Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has released the following statement in response to the permanent closure of the Tolko Industries lumber mill in Kelowna:

“I was disappointed to hear of the permanent closure of the Tolko lumber mill and the uncertainly workers will now have about their future. At the same time, I want people to know that this government is working hard to make sure support is delivered to forestry workers, contractors and communities like Kelowna that have been affected.

“I want the people of Kelowna to know that Tolko mill workers impacted by the closure can access forest worker support programs online through the government’s web portal: https://forestryworkersupport.gov.bc.ca/

“The web portal includes the latest information and application details for the retirement bridging program, the forest employment program, community support grants and training opportunities and funding.

“Staff with the Ministry of Forests, Land, Naturals Resource Operations and Rural Development have already contacted the City of Kelowna regarding community support grants. In addition, I will be reaching out to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, as well as Pat McGregor, president of United Steelworkers 1-423, which represents the workers, to offer my support.”