The City of Kelowna has received a $100,000 provincial grant to help people affected by the slowdown in the forestry sector.
More than 230 full-time Tolko Mill employees were left without jobs when the mill in Kelowna shut down, which also impacted various contractors and suppliers in the community.
The $100,000 grant from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is distributed through the Community Support Grant Program.
The City submitted the grant application prior to the March 31 deadline, and have met with community partners to determine how best to distribute the funding since receiving approval from the province.
“Many options were considered as we prepared the funding application to determine the types of services that would provide the greatest benefit to the workers and our community in general,” says Grants and Special Projects manager Lorna Wilson.
“At times when communities are under stress, supporting Community Support Services becomes even more critical. These service agencies assist in maintaining the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. Investing in this sector can assist them in addressing the expanded needs of the community by putting in place a ‘safety net’ for citizens in our community during these trying times.”
Funding will be distributed immediately to the following organizations which provide relief for workers from the impact of loss of employment. Castanet will touch base with the organizations to inquire how they will help laid off workers from the mill.
- Kelowna Community Food Bank - $45,000 - to enhance current programs.
- Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) Crisis Line – $25,000 - support for current program and increased call volume.
- Elizabeth Fry Society – $30,000 - loss of employment, especially when combined with COVID-19 related home isolation which can be an additional stressor in relationships.