100 Mile House District has released a statement regarding the indefinite curtailment in August of Norbord’s OSB plant last week.
The district was shocked when the announcement came. The mill employs over 160 people and the plant is one of three major forest sector facilities in the area.
Council has met with staff from the ministry of forests, lands, natural resources and rural development and discussed the provinces options for community transition supports for impacted workers, social impact on the community and economic supports to help communities transition long term. The mayor and council have asked for the community transition process, and a launch meeting will be scheduled shortly.
The District says short term they will be analyzing how the layoff will affect the labour force and business sector.
Mayor Mitch Campsall said: “We are highly sensitized to the impacts this announcement will have on workers, families, and businesses in our community. We know the forest sector is and has been poised to be shaken up, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure 100 Mile House is resilient as a community, as an economy, and as a workforce. We know that it is going to take the efforts of everyone working together to collaborate around creative and innovative solutions that will help to drive the future of our town. In the meantime, we encourage people to shop local, and really be mindful about helping to support the businesses here who have chosen to invest in our community.”
The district says they have been preparing for the possibility of a forestry industry downturn, by investing in public infrastructure to support attracting residents, and maintaining a debt-free credit status in case large infrastructure costs arise in the future.
The district says they hope the company will see future investment in the site will support and stabilize the community.