NDP natural resources critic Sarah Campbell said the McGuinty government should be held accountable for the loss of jobs in the forestry industry in Northern Ontario.
Terrace Bay Pulp, of the Buchanan group of companies, is now for sale following a three-month suspension of operations, which makes it unlikely for the company to re-open at the end of January as initially announced.
“This is another troubling development for the northern forestry industry, for the 350 workers affected, and their families,” said Campbell.
“What is worse is that this closure is a direct result of the Liberal government mismanagement of the industry,” she charged.
“When Terrace Bay Pulp shut down due to a boiler explosion, [Premier] McGuinty should have been front and centre to ensure the mill re-opened,” Campbell said.
“The province has not been active enough to ensure this mill re-opens under current or new ownership,” she stressed.
Buchanan has pocketed more than $30 million for road building and more than $22 million for its Terrace Bay operations from the Liberal government.
In all, the McGuinty Liberals have handed out more than $80 million to the Buchanan Group.
Terrace Bay will be the last of the Buchanan group of companies to close.
“The McGuinty Liberals have handed out millions of public dollars without iron-clad job guarantees, and workers, their families, and the entire community pay the price,” argued Campbell.
“Once again, an economic driver for the region is at risk and instead of taking action, the McGuinty Liberals are just standing by while jobs and entire communities are being decimated,” she added.
“As with many other aspects of the industry, there is a lack of vision in looking at the big picture and a lack of concern for workers who should be at the top of the agenda for job creation,” Campbell stressed.