Following last week's announcement that Resolute Forest Products had rejected the bid from Rainy River Packaging Inc. (formerly known as Repap Resources) to purchase and restart the mill here, and that Resolute is entering into an agreement with a community re-developer that may demolish the property, town officials are waiting for any new word about the future of the shuttered property.
“We know that Rainy River Packaging is still hoping to purchase the mill,” Mayor June Caul said during Monday night's council meeting.
“We are still lobbying the government for support and hope that Mr. Yakabuski, the minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, will finally step up to help us,” she added.
“I am pleased that so many local residents have invested their time and energy to try and present ideas and possibilities with regard to re-opening the mill and establishing new business opportunities,” Mayor Caul noted.
“The town's working group continues to be engaged on this file and despite disappointing news last week, I want to ensure our constituents that we still have tools at our disposal and there is an ongoing discussion between the province and the corporate parties involved,” echoed Coun. Douglas Judson.
“We will continue to be part of that discussion and to advocate for the province to use every means available to protect our community's key economic asset,” he pledged.
“None of us should accept the proposition that this is a private business deal in which the public has no role,” Coun. Judson stressed.
“After all, our community and governments have invested in this facility," he reasoned. ”We will not stand by while a private transaction threatens to strip the economic benefit of publicly-owned forest resources from our district.
“Those benefits should be prioritized for this community, and we are not done fighting,” Coun. Judson stressed, who commended Mayor Caul and town administration for their leadership and continued efforts on the mill file.