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Domtar, Unifor donate $1 million to Kamloops hospital project

Don Horne   


Domtar and Unifor have announced their intention to jointly commit $1 million over the next five years to Royal Inland Hospital’s Patient Care Tower Project.

This donation makes history twice in one move, as it is Unifor’s largest single donation in the history of the Union and Domtar’s largest to a hospital in Western Canada.

“We are pleased to support the hospital on this important project that will greatly enhance the medical resources for this community,” says Domtar Kamloops mill manager, Jean-Claude Allaire. “Being in partnership with Unifor on this project is a testament to our strong relationship, which not only benefits our organizations, but the community at large.”

The new Patient Care Tower will add 287,000 square feet to the hospital – essentially doubling the main hospital building’s overall footprint. The donated funds, being split equally between the two organizations, will help to purchase state of the art equipment and other important facility assets needed for the expanding hospital.


“We understand the importance of having a healthy relationship with an employer and that is why we want to invest in this community together,” said Unifor’s executive assistant to the national president, Scott Doherty. “This is the first time we have partnered with Domtar to make a significant financial donation through our Canadian Community Fund, which gives back to communities in partnership with our major employers. It highlights the fact that our members and Domtar don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk.”

Unifor Local 10-B President, Rene Pellerin, said, “We want everyone to have access to quality care. Ours isn’t the only Local in this region and so we were eager to be part of this project, knowing that it would serve all of our members, their families and the wider community. When I brought this to our membership their response was unanimously supportive.”

RIH Foundation CEO, Heidi Coleman, also notes the local leadership of Domtar’s Kamloops Mill General Manager, Jean-Claude Allaire. “Jean-Claude was very keen on supporting the hospital and by working with Unifor, he knew this would lead to an even greater impact on health care excellence for our region. This is an amazing partnership and we are thrilled to be part of it.”

Representing 315,000 members employed in almost every sector of Canada’s industries across the country, Unifor has approximately 800 members in the Kamloops area – including 350 Domtar employees. Unifor’s donation to RIH Foundation will be split between the national union and Local 10-B.

“We bargain collective agreements for our members, and we also advocate for all workers on social justice, political and community matters,” said Doherty. “As the largest private sector union in the country, our members are very active in their communities and they also need to access its services. The equipment this money will provide for RIH is vital – it’s like giving Kamloops a new hospital. ”

Similarly, Domtar’s commitment will be funded by the corporation and in conjunction with local employee giving.

“Domtar is delighted to help build a state of the art facility that will deliver excellent healthcare to all community members,” said Allaire. “Everyone has a need for healthcare at some point and this perfectly aligns with Domtar’s core value of caring for the community in which we operate.


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