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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Canfor said the Fort St. John sawmill is not included in the most recent curtailment extensions announced in early 2023.

On January 3rd, the company announced a two-week extension of temporary curtailments on some of its B.C. sawmills due to “ongoing weak market conditions” and a “lack of available economic fibre.”

Canfor said the Fort St. John mill is not part of these curtailments, adding that the facility was down for a week during the holidays before returning to full production on January 3rd, 2023.

While the Fort St. John mill is operating at full capacity, the Prince George Pulp and Paper mill is not so lucky, with a January 11th Canfor release stating that it plans to shut down the facility in late March.

The company said the shutdown comes after a string of Prince George sawmill closures over the past couple of years, leading to the company needing to “right-size” its production platform.

Canfor said the line would begin an “orderly wind-down” process that would culminate with the line being fully closed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Peace River South MLA and BC Liberal shadow minister for forests, Mike Bernier, said last Thursday that news of the shutdown was “devastating to countless families,” adding that it will impact more than 300 workers, their families, and indirect jobs related to the line. 

“My heart goes out to the workers and their families, who had this dropped on them yesterday, with most now wondering what they’ll do for work in two months’ time,” he said.

President and CEO of Canfor Pulp, Kevin Edgson, said the company will be working to ensure the employees impacted by this shutdown are supported over the coming months. 

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Spencer HallInvestigative Reporter

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.