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Paper Excellence Canada to indefinitely curtail paper operations at Catalyst Crofton mill

CANADA (News release) -- Paper Excellence Canada announced the indefinite curtailment of paper operations at the Catalyst Crofton facility located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Market dynamics, inflationary pressures on raw materials, energy cost opportunities, and a lack of local domestic fibre supply resulted in substantial increases in operating costs. These pressures have materially impacted the current and future financial viability of the paper operation.

This decision affects approximately 75 employees.

The mill's pulp operations, which supports approximately 400 employees, will continue production during the indefinite paper curtailment.

Paper Excellence Canada will continue to supply our customers with products typically made at Crofton from other mills within the Paper Excellence Group where possible. The company remains fully committed to growing the specialty business.

Paper Excellence Canada thanks both federal and provincial governments for their efforts to support Catalyst Crofton's paper operations. The company will respect the terms and conditions of all contribution agreements affected by this indefinite curtailment and will work with the appropriate government agencies on the next steps.

Paper Excellence Canada, headquartered in British Columbia, is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers in Canada with a production capacity of over 2.5 million tonnes annually.

Unifor is disappointed by indefinite curtailment of Crofton mill

VANCOUVER, BC - Unifor is calling for an immediate response by all levels of government to support the Vancouver Island forestry sector following Paper Excellence's announcement to curtail operations at its Crofton pulp mill indefinitely.

"An indefinite curtailment is an immeasurable loss for too many workers and their families who deserve so much better from Paper Excellence," said National President Lana Payne. "These companies must be held to account and Canada and B.C. must support a value-added forestry industry that creates good, union jobs for generations to come."

Unifor called on Paper Excellence to give answers to the workers at the Crofton mill following the November 2023 announcement that an ongoing curtailment would be extended through February 2024. The cessation of operations was first announced in January 2023.

"This is devastating news for our members in Crofton," said Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle. "We can't continue to bleed jobs in the forestry sector in this province and it's clear that we need a strategic, long-term plan to support forestry jobs and stop the trend of curtailments and raw log exports."

Unifor Local 1132 represents 91 workers at the Crofton mill and nearly 3,000 pulp and paper workers in British Columbia.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

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