October 15, 2008—Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell and local MLAs Tom Christensen and George Abbott joined Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko) to officially celebrate the grand opening of their new downtown Vernon office.
Construction of Tolko’s office building began in September 2006 and employees moved into the facility in May and June of 2008. “Tolko is proud to support our local communities and we are pleased to say that 77% of the building costs were spent in Vernon and a further 15% were spent in Armstrong and Kelowna,” said Al Thorlakson, President & CEO of Tolko.
“Since its early beginnings in 1956, Tolko’s involvement in and contribution to the North Okanagan is remarkable. This new office building is representative of their commitment to the community and their vision for the future,” said Tom Christensen, MLA Okanagan-Vernon.
After the opening ceremonies, the Ministers toured Tolko’s Armstrong Plywood facility and cogeneration plant.
Over the last 36 months Tolko has invested over $67 million in its Okanagan operations including upgrades at its Armstrong, White Valley and Kelowna operations. Mike Harkies, Tolko’s Vice-President & General Manager, Solid Wood & Kraft Papers said, “Our investment in our veneer and plywood operations demonstrates Tolko’s commitment to be a long-term, significant value-added producer in Canada.”
“As I travel across the Province, I am always reminded that British Columbians are incredibly proud of our forest industry and the role it plays in supporting our communities,” said Bell. “Whether it’s expanding the use of wood in commercial construction, bio-energy, or tapping into a growing Chinese market, people are excited about opportunities ahead. And when I look at Tolko’s success over the past 50 years and to the investments they are making today, I am confident they will enjoy even greater success over the next 50 years. “
Tolko Industries is a private, Canadian-owned forest products company based in Vernon, British Columbia with approximately 4,000 employees. In British Columbia, Tolko employs over 2,700 people. Tolko is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board, engineered wood and kraft papers with manufacturing operations across Western Canada. The Company’s Woodlands operations have received third-party certification of their sustainable forest management systems.
Mr. Randy Chan Vice-President & General Manager, Environment & Forestry