Nova Scotia faces summer lumber crunch

commercial construction, dealer newsHALIFAX — Construction firms in Nova Scotia are faced with a lumber shortage during what should be their peak season, as the pandemic has driven up demand while slowing production. “Like everything else with COVID, the plants were brought down to about 50 percent efficiency and it takes a couple months for that to trickle on down,” Scott Smith, president of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association, told CBC News.

Kent Building Supplies sent an email last week to its sales associates advising them of the situation. “The huge sales increase has completely stripped the supply chain,” it reads in part. “There is no supply left in Atlantic Canada. Replacement from Western Canada is five to six weeks away … Costs are through the roof.” Mary Keith, spokesperson for Kent parent J.D. Irving Ltd., said the notice applies to most of Kent’s Atlantic region stores. “We are working to resolve the supply issue of plywood and pressure treated lumber as soon as possible and appreciate the patience of our local consumers and contractors.”