$8 Million Provincial Investment Fuels Expansion at Tolko Heffley Creek Engineered Wood Product Plant

Kamloops, BC — The Government of British Columbia is infusing $8 million into the expansion of the Tolko Heffley Creek mill, marking a significant advancement for the engineered wood products sector in the region. This funding, as part of the British Columbia Manufacturing Jobs Fund (BCMJF), will facilitate the construction of a new facility dedicated to producing a diverse range of engineered wood products.

Project Scope and Impact: The new Heffley Creek Engineered Wood Division will extend its manufacturing capabilities beyond its traditional plywood products to include specialty, industrial, and engineered wood products. These products are crucial for various applications, including new home construction, commercial buildings, furniture, millwork, and non-residential building systems. This expansion is set to secure the 250 existing jobs at the Heffley site and create an additional 20 new positions.

Government and Industry Leaders Weigh In: Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, highlighted the strategic importance of this investment. “We’re taking action to support innovative manufacturing companies using new technology to diversify their operations and get the most value out of every tree harvested,” Minister Bailey stated. “By supporting advanced engineered wood products, we’re seeing companies protect and create good, family-supporting jobs that are integral to our Industrial Blueprint and the stronger, cleaner economic future of B.C.”

Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO of Tolko Industries Ltd., expressed gratitude for the government’s support, stating, “For over 65 years, Tolko has been a pillar of innovation and growth in B.C.’s forest products industry. This expansion enables us to enhance our portfolio of value-added products and supports job integration within our operations, affirming our commitment to the community and the industry’s future.”

Additional Provincial Support and Future Prospects: In addition to the Heffley Creek initiative, the Province is also allocating $45,760 in BCMJF funding to Tolko’s Lake Country Division. This funding will explore the integration of robotics in the production of non-residential, made-in-B.C. wood products, paving the way for technological advancements in wood manufacturing.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests, and Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation, both underscored the broader implications of such investments. They noted that supporting the forestry sector aligns with provincial housing strategies and fosters innovation that meets the growing demand for specialty building materials and quality furniture in B.C.

 

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