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When Associations Matter Most

When Associations Matter Most

Quick Links to Relevant COVID-19 Resources


Provides links to relevant Government of Canada resources, as well as Provincial links.


Daily COVID-19 blogs featuring resources, news and insights.


Frequently updated page featuring useful links, templates, recent survey results and more.


Small Business Help Center – includes templates, links to webinars, FAQ and more resources. We highly recommend the instructional webinars that summarize all gov’t initiatives in plain English.  CFIB membership now included in CKCA membership.


Details the support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19.

Woodworking Canada:

Frequent COVID-19 updates and industry news.

Woodworking Network:

Frequent COVID-19 updates and industry news.

Planit Canada COVID-19 blog:

Other contacts:



If you’re like me, going through your inbox these days feels like drowning in advice on how not to drown.  There are so many resources available that many of us aren’t sure where to turn to get accurate, up-to-the-minute information, relevant to our particular business, in our particular Province.

In the midst of this crisis, the value of our associations has never been clearer.  Their very purpose is to understand the particularities of our industry and of their membership.  I tip my hat to the hard-working executive directors who spend their long days sifting through government websites to curate relevant information on a daily basis.  They do this while fielding complex and varied questions from members and non-members alike.

I spoke with 3 such leaders who were kind enough to take some time to answer questions about the role of their organization during this crisis, and the types of questions they’ve been fielding from manufacturers.

COVID-19 Q&A with Sandra Wood, Executive Director, CKCA

PC: What do you feel is the role of your organization during this pandemic?

SW: To help our industry navigate through this worldwide health crisis using valid, credibly sourced data and information that offers support in the form of financial, health or best practice. To inspire innovation and positive outcomes by sharing ideas generated by the industry for the industry to build greater resilience. To help the industry prepare for business when things turn around economically, and they will. Most importantly, to ensure that no member feels isolated in their business during this unprecedented time of challenge.  These are the current focus and motivations and why we continue to do the work we do.

PC: What kinds of questions are you receiving from manufacturers, and how have you been able to help?

SW: People seeking clarity around “essential business” province to province. People asking about retooling their shop to help the front lines. People asking about our position on the Chinese tariff issue in the US (which will come up in the future). People asking “what’s going on out there, what are others doing” in general terms. People are looking for best practice ideas overall at a time of great uncertainty.

COVID-19 Q&A with Richard Lipman, President, Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC)

PC: What do you feel is the role of your organization during this pandemic?

RL: It is important that we listen, learn, share and educate during this time.  We continue to communicate with businesses across all the sub-sectors of the wood manufacturing sector.   We can provide people with a broad perspective of what we are hearing and reading from individuals and organisations across the sector about this critical issue, much of which has been very informative.  We have had lots of people enquiring about what is happening in other regions of the country and we can help direct them to information or people that might provide some value and some context that might be of value.

We have worked with many government departments in various provinces over the years and have heard from some of their representatives.  They are looking to get an idea of what industry is experiencing, and what kind of support and measures they might provide to assist companies going forward. This is a wider effort, but we are pleased to contribute to those discussions.  They have been interested in learning what we have heard about how our businesses have been categorized (essential / non-essential) in other provinces and how that has helped or challenged businesses in our sector.

PC: What kinds of questions are you receiving, and how have you been able to help?

RL: We have heard from high school teachers and from school boards in various areas of the country that are looking for information and resources they can use as they are required to shift their focus from work in the shop to on-line learning.   We have been able to offer curriculum, reference and resource materials, wood specific essential skills information, tests and quizzes etc. to assist schools to keep their students learning and progressing in this new reality.  This seems to be something that will continue as more provinces extend the time students will be out of the schools.

COVID-19 Q&A with Mike Baker, Executive Director, Bluewater Wood Alliance (BWA)

PC: What do you feel is the role of your organization during this pandemic?

MB: Our first role was to quickly adapt to online platforms to engage companies. We rolled this out within a week and had our first online networking event. We have quickly become the clearing house for information to our members on what the government is doing and how it impacts wood manufacturers. Our role is to try to connect people to answers, but most importantly, our role is to continue to provide the network and the connectivity between people so they don’t feel alone in this crisis. This is a benefit and extension of the cluster model of the BWA. Strength in numbers.

PC: What kinds of questions are you receiving, and how have you been able to help?

MB: Most companies are trying to keep up with and understand the new programs and legislation coming out from all levels of government. They are asking for clarification on programs, and also on compliance for heath and safety, and due diligence to keep their employees safe. Also, another big one is the essential business definitions and how they fit in.

To help, we will have had three online networking events with subject matter experts  in the span of three weeks; the latter of which we have extended to non-members across the country to have access to the latest information available. This is an effort to support the whole industry.

Planit Canada would like to thank our industry’s associations, publications and thought leaders for getting the right information into the hands of our manufacturers when they most need your help.

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