Twice laid off due to sawmill closings, B.C. worker ready for a new career – Global News

By Dan Healing The Canadian Press Rachelle Dumoulin admits her second layoff in 12 years from a northern B.C. sawmill has soured her on the boom-and-bust industry.The 39-year-old lost her job in the remote community of Mackenzie, about 180 kilometres north of Prince George, B.C., when three local sawmills were closed in 2007-08 due to…

Twice laid off due to sawmill closings, B.C. worker ready for a new career – Global News

By
Dan Healing
The Canadian Press

Rachelle Dumoulin admits her second layoff in 12 years from a northern B.C. sawmill has soured her on the boom-and-bust industry.The 39-year-old lost her job in the remote community of Mackenzie, about 180 kilometres north of Prince George, B.C., when three local sawmills were closed in 2007-08 due to a slowdown in the U.S. housing market.She used the down time to go back to university in Ontario, but returned to Mackenzie with her husband in 2010 when the mills reopened and got a job as a labourer.

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They bought a house and had two children, now seven and two years old, and she started a part-time photography business.In July, owner Canfor Corp. announced the mill where she worked as a weigh-scale operator would close again. Because it’s an “indefinite curtailment,” Dumoulin said, there was no severance paid.Meanwhile, her husband, a contract log truck driver, lost his job delivering to the nearby Conifex Timber Inc. sawmill during a five-week curtailment blamed on high log costs and difficult market conditions.

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The good news is the Conifex shutdown ended, she said.“There’s that saying, ‘You do me wrong once, shame on you; do me wrong twice, shame on me,’” Dumoulin said in an interview.“I’m not letting that happen a third time. I need to get out of this industry.”This year’s series of mill closures and production curtailments in British Columbia have affected more than 5,900 workers at 25 mills in 22 communities, according to provincial estimates.WATCH: (Sept. 4) Critics questions closure of Maple Ridge sawmill

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