Dear Mr. Editor:
We would like to provide residents in Rainy River District with an update regarding our previous letter seeking government action to protect the natural resources of Canada from being sold off by corporations.
We further called on AbitibiBowater to place its Fort Frances mill up for sale to a purchaser who can financially afford to invest in this mill and its future viability (the sale request included the dam as an attachment to the mill).
We believe selling the mill would help AbitibiBowater meet its debt repayment, creating a win/win situation for all concerned.
The response to this first letter was beyond belief. Press from all across the country were calling. Conversations with major union officials were held from British Columbia to New Brunswick and Labrador.
Concerned individual Canadians, union members who lost their jobs in the forestry sector, special interest groups, businessmen (and ladies), professionals, and government workers call and supported our letter.
As of this date, we have not had one negative comment to our letter—not even a different viewpoint.
To progress from here, letters have been sent to our local MP and MPP, John Rafferty and Howard Hampton, requesting a meeting on this subject. Once a response is received from them, and a meeting takes place, a further update to the public will be made.
Further letters will be sent to federal and provincial officials (i.e. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Dalton McGuinty).
Letters also will be out this week to major union officials across Canada, including all provincial federations of labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. Letters will be sent to municipal councils and labour organizations across many communities, with a plan to meet with some of these elected officials.
Letters also will flow to AMO, NOMA, and others.
In closing, your views and support are important to us and our future. Call and let us know where your thoughts lie.
We will update you as events unfold.
Allan T. Bedard
and Bill Krukoski
Fort Frances, Ont.