The recent loss of about 85 resource jobs in Merritt, B.C., has some in the Interior city worried about its future — but the mayor is confident the community will survive.
Craigmont Mines shut down two weeks ago, leaving about 30 people out of work.
This week, Ardew sawmill announced it would be closing its doors after 50 years because of a lack of timber — meaning the loss of another 55 jobs in the city of with a population of about 7,000.
Harry Sandur runs a Merritt lumber company that did custom work for the sawmill.
"It's going to be a fairly significant factor to our small town here, and to our real estate and our tax base and everything else we've got going on," he said.
"It's going to hit Merritt fairly hard, especially with Christmas months coming up too."
But Mayor Susan Roline hopes a majority of the workers and their families will stay.
"I feel very optimistic with the amount of new business coming on stream here in the next two years that a lot of those jobs will be filled fairly quickly."
She says Merritt will get through this and carry on — as it always has.
"We have basically right around Merritt now four active mining operations going on, so some of those jobs will be filled in those industries now," she said.
Roline says a number of new operations will set up in Merritt in the next two years, including a new provincial wildfire training facility slated to open next spring.
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