HPBAC Announces Mike McNeice as Director of Public Affairs

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada (HPBAC) is pleased to announce that Mike McNeice has joined our association as Director of Public Affairs. McNeice officially began work on Thursday, April 13, 2023. “Mike is a welcome addition to our team.” said Laura Litchfield, President. “He brings a wealth of experience from the organizations he’s worked with in the past that will be of great benefit to our association.”

McNeice has spent over ten years in public affairs in a variety of roles. Most recently, he worked with the Ontario Real Estate Association as their Senior Manager of Government Relations and Advocacy. He has extensive experience in stakeholder relations and strategy development.

“I’m excited to be part of this great organization,” said McNeice. “I look forward to building strategic partnerships and continuing to build on HPBAC’s incredible work, which has already contributed so much to the advancement of this industry.”

Mike can be reached at mike@hpbacanada.org.



Meghan O’Reilly
Public Affairs Manager
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada

President’s Report | February 11, 2022

HPBAC Joins With Over 170 Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce to Urge Resolution of Blockades

As I’m sure you are aware, over the past week several Canada-US border crossings have been blockaded by protesters. These blockades have resulted in serious delays in shipping, threats to food security, layoffs and plant closures in many industries. This disruption may already have affected your business and will certainly have serious consequences for industry in Canada if it is not brought to an end.

HPBAC has attended several meetings of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce over the past several months regarding supply chain issues and recently those meetings have grown to include many more affected industries. Yesterday, during a meeting with senior Chamber Government Relations staff and CEO Perrin Beatty, the association leaders in attendance outlined the effects of the blockade on their industries and it was agreed a letter would be written to all elected officials calling for the following:

  • Deliver a strong and unified commitment from the Prime Minister, Premiers, Opposition Party Leaders, and Mayors that the rule of law will be upheld.
  • Urgently enact measures to protect critical infrastructure to ensure further closures do not take place elsewhere in the country in the days ahead.
  • Seek immediate injunctive measures through the courts to assert a clear message that lawlessness will not be tolerated.
  • Ensure law enforcement agencies have all the necessary political support and appropriate tools needed to restore public order and remove any physical blockades that are not dismantled voluntarily.

At its weekly meeting today, HPBAC’s executive committee agreed to add HPBAC’s name to the list of associations and chambers of commerce supporting this request.

The letter was distributed to all elected politicians and to the media early this afternoon. You can view the letter in English and French on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce website.

If you would like to send a follow-up letter to your Member of Parliament or other officials a link for a template can be found below.


A Little Seasoning Goes a Long Way

A Little Seasoning Goes a Long Way

July might seem early to be talking about wood supply, but its actually about two or three months late, depending on when you first fire up the woodstove in the fall. The importance of properly seasoned fuel for your woodburning appliance can’t be overstated. Wet wood burns poorly and inefficiently, causes excessive smoke and doesn’t provide as much heat as properly seasoned wood.

The ideal moisture content for firewood is between 15 and 20%. Inexpensive moisture meters are available to test your wood but if you don’t have one, here are some signs that your wood is too wet, compliments of woodheat.org:

  • Difficulty getting a fire going and keeping it going
  • Smoky fire with little flame
  • Dirty glass
  • Rapid creosote buildup in the chimney
  • Low heat output
  • The smell of smoke in the house
  • Short burn times
  • Excessive fuel consumption
  • Blue-gray smoke from the chimney.

If you’ve invested in a modern, EPA-certified wood burning appliance it will perform best if you only burn seasoned, dry wood. Even older model appliances burn more efficiently and cleaner with proper wood fuel.

Properly splitting and stacking your wood supply right away will also help to minimize mould growth.


Important Steps

  1. Cut, split and stack your wood in early spring to be ready for fall.
  2. Cut the wood to the right length for your appliance – about 3” shorter than the width or length of your firebox (depending on how you like to load the wood).
  3. Split the wood before stacking – in log form, moisture is held in by the bark, so split your wood before you stack it. A variety of sizes is best, from 3” to 6” at the widest cross section, so you have smaller pieces for lighting the fire.
  4. Pile in a single row exposed to the sun and wind to allow for proper drying.
  5. Dry the wood for at least 6 months. Most wood will dry well within this time frame, with the exception of dense woods such as oak, which require up to a year to dry. In damper climates, such as the Maritimes, it may also take longer to dry your wood supply.

You can also loosely cover your wood to keep the rain off, but it isn’t necessary.


For more details on proper seasoning and storage of wood, visit woodheat.org.

For building plans for a simple wood storage shed, visit the US EPA’s Burn Wise website.

Being Thankful For Your Barbecue

Being Thankful For Your Barbecue

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and being grateful. It’s the one holiday we gather and celebrate exclusively with food, with the turkey as the main attraction. Nothing is more important than how the turkey turns out at a Thanksgiving dinner, so the pressure is on to live up to everyone’s expectations. So instead of preparing a turkey the traditional way (in the oven) like everyone else, consider using your trusted barbecue for a guaranteed positive impression on your guests.

The stove, oven and microwave are generally the go-to appliances for preparing a Thanksgiving dinner; however, they can make your kitchen feel like a sauna once your oven is cranked to 475 degrees and all burners on the stove are raging. But by cooking the turkey outside and letting your grill do the heavy lifting, it frees up your oven for other tasks and provides a tasty alternative to the traditional oven-roasted turkey, much to the delight of your guests.

There are countless recipes to prepare a scrumptious turkey on a gas, charcoal or pellet barbecue, and you can achieve terrific results with a ceramic (or Kamado) grill or a smoker.  Each method will give your turkey a distinct, delicious flavour, making it a meal to remember. Check out the following links to recipes and cooking instructions on how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey outside.