WILLIAMS LAKE (September 18, 2019) – One day after John Horgan and the NDP announced a late and sadly lacking response to the crisis in the forest industry, Tolko Industries announced today that it will be reducing its stud capacity by 20 per cent at its Soda Creek and Armstrong lumber mills. Tolko Vice President Troy Connolly stated today’s announcement is due to continued and increased costs which have eroded competitiveness.
“Yesterday’s forestry announcement does nothing to drive down costs and help existing producers stay competitive,” says BC Liberal Forestry Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “This is nothing new from John Horgan and the NDP as they continue to ignore the plight of forestry-dependent families while the industry struggles. As workers and contractors also fight to stay afloat, the industry continues to drown due to NDP policies.”
“Williams Lake and the Cariboo Region have been hardest hit by the forest industry crisis and we can’t afford any further reductions,” says Rural Development Critic and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “It’s important to have a plan for early retirement for older workers, but yesterday’s announcement contained nothing that will help current forestry workers stay in the industry and make it competitive once again.”
“The NDP’s assistance program for forestry is too little too late to prevent further layoffs and mill reductions,” says Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo. “Job losses will continue and communities will suffer more unless this NDP government comes up with a plan to make our forest industry competitive once again. We aren’t seeing mill closures in Alberta or other neighbouring jurisdictions. This government’s current policies and increased taxes are killing the global competitiveness of B.C.’s world-class facilities.”