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Rubber and Wood September 18, 2019 12:30:17 PM

B.C. Unveils Support Package for Forest Workers Impacted by Mill Closures

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Out of total $69 million, a sum of $40 million will be allocated to establish an early-retirement bridging program for older forest workers.

B.C. Unveils Support Package for Forest Workers Impacted by Mill Closures

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The government of British Colombia has announced $69 million package to support workers in provincial forestry sector who are impacted by mill closures and shift reductions at various mills across the B.C. Interior. The announcement came after meetings held by Premier John Horgan and Minister Dough Donaldson with top executives of leading forest companies in the region.

Out of total $69 million, a sum of $40 million will be allocated to establish an early-retirement bridging program for older forest workers. $15 million will be used towards establishment of a new short-term forest employment program, which will mainly focus on fire prevention and community resiliency projects. $12 million will be earmarked for skills training and community grants for training. The remaining $2 million will be used to set up a placement coordination office that will monitor the transition and employment of impacted forest workers.

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Premier John Horgan acknowledged the calims by forest comanies that mills need to cut surplus capacity in order to remain competitive. However, he noted that companies should not do this at the cost of thw workers, contractors and communities who have put invluable efforts in building the industry. The government will do the needful to support impacted workers, he added.

Several forestry sector companies and employee unions have welcomed the supportive measures announced by the provincial government.

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