Forest minister needs to act before it’s too late: BC Liberals

John Rustad

FOLLOWING yet another mill shut down announced on Tuesday at Tolko’s Kelowna operation, BC Liberal Forestry Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad is calling on NDP Forests Minister Doug Donaldson to act quickly before more temporary mill closures become permanent.

“So far this year there have been five mills closed permanently and more than 125 weeks of temporary shutdowns announced without any tangible response from the provincial government,” said Rustad. “Unless John Horgan and the NDP act quickly we could be seeing many of these temporary curtailments become permanent closures.”

On Tuesday, Tolko announced the mill in Kelowna will be closing for almost six weeks. This move comes after an announcement in May that the company was eliminating a full shift at the mill affecting 90 workers. This Friday, 150 more Tolko employees will be out of a job when mill operations close permanently in Quesnel.

“Tomorrow the BC Liberal Caucus will be holding a roundtable on forestry in Kelowna,” Rustad said. “We will be listening to the concerns of people in that community and hopefully drawing the attention of NDP forestry minister Doug Donaldson to the crisis he continues to ignore. We are running out of time to stem the flow of job losses and yet there is still no action plan in place.”