A Message to the Community from Brad Thorlakson, Tolko’s President & CEO.
At Tolko, our priority remains the health and safety of employees, their families and the communities where we live and work. It’s a stressful, challenging time for everyone right now, and we’re monitoring the fluid COVID-19 situation to help protect employees and keep them up to date. To ensure our workplace is safe and resistant to COVID-19 transmission, we have revised our work practices to adhere to the new requirements of federal and provincial health authorities. We will only continue to operate as long as we can do it safely.
Governments at all levels are continuing to adapt and respond to the developing situation. Tolko operates in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and the provincial governments in B.C. and Alberta have designated forestry as an essential service; Saskatchewan has deemed it allowable. Like other frontline workers in healthcare, emergency services, food supply, telecommunications, and the energy sector, forestry work is vital. Our industry is highly integrated, and the products and co-products are critical in the production of items that are particularly important these days. Lumber, plywood, and OSB are still needed, chips produce pulp and paper, including essential supplies such as medical masks, tissues, and personal hygiene products, and finally, sawdust and shavings are made into pellets used for generating electricity.
Tolko is an important contributor and we are continuing to run our operations only because it is safe to do so — we are aligned with the recommendations of health authorities – and we are communicating with our employees about what they can do to stay safe and healthy. This is a dynamic situation and while we are monitoring the COVID-19 safety requirements, we are also evaluating the market conditions and will adjust our operating plan if required to meet future changes in demand.
We’ve taken steps to ensure our workplace is safe and based on discussions with industry, peers, and government, we’re doing the right things. I am extremely proud of how everyone at Tolko is working together and doing their part to get through these tough times. To remain healthy, it is crucial that all of us work diligently. We are committed to keeping our employees safe while maintaining our operations, following official recommendations, and being an important part of our communities. We will continue to create stability for our employees, contractors, customers, vendors, and communities and fulfill our responsibilities as part of Canada’s Critical Infrastructure as long as it is safe to do so.
Tolko President & CEO