The Errington Cedar Products shutdown means the loss of approximately 50 jobs. (Cloe Logan photo)

Errington mill closes, approximately 50 workers lose their jobs

Family-owned operation was open for 30 years

It was 15 years of Gwen LaChapelle’s life and now it has abruptly come to an end.

LaChapelle and approximately 50 other employees received notice last month that Errington Cedar Products, a family-owned mill, was closing after going bankrupt in another hit to B.C.’s forest industry workers.

The mill was open for 30 years, on a 14-acre site on Grafton Avenue. The company provided western red cedar and yellow cedar products to the world lumber market.

READ MORE: Local mill workers rally in hopes of regulation change

For Parksville’s LaChapelle, the closure came out of the blue. She said she’s still processing the blow and isn’t sure what will come next for her.

“It was devastating — it still is,” said LaChapelle about the layoffs. “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do.”

LaChapelle said she’s hearing a similar sentiment from her co-workers who were laid off. She said some are upset there’s no program for older laid-off sawmill workers like there is in the Interior.

The Ministry of Forests Retirement Bridging program offers a financial transition to retirement for forestry workers 55 years or older. For LaChapelle, who is 49, it wouldn’t be applicable, but she said there remains a chunk of workers who could benefit.

LaChapelle said she’s seen the industry change over the years — from log shortages to layoffs, but that she still didn’t expect a change as large as this one to come so soon.

“We’ve had more layoffs for longer periods of time than when I first started for sure,” she said. “I didn’t see this coming at all.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo not ready to commit $500K to Ballenas track project

Request for funding assistance deferred to Oceanside Services Committee

PQBeat podcast: Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell

Listen: Latest installment covers politics, athletics and more

Oceanside minor lacrosse trio drafted by Nanaimo Timbermen

Three among eight players picked by BCJLA club

Naked Naturals has tentative deal for $2.5M purchase of town-owned land in Qualicum Beach

Business plan includes a new grocery store, 32 units of rental housing and parking

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read