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HomeNewsConifex shutdown won't cripple Mackenzie economy says mayor

Conifex shutdown won’t cripple Mackenzie economy says mayor

Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson says the local economy has diversified enough that they can withstand a four-week shutdown at Conifex’s sawmill.

It will take effect starting on Monday (June 5th) and is slated to impact production capacity by 16 million board feet.

Atkinson told MyPGNow.com the mining industry has done a good job of filling the void and keeping families employed.

“We have diversified our economy quite a bit in the last decade and we now have probably 100 families in this community supported by the mining industry.”

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“We have workers from Mackenzie working at Mount Milligan to the west of us and then we have a number of families supported by Conuma Coal so we have people travelling to the Pine Pass out towards Chetwynd.”

At the end of the day, Atkinson believes the decision from Conifex to halt production came down to simple economics.

“Kind of the benchmark (for lumber) is around $500 per 1,000 board feet and right now it is closer to $350, so it makes a little economic sense but it certainly doesn’t lighten the blow for those employees that are going to be out of work for four weeks.”

“I’ve had a number of conversations over the past few weeks with Conifex knowing that this was probably going to occur at some point just because of the pure economics and like I have said, there have been many companies that don’t take any downtime that are now.”

Conifex expects to resume normal operations in July.

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