Vernon-based Tolko Industries Ltd. has announced a shift reduction at its Kelowna division (pictured), effective July 12, and will close its Quesnel division Aug. 2. (Black Press - file photo)

Tolko announced Quesnel closure, Kelowna reduction

Vernon-based company to close Cariboo mill and reduce shifts in Kelowna

Vernon-based Tolko Industries Ltd. announced Friday the permanent closure of its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel and a reduction from two shifts to one at its Kelowna sawmill.

President and CEO Brad Thorlakson called the decisions “difficult but necessary.” Quest Wood has been part of Tolko’s operations since 1981, and the Kelowna mill has been in Tolko’s hands since 2004 when the company acquired Riverside Forest Products.

“Unfortunately, we do not have enough economic fibre to keep all of our British Columbia mills running efficiently and productively,” said Thorlakson. “We knew that AAC reductions were coming in British Columbia due to the devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. The curtailments announced today are sooner than anticipated due to uneconomic log costs, weak lumber markets, and the catastrophic impacts of wildfires.”

The Quest Wood closure process will begin on Friday, Aug. 2. Approximately 150 employees are impacted.

The reduction in shifting at the Kelowna mill is effective on July 12. Approximately 90 employees are impacted by the shifting reduction.

These two decisions will remove 250 million board feet from Tolko’s production in B.C.

Tolko’s human resources team will be providing support to employees at both mills throughout the transition.

“This is a business decision and does not reflect on the commitment or work of our employees at these two operations,” said Thorlakson. “They have made significant contributions to Tolko over many years, and we are grateful for their efforts.

“We will be working with a number of agencies to help people transition to new employment, and we will do everything we can to provide opportunities at other Tolko divisions to minimize the impact on employees and their families.

Thorlakson said all remaining Tolko divisions would continue operating on regular schedules.

“These decisions have been made after a long and detailed analysis and are necessary for the long-term prosperity of Tolko and are consistent with our commitment to sustainability,” he said.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Falkland Stampede rounds up winners

PHOTOS: Falkland Stampede ran May 18-20

Potentially explosive situation avoided in downtown Vernon

Gas line hit, RCMP block off entire block

Vernon youth wins award at B.C. Wildlife Federation’s Annual Gala

Wyatt Cleverley was awarded the Youth Big Game Award as well as the Youth Outstanding Big Game Award for his Mule Deer measuring 163 6/8.

One man’s trash, another man’s treasure: SENS to host curbside giveaway

The aim of Curbside Giveaway Weekend is to reduce the amount of waste ending up in Vernon’s landfill by diverting unwanted, but still good, items to be reused by others.

Armstrong’s jewel in jeopardy

LETTER: Royal York Golf Course preservation urged

VIDEO: Showers are back in the forecast

Temperatures are expected to drop, paired with clouds and rain

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

Sentencing for Okanagan man who sent Christmas card to shooting victim

A South Okanagan dangerous offender tacked on another nine months of prison time

VIDEO: Fire damaged Salmon Arm 7-Eleven demolished

7-Eleven representative says company interested opening elsewhere in Salmon Arm

Okanagan company wins contract for Kitimat LNG project

SK Form & Finish will work with equivalent of 4,000 fully loaded concrete trucks

Bizarre incident in Okanagan alley leads to arrest of Calgary man

A man was witnessed jumping on a car ‘acting like an ape’

Vernon history in pictures

Allan Brooks, whom the local nature centre is named after, loved to paint local wildlife

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

Kamloops RCMP bait program expands to include packages and bikes

Police are scatter items throughout the city in an attempt to lure thieves

Most Read