High fiber costs and low market values have forced Resolute Forest Products to suspend indefinitely its wood-cutting operations in Quebec’s Mauricie region near Trois-Rivieres. The suspension, which took effect November 27, affects at least 180 jobs.
The Mauricie woodland operation is one of six in Quebec, along with one in Ontario and two in the United States that supply logs to Resolute’s sawmills and pulp and paper mills. According to Karl Blackburn, spokesman for the Montreal-based forest products company, the decision won’t have an immediate impact on a local sawmill that employs 135, however, he added, that could change once stockpiles are used up.
According to the Canadian press, Resolute has been in discussion with the local government regarding fiber costs. The company has said it won’t restart operations if the situation doesn’t change.
This is not the first time Resolute has had to suspend operations at one of its Quebec woodlands. Last year the company and two of its competitors temporarily suspended activities in the North Shore area because of a spruce budworm infestation that damaged the wood.