British Columbia transfers 116 acres on site of former Tolko sawmill to District of Barriere and Simpcw First Nation, part of C$4.6M scheme to revive economies of communities impacted by loss of Louis Creek mill to 2003 wildfire

LOUIS CREEK, British Columbia , April 14, 2014 (press release) – Today, the B.C. government officially transferred land on the site of the former Tolko Industries Ltd. mill to the District of Barriere and the Simpcw First Nation.

This land transfer is fulfilling a commitment to support economic development in the North Thompson. It signals a new beginning, by providing prime highway frontage land with the vision of reviving economic opportunity for these communities, which were heavily impacted in 2003 when the Tolko Industries mill was destroyed by wildfires.

The B.C. government invested $4.6 million on the construction of an intersection at Highway 5 and Agate Bay Road and on road work on Agate Bay Road, as well as contamination remediation and clean-up works at the site.

This remediated land will provide a land base for new industry and new jobs for the region, supporting families and economic growth.

Quick Facts:

The land covers 116 acres, which have been divided into 13 lots of varying sizes:
•Nine lots will be transferred to the District of Barriere.
•Two lots will be transferred to Simpcw First Nation.
•Two lots will be retained by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which will be used for the ongoing operation of a gravel pit and salt storage to facilitate highway maintenance and construction projects.

Quotes:

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone -

“This is a historic day for the community of Barriere, the local First Nation and the B.C. government. This land will provide long-term economic opportunities for local families and businesses. We made a promise to transfer the land back to the community, and today, we are fulfilling that promise.”

Minister of Health Terry Lake, MLA Kamloops-North Thompson -

“Presenting this land to these North Thompson communities fulfils an important commitment made by the Province of B.C. This industrial land offers an opportunity for new jobs and development in a vibrant hardworking region of our province.”

District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys -

“This asset will provide much needed economic development opportunities in our area thereby enhancing the sustainability of our community. The District of Barriere would like to thank the Province of B.C. for their support and recognize the hard work of staff at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that enabled the completion of this transfer of ownership.”

Simpcw First Nation Chief Rita Matthew -

“The Simpcw community and council honour our ancestors that kept this land in a good way. We are pleased to have the opportunity based on our right, to create economic benefit for the Simpcw people through this development. We look forward to a continuing relationship with our neighbours to work together to make this valley a great place to live for future generations and care for it as we always have.”

Learn More:

Learn more about the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure at: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/tranprojectsbc/

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