Lecours has no lease with Constance Lake First Nation

Time running out for lumber mill to reach lease agreement with Constance Lake First Nation.

The chief of the Constance Lake First Nation says the band has tried for years to negotiate a new lease agreement with a sawmill in its territory.

Lecours Lumber says its mill is closing next month because it has not reached a new lease agreement with the First Nation.

About 300 direct and spin-off jobs are predicted to be lost.

Roger Westley is the chief of the Constance Lake First Nation. He says the band wants to see more people from the First Nation employed at the mill.

"We are the people that have 300 young people under the age of 30 unemployed in my community," Westley said. "That is almost 40 per cent of the population here. These are young families who need jobs."

Westley said there are disputes over past payments and concerns about environmental effects from the mill.

He is still hopeful a new deal can be reached with Lecours before the company has to vacate the property by Nov. 16.