Norbord’s 100 Mile location announces indefinite curtailment

Roughly 160 employees will be affected

Norbord Inc. will be indefinitely stopping all production at its oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House starting in August.

The company’s 100 Mile House location has been under mounting wood supply pressure for the past decade as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

MLA Donna Barnett called the news a devastating blow to 100 Mile and the South Cariboo.

“It’s time the government stepped up to the plate. We’ve got Bill 22, which hasn’t helped. We’ve got carbon tax, we’ve got fuel tax, we’ve got health-care tax, we’ve got a higher income tax, and you can go across the line to Alberta and they have none of that.”

Barnett added that this indefinite curtailment will affect everybody in some way.

“We’ve lost mills all over British Columbia in the last three months,” she said. She asks the community of 100 Mile House to stay strong during this time and to spend wisely, too.

Barnett has invited any concerned community members to contact her office.

According to the June 11 news release from Norbord, this challenge has been more recently exacerbated by the significant wildfires that the province of British Columbia experienced in the summers of both 2017 – 18.

The resulting wood supply shortage and high wood prices have not been supporting the economic operation of the mill at this time.

Mayor Mitch Campsall told the Free Press, this curtailment is going to “cripple” the community.

“It’s a surprise,” said Campsall. “Especially when they’ve had record breaking profits in the last year and a quarter according to them. Again, throughout the Cariboo, we’re looking at curtailments. It’s going to be really harsh for us, small businesses are going to get hurt, really badly.”

The 100 Mile House mill has a stated annual production capacity of 440 million square feet (3/8-inch basis). Roughly 160 employees from the 100 Mile location will be impacted by this curtailment.

“This is devastating,” said Barnett, in regards to the news release. “It’s 160 (employees) direct and probably (more) when you take all the indirect – the loggers, the machine operators, the trucks that haul the logs, the fuel companies, the restaurants, the grocery stores, the schools.”

According to the release, the company will continue to supply its current customers and meet expected future customer demand with production from its 11 other operating North American OSB mills, including High Level and Grande Prairie, Alberta.

“This is a difficult decision in response to extraordinary circumstances,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s president and CEO in a news release. “We have a first-rate team in 100 Mile House and this curtailment is in no way a reflection on our employees, their commitment to our customers and suppliers or the local community.”

Campsall said the Cariboo Region is working together in the event of trying to meet the premier.

“Let’s see what our issues are and how we can resolve some of the issues,” said Campsall. “Because this is an absolute drastic outcome for our community and it’s going to be crippling to 100 Mile and businesses. Not just small business – all business – and the families.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

40 YEARS AGO (1980): Local sawmill operators commented that the lumber export… Continue reading

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

RCMP responded to reports of suicidal male near Lac la Hache

Subject treated and released into care of family

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read