Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has released the following statement in response to Paper Excellence’s announcement of indefinite curtailment of its Catalyst Paper tiskʷat mill at Powell River:
“The indefinite curtailment of Paper Excellence’s Catalyst Paper tiskʷat mill is devastating for the 206 people who work at a mill, their families and the Powell River community.
“Our government has worked tirelessly with Paper Excellence to keep this operation running and it was our hope that the temporary curtailment announced two weeks ago would have been just that.
“I understand the company has cited the ongoing contraction of global paper markets and paper prices in Asia as the primary factors for the curtailment.
“I also understand the company has made a commitment to fulfil all obligations under the terms of the collective agreements with UNIFOR Local 1 and Local 76 and offering workers new opportunities at other Paper Excellence Facilities.
“Our government is committed to supporting impacted workers through skills training, short-term employment opportunities, and employment assistance and support. Separately, my colleagues and I will continue to meet with industry leaders to discuss future economic development opportunities at the site.
“Our government will continue to support the forest sector through our vision to prioritize innovation and made-in-B.C. manufacturing, including a healthy pulp and paper sector. We recognize the boom-and-bust cycle of the past is not working for people and we are committed to working with our local partners to build a more sustainable forestry sector and more resilient and diverse economies so communities can thrive for generations to come.”