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

Highway 99 reopened to traffic following movement at 10 Mile Slide site

Drivers urged to use caution, watch for work crews in area

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Kamloops RCMP look for witnesses of fatal crash

Police are searching for a woman who was on scene at the time of the collision

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read