Tolko's Kelowna mill shutdown is permanent - InfoNews

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Tolko's Kelowna mill shutdown is permanent

Tolko lumber mill in Kelowna.
November 08, 2019 - 11:12 AM

Tolko's Kelowna mill will be closed permanently, the company confirmed today. 

There were 156 hourly and 18 salaried employees working at the Kelowna facility, and managers were called back to the mill this morning so they could call each worker and inform them of the news that was coming.

"It was a pretty hard day for everyone," Chris Downey communications advisor for Tolko said this morning.

In the days and weeks ahead there will be efforts to decommission the building, removing equipment and other things integral to day-to-day operations. Today, however, the focus is on the men and women who lost their jobs. They've been told to apply to other Tolko industries positions and they will soon be provided with detailed information on what they can expect next in terms of severance packages and benefits.

“At this time, our thoughts are with impacted employees in Kelowna,” president and CEO Brad Thorlakson said in a press release. “This is a difficult decision. The Kelowna mill has been in operation since the 1930s and has contributed to the community through job creation and many other economic spinoffs for more than 80 years. The mill has always had an excellent team that produced a highly regarded quality stud for North American and export markets. It will always stand as an example of what can be accomplished when ingenuity and know-how come together for a common purpose.”

Tolko Industries announced a 'indeterminate' curtailment on Sept. 12 that they attributed high log costs and poor North American market conditions and said today, Nov. 8, the curtailment will be permanent.
 

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As for the site itself, there aren’t any immediate future plans for it and when the property will go up for sale isn't something that's been discussed as of yet.

The Kelowna mill isn't the only B.C. mill to close. There have also been curtailments at the two Canfor pulp mills in Prince George, a closure at Tolko's sawmill in Quesnel, and Canfor's sawmill in Vavenby also shut down.

Tolko bought the mill in 2004 from Riverside Forest Products. It had a plywood plant up until 2008.

 


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