Paper Excellence says it wishes to loan money to Northern Pulp Nova Scotia (Northern Pulp) so that all the remaining service, salary continuation and retiree benefits payments can be made to Northern Pulp’s workforce affected by the mill’s hibernation.
Northern Pulp’s pulp mill in Pictou County, which has been operational since 1967, was forced to stop production by January 31, 2020, after the Province of Nova Scotia’s decision to require Northern Pulp to cease using the Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility (BHEFT). This left the mill with no ability to treat or transport pulp effluent. Since January, Northern Pulp has been conducting a safe and environmentally sound hibernation of the mill, which would allow it to reopen in the event a proposed new Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) receives the necessary approvals.
For North Pulp to be able to borrow money from Paper Excellence and make payments, it must apply and await approval by the Supreme Court of British Columbia for the proposed loan and payments.
“Paper Excellence’s priority is to support Northern Pulp’s dedicated workforce while we engage with stakeholders and explore alternatives for restaring the mill”, said Graham Kissack, Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety and Communications for Paper Excellence Canada. “We believe the severance, salary continuation and retiree benefits must continue. Former employees and retirees have been through a very challeging year with the hibernation of the mill and then COVID-19. Covering the remaining severance, salary continuation and retree benefits is the right thing to do.”
During the reminder of 2020, Northern Paper will work whith the court appointed monitor, Ernst & Young Inc., to preserve value of its assets, to shut down the Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility (ETF) and complete the hibernation of the mill in a safe and enviornmentally responsible manner, engage with stakeholders and explore alternatives for restarting the millm, and take appropriate steps to obtain enviormental approval for the construction of a replacement ETF.
“We want to operate in NovaScotia and believe that a modern mill and healthy environment can co-exist in Pictou County, just like it does in 89 other communities with pulp and paper mills across Canada.”, finishes Gaham.