100 MILE HOUSE (June 17, 2019) – John Horgan continues to sit on his hands and do nothing as more job losses are announced in B.C.’s forest industry. West Fraser announced it will be permanently closing its Chasm Sawmill in 70 Mile House and will reduce an additional shift at its mill in 100 Mile House. These latest announcements come in addition to shift curtailments and mill closures already announced last week.
“This closure will impact 176 sawmill workers which is staggering to small, rural communities like 70 Mile, Clinton and area,” says Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola. “Our Official Opposition has put forward ideas on how to make the industry more cost-competitive. How many more communities, workers and families need to suffer because of John Horgan’s inaction on this situation?”
“Last week the BC Liberals announced immediate measures that government could adopt to help stem the flow of job losses in our forest industry,” says Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Critic and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “John Horgan and the NDP are just standing by and letting this happen while more and more communities suffer losses.”
“West Fraser is the last mill standing in 100 Mile House and we are now losing an additional shift that will impact 34 more workers. All of this comes on top of previously announced shutdowns and the indefinite closure of the Norbord plant last week,” says Rural Development Critic and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “We are talking about families in the South Cariboo who will be losing their way of life. This premier has to realize we are talking about saving an industry that has supported an entire region for generations.”
So far in 2019, there have been at least 88 weeks of operational downtime announced at various mill operations throughout B.C. In addition, there are now five permanent closures, significant shift reductions and hundreds of millions of board feet curtailed.