This investment shows confidence in the community’s advantageous conditions, including a robust fibre supply and world-class workforce. The jobs created through both the construction phase and operation life cycle will support families and foster a vibrant local and regional economy.
Since the initial news about changes to Canfor’s Houston operations, the District has been diligently collaborating with senior government officials to secure resources to support the community through the difficult transition phase, set conditions for a positive investment decision, and create capacity to diversify and expand our community.
In numerous meetings with the Premier, Ministers and other political and staff representatives, they have witnessed commitments in some areas, and action items in others. These discussions have generated further optimism about the future of Houston and how they can contribute to the regional and provincial economies.
These conversations have also elevated the platform for further discussions regarding the economic future of forestry communities in BC.
In collaboration with Canfor, they have also been working to ensure that local conditions align with investment objectives and offer certainty in development processes.
Council remains firm in its commitment to seek and advocate for new and expanded economic development opportunities. With strategic advantages such as extensive industrial lands, convenient rail access, centralized location with port proximity, reliable water access, redundant power supply, a resilient and skilled workforce, affordable housing options, and a supportive community, Houston is ripe for continued investment.
At the same time, the ongoing disruption to mill operations has created significant challenges for Houston families and businesses.
Regarding the announcement, Mayor Shane Brienen stated: “This investment decision is an enormous relief for our community. Houston has gone through two mine closures and one other mill closure. All of those were tough for the community, but this has been the most difficult. We were optimistic about a positive investment decision because of the advantages we know we have, and we are grateful that Canfor and others can see Houston’s strategic advantages. I believe this investment is going to represent a new era where Houston will continue to leverage opportunities to create shared prosperity for our community, the region, and the province.”
This decision marks a brighter future for the Houston community and provides assurance of long-term sustainability and vibrancy.