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Noranda Inc.
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Adam Zimmerman fonds

  • 2003.8
  • Fundo
  • 1957-1994

This fonds consits of the administrative and business papers of Mr. Adam Zimmerman during his tenure as a senior level executive with Noranda Inc., Noranda Mines Ltd, and Macmillan Bloedel Ltd., particularly in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia with the majority of these records relating to the senior level operations of these companies. It includes textual records relate to the creation and development of Northwood Pulp & Timber Ltd. in Prince George including all aspects of its regional operations throughout Northcentral BC). The fonds also includes records related to Noranda Inc.’s successful and unsuccessful attempts at business acquisitions in both forestry and mining operations internationally, particularly in Mexico, Brazil, the Netherlands and Tasmania.

The fonds also contains textual records generated by Zimmerman in his directorship and chairman positions on various forest industry association boards. It includes his notes, general correspondence, minutes, as well as booklets and brochures notably from the Canadian Forest Industries Council, the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, the Forest Sector Advisory Council and other similar industry associations. Much of this material relates to the issue of the softwood lumber dispute and Zimmerman’s involvement in the lobbying efforts regarding Canada/U.S. Free Trade issues and includes bound reports, agreements, and publications as well as correspondence to/from Zimmerman and his handwritten notes within the files. The fonds also includes general business information (annual reports, brochures, publications) pertaining to other Canadian forestry and mining companies.

The fonds also contains Adam Zimmerman’s speeches and correspondence related to his involvement in numerous charities, foundations and corporate fundraising initiatives with numerous Canadian educational institutions, non-profit societies and federal election campaigns.

Business records of Noranda Inc. are extensive and include administrative, business, personnel, financial and legal records. Record types include correspondence, memos, handwritten notes, business proposals and meeting notes, merger proposals and notes, prospectuses, board meeting agendas and minutes, annual reports, financial statements, resumes, portfolios, printed brochures, publications and other ephemera related to the business operations of Noranda Inc., Noranda Mines and MacMillan Bloedel [during Noranda Mines take-over of MB] all during Zimmerman’s tenure as Chair and/or CEO. The fonds includes correspondence, financial reports, legal testimony transcripts resulting from the Gaspe Copper Mine labour strike in Quebec in 1957 and the subsequent Gaspe Law Suit of 1960 between Noranda and the United Steel Workers of America. The fonds also includes extensive correspondence between Zimmerman and various levels of government regarding the lobbying of government on forestry policy and correspondence with various environmental lobbying groups in the 1980s including correspondence with well-known environmentalist David Suzuki.

Subjects include all facets of business operations pertaining to Canadian forestry and mining sectors including labour issues, environmental impacts of industrial developments, industry and effects on the Canadian economy, the free trade debate, the softwood lumber issue etc.

The fonds provides a detailed archival record of Mr. Zimmerman’s contribution to the building of Noranda Forest in Canada, Northwood Pulp & Timber in BC and Noranda Inc. as a resource-based conglomerate. Many records were utilized by Mr. Zimmerman in the writing of his book, Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway?: reflections from a life in business, (Don Mills, Ontario: Stoddart; Distributed in Canada by General Distribution Services), 1997.

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Lumber II

Sub-subseries consists of records relating to the second phase of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Dispute, commonly referred to as Lumber II. In 1986, a U.S. lumber industry group, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, petitioned the Department of Commerce (DoC). The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) once again arrived at the conclusion that Canada's exports unfairly impacted American producers. This time, the DoC did find Canadian forest programs to be countervailable and set a preliminary duty of 15%. Before the subsidy was imposed, the United States and Canada agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that created a phased tariff. One of the terms of the MOU was that Canada levy an export tax on lumber traveling to the United States. Provinces that were affected had the chance to reduce this tax, if they performed any action meant to counterbalance their subsidies. British Columbia had the tax removed in 1987 while Quebec had it partly lifted in 1988.

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Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Dispute and the Free Trade Agreement

The Canada–U.S. softwood lumber dispute arose in 1982 with the United States’ claim that the Canadian lumber industry was unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments, as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments. The prices charged to harvest the timber (stumpage fee) are set administratively, rather than through the competitive marketplace, the norm in the United States where softwood lumber lots are privately owned. The United States claimed that the Canadian arrangement constitutes an unfair subsidy, and is thus subject to U.S. trade remedy laws. Since 1982, there have been four major iterations of the dispute: Lumber I, Lumber II, Lumber III, and Lumber IV.

Adam Zimmerman arose as one of the leaders in the Canadian forest industry’s fight against countervailing duties. He was a member of the Canadian Softwood Lumber Committee during the Lumber I dispute. In anticipation of Lumber II, Zimmerman founded the Canadian Forest Industries Council in 1984, which lead the Canadian defence against Lumber II and Lumber III. The Canadian forestry industry was also impacted by the signing of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1987. The records in this series reflect Adam Zimmerman’s leadership role in these events.

Forestry Industry

As a leader in Canada's forest industry, Adam Zimmerman was a member of many Canadian forest industry associations and councils. Throughout his career he also founded or was chairman of a number of such councils. This series includes records of Zimmerman's involvement with the Canadian Forest Industries Council (CFIC), the Canadian Softwood Lumber Committee (CSLC), the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI), the Canadian Forestry Advisory Council (CFAC), the Canadian Pulp & Paper Association (CPPA), the Forest Industries Advisory Committee (FIAC), the Forest Products Employee Relations Council (FPERC), the Forest Sector Advisory Council (FSAC), Forest Products Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT), the "Group of Seven", and the Pulp & Paper Research Institute Of Canada (PPRIC).

Noranda Forestry Division

Adam Zimmerman was involved from the very beginnings of Noranda Mine's foray into the forest industry sector. In April 1961, Zimmerman was part of making the deal to acquire National Forest Products, Noranda's first forest products company, which was renamed Northwood Mills after its purchase. By 1964, he was the President (and later Chairman) of Northwood Mills and Northwood Pulp. In 1974, Zimmerman was appointed Executive Vice-President of Noranda, which included responsibility for the forest products activities of the company. When Noranda underwent a major company reorganization in 1987, Zimmerman became CEO of Noranda Forest Inc. By the end of his Noranda career, Zimmerman had had an executive or director role in nearly every forest product company developed or acquired by Noranda. That included: Northwood Mills, Northwood Pulp (and its successors Northwood Pulp & Timber and Northwood Forest Industries), Noranda Forest Inc., BC Chemicals, BC Forest Products, Bulkley Valley Forest Industries, Fraser Inc., Maclaren, and Macmillan Bloedel, among others. The records in this series demonstrate Adam Zimmerman's extensive involvement in Noranda's forestry division throughout his career.

Noranda Forest Inc.

Subseries consists of records for Noranda Forest Inc. These records were created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his tenures as the company's CEO (1987-1991), Chairman (1987-1993), and Director (1987-1994). Includes administrative records, financial records, and information on the company's acquisitions. Also contains records regarding government liaison and environmental issues.

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Northwood Pulp & Timber

Subseries consists of administrative records concerning Northwood Pulp and it's renamed successors Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd. (1972-1998) and Northwood Forest Industries Ltd. (1979-1998). These records were created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his tenures as the company's President, Director, and Chairman. Includes administrative records, financial records, sales and marketing material, market research, competitor analysis, operational records, and information on the company's many acquisitions and divestitures. Also contains records regarding government liaison, environmental issues, labour relations, and its operations in Prince George at the Northwood Pulp Mill.

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Northwood Mills

Subseries consists of records concerning Northwood Mills that were created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his tenures as the company's President, Director, and Chairman. Includes administrative records, sales and marketing material, market research, competitor analysis, and records regarding sawmill operations and its building materials division.

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External Directorships

Adam Zimmerman held many external directorships with companies and organizations outside of Noranda. In these roles, Zimmerman provided a creative contribution and improvement to the company boards by providing dispassionate and objective criticism, as well as and contributing to the development strategy of the company. He was not an employee of these companies; he held these external directorships roles while simultaneously being a senior executive with Noranda.

The records in this series are only a representative fraction of the external directorships held by Zimmerman. These include board of director records from Algoma Steel, Koninklijke Nederlandse Papierfabriek (KNP), non-profit organizations, universities, and other companies. Also includes correspondence, fundraising material, and meeting materials.

Noranda Mines

Subseries contains records created and accumulated by Adam Zimmerman at the Noranda Inc. (formerly Noranda Mines) during his tenures as Noranda's Assistant Comptroller (1958-1961), Comptroller (1961-1966), Vice-President and Comptroller (1966-1974), Executive Vice-President and Director (1974-1982), and President and CEO (1982-1987). As Noranda's Comptroller, Zimmerman had a large role in Noranda Mines' legal action regarding the strike at Gaspe Copper Mines; records that represent this are contained in the legal records sub-subseries. Later in his career, as a director and Noranda's President and CEO, Zimmerman had a high-level administrative role with Noranda's mining division. Sub-subseries represent this with administrative records and reference files for Noranda's many mining and metallurgical operations.

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Mead Corporation

Subseries consists of records regarding the Mead Corporation that were created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his tenures as President of Northwood Pulp and its successor, Northwood Pulp & Timber. Mead Corporation formed an agreement with Noranda Mines to create Northwood Pulp Ltd.; each company had a 50% stake in the newly formed venture. Primarily includes records relating to the pulp agreements between Northwood Pulp and Mead Corporation. Also includes sales records, financial records, and correspondence.

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Forest Sector Advisory Council (FSAC)

Subseries consists of records relating to the Forest Sector Advisory Council (FSAC) created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his time as council member. Includes correspondence, meeting materials, and reports.

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Forest Sector Advisory Council (FSAC) - General 1985

File contains correspondence, much of it dealing with relations between the Government of Canada and the Forest Sector Advisory Council. Includes reports on the pulp industry and correspondence.

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Forest Products Employee Relations Council (FPERC)

Subseries consists of records relating to the Forest Products Employee Relations Council (FPERC) created or accumulated by Adam Zimmerman during his tenures as Chairman (1981-1983) and council member. Includes correspondence, meeting material, reports, and labour relations records.

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