The MLA for Cariboo North says the Provincial Government continues to work with West Fraser to try and address the company’s concerns with keeping the Westpine MDF plant competitive and to reduce energy costs to it and Quesnel River Pulp.

To that end, Coralee Oakes says the company is now eligible for a BC Hydro program that should help.

She says they have put a program together for thermal mechanical pulp mills that ranges from 5 million dollars to 25 million for projects that can help reduce power consumption.

Oakes says Quesnel River Pulp is eligible for 14.9 million dollars.

She confirms that West Fraser has put in an application to BC Hydro.

We asked Oakes if that was enough to make what they want to do viable.

She says there are other initiatives that they are working on and Oakes adds that other money may be available through the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition or the Innovative Clean Energy or ICE fund.

Oakes says she believes the province is still committed to the 4.1 million dollars from several years ago.

As for West Fraser’s request for PST relief for Quesnel River Pulp, Oakes says that discussion is still on-going.