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

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read