British Columbia

Last-ditch effort to save Squamish mill

Union leaders and the mayor of Squamish are appealing to the provincial government to help prevent the closure of the Woodfibre pulp mill in March.

Union leaders and the mayor of Squamish are appealing to the provincial government to help prevent the closure of the Woodfibre pulp mill in March.



Woodfibre pulp mill
Western Forest Products announced the planned closure last week – with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

The Pulp and Paperworkers of Canada union says the workers would like to see a new owner to keep the mill going – or help from the provincial government.

"We'd accept anything right now other than losing our jobs and having that mill shut down this town," said PPWC local president Doug Muir.

He compares the Squamish situation to the one in Prince Rupert – where there are now plans to re-open the New Skeena pulp mill within the next few months, after years of sitting idle.

Besides the jobs, the municipality relies on the Woodfibre mill for almost 20 per cent of its tax base.

Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland is helping the union set up a meeting with provincial officials in January. But he cautions against "any false hope."

The provincial government isn't ruling out help for the Howe Sound community. But the economic development minister says the mill would have to be economically viable if it's to stay open.

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