Louisiana Pacific has announced an indefinite shut down of its Peace Valley oriented strand board plant in Fort St. John on August 9.
The shut down will affect 190 employees. A slowdown in housing starts in western Canada and the United States, low wood prices, and the high cost of running the mill are being blamed for the shut down.
The announcement come just days after Norbord announced it will be indefinitely closing its OSB plant in 100 Mile House, putting 160 people out of work; two weeks after Canfor announced it will be closing its Vavenby mill putting 178 people out of work; and a month after Tolko announced it will be closing its QuestWood sawmill in Quesnel, affecting 150 people, and eliminating a shift in Kelowna, affecting 150 people; and
The shut downs have the opposition Liberals criticizing the NDP government for the closures.
“This is the third major closure announcement in rural B.C. this week,” said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “The industry is facing a complete meltdown and the BC Liberals will be offering immediate solutions on how to best help the troubled sector.”
Rustad and leader Andrew Wilkinson are scheduled to make an announcement this afternoon regarding the shut downs.
“This latest shutdown will put at least 190 workers out of work and will affect hundreds of additional indirect jobs. My community simply can’t afford this loss,” said Peace River North MLA Dan Davies. “For months my fellow MLAs and I have raised concerns about the mounting crisis in the forest industry and for months our concerns have been ignored. It’s time for John Horgan and the NDP to step up, take action and offer tangible solutions to address the crisis situation.”