B.C. town offers support to neighbouring communities affected by sawmill closures
February 7, 2023 By Jennifer Ellson
The Town of Smithers in B.C. is offering support to its neighbours, in light of a string of sawmill closures.
Smithers has created a local Economic Resiliency Resource Portal targeted to residents and businesses affected by the recent mill closures in Northern B.C.
The town acknowledges the upcoming challenges the region will face and will provide support where possible, a statement said.
“The recent mill closure announcements in Prince George, Chetwynd and Houston have had a negative ripple throughout the forestry sector in Northern B.C. In the weeks to come, the Town of Smithers will be meeting with Canfor, the District of Houston, the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District, local Indigenous communities, the Provincial Government, and community stakeholders to understand further the effect this will have on Smithers and to determine what supports are required and available.”
The town is also in the process of gathering community stakeholders to meet and discuss shared resources, and to create a community response team to address related challenges.
“I am deeply concerned about what this announcement by Canfor means for our neighbours in Houston and I am also concerned for our community. A closure like this will affect us all. My heart goes out to those who have to deal with the uncertainly caused by the anticipated job losses,” Smithers Mayor Gladys Atrill said.
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