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Forest products giant Weyerhaeuser has agreed to sell its Kamloops, B.C.-based sawmill and associated timberlands to West Fraser Timber. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bob Taylor, general manager of Weyerhaeuser's British Columbia operations, said, “the decision to close the sawmill was accelerated as a result of continuing challenging markets in the U.S. and the rising Canadian dollar.” In August, Weyerhaeuser had announced it would sell the Kamloops sawmill to International Forest Products for an undisclosed sum.
Under the new deal, the sawmill is expected to permanently closed on May 12, a move that will affect 196 employees.
United Steelworkers (USW), which represents forest product workers affected by the closure, released a statement yesterday critical of the British Columbia government for allowing the sale. "It is increasingly clear that the government's forest policies are allowing private corporations to make overnight profits from the sell-off of our public lands," said USW Western Canada director Stephen Hunt.