(File photo)

Tolko mill in Kelowna to permanently close in 2020

More than 120 workers will be impacted by the close

The Kelowna division of Tolko mill is permanently shutting its doors.

Following an examination of logging costs, market conditions and polices, Tolko announced the closure of the mill on Friday morning, affecting nearly 130 workers. The mill will close on Jan. 8, 2020.

“This is a difficult decision,” said president and CEO Brad Thorlakson in a company press release.

“The Kelowna mill has been in operation since the 1930s and has contributed to the community through job creation and many other economic spin-offs for more than 80 years.”

READ MORE: Kelowna Tolko mill shut down for ‘indeterminate’ amount of time

READ MORE: ‘A real shame’: Kelowna MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

The mill was “indeterminately” shutdown in early in September after the poor ongoing conditions in the B.C. logging industry.

Thorlakson said that Tolko employees were informed earlier with the expectations of severance and benefits.

Solid Wood vice president Troy Connolly said that open positions at other Tolko locations will be offered wherever possible to Kelowna workers.

“On days like these, our hearts are heavy as we think of our colleagues and friends,” he said.

“We know our people in Kelowna have done everything in their power to make the mill successful. They have gone above and beyond. Sadly, this has nothing to do with them or their efforts. Unfortunately, with B.C. log costs, the mill is no longer cost-competitive.”

Connolly said the HR team will provide support for workers through the closing process.

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