Merritt Mayor hopeful of action on Tolko shutdown

By Doug Collins/James Peters
October 12, 2016 - 6:12am Updated: October 12, 2016 - 9:58am

MERRITT —  The Mayor of Merritt says he's hopeful a number of discussions with various groups will help find a transition for over 200 workers who will be out of work in just over two months at the Tolko sawmill.

The company announced last month the mill will close permanently December 16th.

Merritt Mayor Neil Menard says the city has had a number of meetings with forestry groups, cabinet ministers and First Nations about what can be done to ease the pain for those workers. He says a transition group went into the community almost immediately, but so far, there is nothing on the horizon that will lead to new work. He says that's not for lack of trying, and he's hoping something will pop soon.

He says the community is still trying to come to grips with the impact the closure will have on both the workers and the community as a whole. "It's been very, very painful. Very sad for this community," says Menard. "We think that they didn't have to do it, but you know, these corporations, they look at the bottom line, and the bottom line only. They made the decision, and unfortunately, Merritt got the nod."

The company indicated at the time of the closure announcement they had determined there was not enough timber to supply all of the company's mills.

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