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Closure of paper production at Howe Sound Mill to impact up to 180 employees

The Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Mil, which announced the end of its paper production operations on July 23, 2015.
The Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Mil, which announced the end of its paper production operations on July 23, 2015.

The drought affecting much of British Columbia is being cited as one of the reasons for a sudden mill closure on the Sunshine Coast.

Paper Excellence has announced the permanent and immediate closure of paper production operations at Howe Sound Mill near Gibsons.

The company says the declining demand and price of newsprint played a factor into the decision – but the timing of today’s announcement was partly connected to the dwindling supply of water in Lake Seven, which feeds the mill’s paper, pulp, and power operations.

“The announcement was a shock to us all,” said Unifor Local 1119 President Don Rheaume in a statement.

“We’re very disappointed and will work hard to help our members who are displaced by the closure.”

Up to 180 employees could be impacted by the closure. Those laid off will continue to work for the next two months, the union adds.

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The company also operates mills in Mackenzie and Chetwynd.