Here’s how many BC sawmills have taken downtime so far
By Maria Church
[This post was last updated on Jan. 17, 2020]
Hardly a week goes by that we’re not hearing of new sawmill curtailments or closures in B.C. We knew it would be a rough year for Western Canada’s lumber producers, but that doesn’t stop us from cringing each time a news release is sent out announcing planned downtime, to say nothing of the direct effect on employees and communities.
For those wondering about the extent of the situation, here’s a map and list of the mills that have been affected thus far this year:
- Canfor sawmill in Vavenby, B.C.
- Tolko Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel, B.C.
- Tolko Kelowna sawmill in Kelowna, B.C.
- Norbord OSB mill in 100 Mile House, B.C.
- Louisiana-Pacific OSB mill in Fort St. John, B.C.
- West Fraser sawmill in Chasm, B.C.
- Canfor sawmill in Mackenzie, B.C.
- Interfor Hammond sawmill in Maple Ridge, B.C.
- Errington Cedar Products in Errington, B.C.
- West Fraser Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers and Fraser Lake: one week in June.
- West Fraser Chetwynd: three weeks in first quarter and one week in June.
- West Fraser Chasm and 100 Mile House: three weeks in first quarter, and two weeks in May.
- West Fraser B.C. plywood production: two weeks beginning Sept. 16.
- Tolko Armstrong and Soda Creek: two weeks in May/June.
- Teal Jones Surrey mills: Four weeks since January.
- Interfor’s three B.C. Interior mills: unspecified time in May and June.
- Conifex Fort St. James: Three weeks in February and four weeks in May.
- Conifex Mackenzie mill: Three weeks in May; two weeks starting July 29, plus an additional three weeks until Sept. 3.
- Western Forest Products Alberni Pacific Division Sawmill: Closed for a month beginning March 18.
- Western Forest Products Duke Point sawmill: two weeks in June.
- Western Forest Products Saltair sawmill: one week in June.
- Western Forest Products Ladysmith and Chemainus sawmill since the United Steelworkers strike began on July 1
- Canfor Houston sawmill: one week in first quarter and an additional four weeks from June 17 to July 12.
- Canfor Mackenzie sawmill: one week in first quarter and an additional six weeks from June 17 to July 26.
- Canfor B.C. dimension mills: unspecified dates beginning April 29; two weeks in June at all sawmills except WynnWood
- Canfor B.C. sawmills, except WynnWood: two weeks from Dec. 23, 2019 through Jan. 3, 2020
- Canfor WynnWood sawmill: Five days in late December, 2019
- Canfor Houston, Polar, Prince George and Fort St. John sawmills: week of Sept. 3.
- Tolko’s Kelowna mill: six weeks from Aug. 6 to Sept. 15.
- Sinclar Group’s Lakeland Mills in Prince George, Nechako Lumber in Vanderhoof and Apollo Forest Products in Fort St. James for two weeks starting Aug. 19.
- Tolko Armstrong, Armstrong plywood and White Valley veneer operations for two weeks from Aug. 17 to Sept. 2; Tolko’s Heffley Creek plywood and veneer operation for one week from Aug. 24 to Sept. 2
- Downie Timber Ltd. planer mill in Revelstoke, from Sept. 3 – 6
- Tolko Kelowna sawmill
- Aspen Planers sawmill
- Canfor B.C. sawmills in first quarter
- Canfor Plateau and Houston mills in September until markets improve
- Western Forest Products Chemainus sawmill
- West Fraser’s five B.C. sawmill operations, variable operating schedules beginning Sept. 16
- Canfor Isle Pierre sawmill, effective Sept. 20
If I’ve missed any please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: An earlier version of this article listed all mill closures as permanent. Some of these closures are indefinite, rather than permanent.