Government of Canada and Northern Development Invest in New Biomass Company in Cariboo

December 18, 2009

Williams Lake, BC – Pioneer Biomass, a new subsidiary of the Pioneer Group, will soon be operational with funding support from the Government of Canada’s ‘Community Adjustment Fund’ and Northern Development Initiative Trust’s ‘Capital Investment and Training Rebate’ program.  The Pioneer Group is a family owned business that includes log homes, land development, logging, trucking and forest management.

The Government of Canada, through the Community Adjustment Fund, provided $1,150,000 toward the project as part of the $20 million repayable loan contribution to the Northern Development Initiative Trust to support the most affected communities in central and northern BC, helping to reduce the short-term impacts of the economic downturn.

“Our Government, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is providing a timely, targeted stimulus to western Canadian communities, helping reduce the impacts of the global recession,” said The Honourable Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George.  “This project will help create jobs and maintain employment in Williams Lake, helping our community overcome the challenges currently facing our region.”

The new start-up is also strongly supported by the Province of British Columbia.  “I am pleased to take part in this important announcement of new job creation in our region.  The forest industry has and will continue to be an integral part of the Cariboo economy,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.  “I want to congratulate the people responsible and I look forward to hearing about the success of this project as it moves forward.”

In addition, the Northern Development Initiative Trust has approved funding under the Capital Investment and Training Rebate program to support the creation of twenty-four jobs associated with the start-up.  “We are very pleased to provide funding to this important project,” stated Northern Development Chair Evan Saugstad.  “Northern Development is recognizing the value of this industry sector to the economic growth and diversification of our communities in central and northern British Columbia through the Capital Investment and Training Rebate program.”

Pioneer Biomass will utilize two custom-built horizontal grinders with support equipment to produce wood fibre that will be sold for pellet production and hog fuel biomass for cogeneration plants in the Cariboo region. Capitalizing on current trends, a special emphasis will be placed on utilizing mountain pine beetle logging waste.

“Northern Development clearly recognizes the challenges facing businesses who are looking to hire and train new workers with their Capital Investment and Training Rebate program,” said Marcel Therrien, Director, Pioneer Biomass. “This funding plays an important role in our ability to move forward with this project.”   Pioneer Biomass plans to begin operations early in the New Year.

“Northern Development’s program is highly responsive, builds on the competitive advantages of northern BC to attract investment and create jobs, and recognizes the importance of these new jobs for our city," stated Williams Lake Mayor Kerry CookCariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond also expressed support for the project.  “The twenty-four jobs created through the start-up of Pioneer Biomass is exciting news for Williams Lake and the central Cariboo region.”

To date, thirteen projects have been approved under Northern Development’s Capital Investment and Training Rebate Program.  Northern Development’s investment of $5.85 million has resulted in 684 jobs being created over the next two years with a total investment of $48 million throughout central and northern BC.

Media Contacts:

Janine North
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Telephone:     250.561.2525

About Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Canada’s Economic Action Plan will provide a total of $1 billion over two years to communities throughout Canada, including $306 million across Western Canada under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF). The fund will help reduce the short-term impacts of restructuring in communities across Canada heavily reliant on resource-based industries, including forestry, mining, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as communities that depend on the manufacturing sector.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation, originally funded by the Province of British Columbia, and is focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia. Over $85.8 million in funding has been committed to 471 projects with a total project value of over $842 million.

To learn more about Northern Development Initiative Trust, visit: