Friday, December 2, 2011

Resolute/Government Negotiate $50 Million Deal - Saves Mill

The Nova Scotia government has reached a deal with Resolute Forest Products to keep its Bowater Mersey paper mill operating. The five-year package amounts to $50 million dollars in total. Premier Darrell Dexter says $25 million of the deal will be a forgivable loan to Resolute. Dexter says that money is intended to make the mill more efficient and become more innovative. "In the end, I believe that in the newsprint industry, it's going to be the lowest cost mills that are going to be the ones that survive and once the newsprint industry reaches an equilibrium those companies will make money...but you have to get there first," He says the province will also spend $23.75 million to buy about 10,000 hectares of woodland from the company. Meanwhile, Resolute's Canadian Spokesperson Pierre Choquette called it good news for the South Shore and the industry. "You look at the way the industry has been affected by the economy over the past couple of years and you look at the demand going down as well. So it's no secret that the most competitive, low cost mills will be the ones that survive," The agreement includes $1.5 million for workforce training through the Productivity Investment Program, the province's plan for economic growth. The investment allows employees to upgrade their skills between 2012 and 2014, as a result of capital improvements to the mill. 

Black Legged Tick Confirmed in Gavelton, Yarmouth Co.

The black legged tick has been confirmed to be present in the Gavelton area of Yarmouth County. South West Health spokesperson Barb Johnson says recent tests confirm the bugs are there. The ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and are normally found in grassy, shrubby and wooded areas. Johnson says letters will be going out this week for those who live in the Gavelton area reminding residents of the tick's presence. She suggests those who are working in potentially populated areas to conduct a thorough tick check when they get home - she's says one sign of exposure is a bulls-eye rash around the bite. Tick activity is normally reduced with the first permanent snowfall or when air temperatures are consistently below 4 degrees.

Dexter en route to Liverpool with news for Bowater Mersey

A big announcement coming today from Premier Darrell Dexter. It could help keep the Bowater Mersey paper mill running. A spokeswoman for Dexter has confirmed the government has worked out a multi-million dollar support package. Mill owners Resolute Forest Products have told the premier they will close the plant without help from the government, concessions from the union and reduced electricity costs. The President of CEP Union Local 141 Courtney Wentzell says he'll need to know the details of the deal before he can endorse it while officials from Resolute have declined comment. CKBW/HANK FM will have more on this announcement later this afternoon.