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Downtime extended at Tolko mills in North Okanagan, Cariboo

Armstrong and Soda Creek lumber division shutdowns to continue through February
Vernon-based Tolko Industries Ltd. said downtime at lumber divisions in Soda Creek, in the Cariboo, and Armstrong, in the North Okanagan, will continue through Feburary. (

B.C. lumber giant Tolko Industries, based in Vernon, said downtime at its Soda Creek (near Williams Lake) and Armstrong lumber divisions will continue through the month of February.

The directive was announced Monday, Jan. 23.

“We do not make these decisions lightly,” said Troy Connolly, Tolko’s vice-president of solid wood. “We have an extremely committed workforce at these operations whose families and communities rely on Tolko. We will continue to support our employees during this challenging time.”

These temporary curtailments will reduce production by approximately 35 million board feet of stud lumber.

“High log costs and weak lumber markets continue to impact our operating footprint in the province,” said Connolly. “While we strive to ensure consistency and stability for all of our operations, the upward cost pressures in the province combined with the notable decline in lumber demand make the decision necessary.”

Tolko’s marketing and sales team will continue to support its customers and do the best to minimize any impacts.

“Our customers are understanding of current market conditions and aware of our ongoing commitment to serve them,” said Pino Pucci, Tolko marketing and sales vice-president.

Operations will resume this week at White Valley (near Lumby) and Armstrong plywood divisions in the North Okanagan. These locations were forced to take downtime due to a Dec. 28 substation fire, which caused an ongoing power outage at Armstrong Plywood and Armstrong Lumber.

Temporary repairs to the substation are complete, and teams are working through the process of restarting.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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