Canfor’s plan to permanently the pulp division of Prince George Pulp and Paper will have a ripple effect through the Prince George economy, said Prince George Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Corrigall.
“If you look at the general economic rule, you could anticipate there are up to 900 jobs attached to the maximum 300 jobs they’re projecting,” Corrigall said.
Skilled labour shortages in other industries will result in some mill workers finding jobs but Corrigall said the provincial and federal governments need to do more.
“I do think there is a high degree of possibility for the individuals and families and businesses affected by this to find common or similar work,” said Corrigall, “but we need a government that is willing to approve major projects so that there are new projects coming online that these people can migrate to as well. We haven’t seen enough projects getting approved over the last six years and had they been approved we would see much more capacity for the impacted individuals to move to new employment and a much more seamless rate than we may see.”
Long-term sustainability is essential, he stressed.
“We need to be working much more constructively on these industries and how they remain viable and how they remain top employers and not adding hundreds of thousands of bureaucratic jobs,” he said.