Terry Tate has been contracted to help set up the province’s Foresty Worker Supports Program in place to help workers impacted by the downturn in the B.C. Interior forest industry. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Terry Tate has been contracted to help set up the province’s Foresty Worker Supports Program in place to help workers impacted by the downturn in the B.C. Interior forest industry. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Supports program available for displaced Interior forestry workers

Offices being set up in 100 Mile House, Clearwater, Mackenzie, Fort St. James and Fort St. John

Displaced forestry workers who have not done so already are encouraged to contact the new support program put in place by the provincial government.

Terry Tate, temporary business agent with United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017, and Frank Everett, Prince George city councillor and former USW president, have been hired as consultants to help set up the Forestry Worker Support Program.

“My role is to set up job placement co-ordination offices in Clearwater, 100 Mile House, Fort St. James, Fort St. John and Mackenzie,” said Tate, adding he worked closely with the government on bridging to retirement and skills training programs during the last major downturn of the forest industry in 2009. “What we are doing now mirrors what we did back then.”

Once the offices are set up, Tate hopes they will be operated by displaced forestry workers.

“We have been contacting people who might be interested,” he added, noting a needs assessment was done with all the mills that shut down and information is being gathered from displaced workers.

In the meantime, Tate’s been contacted by many people already.

“A logger who called me said he has been out of work for six months and cannot do it anymore. If people are going to change careers, maybe this is the time.”

At least 200 people in the Williams Lake area have been impacted, including employees of small contractors and truckers, and Tate said there’s no question the ministries of labour and forests are pushing to get help out to people.

“I know they are trying because I’m getting phone calls and e-mails at 9 p.m. I know they want to make things easy for people — not complicated. People are anxious.”

Not everyone wants to move either, Tate said.

“I heard people in Quesnel saying they want to stay in their community and less than 10 per cent said they’d move to where the jobs are. Camp work is different thought because it’s an interim option where they can keep their homes and work away for a week or two weeks at a time.”

Tate anticipates there will be lots of uptake for the bridging to retirement program and he and others working for the program will be tracking to see if there is someone who can fill spots when people do retire.

Information about the support offered can be found on the government website https://forestryworkersupport.gov.bc.ca/ or by calling 1-844-478-0822.

A paper version of the applications will be available soon as well.

Read more: B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The second of two massive hydro-electric turbines headed to the Site C Dam project near Fort St. John sits in Prince Rupert ready for the Jan. 27 trek across the province. The load is so large and heavy it needs counterweights on the 120 ft transport truck and trailer (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Second of two giant turbines and multi-vehicle convoy hit the road to Site C Dam

Massive turbine load from Prince Rupert needs one truck pulling it and two trucks to push it

John Rustad, MLA Nechako Lakes. (Submitted photo)
Nechako Lakes MLA questions vaccine supply shift

John Rustad wonders why elderly aren’t being vaccinated while younger people are

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
Saik’uz First Nation forced to change initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan

The First Nation community is looking at vaccinating elders 80 + only

Operating Room nurse Tammy Solecki, Clinical Practice Leader Joanne George, and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Van Zyl, stand alongside new equipment G.R. Baker’s shoulder surgery extension. (Submitted photo)
New shoulder surgery program at G.R. Baker Hospital in Quesnel already getting rave reviews

The $200,000 program could support nearly 100 surgeries a year at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read