had to make a choice once between two foremen. Once was a great guy to hang out with, party with, fun and relaxed and it would have been an awesome time. The other was a bit of a prick, but worked his ass off to make sure that we made money.

I chose the latter.
I'd agree with this choice, but I have a hard time trusting pricks with my money. I warn anyone going into that system to beware of the sleight of hand stuff, and stand up for themselves when management tries to fuck them around.
Personally I'd prefer to work for someone who I know would make solid money and not try to make my job harder than it already is. Don't you think you'd plant more in that situation too?

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Scooter » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:06 pm

The thing is though that the "prick" foreman wasn't trying to make our jobs harder. He enforced quality, and made us work our asses off. If we felt like being lazy, he tore a strip off us. But he certainly tried to make sure that we made more, whether it was by making our jobs easier, making us work on days that we didn't feel like it, teaching us tricks to improve our efficiency, or whatever.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by TheHamsterizer » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:39 am

Scooter wrote:The thing is though that the "prick" foreman wasn't trying to make our jobs harder. He enforced quality, and made us work our asses off. If we felt like being lazy, he tore a strip off us. But he certainly tried to make sure that we made more, whether it was by making our jobs easier, making us work on days that we didn't feel like it, teaching us tricks to improve our efficiency, or whatever.
I hate those kinds of foremen. I don't need to make more money than I feel like making, and I don't need to feel guilty about just cruising sometimes. I'll take a day-rate foreman over a commissioned one most of the time. In my first couple of seasons though it helped to have a hard ass foreman, just to ingrain the work ethic. But now that I have a plethora of chronic injuries in various states of aggravation I reserve the right to take it easy sometimes. I've seen keener foremen work their crews into the ground before, and that's no way to run a crew.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by krahn » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:01 pm

i assume hamsterizer has had dayrate foreman outside of wildwoods? because those do work pretty hard for their money, plus they have a pretty good system going.

at times i do prefer dayraters but at others definitely not. i've never decided which is better. depends mostly on the individual foreman i guess.

i do know, that no matter how much i like the person, or how hard they work, i never want to work for a first-year foreman.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by mblackfly » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:08 pm

Scooter wrote:The thing is though that the "prick" foreman wasn't trying to make our jobs harder. He enforced quality, and made us work our asses off. If we felt like being lazy, he tore a strip off us. But he certainly tried to make sure that we made more, whether it was by making our jobs easier, making us work on days that we didn't feel like it, teaching us tricks to improve our efficiency, or whatever.
I see what you mean now, I misinterpreted what you meant by 'prick'. What I read there sounds like someone I'd want as my boss.

EDIT: I considered a 'prick' as someone who either steals from you, lies, or blames planters for what goes wrong in a contract. That is a 'prick' to me.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by treeskipper » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:42 am

i worked for outland last summer as a cook. It was a firebase, not a planting camp. however, there are similer people involved with outland catering/planting(ab). I had no real problems, first pay was two days late witch is absolutly fine. and that was the biggest problem i had. nice folks, although i never left ghost mountain to visit spruce grove, kate,shannon(Ret.),sam, etc. I would/have soft plans to work for them in future. I never saw outlands planting Op., but the logistics were good.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by dreamofcream » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:51 am

I have heard many things about Outland, particu.ar.y about stashing and overclaiming, low tree prices, poor organization and etc. I have worked for this company in the past, and no longer do. I would like to give an honest and fair summary of my experience working with the company in western Canada, I've worked in camps for Outland in every province west of Ontario excluding BC where the company does not operate.

I was never not paid for a tree I planted with Outland, even though I had to provide my own tallies to prove a particular days numbers. Although I planted land that I and others have felt were underpriced, I never worked a full contract with the company that cumulatively people have not made decent money, with the exception of one. The exception was one small contract, consisting of 6 others excluding myself and including management. Although it ended up being poor monetarily, we were given priority for late season work. They work long seasons for non coastal work, with the last contract in Alberta this year being the last two weeks of august. I never paid over 22$ camp costs, and was always fed well. I had overwhelmingly good experiences with management from regional managers down to checkers and tree runners, with the exception of one crew boss in my rookie year that was not fond of me and no longer works in the industry. They deal with many employees in a season but will give preferential treatment in terms of continued work and future management positions (they typically promote within). I was never sent to a block without water (and never drank severely bleached water, at least enough so that i could taste it). I was pulled off the block for extreme wind and multiple hunters around baiting bears and shooting, and was always given the option of sitting in the truck during extreme weather conditions. I was never forced to do anything I didn't want to, ever. When with the company on one contract there was a blatant overclaim issue and after the individual mostly responsible for the issue was caught via hard work from management (counting and comparing numbers) and an admission afterwards by the individual, he was dealt with fairly and brought back to camp to pack and to the bus station before any angry planters got wind of it. I have heard rumors of stashing within the company, and know of a serious issue that was dealt with (firings and fines) that came up with another camp in Alberta while I was working with the company. From my experience, outland does take these offences seriously, like any other contractor. My other direct experience with a rumored stasher/overclaimer, outside of the aformentioned story, is that although he was never caught in the act he was black listed from the company after the season, simply on speculation. The company no longer wants to deal with these issues and avoid it like the plague, as they are aware of the previous negative connotations associated to the company within the tree planting community. They do not always pay for reefer or other duties, but small groups will be paid. Overall, the company rewards hard work, will pay you, will not give you a tragically unfair price (at least within the Western portion of the company), and with the exception of one or two far from extreme circumstances (which I perhaps naively consider to be consistent within the industry) are extremely safe (seatbelt checks, first aid kits everywhere, safety officers, frequent meetings, refusal of circumstantial extreme conditions). From my experience, which may be different from others who I am not here to refute, an overall fair company

Having said all of this, in my experience there are certainly greener pastures for planters, and very rarely once someone leaves outland do they return.
Last edited by dreamofcream on Thu May 29, 2014 2:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by kenax » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:15 pm

With the permission of Scooter I just copied updated information from this thread to the Treeplanter’s Database found at http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ to make it easier to view comments by treeplanters and compare treeplanting companies against one another, in the hopes that they will treat and pay their planters better.

This is a long thread and I only copied some excerpts, but as the database develops and more content is added, it will be easier to compare planting companies against one another.
Check out my tree planting website http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ where I wrote down all my tips how to plant fast and all the other tips I accumulated after 7 years of planting.

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Outland Vegetation Management

Post by steel8909 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:51 pm

I hope it's alright if I post this here, but does anyone have any experience with Outland Vegetation Management?

http://www.outlandvm.ca/default.aspx

I'm interested in doing some more brush saw related work in Ontario this year and would like to know a little more about this company and how well they pay.

Thanks!

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Re: Outland Vegetation Management

Post by steel8909 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:06 pm

Nobody?

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by PlantinTaders » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:12 pm

This post is a continuation of my response to a job ad for Outland in the 807 area(Ontario Northwest). This add can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=65852
sandface wrote: I agree with your comment for the most part. Our prices have dropped (significantly) since my first year, and we have yet to see a recovery. There are rumours they will be on the up this year, but we seem to be the last contract in the country that's finalized so I'm not banking on it until it's proven. This is a clear deterring factor for vets and has increasingly pushed them away from our contract over the last 3 seasons. And yes, our shower facilities have been a little less than ideal (In my experience I only know of maybe 2 or 3 planters who actually have desired a shower during the shift, I'm not sure a higher grade would really change that).

I can't say that I've ever had an issue with the quality or quantity of food though, and from those who went East last season (including great friends of mine), the land comparative to Ontario was clear and easy. A friend who crew bossed said furrows were straight to the back and planters didn't have to flag their pieces, just plant a line in. However this is all hearsay; I had prior commitments and couldn't go out.

Maybe it's just a die-hard company love and loyalty inside me, and perhaps that the idea of returning to the same group of great people every year has stopped me from experiencing the greener pastures of different Ontario companies or the West (excluding one month in Alberta) - But I've never had a bad time on this contract and always come out with some pretty decent cash.
I planted for outland 807 for two seasons, starting in 2010. The food budget seemed a little inconsistent from season to season. My only real issues with the food were when our cook got poached by the company to go work in a firebase and was replaced by someone inexperienced, and when my crew was put in the same situation on a special mission contract(also the time when drinking water supplies were inadequate) Not that I would say this is a common occurrence here. For the NB stuff, I am also going from hearsay and pictures, as I never planted there either year (I wisened up and bailed to another company in Alberta after Outland pushed back the start date for the second time). I am confident though from what I have heard and seen that the 2011 NB plant's "7.5 cent creamy trenches" that were described to us in June turned out to be 7 cent assorted kife. These trees also all come in "cow bells" or clip on trays of ~75 that you are discouraged from just dumping into your bags, if I am not mistaken. Percentage of seedlings automatically factored in as culls. Not to say you can't make money, but it does seem to be a very different style of planting.

The returning to a great group of people thing was something I felt cheated out of, leaving me with a shitty taste in my mouth and alot of questions in my mind. Myself and a single other planter returned to my crew in 2011, along with 2 other planters returning for the entire camp totalled. That is 4 planters returning out of 40-50, all of us returning rookies. This very low retention of workers and absolutely failed retention of experienced workers illustrates the situation faced in that camp and company.

There was a palpably bitter and mutinous atmosphere among the veteran planters in my first year, which I didn’t really understand without knowing any better. These were loyal company planters with often half a decade or more experience, who had witnessed their contract degrade from one being on par or better than similar Alberta and Manitoba contracts to what it is today. In an industry where people love quoting that worker earnings after inflation have dropped approximately 30% in the past ten years, actual tree prices dropped here approximately 20-25% in 2 years, and have not recovered in the 2-3 years since. Along with this came the loss of paid driving times, paid reefer duties/camp chores/moves and other perks.

On top of this I believe it is the constant nickel-and-diming and messing around of planters that is responsible for outland driving away its experienced 807 planters. An image that frequently comes to mind is that of a salty maritime vet from my rookie year, slowly shaking his head and nursing his beer with a demeanor one part defeat and one part disgust. As we sat around the table eating a particularly low budget meal of chopped up hot dogs and macaroni, after a few mutterings about “hot dogs for supper...” I remember this planter summing up his feelings. Something along the lines of “after they told us its going down again to 8.5 (from 10+ originally), I said its ok, I’ll still come out for them, and put in another box every day. Nope. Its 8. I want my .5 cents.” He was referring to the season’s wordy contract that specified a base price of 8.5 cents for scarified, 9.5 for unscarified. There was some stipulation about a small amount of fast land in one area being 8 cents. This of course translated to 8 cent scarified, 9 cent unscarified across the board. Unfortunately this kind of misinformation seems to be the way this company operates.

The tragic part of this is that I really like the management at the camp level for 807, and trust them implicitly. I would put my life in the hands of these people(with a few exceptions) any day. As you start moving up the company ladder however my feelings change drastically. Outland is a large corporation with its headquarters in Toronto. The owners are not people who you can meet, look in the eye and shake hands with. I would venture to say the people at the top have little awareness or sympathy for the situation of planters in a remote camp in Savant Lake, Ontario. I believe this company’s attitude of elusiveness and dishonesty towards planters trickles down from the top, in an effort to save money and achieve the bottom line. Information is given last minute or not at all, and you learn to look between the lines and round way down to guess what the actual price/land/start and end dates will be like. The higher up in management you go, the more my mistrust grows. This is a company that now makes its bread and butter of camp logistics and other activities than planting, and I feel the average planter’s interests have been marginalized as a result.

The really shitty part is that there is basically no recourse for feedback or change, beyond the token season feedback sheets which likely never make it up the chain. The camp supervisor, who I personally like and think is a great person, is forced to do his job and be the martyr who tells us we are planting unscarified for 8.5 cents in some areas this year, or that there is only enough for 2 shell tacos each for dinner. He is the one who catches the shit from planters about the shitty conditions, and is forced to put in place the mandates from upper management. It is not an enviable position to be in. Ontario seems to be somewhat of a backwater in the planting industry, and this camp in particular seems to be very low priority for the company. Organization and allocation of resources both seem to place the 807 area squarely at the bottom of Outland’s priorities.

I have been debating whether to post this and what to include in it. I don’t want to be a whistle-blowing dink and cause problems for my friends who are planting and managing in this camp, but I also want my friends to be able to work for the wages and under the conditions they are entitled to by law and labour market conditions. I think in this area of Ontario Outland has developed a clever way to maintain a profitable enterprise for themselves while depriving its employees of their proper wages, conditions, and in some cases rights. This is done through a combination of misinformation and intimidation. Outland cultivates its management internally, as a result much of its management has no experience of the industry outside of Outland. These people are trained however to tell planters how good this company and contract is, when they have no idea what else is actually out there. Outland is particularly choosy who it “invites to” and informs about its Alberta contracts from 807. Could this be because it is difficult to get planters returning once they know how much they were getting screwed? Ignorant planters are easy to keep around and exploit, as are planters afraid to leave on punishment of fines.

At this point I would like to address several “sketchy” practices I have witnessed and experienced working for Outland in 807, and invite Outland people to respond.

- Threats of “personal fines” for things like quality and PPE infractions. This to me sounds like withholding wages, which I understood was illegal.

- Including Remote Workers Allowance into production rate to subsidize their already rock-bottom prices. This was done throughout my career with Outland(sketchy, possibly illegal)

- Not including all time in the work day such as commuting times for hours worked, and not topping-up low production rookies to minimum wage levels for the first pay periods(have witnessed this happen, sketchy, illegal)

- Utilizing unsafe vehicles. On several occasions over extended periods my crew had vans with not enough working seatbelts for the occupants, once the back bench was not bolted down, and could have fallen out the back if we opened the doors... This makes the already dubious safety of these 14 passenger, top loaded vans even more sketchy

- Charging planters who leave early the camp costs for the entire season. (This and the no minimum top up I believe are addressed in the season contract that is “signed” by replying to the outland mass email. As I understand it these are mandated worker’s rights, and cannot be signed away, although I could be mistaken.)

Outland loves to play the victim, and claim they make no money off this contract and are in it as a benefactor to provide us all with employment. They claim this when handing out the sheets for university students to fill out, providing them with government subsidies for hiring students.

I really wish I knew what went on behind closed doors for this contract. I would really like to see the figures for the bid or award price Outland receives from Resolute(formerly Abitibi-Bowater). Sadly this information is not public unless I am unaware, and we may never know the truth of what Outland pockets at the expense of its planters. The sketchy practices listed above are evidence of what can happen when planters are uninformed and let contractors walk over them. The other side of this coin is that these contractors will be unable to retain an experienced workforce, as is evident in this camp. This seems to be a vicous cycle and doesn’t seem to be good for the industry.

I believe that if Outland is unable to provide for basic worker’s rights and has to proceed by the sketchy avenues listed above to make ends meet, on top of the ludicrously low prices, the client and contractor need to sit down and re-evaluate this reforestation program and its costs. Worker’s rights should never be marginalized so that a job can be done. The current model here is completely unsustainable and sorely needs to be addressed.
Like everywhere else in the planting industry it seems, for me it boiled down to price and money. I love the 807 camp and people. I don’t think I will ever enjoy myself planting as much as I did in this camp. It is full of amazingly good people with incredible work ethic and spirit. The camp works and lives in some of the most beautiful and pristine areas of the country. I did not leave in search of small comforts, although they are nice to have. I was unable to continue planting here simply because when planting the land on these contracts for the prices offered, I was put in a position where to make a decent wage, I would be forced to bend the rules/specs more than I was comfortable with doing. I feel this is the driving factor for most people leaving the camp, and the other things listed above are secondary factors/indicators of a shitshow.

I dream of a time when planters here are paid a decent wage again; an honest tree price for an honest day’s planting. People here on replant speak a lot about planter movement and what will create positive change for the industry. I would like to see a positive change in this contract, and the entire province. How do we realize this change? Will the migration of planters westwards force a positive change in conditions here, or will it merely add to the cycle of exploiting ignorant rookies and lowering wages? Perhaps Scooter or another knowledgeable person can provide some insight here.

I am of the thought that fixing the little discrepancies and violations that allow a company like this to cut financial corners will force clients and contractors to realize the true value of this work and perhaps reinstate reasonable prices. Until such time this contract will be unable to attract and retain the experienced planters it desires.
Last edited by PlantinTaders on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Scooter » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:27 pm

Will the migration of planters westwards force a positive change in conditions here, or will it merely add to the cycle of exploiting ignorant rookies and lowering wages? Perhaps Scooter or another knowledgeable person can provide some insight here.
That's a really interesting question. I wish that I could comment knowledgeably. The only thought that I have is that we saw a lot of comments in the A&M thread about a year ago, before the 2012 season started, relating to how that company was allegedly trying to remake itself and fix a lot of practices that employees disliked. Was that to stem the outflow of experienced planters from Ontario to western Canada, or was that simply an effort to clean house which related to a specific important management figure who wanted to see a better-run organization? I do know of one other company (PRT) where management had acknowledged that the westward outflow was something that they were concerned about, but I don't know exactly the question that PlantingTaders is considering: are companies trying to improve to counter the westward flow of planters, or are they better off putting their energy into trying to adjust their business models to facilitate ongoing operations with a more inexperienced workforce?

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mike » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:29 pm

I don’t want to be a whistle-blowing dink and cause problems for my friends who are planting and managing in this camp, but I also want my friends to be able to work for the wages and under the conditions they are entitled to by law and labour market conditions.
I respect you deeply for posting coherent information. Any person that lambasts you for trying to help others on the grounds of you being a "whistle-blower" is someone who probably benefits from an exploitative system that only exists and succeeds due to lack of transparency.
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by ohsnap » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:06 pm

Sadly what PlantinTaders wrote all sounds like what Broland went through the years after they became Wilderness. Higher ups couldn't give two shits about the planting side of the company when there were so many other ventures making more money. It led to shady and illegal practices, including many you (PlantinTaders) listed.
There were a few diehard and amazingly awesome people who stuck it out for as long as they could handle...but eventually it all fell apart. Luckily I was an ignorant rookie at the time... in a way I'm glad I started out there, at least I know I don't have much to complain about out west.
Main thing that confuses me is that this was all five and six years ago, when planting was still sorta cowboy and the safety issues hadn't really sunk in deep enough yet. Why and how it's possible that a company can still operate at that level, or even have any returning staff just doesn't make sense to me.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mike » Sat May 31, 2014 3:21 pm

Updated contact info to be edited into first post:

All General Inquiries
outland@outland.ca
Tel: (416) 483-5152 ext. 0
http://www.outlandplanting.ca/
http://outland.force.com/applications
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Thomas » Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:28 am

I planted for Outland in 2013, for Machum's camp, on the Athabasca contract, and I haven't seen anyone post a straight review, as in a review, not a tangent about crazy specifics or the industry itself, for a while, so I figured i'd give one.

It started before the season did. I had been in contact with my foreman, a good friend of mine, for a few months prior to the start of the season, which was slated to start on May 5th in Prince Albert on a fast contract for 9c, prepped land, which had purported to have been bracche. We were told that we would be paid every two weeks as well. We were told there would be 5 camp moves. I don't recall exactly when, but it must have been in February or March, after my whole crew had been hired, that the company canceled, or lost, the Saskatchewan contract, and that we wouldn't be starting until May 13th in Spruce Grove. About a week before the start date, we were informed that we would be paid "2 weeks after the completion of our project" by direct deposit. This was vague and extremely troubling-what the fuck is our project? The season? Like, the entire thing? Anyways, that was the second lie. But I digress.

We arrived in Spruce Grove on the 13th and made our way to camp, which was one of the nicest camps I've ever seen at planting. We were planting for ALPAC, which would last us almost the entire season. The first two days- the 14th and 15th-consisted, I believe, of safety orientation, meeting one of the higher-ups in Outland, who I believe was named Mike, and sitting around, which was fine at the time. Planting started on the 16th doing 13 cent fills at some poplar farms planting more poplars, basically big beaches with sticks sticking up from the ground, two and a half hours from our camp, which was kind of insane. We got back at 9 pm on the first day. The price was fine, a little lowballed, but fine. There was no slash and we were literally planting a beach. There was no density-we had squares drawn in the sand that told us where to plant the poplars. The fill was very well stocked already, which made it a little slow. The problem was the forester- we were told at first to line up our poplars with the growing poplars on the block. After planting for two days, we were informed on the third day that we should have put the poplars in the centres of the squares, which would not have lined the poplars up with the other poplars already growing, so we were told to replant. To plant a poplar correctly, we had to bury the plug, plus another two inches or so of a second poplar growth coming from the plug that had been cut off before in could mature, so to get your tree planted deep enough, you had to get your shovel into the ground about two inches above the kicker.

After we did that deal, we saw the schedule for the rest of the season, which included a grand total of 8! move days- in a season spanning May 13th-July 30th. That's about one move every ten days. We were in our second camp for about 17-18 days, leaving 7 remaining moves in 60-61 days. I don't recall exactly. In my estimation that's fucked. People, before you plant for a company, learn how often they will move, especially if you aren't paid for camp moves, which we weren't.

We had, I believe, 3 days off after the finishing of the poplar trees, then a fourth day which consisted of a pre-work for the main ALPAC contract, which was mostly mounds. So we planted the 16th, 17th, replanted the 18th, had the 19th, 20th, and 21st to move camps and have days off, the pre-work the 22nd, then planted the 23rd. We had 2 production days-not even full production- from the 13th to the 22nd. That's bad. That's really bad. That's nearing the worst, considering it was because the company had lost a contract because, as Lidstone told me, it wasn't making the company enough money, and not because of bad weather. I realized then the only reason we did the poplar trees was for us to have work for the planters before the end of may, and the rest was stretching out the season so we would be busy, people were itching to plant by the 23rd.

Prices were the best thing about the ALPAC contract-and outland pays vacation pay ON TOP OF YOUR TREES, which was literally astounding, considering how little they cared about our earnings. We were paid 10.5 for easy terratec mounds, and 13 for raw, 11 for ex mounds. Not amazing, especially not at 10.5, but decent considering the land was good. The problem for ALPAC is access. Every day is either a long drive, a long walk-in (~45 minutes each way or more), a heli day, or a fucking gongshow requiring multiple combined elements. Skitter, argo, mud-oxen, were all seen at some point, because all of the blocks are so remote. ALPAC's camps are remote too-I have come to fear the name Peerless, and we were around 80 k up in that bitch. We had bear problems at one of our camps. The access problems frequently caused us to start planting late-10 am starts were common. This led to us having numerous short days, as blocks would constantly take just a bit longer to get finished than expected, giving us 22 days of 56 that were not full production-averages under 1200 per person at a tree price averaging 11.8 cents. We were paid for reefer duties though, 30$ so that was nice. There was little free work done in camp outside of camp moves. I knew my whole crew from Ontario planting, and the other crew in camp were mostly rookies, so it was a fun environment.

After ALPAC was done, after we stayed behind to move camp and go to a special mission with an average of 15000/12=~1250 trees at 15 cents, a mission costing my crew and my crew only one and one half days of full production AND the cost of two nights in a hotel as well as the cost of our own food, the expense of buying water and a cooler and ice AND the anxiety of trying to get a shitty element on a half-functioning barabecue to work with one half a tank of propane, gracefully provided by Outland for a trip 100 km up an isolated road in bear country with no safety gear whatever, no sat phone, no bear spray or bangers, nothing, not even cooking cutlery, we made it to Millar Western, where we were given mostly creamy land and (somehow) had good access, where we planted from the 24th to the 30th. My best day of the season was there, 2970 trees at 11 cents for a payout of 326.70. This was actually pretty good by anyone's standards at this point. That's how bad the season was.

I ended up planting 95,995 trees that season, in 56 planting days, at an average price of 11.8 cents (Outland gives you a handy sheet which tells you all of these stats, by which I mean average tree price, your average hourly wage, average daily wage, average taxable hourly wage, etc, at the end of the season, which is nice). This put me 6th or 7th out of 27 planters in camp, 3rd or 4th on my crew. You can do the math for yourself. The highballer put in about 115 000 at the same average price. You can do the math yourself. This is in a season just over 2 1/2 months long.

I could go on forever. Here are some handy facts about my experience
-Machum is actually a good supervisor and was given a shitty contract to work
-We rode in 15-seater vans, which are good with the exception of the back row of seats.
-The food was decent, there was rarely enough lunch for some reason, and the main cook often had a bad attitude..not enough for me to truly dislike him, but he clearly had something in the back of his head. It's never nice to have a cook in a bad mood, and this really bugged me.
-ALPAC paid us LESS for blocks of less than 1000 stems/hectare because they were so clean; we were not informed of this before planting them.
-RWA is factored into tree price.
-Shockingly, Vacation and stat pay aren't; they were paid on top of our quoted tree prices. This was one of the few bright spots of the season, and was really nice.
-Outland almost exclusively does in-towners for nights off, which makes you spend a lot of money on hotels. They are fun though.
-The few in-campers often have themes such as Wine and Cheese or Tent Pub Crawl, and are paid for out of the Outland Fun Budget, which is nice.
-Upper management once brought us to a baseball diamond on a day off in camp, bought us gatorade, and we played baseball, which was fun.
-If you have a problem, or complain, Management's response is usually "That's how planting is. This isn't even bad! When I was a planter, we had a 3-hour argo ride to the block every day to plant a thousand trees at nine cents for three weeks!" This is because they have either worked exclusively for Outland, or for Ontario companies and Outland, so they don't know that it could be better.
-Foreman were commissioned, but didn't run trees; the tree runners were excellent and I waited once or twice all season for trees. One of the runners is now the supervisor, replacing Machum.
-There was a deaf girl in camp. On one particular heli day, she was given her own personal, private block, to share with a Mexican kid named Carlos, who didn't speak english very well. They were left without management or anyone else for much of the day. Considering she occasionally required the help of another planter who just so happened to be an ASL interpreter to understand what people were saying, this was an extremely dangerous move that could have ended badly.

Overall, the season sucked. If you're going to plant for Outland, think twice; we had a way tougher year than years previous, and the Sask stuff is apparently back; but if you only plan on planting, there are places where management cares about your wages more and isn't so chaotic. I planted for Folklore, for Scooter's camp this year, and while it has a (maybe lowballed) reputation as a very average company to work for, it was exxxcellent in comparison. I could write this review forever, but you'll have to take my word for it. Rookies, avoid. Vets, avoid like the plague.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mike » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:08 am

Excellent review! Thank you!
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Scooter » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:27 pm

That's actually really impressive that a company gave you those stats. I'm going to have to think about whether or not it would be possible for me to do the same in future years.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by pitters » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:41 am

So in the trend of giving real reviews and having not seen a recent one from Ontario, hopefully this can be somewhat helpful. I planted the 2014 season on the Kapuskasing (Hearst) project for Tembec.

The contract was supposed to start on May 1st, ended up getting pushed back to the 15th due to a late winter in Ontario. We started off for a shift on Outlands Timmins/Chapleau contract, while waiting for Kap to thaw out. Timmins was alright, good place to start as a rookie as it was a burn block of fairly creamy land, easy to put good trees into. Only issue was frozen trees, which was a huge issue right through our Kap contract, Millson stock is far and away the worst we got this year, worst most of the vets have ever used as well. Also the checker was a bit of a dick, insisting on “7 foot spacing everywhere” and faulting plots with a 6 and an 8 footer rather than 2 7s, that kind of stuff.

Got up to Kap the 24th or something, had a double day off to move camp. Camp moves were one of the biggest issues we had this year. 7 camp moves between May 23rd and July 12th, 8 if you count the time we set up an entire camp, had some local hunters show up freaking out because they had been bear baiting on our campsite, tore down camp and set up again the next day, losing a day of production. Camp moves are unpaid although for the bear sight double move they gave us camp costs, as well as on a few other fucky days. We got paid for reefers, but a few times we had to do them before planting rather than on the days off, which sucked. Delivery was ok, solid at times and struggling at others, suffered mostly due to all the camp moves as well as the continually frozen trees. Camp costs were 22.60 for the entire year, 15.40 or something on the days off.

Between May 15th and July 6th, I had 32 production days, maybe 5 of which were not full days. This was low for the camp as I lost 1 day to the flu and didn’t get to go on 3 or 4 special missions, where they only took vets and left the rookies to tear down camp (really fucking sucked).

I was almost always in my land between 8 and 8 30, and that was getting cut in middle of the pack, with a 6 AM wake up, 7 AM roll out and a 6 PM quitting time. That said, unless the weather was awful or we wrapped, the rule was that you could plant until 6 30 without anyone saying anything, with our baller planting until 6 40 or so most days. Lots of wrap days, due to all the camp moves and the small one day blocks, so had a bunch of really late days, getting back after 8 30 and one day getting back at 10 30.

Walk ins were not too bad this year. Had a few half hour and one that was 8 km each way, but otherwise it was all under 20 min. Some kegger access, some quad. Got a little roadside by the end but Kap is swampy.

Overall tree prices were the best part of the contract. 9.5 scarified, 11.5 unscary going up to 10 and 12 cents for 2015. Land was hit and miss but mostly pretty good, got way better towards the end. Almost all unscary, but nice enough unscary that we started seeing some big numbers by the end(15 people over 5 k, 6 over 6 k, 3 rookies over 4 k). Quality was 88%, overall very fair and the checkers were somewhat understanding, especially in super shitty land or on rock cap. I put in 70 thousand trees over 32 days, baller got 135 plus in 35, so pretty decent land overall I think. Rarely was the camp baller below 4500, if ever.

Either RWA or Vacation pay isn’t included in the tree price, because my days earnings were always higher than 11.5 * number of trees, but I don’t fully understand this so cant say. We did get stuck paying union dues to Tembec, it came out at 200 or the season, but we got paid 125 for our safety training day with them so not the end of the world.

Food was decent, nothing special but usually enough and fairly solid. Will be way better next year as our assistant cook is taking over and she is awesome.

Never had any safety issues, Tembec provides a bear guy for the entire season, vans are pretty decent for rentals, no complaints. Had a few instances of vehicles breaking dying (forever) on the block, lead to more issues on camp moves than anything else.



After the Kap contract ended, a group of 15 of us went over the bail out the Geralton/ 807 Outland contract so can include some thoughts on that as well.

The 807 contract was an almost exclusively rookie camp, 9 vets in a camp that started out at 85. The 807 camp was incredible. Brand new weather havens, brand new cook trailer, extra vehicles at the end, all new 15 passenger vans. Food was ridiculous, always unlimited, always lots of options and never boring, no idea what their food budget was but camp costs were the same 22 60.

Management at the 807 camp was great too, they had their shit on lock. Tree delivery was great, supervisor was awesome, camp ran as you would want a camp to run. Land was mostly scary at 9 cents with some really nice unscary at 10.5. A few patches of super super nice land leading to 4 planters over 7 k, including a rookie.

Overall, Kap was a better contract for making money, but 807 was the 4 seasons of bush camps, with some pretty decent land and tree prices. I liked my season, and was really happy with the money I made, Vets I talked to all said they liked it and the tree price was great for a lot of the land. That said, I’ve never planted anywhere else so nothing to compare, take this as you will. I liked it and I’m going back, even with a PB and season production that I’ve been told could take me to a lot of other companies.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Nate » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:11 am

21 planters over 5k, that's some crazy numbers.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by pitters » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:40 pm

Sorry, that was misleading, those numbers are all accumulative. 9 between 5k and 6k and 6 over 6k.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mike » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:39 pm

May15th and July 6th, 32(rookie)-37(vet) planting days, 9.5 cents carified, 11.5 cents raw --- 70000 trees to 135000 trees = 6650$ to 8050$ on the low end, or 12825$ to 15525$.

Leaving a range of 208-251$ daily average for the low end (rookie) and 346$-420$ daily average for the high baller.

That's pretty decent for a rookie (average wise) but not once you take into account the season length. That's pretty mediocre for a camp baller, though, though I have seen worse in BC and Alberta in some camps.
Last edited by Mike on Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by pitters » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:14 pm

May 15th and July 6th. And as I should have and maybe did mention, almost all unscary. I had 2 days of scary. We also got to due the geraldton/ longlac contract after so that added two and a half weeks and 12 full planting days, a few halfs

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Mike » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:12 pm

Ah, you were talking about a camp move as of July 12th, sorry. Do you know the numbers from the last 2.5 weeks of planting?
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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by pitters » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:39 am

Last two weeks we were on a different contract, the 807 over by Thunder Bay. So that was almost all furrows, a few days of unscary, for 9 and 10.5 cents. I know our top guy averaged well over 5k for that shift, topping out at 66 hundred I think, with a few others over 5 with him. I checked the pay reports and I was 46k in 10 full days and 2 half days, top guys crushing me, averaging about 2/3 scary

All this said, we were helping that contract rap so as a camp we saw alot of the nicest land they saw all season.

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Re: OUTLAND Reforestation feedback

Post by Jiffy Pod » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:28 am

Nate wrote:21 planters over 5k, that's some crazy numbers.
not surprising at Outland.

multiple people claimed 10K+ this past season for Weyerhaeuser in Alberta.

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Re: Outland Reforestation/Restoration

Post by black horseman » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:06 pm

Is Outland even planting this year? I got out of there at the right time.

JUNE 1, 2015 - OUTLAND ACQUIRED BY CARILLION CANADA

Carillion Canada Inc. (“Carillion”) a wholly owned subsidiary of Carillion PLC, has announced its acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital of Outland.

Carillion is one of Canada's leading integrated support services companies, with extensive construction capabilities, a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and a sector-leading ability to deliver sustainable solutions.

Carillion employs approximately 2,500 people in Canada and 40,000 worldwide, with established businesses in the United Kingdom, the Middle East and the Caribbean, and has an annual revenue of more than $1 billion in Canada and nearly $7.5 billion globally.

Outland is a leading provider of a complete range of remote site services, including accommodation, camp management, catering, maintenance, housekeeping and tree planting to public and private sector customers across a wide range of industries, such as mining, utilities, forestry, oil and gas. Since their start in 1985, Outland has maintained a strong position in growth markets.

As of the end of May, Carillion Canada has acquired the existing senior management team, led by Simon Landy, David O'Connor and Jeff Taylor, who were also the major shareholders in Outland, will join Carillion and remain with the business.

Commenting, one of the Outland founders, Simon Landy, said: "This agreement should open up some exciting opportunities for our staff and employees. From our start as a tree planting company, Outland has enjoyed great success and evolved steadily over the past 30 years. Joining forces with Carillion should allow us to continue to grow well into the future. Carillion's expertise in a wide range of areas will be a valuable resource for the Outland team and our customers."

The acquisition complements the existing skills and capabilities of Carillion's support services business in Canada and enhances our prospects for growth, in line with our strategy of further accelerating the development and growth of our support services activities for clients across Canada.

Commenting, Carillion Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Simon Buttery, said: "This investment in Outland is an important strategic step in Carillion's growth and development, and their culture and capability are an excellent fit with our organization. Outland brings complementary skills and knowledge and extends opportunities for growth in new markets across Canada. We are pleased to welcome Outland's 1,400 employees to the Carillion team."

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Re: Outland Reforestation/Restoration

Post by PlantinTaders » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:19 am

Outland has been much more invested in the catering/camps business than planting for a long time. I doubt this acquisition will change much, they will probably keep their side(gong)show planting operations and their affiliated First Nations Youth program in Ontario, which is a gold mine for them.
Onterrible? Albertarded.

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Re: Outland Reforestation/Restoration

Post by backcountrysister » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:35 am

Outland is planting in Alberta this year. They have the same direct award work. The purchase was more for their government contracts. They get all the SRD jobs which are their bread and butter of late. Although, upper management claims that planting will always be the backbone and vested business.
That being said. Some good people work for them and then some not so good people who should not be foreman or supervisors.
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Re: Outland Reforestation/Restoration

Post by Scooter » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:58 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ ... -1.3731138
The mayor of The Pas says the town was shocked to learn its main employer, Tolko Industries, is closing down.

The forestry products company employs 332 people in The Pas, a town of about 5,500 people.

All Tolko employees will be laid off when operations end Dec. 2, 2016.

"It's just so shocking, so unbelievable, so mind-numbing that we've got to wrap our heads around it," said The Pas Mayor Jim Scott.

The forestry products company, Tolko Industries, is leaving Manitoba. The company is the main employer in The Pas, Man. (CBC)

In a statement Monday, the Vernon, B.C.-based company said it's tried for 19 years to improve the cost structure of its Manitoba operations but in the end, the mill is "not financially sustainable."

The provincial government said it is disappointed with Tolko's decision and will work with the company's employees to "ensure that necessary supports are in place."

"Fortunately we have until December to co-ordinate the provision of labour adjustment services, and our government will also be actively monitoring Tolko's future obligations respecting transition package arrangements," said Cliff Cullen, Manitoba's minister of growth, enterprise and trade in a news release.

The Pas' mayor said the company ran into trouble transporting goods out of The Pas, which is about 520 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Tolko said it was a myriad of issues that lead to the company's decision to end its operations in Manitoba.

Jim Baskerville, Tolko vice president, said the company incurred prohibitive transportation costs bringing wood chips and logs to the mill.

"Folks that know northern Manitoba understand the landscape here. There's a lot of water, a lot of swamp, and so you have to quite far afield to access the timber we need to bring into the plant," said Baskerville.

Energy costs for the mill were also expensive as a cheaper source of energy, natural gas, was not available to the company in The Pas, Baskerville said.

Tolko took over Manitoba Kraft Paper and Sawmill Operations in The Pas in 1997.

Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson said the closing had nothing to do with the people of The Pas.

"We have valued our time in The Pas and have great respect for the community and our employees who have been with us on every step of this journey. We understand that this will be a very difficult time for them and the community, but we cannot continue to sustain the losses at the operation," Thorlakson said.

The Pas' mayor said the loss of hundreds of direct jobs and many more indirect jobs will be a "hard pill to swallow" for the town.

Scott said he would not engage in "doom and gloom" thinking and will speak with other levels of government about softening the economic blow.

"I'm going to find a way to help our community. We are so fortunate," Scott said.

"We are very fortunate in The Pas that we have a more diversified economy. We have our health care and education, which create a lot of employment. We have some of the highest yields of farm land in the country here."

Opposition New Democrats are calling on the Manitoba government to "act quickly to protect good jobs and build an economy."

"The closure of the mills will be incredibly stressful for families who will have a tough time making ends meet without a regular income. It will also hurt many other local businesses and undermine the economic future of the entire region," said NDP MLA Amanda Lathlin in a news release.

The Pas Mayor Jim Scott said Tolko had difficulty getting its products to market. (CBC)

Unifor, the union which represents most of the employees, said Tolko offered good, high-paying jobs.

"The employees tend to be people who were born and raised in the area. There's a lot of skilled labour in that plant. A lot of people got jobs there because this was their home. This is a huge blow," said national representative Paul McKie.

The Tories said development in the north is a priority for the government.

"We will be launching a targeted program in the months ahead, emphasizing the attraction of new companies, the development of entrepreneurial opportunities and the expansion of existing businesses," said Minister Cullen.

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