by GOAT STAFF
A month and a half after the BKB Cedar mill fire that destroyed McBride’s largest mill leaving 35 people unemployed, the message from local politicians and the Provincial Community Transition Team remains the same.
The Village of McBride released a statement on Monday explaining they continue to meet regularly with several provincial ministries and local organizations each Wednesday.
The Village says the Transition Team’s primary focus is to help affected employees. The Robson Valley Support Society (RVSS) and the Valemount Learning Centre (VLC) are helping employees.
BKB Mill owner Raj Basran has not yet confirmed whether or not he will rebuild the mill, waiting to hear back from his insurance company.
The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation has suggested opportunities to participate in job creation partnerships, according to the Village statement.
Job creation partnerships give workers the opportunity to gain work experience during job transition, and additional information can be found on the ministry website, the statement reads.
The Village of McBride is now looking at new economic development opportunities.
The Village of McBride gave approval to move ahead with several grant applications to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and the Rural Dividend program for improvements to the historic train station and additional trail development at the McBride Mountain Bike Trail System, for instance.
The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Regional Manager Myles Bruns is working with McBride Secondary School and Community Futures program to develop and support youth entrepreneur programs, Bruns says.
The McBride Community Forest Corporation is undertaking work with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to better understand the fibre supply in the Robson Valley, which will help the local community identify new business opportunities in the forest sector, according to the statement.
The McBride Community Forest Corporation (MCFC) and BKB Cedar could not be reached by press time.
Local food banks are looking for donations, according to the statement, and there is still a suggestion box at the Village Office. People who have ideas for McBride’s short- and long-term future are encouraged to drop these off in the box. Suggestions can be anonymous or signed, as the Village says it is looking for community input as a strategy is developed.