Mill closures due to pine beetle not a surprise: forests minister

British Columbia’s forests minister says the closure of two sawmills in the province’s interior due to the pine beetle infestation is not unexpected.

Steve Thomson says the government has invested more than $880 million dollars to mitigate the impact of the beetle through diversification funding.

Thomson, who is on a trade mission to Japan and China, said from Beijing that he sympathizes with the workers who will lose their jobs when Canfor Corp., (TSX:CFP) closes operations in Quesnel and West Fraser shuts its mill in Houston, though both companies have announced provisions for their employees.