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Houston Mayor says new Canfor mill to breathe life into community

“It’s a huge day for the community.”

That’s from Houston Mayor Shane Brienen after Canfor announced they are going ahead with a new $200 million dollar lumber manufacturing mill in the northwest community (Today).

Brienen stated with the new facility expected to take 28-32 months to complete, the community is not out of the woods just yet.

“We have to go through the rebuild process so there are still some tough times for this community as we have lost a lot of jobs in town. We will work our way through that and this is a good first step to have that investment (from Canfor).”

“I don’t even know what to say. It is a huge day for our community and there have been a lot of people in the background within Canfor, the government, and the community who have been working really hard to make this a reality and here we are today moving ahead so it’s a big day for our community here.”

Brienen added having a mill that is operational impacts a wide range of people, not just the ones who work in them.

“I think everyone hurts a little bit when one of these mills goes down. It doesn’t stick to one town it affects the entire region and that is the way that logs move around. I don’t know that people wrap their minds around the industry’s total because it is not just the jobs in the mill – it’s the bush workers, the truckers, the remand plants, the truck shops, and the Finning’s and people hauling lumber.”

In January, Canfor announced it would be closing the Houston Mill, impacting over 300 jobs in the community.

BC Forests Minister Bruce Ralston issued the following statement on the new mill in Houston:

“Forests and forestry are critical to many communities in British Columbia. Today’s announcement from Canfor, investing approximately $200 million to build a new manufacturing facility in Houston, is good news, not only for people in the community but also for forestry workers, labour, and industry throughout the province.

“Canfor has been headquartered in B.C. for 85 years, and their decision underscores their commitment to B.C. and to the people of Houston. The new facility will provide good jobs locally, and deliver high-quality, sustainably produced forest products to the world.

“There is no question that we are in a period of transition in the forestry sector, and this announcement represents an important step forward. I am pleased to see Canfor, a company with deep roots in the province and strong partnerships with local First Nations, make this investment.

“For generations, communities throughout B.C. have benefited from good, family-supporting jobs provided by forestry. The news today demonstrates that this continues, and ensures that long-term jobs will remain in the region. It also encourages young people in B.C. to see the opportunities available to them in this vitally important industry.

“Forestry is and will remain a foundation of the B.C. economy, and our government is committed to ensuring that forestry remains a strong and sustainable industry in B.C. I look forward to seeing all that Canfor and the community of Houston are able to achieve with this exciting new investment.”

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