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Hard Hit Houston: What Does BC Owe Its Resource Towns?

Houston, BC mill

The soon to close Houston Forest Products sawmill in Houston, B.C. Photo by Christopher Grabowski.

By some measures British Columbia is Canada's province with the widest economic inequality -- and the small northern town of Houston, where a mill is closing, is scraping bottom for reasons beyond the control of residents who bet their futures on living there. Tyee Solutions Society reporter Katie Hyslop and photographer Christopher Grabowski spent a wintery week in Houston learning how news of the impending Houston Forest Products mill closure was shaking up lives. The team sought, as well, insights about how the province could be more resilient to the boom and bust cycles of an increasingly globalized resource economy.

This series was produced with funding from The Tyee Solutions Society in collaboration with Tides Canada Initiatives. TCI neither influences nor endorses the particular content of Tyee Solutions Society reporting. Other publications wishing to publish this story or other Tyee Solutions Society-produced articles, please see this website for contacts and information.

In This Series


Houston, B.C. youth worker

In Hard Luck Houston, Kids Lose Key Supports to Cope

Funding woes leave struggling mill town's youth programs in limbo.

By Katie Hyslop, 28 Mar 2014


Houston, Ashley on swing

In One Small Town, a BC Story of Ups and Downs

Welcome to Houston, where the mill is closing and lives and dreams hang in the balance. First in a series.

By Katie Hyslop, 15 Apr 2014


Jackie Bowes of Houston, BC

'We Dedicated Our Lives to this Mill'

In Houston, sudden news of shutdown is crashing house values, and life plans. Second in a series.

By Katie Hyslop, 16 Apr 2014



Ready or Not? More Mill Closures Coming to BC

'Government knew we were within the window of mill closures': former MLA.

By Katie Hyslop, 17 Apr 2014


Paula Kettle of Houston, BC

Newfoundlanders' Fortunes Found and Lost in BC

Thirty years ago, BC mills beckoned with stable work -- as did the cod fishery of the east. Fourth in a series.

By Katie Hyslop, 18 Apr 2014


Dze L' K'ant Friendship Centre, Huston

In Hard Luck Houston, a Glimpse of Good News

Last-minute gov't funding means aboriginal youth program will return in tough times. Last in a series.

By Katie Hyslop, 21 Apr 2014