Ainsworth Lumber Co has told more than 200 workers at its Savona plywood mill in British Columbia that it is idling the operation because of slowing demand and the rising Canadian dollar, the Kamloops Daily News reports.

A further 100 workers at the company’s Lillooet veneer plant, which supplies the Savona mill, also received layoff notices.

Ainsworth’s investor relations manager Bruce Gibson said the downtime at Savona would be monitored on a weekly basis. He warned that the Lillooet veneer plant was likely to be down for “a good piece of timeas Ainsworth may look at outside supply if the Savona mill restarts.

Mr Gibson said the sudden rise in the Canadian dollar to more than US$0.90 was killing competitiveness.