Employees at Canfor’s Vavenby mill received a letter on June 3, announcing the closure of the facility along with the termination of 172 jobs.
“To all USW 1-417 employees of Vavenby, unfortunately we’ve been facing significant log supply constraints in the Vavenby region for some time now and we’ve ultimately determined that we do not have sufficient fibre supply to support the ongoing operation of this mill,” read the letter.
“The fibre supply shortage issue is further compounded by very high log costs. As a result, we’ve made the very difficult decision to permanently close the mill.”
It went on to say the company’s decision in permanently closing the operation wasn’t a reflection of the employees in Vavenby, but simply driven by the conditions related to the fibre shortage and high log cost, which made the mill uneconomic.
“We deeply regret the significant impact this will have on our employees, their families and the communities of Vavenby and Clearwater. This closure will affect 172 direct employees,” the letter said.
The wind-down of the operation will start June 4 and the dates of termination for employees will be staggered based on their individual roles and take place throughout the rest of June until July 31.
“Once we have finalized the wind-down plan, we will be following up with an individual letter that sets out the specific termination dates for each employee.”
Canfor has reached an agreement to sell the forest tenure associated with the Vavenby sawmill to Interfor for a price of $60 million.
“The BC forest industry has recognized for several years that sawmill capacity must be reduced as the annual allowable cut decreases following the end of the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic,” said Don Kayne, president and CEO, Canfor, in a press release.
Watch for updates on this story.