top of page

Canfor to close sawmill, curtail pulp production citing B.C. policy changes

Canadian forestry giant Canfor has made significant announcements regarding its operations in British Columbia, with plans to close its Polar sawmill in Bear Lake permanently, cease operations on one production line at its Northwood Pulp Mill in Prince George, and halt its intended reinvestment in Houston.

These decisions are expected to impact around 400 jobs, with 180 positions affected at the Polar mill and 220 at the Northwood facility. The company attributes the closures and curtailments to a shortage of fibre, essential for its operations. Canfor's president, Don Kayne, highlighted the critical role of timber in sustaining their facilities but noted a considerable decline in harvest levels.

Kayne attributed this decline to various factors, including natural disturbances like beetle infestations and wildfires, as well as changes in policies and regulations affecting Canfor's access to timber resources. The company had previously expressed intentions to invest in a modern mill in Houston, following the closure of sawmills in Houston and Chetwynd.

The Polar sawmill, with an annual capacity of about 300 million board feet, has been inactive since January. Kayne emphasized the importance of reliable timber access for Canfor's operations, expressing concern over the significant gap between the allowable annual cut and the actual harvest levels in recent years.

Despite the province's reported sufficient timber supply, Canfor notes a substantial decline in actual harvest levels, reaching a 42 percent decrease compared to the allowable cut in 2023, a historic low not witnessed since the 1960s. Canfor Pulp, a subsidiary, will continue to operate two pulp production lines at the Northwood facility for a few more weeks before initiating an orderly wind-down of one line.



  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
Email Support Photos_Square.png
bottom of page