Tolko Cutbacks

A sawmill is closing in Quesnel and its owner is placing the blame on weak lumber markets and the impact of wildfires in recent years.

Vernon based Tolko Industries says it's permanently closing its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel in August and reducing the shifts by half at its Kelowna mill in July.
    
The Quesnel mill employs 150 people and another 90 workers will be affected by the reduction of shifts from two to one in Kelowna.   

CEO Brad Thorlakson says reductions to the annual allowable cut have come sooner than expected due to log costs, weak lumber markets and the ``catastrophic'' impacts of wildfires.  He said Tolko doesn't have enough economically priced fibre to to keep all of its mills running efficiently and productively.  

Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson says the province will work with Tolko and the community to deliver support programs for affected workers.