The clock is ticking on the future of C&C Wood Products Ltd. and Westside Logging in Quesnel.
The company filed for bankruptcy June 2, leaving as many as 200 local, full-time jobs in the balance and leaders looking at all its options to see C&C Wood Products can live on into the future after three decades in the community.
“Unfortunately, we were trying to avoid going down this road,” said Mayor Bob Simpson Monday of the bankruptcy announcement. “Now that we’re here, we have two options.”
Simpson said the first option – and the preferred one – is to find a suitable buyer for the mill that will continue operations.
The second option will see the company “shuttered” and its assets liquidated for cash to pay creditors.
“It’s two extreme, potential outcomes.”
Represents on the local and provincial level have been looking at the situation from every angle, Simpson said.
With a secure timber supply and a sought-after product in the home renovation business, Simpson said C&C Wood Products is a very viable business.
“We just need to find a buyer that recognizes its value.”
Now that the company is in the hands of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Simpson guesses they have about four to six weeks to find someone to purchase C&C Wood Products.
The company stopped operations May 29. Simpson said C&C Wood Products employed roughly 100 – 130 workers, but can employ as many as 200 staff running at full tilt.
The loss of C&C Wood Products would mean another $110,000 to $120,000 hit to the city’s tax base, only a year after losing Tolko and its $400,000 per year tax paid to the city.
“It’s a big hit to our community,” Simpson said, noting they will leave no stone unturned looking for a solution.
Whether that answer comes by way of First Nations ownership, community ownership or even employee ownership, as in the case of Harmac Pacific, Simpson is open to anything.
“We’re exploring all options.”
On June 5, PwC was appointed receiver of all the assets, undertakings, and property of the company pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia
“In its capacity as court appointed receiver PwC will be looking at all options to maximize recoveries including a potential sale of the business. The company shut down on May 29, 2020 and the receiver will not be resuming operations,” stated PwC.
C&C Wood Products manufactured products such as tongue and groove siding for the home renovation market. The company’s products are sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Wood siding from C&C Wood Products was also utilized inside the West Fraser Centre in Quesnel.