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

Lakecity Secondary drama students prepare two Christmas one-acts

The culmination of the drama program, these productions are the result of months of work

RANCH MUSINGS: Dealing with food price increases

Increases in the cost of food in the year to come will cost the average Canadian family $487

Earth Friendly Holiday event a popular affair this year

A hundred intrepid crafters of all ages came together at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre

PHOTOS: WLST prepares farcical Roman musical for January

A comedic musical romp entitled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is coming soon

EDITORIAL: A community Christmas story

Imagining a town where people shop locally

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read