Columbia Forest Products executives have lobbied provincial government officials for confirmed availability of affordable raw materials and training dollars for the company’s struggling Hearst hardwood plywood facility.

The US-headquartered company said a meeting in Toronto between senior Columbia Forest Products personnel, Hearst mayor Roger Sigouin and minister of northern development, mines, and forestry Michael Gravelle was aimed at transforming the facility into  “a sustainable concern going forward”.

Since the beginning of the year, Columbia has invested in more than $500,000 to upgrade equipment at Hearst in addition to thousands of dollars in additional training and process improvement, but Gillespie said those changes alone “will not solidify the facility’s chances for survival”.