Forty-five people work at the Westville Sawmill in Westville, Pictou County, NB, owned by Groupe Savoie, which will be forced to shut down next week, according to CBC Tuesday. The sawmill has only enough hardwood supply to keep working for another week.
New Brunswick Sawmill to Close
Mill manager Andrew Watters says the same supply constraints that forced two local flooring companies to close recently — Finewood Flooring of Cape Breton and River’s Bend, Antigonish County — are also hurting its business.
Fewer people working in the woods has reduced the flow from private wood lots from 70 to 50 per cent. Westville procurement manager John Vautour says many contractors left to work out west as the number of sawmills have dropped by half over the past 10 years.
Vautour said the Department of Natural Resources figures indicate the problem is not a shortage of hardwood trees in the province, although some stands in Cape Breton now produce fewer sawlogs.
As a result of the 2012 Forestry Utilization Licensing agreement with the province that was part of a deal to save jobs at the former NewPage mill, all 175,000 tonnes of hardwood on Crown lands in seven counties of northern Nova Scotia is licensed and controlled by Port Hawkesbury Paper.