Editorial — July 31, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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An announcement on Tuesday that the federal and provincial governments will continue to fund the Prince Albert Model Forest Association (PAMF) is good news both for the area and science.

The investment in the forestry sector -- and the resulting focus on both sustainable and cutting-edge practices -- will help grow an industry that has been very, very good to Prince Albert and region for many years,

While the mill north of the city remains temporarily idle, it will eventually come back to life and it’s good to know that the very best practices will already be in use in the area.

PAMF was formed back in 1992 as a non-profit entity, and is now one of 11 similar projects across the country. While its mission statement is an almost incomprehensible blend of government jargon and buzzwords, it’s chief goal is to support the forestry industry in the 367,000-hectare boreal forest north of the city.

In a nutshell, it attempts to balance the needs of the forest and the industry.

The latest grant will be used specifically to help First Nation and Métis-owned companies zero in on products that can be exported and to increase the value of products that are harvested in northern Saskatchewan.

It’s a laudable goal because if it works, it will bring badly needed jobs to the north, creating a ripple throughout the region that will bring a new wave of prosperity.

We have the resource and we know that if it’s treated right, it’s both valuable and renewable. Many other resources can’t be grown after they are harvested; once they are gone, they are gone forever.

In a province in which 23 per cent of the land mass is covered by forest, it’s a natural fit.

Good luck to PAMF as they try to unlock further value in an industry that already creates 5,000 jobs and annual revenue of more than $1 billion a year in this province.


• • •


An emerging reality of the Internet is that virtually nothing is completely and absolutely secure.

Last week the Canadian government admitted that the National Research Council network had been compromised by hackers.

The National Research Council is a research and development organization that brings government and private business experts together to develop new technologies. It’s no surprise that hackers from another country would be interested in them.

A Canadian spy agency called the Communications Security Establishment found the problem. No doubt they are deep inside other computer networks elsewhere.

Somewhere in that revelation is additional ammunition for those of us who have increasingly lost faith in the Internet as a force for good in the world. None of us are safe.

So what does a national organization being hacked  have to do with you and I and our Facebook passwords?

Locks and passwords are for honest people. If a talented hacker wants to get your information, they can, just like a talented burglar can get into your home. It doesn’t matter how many capitals or numbers you might have in your password or your clever use of your kindergarten teacher’s name.

If even the American government can’t keep its secrets confidential, what hope is there for any of us?


Prince Albert Daily Herald

Organizations: PAMF, Prince Albert, Prince Albert Model Forest Association National Research Council Communications Security Establishment Daily Herald

Geographic location: Northern Saskatchewan

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