Canfor to put 50 back to work in September

Approximately 50 people will return to work at Canfor-Vavenby in September. A second shift is scheduled to start in January

Canfor-Vavenby will re-open Sept. 6. That’s according to a letter from Canfor-Vavenby Division plant manager Dwayne Thiessen to District of Clearwater. And it’s been confirmed by Canfor spokesperson Christine Kennedy.

Thiessen’s letter was released during last Tuesday’s Clearwater council meeting.

“You have to feel good about this,” commented Mayor John Harwood. “This is a good news story.”

In the letter Thiessen asked the District that a bylaw that closed McCorvie Road where it passed next to the sawmill be rescinded. The bylaw had been passed by Clearwater council in 2009.

The plant manager requested that the road be reopened effective Aug. 2. He said that once the company receives notice that the closure bylaw has been cancelled, Canfor would remove the gate it had installed, restoring full-time public access.

“During the indefinite closure, Canfor, Vavenby Division did not experience any vandalism and/or theft, which was greatly attributed to the fact the access to our site was limited due to the road closure,” Thiessen wrote.

According to Canfor spokesperson Christine Kennedy, approximately 50 people will return to work in September. She had no figures for loggers or contract workers. A second shift is anticipated in January.

Canfor shut down its Vavenby operation during the summer of 2009.

The company announced last February that it planned to spend $24 million on upgrading the Vavenby sawmill and planer mill before reopening. The money was to go to a new canter line plus sorter and edger modifications at the sawmill, and auto-grading and sorting capacity at the planer mill

When at full production, the mill will produce approximately 240 million board feet of SPF (spruce-pine-fir) lumber on an annual basis.

The company expects most of the production to go to the United States, with some to Japan and some high-grade products to the rest of Asia.