Burns Lake buys Canoe sawmill equipment

Sawmill equipment from Canoe Forest Products Ltd. now resides in Burns Lake

Sawmill equipment from Canoe Forest Products Ltd. now resides in Burns Lake. Rick Scott, chief financial officer of Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. which took over Federated Co-operatives forest products operation in Canoe last year, confirmed that about half the sawmill equipment has been sold. “The majority of it went to Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake,” Scott said, noting it will be used to replace equipment that burned during the sawmill fire of January 2012. Scott said Gorman Bros.’ intention was never to operate the Canoe sawmill. “There’s never been any comment on it being operated again. It’s always been, ‘no it won’t be.’ There was never a promise out there we have not lived up to.” The sawmill hasn’t operated since December 2007 due to unfavourable market conditions. “The sawmill equipment was sold so we can reap some cash to invest in the plywood plant,” Scott explained. The funds will go towards the purchase of a lathe line for the plant. “We will be installing it over the next year… so we’re just changing the investment from sawmill to plywood.” The other half of the sawmill equipment in Canoe is still for sale, Scott noted. He said the Burns Lake sale was a fair deal. “It worked for everyone involved and provided continued employment up there.” One other change, he said, is that a group of companies is working together, which is helping to utilize the plant. A kiln in Canoe is being used in winter to dry lumber coming from Downie Timber in Revelstoke, continuing on to a planer mill in Westbank, B.C. or Oroville, Washington. Scott adds that, overall, the Gorman family members “are just ecstatic with the work force up there (in Canoe).”

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