When Itasca Capital purchased the Kenora Sawmill back in October of 2020, the company made it clear that before they could reopen the facility, they needed a steady and reliable source of logs. The Province of Ontario continues to work with the company on finding a source of wood, with the potential for the First Nations in the area as partners in the project. However, to date, nothing has been identified as that source. Steve Boon, Unifor National Representative, said in regard to the reopening of the mill that, “I hope at some point in the future we can sit down and work with some of those communities, and have a win-win scenario where there’s harvesting and employment situations that contribute to those communities.” Boon noted that more than half of the union members who have been laid off have Indigenous roots.
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Union offers update on Kenora sawmill