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

Robbie Burns Day recognized with bagpipes and haggis

Nanaimo celebrates life and works of 18th-century poet

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

Two women struck by vehicle at Nanaimo intersection

One woman taken to hospital with possible broken bones

Nanaimo school district to explore trustee wage increases, benefits

SD68 staff compile report comparing trustee remuneration with five similar school districts

Cars crash on old Island Highway at Mary Ellen Drive

No injuries reported in accident, which happened at about noon

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 23

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read