Aurora Cannabis reducing workforce at Edmonton-area facility

The Aurora Sky facility is shown in Edmonton in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is making changes to how one of its Edmonton-area facilities operates and says that will result in job losses.

The changes will impact the Aurora Sky facility near the Edmonton International Airport, one of the world’s largest cannabis facilities.

READ MORE: Aurora Cannabis plant working to contain skunky smell at Edmonton airport 

“A distinct pillar of our stated leadership plan is to evolve our operations network to be more aligned to sales trends and more dynamic in its ability to meet the evolving needs of the consumer,” CEO Miguel Martin said in a statement on Tuesday. “To remain a leader in the cannabis industry, it is critical that we realign our operations at our sky-class facility, Aurora Sky.

“Regretfully the changes at Aurora Sky will result in a reduction of our workforce. This is a difficult decision but one we must make for the health of our entire business.”

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The Edmonton-based company did not say how many jobs would be affected but said it was committed to “supporting those impacted through this transition.”

“We are grateful for each employee’s dedication to Aurora Sky and to our business,” Martin said.

Late Tuesday night, company spokesperson Michelle Lefler confirmed to Global News that 214 workers will be impacted by the workforce reductions and that “Aurora Sky will be scaled back by 75 per cent.”

“The purpose of reducing Aurora Sky to 25 per cent is to focus on accelerating the production value at the facility to fit with the strategic direction of the company, including premium high-quality flower,” she said in an email.

Lefler said Aurora Cannabis’ chief science officer, Jonathan Page, has decided to retire and will leave the company later this month but will serve as a consultant to help the company with its restructuring.

READ MORE: Aurora Cannabis lays off 30 staff, ‘indefinitely’ pauses operations at Alberta facility 

Just last month, Aurora Cannabis said it was indefinitely pausing operations at its Aurora Sun property in Medicine Hat, a decision that would result in about 30 layoffs. That move is expected to be completed later this week.

In June, the company laid off 700 workers and announced plans to cease operations at five facilities in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

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“Aurora Sky will undergo a series of changes to advance its production success,” Martin said Tuesday. “The operational excellence of Aurora Sky is core to our strategy and growth ambition, which includes a greater focus on delivering high quality, premium products and innovation led by deeper plant science and genetics expertise.

“The required changes are expected to deliver measurable results in early 2021.”

READ MORE: Aurora Cannabis names new CEO, expects up to $1.8B in goodwill impairment charges

Martin was announced as Aurora Cannabis’ new CEO in September.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Watch below: Some Global News videos about Aurora Cannabis.

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