Employees at the Tolko lumber mill in Kelowna were supposed to be returning to work this Monday, following a six-week shutdown.

Instead, the 127 workers found out Thursday operations would be on hold indefinitely.

In a news release, company vice president of solid wood Troy Connolly said the decision was not an easy one, but “with lumber market prices at sustained low levels and high log costs in B.C., the mill cannot be cost-competitive.”

David Elstone, of the Truck Loggers Association, told CTV News Vancouver unless something changes, he expects “further pain to occur,” with more curtailments and eventually news of contractors going out of business and leaving the industry.

“We are in a major crisis. Almost on a daily basis now, we’re getting announcements by the major sawmilling companies in this province,” Elstone said, adding he wants the province to start working on building a more “resilient” industry.

“I think a crisis creates opportunity. There’s lots that can be done,” Elstone said.

Maria Weisgarber

@ctv_mariaw

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