News Release - May 31, 2004
OFFICIAL OPENING FOR MAJOR MEADOW LAKE FORESTRY FACILITY
Meadow Lake is now officially home to a world-scale forestry facility.
Meadow Lake OSB was officially opened on Saturday, May 29th. The Oriented Strand Board (OSB) mill is a joint venture of Tolko Industries Ltd., North West Communities Holdings Ltd., Meadow Lake Tribal Council Resource Development Inc., and Investment Saskatchewan. Tolko Industries is the majority shareholder.
Premier Lorne Calvert along with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Maynard Sonntag brought greetings from the government. Calvert said a new world-class facility such as this is good news for Meadow Lake and for Saskatchewan.
"We're building a climate for growth in our province," Calvert said. "Our overall economic strategy recognizes the important role forestry will play in building a green and prosperous Saskatchewan, and completion of this facility shows very good progress continues to be made."
Meadow Lake's newest corporate citizen directly employs 125 people and supports an additional 125 jobs in associated woodland operations like harvesting, trucking and silviculture. The construction phase generated a further 200 person-years of employment. The mill has an annual production capacity of 600 million square feet (3/8" basis) of OSB, primarily for export.
Calvert said Statistics Canada projects total investment in Saskatchewan will exceed $6 billion for the eighth consecutive year in 2004. "Over the past five years we've seen more than $1 billion of private sector investment in the forestry sector alone. This has generated 7,000 direct and indirect jobs. We welcome this facility as a very positive addition to Meadow Lake. We also welcome Tolko and their partners as part of the growing team that is building a better Saskatchewan."
Tolko Industries is a private, family-owned forest products company with a total payroll of more than 2,400. The Meadow Lake facility coming on stream means Tolko is now active in all four western provinces.
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