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Vernon  

Tolko wants to talk

A major employer in the Okanagan Valley wants to talk about it.

Tolko Industries representative Tom Hoffman made it clear to North Okanagan Regional District representatives on Wednesday that the company is willing and eager to speak publicly about forest practices.

Tolko's offer followed complaints made about logging companies in September, according to Mike Macnabb, Electoral Area C director.

“The province sent out a questionaire (at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention) about forest practices and there were a lot of negative comments about the ministry and forest products companies and the lack of information,” Macnabb said.

Tolko employs 1,600 full-time staff generating millions in income annually, Hoffman said.

On the failure so far to reach a new softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States, Hoffman admitted, “we don't know what the future holds.”

Woodland manager Michael Bragg said the Okanagan's timber supply area was under review but that the forests remained pretty healthy.

Bragg said rain over the past few months had hurt a lot of mills but Tolko “remained on track.”

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