What was intended to be a temporary maintenance shutdown has turned into the worst case scenario for 109 workers at a pulp mill outside of Chetwynd.
Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp ceased production in September in hopes of weathering low commodity prices, with a plan to restart in January, CEO Pedro Chang said in October.
Now the closure has been extended to March 2016. As a result, layoff notices have been issued to 109 employees, the company said Friday.
According to District of Chetwynd mayor Merlin Nichols, around 120 employees were working at the plant in early November during the shutdown.
"It's sad. I've hardly had any time to react," Nichols said shortly after hearing the news. He said he was informed minutes before the news release went out Friday afternoon.
"Can you imagine going home today and saying, 'Well kids, I am going to have lots more time to spend with you now, but no money?' I really feel for the families that are affected. It's going to hit hard for the next few months."
Mill owner Paper Excellence Canada said in October that it was experiencing a Bleached Chemi Thermo Mechanical Pulp (BCTMP) market that was underpriced and believed a temporary shutdown would allow it to do some needed repairs at the plant.