By: The Working Forest Staff
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – On behalf of B.C. United Ways, Danalee Baker, Executive Director of the United Way, Thompson/Nicola/Cariboo wrote a letter to Premier John Horgan to provide a financial safety net to help unemployed forestry sector workers.
The United Way is encouraging the government and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to provide $200,000 investment into 15 communities totalling $3,000,000, where a sawmill has been either reduced in its capacity with plans for shutdown or shut down permanently to be funding as additional social and community supports.
The letter shares, that United Ways are poised and ready in communities throughout the province with established and strong relationships with the local agencies and the community themselves.
This investment will allow United Ways to increase the help to the communities in partnership and manage this critical period by taking a proactive approach ensuring social services will be ready to accommodate what is to come.
The letter says need has already increased at the Clearwater Food Bank with the closure of the Canfor mill. In Vavenby, nearly 200 jobs were lost as the mill was the area’s largest employer.
Transition teams will help with future plans, yet as winter and the holiday season approaches, food, heating, clothing, and mental health will be a growing concern for those facing unemployment.