June 2021 | vol. iv, #6




High-value construction materials, like copper, are often stolen from job sites. But one commodity that is trendy for thieves right now is lumber.

Across Canada, job sites and retailers are facing lumber theft, which is an uncommon item to steal. According to Stats Canada, softwood lumber rose 118.9 percent between March 2020 and March 2021. Demand is high and stock low. Stats Canada also reported that supplies sold by wholesalers were up 19.1 percent between February 2020 and February 2021. With these inflated prices, who wouldn’t want to buy some stolen wood?

The high demand and prices have caused lumber to enter the black market. Lumber is being stolen right off of trucks and lots across Canada. Just a few weeks ago, $80,000 worth of lumber was stolen out of a truck in Calgary.
Calgary Police have seen an increase in lumber thefts according to an article by CTV News. Lumber thefts seem to be happening everywhere, including hardware stores.

A Home Hardware in Guelph, Ont. experienced lumber theft in their lumber lot. Back in April, someone drove a truck right through the security gates at 4 a.m. and loaded up their truck with a variety of lumber. The store lost around $10,000 in lumber, according to CTV News.

“It’s always been a concern in the past, but it’s not like it is right now,” said Andre Belisle, owner of the Home Hardware.




The federal government has launched a new grant program for improving housing efficiency, representing an investment of $2.6 billion. The new program, Canada Greener Homes Grant, is designed to reduce homes’ energy bills and usage.
Homeowners can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to upgrade their primary residences. To qualify for the grant homeowners will require a home energy evaluation, of which up to $600 is covered for the audit. 

The excitement for the Canada Greener Homes Grant caused the website to crash, but there are also concerns over the wait time to qualify for the grant. The program is designed to train new energy advisors into the program, but initial demand has led to a long waiting list.

Eligible home improvements and upgrades:

  • Windows and doors
  • Adding insulation
  • Sealing air leaks
  • Improving heating and cooling systems such as with heat pumps
  • Purchasing renewable energy systems

Eligible property types for the program include:

  • Residence must be at least six months old, from the date of occupancy by the first homeowner and eligible for an EnerGuide evaluation
  • Residences include single and semi-detached houses
  • Row housing
  • Townhomes
  • Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
  • Permanently moored floating homes
  • Small multi-unit residential buildings (up to three storeys with a footprint of up to 600m2)
  • Mixed-use buildings (residence portion only)




Quebec home improvement chain Canac experienced a malware attack in the spring. However, the company was able to get its IT systems up and running again in a relatively short time.

“We don't hide from it: we have been victims of malware,” marketing director Patrick Delisle told Le Journal de Montréal. “It's no secret that we have suffered a computer attack.”

The trouble started when software problems forced Canac to reboot its systems, leaving customers across its store network unable to pay by credit or debit card. Then, following the incident, the company was unable to access its customer service database. Confusion followed as some orders were left uncompleted while other clients were unable to obtain pick-up information.

The retail home improvement industry is a growing target. Home Hardware Stores was also the victim of a ransomware attack. The criminal group responsible provided screenshots of confidential documents to Home Hardware, proving it had breached the retail company’s firewalls.

The growing prevalence of such attacks bears out that no company is immune. Retailers are especially targeted because of their large customer databases that include confidential billing information. And the attacks are growing.

U.S. cybersecurity firm Check Point says phishing, which takes the form of emails that pretend to provide important links or attachments, is a leading source of exposure and remote work has only exacerbated the problem. As people rely more than ever on virtual meetings, the rise of fake websites has also grown.



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