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Victoria says supports will be available for workers affected by Prince George Pulp and Paper closure

Forests Minister Bruce Ralston and Jobs Minister Brenda Bailey have weighed in Canfor’s decision to permanently close its Prince George Pulp and Mill, putting 300 people out of work.

“Our thoughts and support are with the workers and their families whose livelihoods have, for years, contributed to the success of the Canfor Pulp and Paper mill,” they said in a joint statement. “This is extremely difficult news considering the impacts this closure will have on the community.”

In a Tweet, Bailey said she has asked her ministry’s community transition team to provide support to the community and co-ordinate an in-community response to ensure supports are in place for workers and families impacted by the closure.

“Government is also working collaboratively with the B.C. Pulp and Paper Coalition, and has acted on many of its recommendations to improve fibre access for pulp mills,” reads the joint statement. “We have renewed funding for the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia, introduced the Coast Fibre Recovery Zone, and put in place new timber pricing policies and waste penalties for fibre left in the bush.

“We will continue to be there for workers and support the forest sector as we continue to prioritize innovation and made-in-B.C. manufacturing, including a healthy lumber sector.”

They pointed out that government has contributed $185 million in supports for people impacted by weakening markets and changes in the forest sector. This includes skills training, short-term employment opportunities and employment assistance, and retirement transition support for workers who are 55 years or older.

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