Commonwealth Plywood reopens sawmill

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Maryam Amini
and Lynne Lavery

RAPIDES-DES-JOACHIMS – On October 13, 2022, the Commonwealth Plywood Company announced the reopening of its sawmill located in Rapides-des-Joachims; the sawmill had been closed for ten years. According to a press release from Commonwealth, over the past year they have invested over $1 million to re-fit the mill and expect to hire over 65 people “in the very near future” for mill and forestry operations. The schedule is to begin in November, with one shift sawing White and Red Pine.

The company stated: “We would like to thank [Pontiac Warden] Jane Toller for her direct involvement and also the involvement of Quebec Forestry Minister Pierre Dufour and his staff for helping to make things happen.”

In a message published on October 14, Toller stated: “I was delighted this week to be able to announce, on behalf of Bill Caine Jr. of Commonwealth Plywood, the reopening of the sawmill in Rapides-des-Joachims. I have always been told that it is not an easy task to have a mill reopen once it’s been closed, and this one in particular was closed for the past ten years. I would also like to recognize the contribution of former Mayor Jim Gibson and present Mayor Doug Rouselle for their dedication to this project. It is gratifying after 5 years of working with Commonwealth Plywood to see our dream of growing the forestry industry in the Pontiac come true. Forestry built the Pontiac and it is our goal to ensure that we continue to be a strong player in the industry.”