The cause of the Nov. 2 fire at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake is still not known, but work is underway to rebuild it. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Tolko resumes rebuilding fire-damaged sawmill in Williams Lake

Union says at least 100 employees have lost jobs because of sawmill fire

Work is underway at Tolko Industries Ltd. Lakeview Division in Williams Lake where the sawmill building was damaged by fire at the beginning of November.

The Tolko board has approved the sawmill’s reconstruction, said Tom Hoffman, Tolko’s manager of external and stakeholder relations.

“There was no work done between Christmas and New Year’s and they are starting again on Monday, Jan. 8,” Hoffman told the Tribune. “Not all of the assessments have been completed yet because we are still deconstructing and there is still assessment work that needs to be done.”

As the equipment is evaluated and assessed, there will likely be some changes made, to the mill, but Hoffman said it is still way too early for him to even suggest what those changes will be, noting the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Hoffman said the company is trying to keep on as many employees as possible to work at the site, while contractors with cranes and other skills have been hired for the rebuilding project.

United Steelworkers Union Local 2017 first vice president Paul French told the Tribune Monday that at least 100 positions have been impacted by the fire.

“It’s pretty lean,” French said.

“Those 100 have either gone on EI or found other work,” he said. “There are about 40 union people working on the site doing security and maintenance work, and about 30 have been placed at other Tolko operations such as at Soda Creek or in Quesnel.”

Tolko’s Soda Creek Division is planning to put on an extra shift next week, which will give some more people work, French said, but noted that Quesnel isn’t in a position to fire up an extra shift at this point.

Read More: Tolko sawmill employees updated on EI and training

Read More: Fire crews fight for local economy



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Annual Father’s Day Powwow hosts dozens of dancers from across western Canada

A full weekend of dance, good food and drumming greeted attendees

Dreams come to life in Spirit Awakens at the Station House this month

This month the Station House invites patrons to an exhibit involving the spirit

Blue Fins making final preparations for respective provincial championships

“This was the last competition for any ‘Fins not yet qualified for provincials,” Webb said.

Lakecity youth performers acquitted themselves well at Provincial Festival

The Cariboo Festival Society was proud to see two of its attendees recognized for their work

PHOTOS: Families take to the street at annual Cariboo GM Soapbox Derby

A record number of participants showed up for this event organized by Cariboo GM and the Hooligans

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read