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Raw Logs

Last week Q101 posted an article, highlighting the concerns of Mayor Linda Brown about not receiving forestry relief funding for the 2016 closure of Tolko.

The Ministry had released a statement saying that communities with permanent mill closures would receive $100,000.

At the time it wasn’t clear if the 2016 Tolko closure would factor into that funding.

A spokesperson with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has provided Q101 with the following;

“We sympathize with the forestry workers who experienced job losses when the mill in Merritt closed in 2016.

The mill closures and curtailments that the Province has experienced this year called for immediate action to help communities that were affected.

The new forestry worker support programs are putting workers, their families and communities first when it comes to the challenges facing the forest sector in the Interior of the Province.

Details for these programs are currently being finalized with the support of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Labour.”

When asked directly for clarity about the Tolko closure, the Ministry referred to the second statement, and particularly the section reading “experienced this year”.

The City of Merritt could still find themselves falling into the category of communities with shift curtailments which was outlined in the Ministry funding announcement as;

“Communities dealing with shift reduction will have access to a pool of funding to provide defined services for impacted community members.”

For now, City Hall is still working with the Ministry to determine what funding will be coming to Merritt.


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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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