Crippling duties on Canadian softwood lumber forced Abitibi-Consolidated Inc.'s hand in announcing the indefinite closure of three sawmills and two production lines in Quebec. The move throws about 700 employees out of work and eliminates about 425 million board feet, or 20 per cent of Abitibi's annual production.
The Montreal-based forest products maker also plans to shut down 22 sawmills in Quebec and British Columbia for a week. The closures affect 5,000 workers and eliminates about 100 million board feet of production.
Since duties were imposed in May, producers in both eastern and western Canada have announced mill closures, including Doman Industries, Weyerhaeuser Canada, Slocan and Domtar Inc.