In another setback for British Columbia's forestry sector, Tolko Industries will temporarily lay off approximately 60 workers at its Lakeview mill in Williams Lake, starting February 19.
The move, reducing shifts from two to a single 50-hour shift per week, is driven by the challenging economic conditions and high operational costs in the province.
This development follows the recent permanent closure of West Fraser's mill in Fraser Lake, impacting 175 employees, due to the company's struggles in accessing economically viable fiber in the region. Paper Excellence Canada also announced the indefinite curtailment of paper operations at its Catalyst Crofton mill on Vancouver Island, affecting about 75 employees.
Williams Lake Coun. Sheila Boehm expressed concern over these industry setbacks and initiated discussions with local authorities for potential support. Tolko Industries assured affected employees of ongoing support and emphasized the temporary nature of the shift reduction.
As alarms sound across the province, with B.C. being one of the most expensive provinces to access fiber, collaborative efforts are needed to address the broader economic challenges faced by the B.C. forestry sector.