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

July update: 200 workers at CGL pipeline camp in Vanderhoof

District not providing information on total revenue being earned from renting land to TransCanada for CGL camp.

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Man arrested in Vanderhoof in connection to Alberta mall shooting

Jacob Doubt, 23, is facing a number of firearms-related charges

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read