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BC drops 300 workers from resource ministries

The British Columbia government is chopping nearly 300 people from the ministries that manage natural resources.

Employees in the ministry of forests and range, ministry of energy, mines and petroleum resources and the integrated land management were to be told today they would be lose their jobs, according to an email circulated within the government by deputy to the premier Allan Seckel.

“This is against a backdrop of about a third less timber being harvested across the province,” said forest and range minister Pat Bell. “The size of the industry has contracted over the last number years and we still haven't contracted the overall ministry.”

Bell acknowledged that it is hard for people to lose their jobs, but said based on past rounds of firings about half the 294 people fired today will find positions elsewhere in the government.

Government emails provided later in the day show that 204 people were cut from the forest ministry, 52 from EMPR and 38 from ILMB. The cuts included 43 people in management positions, 52 members of the Professional Employees Association and 199 BCGEU members.

Besides the layoffs, the three ministries have cut 64 positions through attrition, retirements and leave without pay.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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