New Brunswick

Irving closes Deersdale sawmill

J.D. Irving Ltd. is closing another one of its sawmills.
The Deersdale sawmill is closing because it can't get enough wood. (CBC)

J.D. Irving Ltd. is closing another one of its sawmills.

The forestry company will shut down its Deersdale mill, near Juniper, on Oct. 28, throwing 65 unionized employees and eight staff members out of work.

Irving spokeswoman Mary Keith said the shutdown is indefinite.

"You know, it's difficult because we're talking about small rural communities. We've got a great group at Deersdale. It's a hard-working and dedicated group of people," she said.

"It's not a permanent closure, it's an indefinite closure so the employees involved would be on layoff. Where we have positions to fill in our other operations and a skill set that those employees would have that would match those jobs, we'd be looking to place them there, but at this point it is a layoff for those people."

Keith said the company is closing the Deersdale mill because it can't get enough wood to supply it.

The company is diverting the wood it has available to mills in Chipman and Sussex.

Irving received a $4.5 million loan from the province in 2008  to make the mill more energy efficient.

The Alward government must decide this fall whether to increase the amount of wood that can be harvested by forestry companies.

Earlier this year, Irving closed its mill in Clair, putting 73 people out of work.