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Port mayor loses his job in Western Forest Products layoff

Port Clements mayor Cory Delves says a by-election will have to be called to replace him because he's going to have to leave the islands before his term ends in 2011.Mr. Delves was one of eight office staff at Western Forest Products (and many others who work for Western's contractors) who found out last week they will no longer have jobs after the end of January.He has worked for WFP for more than 20 years, but found out last Tuesday (Jan. 6), like all the others who rely on the logging company for their livelihoods, that he was no longer needed."By the end of 2009, I'll have moved on," he said.Mr. Delves said he's disappointed that he won't be completing his term, but he doesn't think there are any other opportunities for him on the islands."I have to keep working," he said.He said others at WFP are thinking of going off-island for work too and the question remains whether any of them will come back.As mayor, he hopes to work with council to find some solutions to help people stay.He said council has work planned in their budget for the year, which hopefully can go to local unemployed people."Anything that we can do to give people a bit of extra money. Employment insurance doesn't last forever."Mr. Delves has worked in the forest industry since 1977 and isn't sure what he'll do next, but staying on the islands is not in the cards. He's sorry he won't get the chance to enjoy the new Port multiplex and he'll have to give up his volunteer position with the fire department too."I've got to find similar work or make a career change and that won't be on the island," he said.He and his wife own property in Quesnel, so they will move there, affecting another member of his family. His son currently rents from them, so he'll be getting his notice soon as well.

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