Yes they cant.
Decades after the last sawmill left the Chilliwack area, Ledcor Resources and Transportation is nearing completion on a new $18 million mill that will produce low-end wood products called cants destined for Asian markets.
With construction on the mill nearly complete, the operation added a second shift of unionized workers last week.
At a media event Thursday, Ledcor Resourses and Transportation CEO Dave Lede told workers, "We're going to prove to you that you can make more money than any other sawmill worker in the province."
The mill takes whole logs and turns them into cants—long, square pieces of wood milled from spruce, pine, fir and hemlock. The rest of the log is then used to manufacture wood chips and hog fuel.
"Nobody else was doing this and we saw a unique opportunity to use all parts of the log for a commercial purpose and make a business out of it," Ledcor president Paul McElligott told the Times.
After harvesting a piece of forest, Ledcor—which also operates a mill near Silverdale, in Mission—was chipping logs that weren't slated for traditional wood uses. The new Chilliwack mill allows the company to turn those logs into cants, which have a higher value than chips.
Many will then be destined for China and other Asian markets, where they will be used as a raw product to manufacture furniture and other goods.
The sawmill is located just off Industrial Way, and sits on a 20-acre peninsula-like patch of land beside the Fraser River and nearly surrounded by water.
McElligott said the Chilliwack site was chosen for its accessibility. Goods can be shipped to and from the mill via either the Fraser River or Highway 1. Its proximity to the Silverdale mill was also a selling point.
Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Natural Resources Minister Steve Thomson both toured the mill Thursday.
Thomson said the new mill was a sign of a resurgence in the B.C. forest industry. He said 3,500 hundred jobs have been created in the past year, with $650 million expected to be invested in the industry in 2013.
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