VANCOUVER, B.C. — The fallout from the 19.3 per cent U.S. duty on Canadian softwood continues, as half of B.C.’s coastal lumber industry will be shut down by Monday.
The province’s largest coastal logging company, Weyerhaeuser Co., laid off 25 per cent of its employees Thursday and is planning on closing three mills as a result of the duty.
Coast Forest and Lumber Association spokesman, Brian Zak, told local media that 12,000 to 14,000 logging jobs will have been terminated by the end of next week, which means log haulers will also be scrambling to find work.
Doman Industries, B.C.’s second largest employer, has also announced massive layoffs, with 2,000 employees awaiting their pink slips by September.
Planer mechanic Jevan Bassra told local media that “There are going to be a lot of people out there who can’t find jobs.”
Logging trucker Dave Rodway told local media that “In 32 years, it’s never been like this. We’ve had markets go down, we’ve had problems, but we’ve never had this kind of uncertainty. This kind of layoffs with no end in sight.”
Industry analysts are warning that the entire red cedar export industry is especially at risk of collapsing as a result of the tariffs.