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

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 

Just Posted

Parksville Coun. Doug O’Brien. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville Coun. Doug O’Brien explains opposition to 4-way stop at high-traffic intersection

‘None of us on council have the education or training to recommend traffic control systems’

The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. Chesapeake Shores film crew will be on location from May 17 until May 19, 2021. (PQB News file photo)
‘Chesapeake Shores’ to film at Parksville Civic and Technology Centre starting May 17

Public parking limited on Jensen Avenue and Craig Street during filming

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue manager Ken Neden, as he goes over the events of the Qualicum Falls river rescue on Dec. 12, 2020, for a United Kingdom television program “Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’. (Mandy Moraes photo)
UK TV show spreading news of daring Qualicum Falls river rescue across the world

Arrowsmith SAR trio share their accounts for ‘Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’

(PQB News file photo)
Nearly 1,500 ballots cast during advance voting to fill vacant slot on Qualicum Beach council

Officials expect ‘historic high voter turnout’ to continue

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read