Canfor closure in Prince George a sign of neglected forestry policy, says Unifor
January 23, 2023
PRINCE GEORGE, BC (News release) -- The permanent closure of the pulp line at Canfor's Prince George mill was preventable, says Unifor.
"Hundreds of families have been forced to deal with job loss due to an entirely preventable mill closure," said Lana Payne, Unifor National Director. "Our union, along with many others, has been advocating for better and more sustainable forestry policies for years. It's clear this government is not moving fast enough to repair the damage done by the B.C. Liberals."
Over the course of 16 years between 2001 and 2017, the B.C. Liberal government oversaw the loss of more than 45,000 forestry jobs. The sector remains weakened and in need of progressive strategies and oversight, says Unifor.
"The B.C. Liberals are forestry job killers," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. "We need aggressive moves to protect good jobs, manage forest resources, and salvage a sector that remains integral to the provincial economy, especially in coastal and northern communities."
While the closure of the pulp line at the Canfor mill did not affect Unifor members with direct job loss, consequences will be felt community-wide.
"Any time there's a curtailment or a closure, it affects us all," said McGarrigle. "This industry is so tightly connected and inter-dependent that we all feel every loss and worry for the future of the sector."
Unifor represents workers in the paper mill and Northwood pulp mill at Canfor and continues to advocate for a sustainable forestry sector. The forestry industry in BC contributed $1.8 billion into the provincial economy in 2022.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.