News release

Forestry Innovation Trust Launching Soon

A three-member trustee board will oversee spending decisions of a $50 million trust fund that will continue to advance the transition and development of Nova Scotia’s forestry sector.

First announced in February, the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust may be accessed by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors.

The trustees are:

  • Sandra McKenzie, Waverley, HRM, nominated by government as chair
  • Douglas Hall, Halifax, as a transition team nominee
  • David Saxton, Yarmouth, as a transition team nominee

“The trust creates an opportunity to transform Nova Scotia’s forestry sector as a leader in the bioeconomy,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “There is great potential in using our rich forests and skilled workforce to find new ways to respond to emerging market needs and develop a new knowledge base to create a stronger sustainable future.”

Projects may include:

  • the development of new high-value products
  • the development of new or enhanced business models, processes or services
  • new inclusive economic growth opportunities in forestry
  • new ecological services

The trust will support projects that align with the vision, principles and priorities developed by the Forestry Transition Team for Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. Advice and guidance will be sought from sector leaders and innovators.

The trust expects to open for applications in July. Further details on the application process will be released later this month.

Government will continue to support transition programs already announced and endorsed by the transition team, valued at more than $25 million.


The trustees and I are honoured to work with the forestry sector to grow a sustainable and prosperous future. We are anxious to see fresh and innovative proposals that tap into our province’s renewable natural resources, advance the principles of ecological forestry and elevate new economic opportunities for Nova Scotians. Sandra McKenzie, chair, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust board

Quick Facts:

  • forestry sector workers may also seek funding from the trust to support training or retraining, if all other education funding sources have been exhausted
  • the fund will be available for five years, to March 31, 2025, or when the funds have been spent
  • Sandra McKenzie has served as deputy minister of several provincial government departments. She owns McKenzie Consulting and is co-founder at The Forge Institute, an organization dedicated to thought leadership for positive change
  • Douglas Hall is a former managing director at RBC Capital Markets and is currently a director of the advisory board of Southwest Properties and a director of Stanfield’s
  • David Saxton is a retired partner from Grant Thornton LLP

Additional Resources:

Government’s forestry sector support website is at:

A new vision for the forestry sector, developed by the Forestry Transition Team, is available at