FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Employees were given the notice on Thursday morning that the Peace Valley OSB Plant will be closing this summer.
While the opposition is putting the blame on the new Forest Amendment Act, Bill-22, Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson, says this is not the case for the closure of Peace Valley.
“There’s no proposal that’s come to me or no announcement by the company with the intention to sell this tenure that they have. So, I don’t see any impact of Bill-22 on this particular indefinite closure.”
According to Donaldson, the reason for this closure is due to changes in the market and the environment, particularly the effects of the pine beetle invasion.
Donaldson says his Ministry knew that the constriction on fibre supply was coming and that the Government has taken steps to address the issue in the last 22 months.
He also says that the previous Government did nothing to prevent this from happening.
“The fact is that we knew this day was coming, as far as the constriction on the fibre supply, at least ten years ago. We’ve taken steps to address it in the last 22 months and, unfortunately, the previous Government didn’t over 16 years, so we’re determined to make forestry an important part of rural communities.”
Donaldson says the Government will be sending a Community Response Transition Team to assist those affected by the closure.
Sources say the staff were told Thursday morning that the plant would close as of August 9, 2019. Approximately 190 people work at the facility.