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Domtar to cease operations in Sault Ste. Marie, ON


September 2, 2003
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Domtar Inc. will permanently cease its planing and drying operations in Sault Ste Marie, ON.

Domtar Inc. will permanently cease its planing and drying operations in Sault Ste Marie, ON.
In all, 58 employees will be affected by this decision, when operations come to an end on Oct. 17.
“After a thorough review, we concluded unfortunately that no measure or investment could allow us to turn this situation around,” said Richard Garneau, senior VP, Forest Products Group.
Garneau said higher fibre costs, low sale prices, a stronger Canadian dollar, and anti-dumping and countervailing duties are the culprit for the closure of the Sault Ste. Marie operations.
“The costs of drying and dressing lumber are higher than the selling prices generated by market conditions.”
Activities done in Sault Ste. Marie will be brought to other Domtar sawmills in Northern Ontario.
Currently, big logs harvested in the Timmins area are processed at Domtar’s Timmins sawmill, while small logs, for efficiency reasons, are transformed by a third party located in Ostrom, ON. The lumber produced at this latter mill is then sent to Sault Ste Marie for planing and drying by Domtar employees in facilities rented from Boniferro Mill Works.
Domtar will consider qualified employees from Sault Ste Marie for jobs that may come up at other locations. Also, employees who are losing their employment permanently will be provided financial assistance, which exceed legal requirements and the company’s obligations under the current labour agreement. Domtar will also provide outplacement services to help employees make the transition to other jobs.
Domtar closed earlier this year its hardwood sawmill located in Sault Ste Marie. 130 employees were affected by this decision. Domtar did facilitate, however, the sale of these assets to a former employee, whose company Boniferro Mill Works now employs many former Domtar personnel.

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