Elk Falls Workers

Campbell River B.C.

Where are you now?

A place to connect with people that worked at Elk Falls and share experiences with life after Elk.


  1. Aiden again… hope this helps someone……. Cheers !

    Comment by Aiden Nugent.......... | October 17, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hi Aiden Nugent Here…. Has anyone had any trouble with the 1123 pension….
    They tried to cut me off….. had to file some papers…. will know at month end (Oct 2012)
    if it is restored….. Aiden……..

    Comment by Aiden Nugent.......... | October 17, 2012 | Reply

    • Aiden again…. I sent the pension papers via registered mail…. with a tracking number…
      You can follow your mail on the web to its destination…. and confirm delivery…. Aiden N.

      Comment by Aiden Nugent.......... | October 17, 2012 | Reply

  3. I wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season,and a great New Year.

    Comment by Ray Earthy | December 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. It’s been quiet, so very quiet …… Summer is nearly over; perhaps we can share some “good” stories about what has happened since our dear mill was officially closed nearly 12 months ago.
    I followed many to Fort MacMurray where I found the town to be as vibrant as was CR in the good ol’ days. Some may call it an ugly working town but do you remember what “outsider” folks used to say about our great village in it’s “heyday”?
    I have since transferred, with the same company, to the town of Sparwood where many more of our brethren have shifted to put food on the table. Driving haul truck in an open pit coal mine is not what I expected to be doing at this stage of the game but I am thankful that the economy in other parts of our country is booming.
    Our stories would be much different if great income could not be found within striking distance of our homes. Thank Heaven for cellphones, internet and WestJet !!! If the same infrastructure was in place 30yrs ago ……. heck, Ocean Falls might have a Wal-Mart now !!!
    Enjoy the days my Brothers/Sister. The passing of a couple of our long-time mates reminds me that WE DON’T LIVE FOREVER!! so try to enjoy life before that hip stops you from going up the ladder to get the higher fruit.

    Thanks for reading ……..

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | August 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. Hey “Compi” Carl Wood was asking about you he was wondering if you were on F/B he just wanted to say hi! Carl is another person up here from thr Riv. If your interested let me know and I will send you some contact info? Cheers!

    Comment by Larry Lagos | May 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Hey Guys,

      Someone in Campbell River has the 36 million in the lotto max tonight. Hope it’s one of you!

      Comment by Crofton Worker | May 20, 2011 | Reply

      • Sigh, it was not. However ….. it was a very nice fellow who filled his jeans.

        Comment by Bradley Briscoe | May 23, 2011

  6. Mr. Newman …. you may be a fortunate character but an good example of how the system fails to treat all of us equally.

    Due to the fact that my claim was still open when I got my money …… they want their share. My claim spanned two years (2009-2010) as many must have. The first year is exempt from repayment but the second is NOT because they deem that I have now had a claim within ten TAXATION years even though it was the same single claim.

    This is too wordy to explain in this forum but some benefit greatly from the offerings of the government while others basically borrowed money from the fund that should have been in place to assist us all as equals.

    Oh well …. good on ya, I am pleased that the system worked well for at least one of us.

    My fight continues. Enjoy the day …..

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | May 5, 2011 | Reply

  7. Greetings all! I recieved some sad news this morning. From what I understans Old Joe Young passed away! My warmest Regards go out to his family! I had the pleasure to work with Joe and he was one of the finest people I have ever worked with! I know he will be missed and myself one of my happy places will allways be working with Joe and many others and myself and Bob Clark SR praticing our Milo laugh!!! Regards allways!!! Larry

    Fair Winds and Following Seas Joe!!!

    Comment by Larry Lagos | May 1, 2011 | Reply

    • It is hard to believe that Joe is gone …. it could not have been old age because that fellow never looked like he aged since 1981 when I met the man.

      I remember the time he nearly lost his arm when a press roll on old #2 settled pinching his limb. Big George Raga came to the rescue sprinting up the stairway from the wet end shack to catch Joe’s inert form. Joe woke with a start and never missed a beat despite having fallen unconscious due to the pain he must have suffered. All was well and Joe flexed that arm at me every time I saw him for the next 25 years.
      Carry on Joe, you will be missed.

      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | May 2, 2011 | Reply

  8. REQUEST: Does anybody have a copy of the letter we received citing the provision that people who had not collected EI in the previous ten years would be exempt from repayment of benefits ??

    I do not recall if it was a letter from our union or from the EI Office.

    The fight continues ………

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | April 30, 2011 | Reply

  9. Hmmmm, wonders if this site is a DEAD zone now… Anyhow, heard that we were to receive our defense fund money in April, now almost the end. If anyone out there can give the membership an update, much appreciated…..

    There was a wage caucus meeting held on the 14/15th of April. At the meeting there was a motion made to return monies from the regional strike and health and welfare support funds. We will be preparing cheques and they will be sent out as soon as we receive the money. If people have relocated, it would be a good idea to call or email the office and put in a change of address. (you can even reply to this post – we won’t publish it) Ian

    Comment by Dennis | April 26, 2011 | Reply

  10. Am I really the only individual who has had to pay back 30% of my EI benefits?? Wow …. dumb luck huh.

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | April 21, 2011 | Reply

    • If it makes you feel better – I too have to pay back some of my EI benefits… And I’m willing to bet we’re not the only ones. Probably just something people don’t want to talk about.

      Comment by Ian | April 21, 2011 | Reply

      • I am looking into it but hoped that others would come forward. We were definitely told that we would be exempt from repayment, the gal at the EI office recalls the scenario clearly because she was the individual who gave us the chat and mailed the letters. The fight has just begun !!!! I have repaid 30% of all benefits paid in 2010 and want that money back. Thank-you for your input Ian.

        Comment by Bradley Briscoe | April 21, 2011

    • It may not be quite so bad to pay back a little bit of EI but, to me, $4775 is more than little.

      I may have to **** * **** threat ….. that is number 7 on my list of options. Enjoy the day.

      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | April 29, 2011 | Reply

      • EI did me out of about $14,000 with the way the SITI program was set up.
        Those of that didn’t have a severance letter when the mill closed were SOL when it came to participating in that program. But the junior people got to keep that same $14,000 of EI benefits and their severance as well because they were able to qualify for the SITI program. So much for the government looking after long tenured workers.

        Comment by Ian Makus | May 4, 2011

      • I had no problems with EI. They paid for my scooling and kept me on EI as long as I was in school. I got my sevrance after school was out and put in a rrsp so it would not affect my income tax. I was also told that if I had not collected EI in the previous 10 yrs there would be no payback.

        Comment by Tom Newman | May 4, 2011

  11. Dan or Ian or
    I am curious if anyone knows who is still elligible for bridginging at 60 and if someone is who is or did they (Catalist)
    (?ZX%@!) out of that also?

    Comment by Grizzly | April 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Steve: We have an arbitration scheduled for the end of the year to deal with people aged 55 and over that left after the permanent closure was announced, and whether they are entitled to retirees benefits as well as their severance. Since we launched that grievance there have been examples of others who thought they had qualified for benefits but have been denied them by the company, so I believe there will be more legal action required before I can properly answer your question.

      Comment by Ian | April 18, 2011 | Reply

      • Ian: I took retirement after the 1 yr of indefinite closure and have had no problems getting my benefits up to now. I don’t know what will happen when I try to collect my bridging but am hopeful it will go through if the company is still viable.

        Comment by Tom Newman | May 4, 2011

  12. Just curious about the money that we all set aside for the strike defense fund. Are we ever going to get the rest of it back. Even though that one local hasn’t settled,I think it has gone on long enough.(After all they are still working aren’t they?) The other locals (Who are also still working) should take up a collection and buy out our position in this fight. I am writing this to generate some discussion and welcome any comments or opinions on this matter.

    Comment by Mike Inglin | February 25, 2011 | Reply

  13. Just wanted to wish all fellow ex-Elk employees a very Merry Christmas and hoping all the best for 2011.

    Comment by Josko Cizmic | December 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Happy seasons to you too Joe. WHO KNEW!!!!

      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  14. Was the social gathering a success?? It does not look like there is much life on the 1123 blog……have we all moved on??

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | November 3, 2010 | Reply

  15. Ya Bradley, I have to agree with you! 15 months for me.If there are other brothers and sisters wondering? Go for it there is lots of work in oil sands.In most cases you will be surprised how well you are treated! Not once have I been docked 15 minutes for being a minute late.Yes housing is expensive but most things are the same (beer goes on sale) people are nice the pay is not chump change! If you can swing it get a fourth class steam ticket and pack your bags!Don’t be deterred if you don’t have your 4th,get on line check it out!ftmcmurray.com trust me you won’t miss the rain! Warmest Regards!!! Larry

    Comment by Larry Lagos | October 13, 2010 | Reply

    • This little town(city?) is not the least bit the way I heard about it. “shit hole”? Egads….far from it. Perhaps there was a day but it has passed. Every where I look I see a young lady pushing a baby in a buggy…..no, not the same young lady. I must assume that birth control is more expensive than is the housing!!

      I cannot believe that I am here and feeling so “at home”, downtown feels the way Courtenay/Campbell River did in the “olden” days when we were young, energetic and well paid.

      If anybody is looking for work but afraid to come here because of things you have heard……..stop listening and get on a bus. You will be pleasantly surprised.

      Hey, they have a Wal-Mart and Tim Hortons…….what more are people asking for these days!!


      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | October 13, 2010 | Reply

  16. Fibre supply B crew is like a cockroach…….it will not die!!

    George Cossenas and I were relieved this morning by James Patterson, Aaron Maer and Stan Davidson!! If Grant Machin was here we could start our old lottery pool!! I will apologize now for certainly mis-spelling Aaron’s last name. If we get a couple more faces up here we will move the Wednesday morning coffee to the FM Timmys……majority rules!!

    Time for bed……zzzzzz

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | October 9, 2010 | Reply

  17. Fort McMurray is a great place(at this time of the year). I have been told that it may get a little colder than it has been lately but the warmth of money takes the chill out of the air. The weather has not deterred what seems like half of our Elk Falls mill brethren from being here…..Kenny Jarvis tried to run me over in a crosswalk yesterday. He avoided me at the last moment when he realized that my passing would no longer result in a “move up” for him but may increase his insurance premium. It was my lucky day. Come on up…….

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | October 7, 2010 | Reply

  18. I have yet to receive any paper documentation regarding time/rate of monies paid to me. I expected some kind of paperwork regarding what they did pay out, even if there are going to be some adjustments made at a later date.

    I suppose the good news is that the money showed up, I guess I can wait for the paper.

    Sunny and raining in Fort McMurray today, I feel right at home!!!

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 28, 2010 | Reply

  19. Is there a chance that our union could help update our training (fork lift tickets,Jlg,fall arrest etc.)? It helps with getting jobs, in this competitive market.
    We have been working with local 470 downstairs in the union hall to offer training for over a year. I understand that they haven’t had any courses run lately but check with them to see when they are planning more. Dan

    Comment by perry | September 25, 2010 | Reply

  20. At midnight a lump of money was deposited into my bank account. I am either being used as a money laundering pawn or my career at Catalyst paper is finally and officially over.

    I have not yet received any paperwork so must ask; was all holiday/banked time and/or floaters included in the sum??
    Holidays etc were included but paid out at base rate. The company will be working to straighten that out as per the arbitration and members will see an additional check in the next month or so. Dan

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 16, 2010 | Reply

  21. To all who may be interested, the OSSA can be taken online, contrary to what some literature states. The cost is $85+bloody taxes. It is needed if you wish to enter tar sands mining sites. I used the NIEFS staff as the facilitator for my online viewing.


    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 14, 2010 | Reply

  22. Are we still able to get the OSSA training online for no charge at the cmaw office??

    What they offer is CSTS and yes, this is available to anyone that was an active 1123 member when the Kraftmill went down November 2008. You can contact their office and make arrangements to go in and do the CSTS online tests. – Ian

    Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Thankyou Ian, I took my CSTS a while ago at NIC and payed for it…… but now require the OSSA. If it is not offered at the hall I guess I will pay again, sigh.
      You had better wear bells on your shoes when you wander around the mill site…..you have no idea what may have moved in there since we left!!

      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 14, 2010 | Reply

  23. Hello to all past Elk Employees. Like a lot of other people, I was concerned about what the future might bring after severing from the mill. I can now honestly say it was probably one of the best things that could have happened, for me anyway. I ended up in Grande Prairie and it has been a nice change from working for an employer that thought of us as a liability. The first day I went looking for work I ended up having to choose from three different jobs offered to me. And I’m not talking about $10-$12/hr jobs. I now have a great job, and an employer who thinks of me as an asset and treats me accordingly. I know people don’t want to leave the place they have called home for so many years but it doesn’t have to be forever. I rented out my house and I do plan on coming back home one day. But for now I plan to make hay while the sun is still shining up here in “the patch”. If you really want to make some money, there are tons of jobs here in Grande Prairie. No matter what people choose to do, I wish you all well and maybe one day see you again at an Elk Falls reunion.

    Comment by Uwe Hopf | September 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Bravo Uwe!! It looks like I too have ended up in another world and must admit that, although I would have never left the mill, the closure has stirred me.
      I have taken a position in Fort McMurray so September 29 will be my first day with a new employer since 1981……doesn’t that suddenly seem like a long time ago?? I do not think I had to shave for the ’81 interview…….but had to hide gray whiskers for this one!! Some things do change.
      Some of you may find it strange that the person recruiting/hiring you is probably younger than your children!!!
      For many of us, today is the first official day of not being employed at Elk Falls mill since we were “kids”, what a day.
      Enjoy the time we have left, it is precious.

      Comment by Bradley Briscoe | September 11, 2010 | Reply

      • Good to hear things worked out for both of you. Wish you the best with your new careers.

        Comment by Dan | September 11, 2010

  24. I chose to look at the mill shutting down, the govt. grants, the extended EI as a gift. A gift that is now allowing me to follow my passion for motorcycles and in time hopefully make a good living from it. Honestly I haven’t been excited about going to work in a long time.


    Comment by Brian | May 25, 2010 | Reply

  25. What is the reasoning behind not posting seniority list of the people left?As I am not sure if I would want to stay if there is no one left to start up with any experience! There is only 3 Steamers left, only one #5 boiler operator and 2 SET operators. All but one Shift Engineer are gone, all other technical people needed to trouble shoot (inst mech., electricians, ect.) are gone. It is going to be an exercise in frustration trying to start up a plant with almost no one left with any knowledge of any equipment they are working on. Unless the company want to spend huge $$ to train properly and take their time and fix and replace equipment taken to other mills to save money there (we are mill stores north).
    We’ve had people complain to us and to the Company that it’s no-one else’s business if they had taken a severance or not – Comparing seniority lists easily leads people to the conclusion who has, and who hasn’t. So we’ve agreed to keep it internal. Anyone wishing to see where they are on the list can stop by the office. – Ian

    Comment by Ken Martin | May 4, 2010 | Reply

    • not all technical people are gone (inst mech electricians) learn your numbers before you speak!!!
      I don’t believe Ken was slagging anyone or in any way questioning the abilities of the few that haven’t opted for severance, but rather pointing out the seriousness of the situation we find ourselves in, when the majority of the people with knowledge of how our systems worked have left. – Ian

      Comment by rich | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  26. Hi, guys. Many of us have been forced to move on. Kinda’ miss many old familiar faces and I’m curious as to where everyone went or are doing….hopefully, okay! With a 14 year pension, I was lucky to get part-time work with the City of Courtenay. I’ve heard others are working in the hospital and others have re-trained to start new occupations. I sincerely wish you all well. I know its still a dismal time for many…..and its a sensitive thing to ask about. Would be nice to hear or find out about how brothers and sisters are doing. Somehow, maybe, with keeping touch, we might be able to help each other out a bit; if we hear of job opportunities, etc. I hope that those qualified and,able to do it, will be in the running for potential jobs in MacKenzie. My mother and step-father (sawmill worker) lived there for over 25 yrs. and loved it. End of story for now. Like to hear from my long lost co-workers. Mike Macklin.

    Comment by Mike Macklin | April 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Mike, Dave here. You still in CR? W should get together for coffee if you are. later man, Dave

      Comment by Dave Flint | June 21, 2010 | Reply

      • Hi Dave, good to hear from you. Was wondering how you’re doing? Yep, I’m still in C.R. for now…. So coffee sounds good. Be nice to catch up. Have you heard from any other TMP’ers? Call me: 286-9786. Thanks for contacting. Mike.

        Comment by Mike Macklin | June 22, 2010

  27. If you have moved on from Elk and want to let other members know where you ended up. Some people have kept in touch through Facebook but I have had a number of members ask for something on our site. I thought I would try this and see if people want to use it. Just post to this page.

    Comment by Dan | April 20, 2010 | Reply

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