160 jobs lost as B.C. mill announces indefinite closure

Workers and production will be shut down by August

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.

According to the news release, 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 MLA Donna 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 & 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.”

Just Posted

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District approves one cannabis store, denies another

Stores would have been located across the street from one another in Cherry Creek

UPDATED: Taylor Flats wildfire in the Alberni Valley under control

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

EDITORIAL: Plastics ban needs to start from the top

The more people talk about the plastics ban, the more it may catch on elsewhere…

West Coast Amateur in Port Alberni a success

Top overall winner, with a gross score of 140, was Derek Reid from Arbutus Ridge

ARTS AROUND: Last call for cruise ship vendors

Last cruise ship arrives in the Alberni Inlet on July 6

VIDEO: Sproat Lake Fire Department demonstrates sprinkler safety

Demonstration only took 3-5 minutes to create a deadly scenario where no one could survive

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Most Read