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Government looking to play hardball


December 20, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

If a buyer comes sniffing around the Stephenville mill, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government said it won’t be tur…

If a buyer comes sniffing around the Stephenville mill, Newfoundland and Labrador’s government said it won’t be turning up its nose at the possibility of expropriating the Abitibi-Consolidated facility.

According to the Canadian Press, the Tory government in Newfoundland and Labrador has said it isn’t shutting the door on the option, as both Premier Danny Williams and Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne are frustrated by the company’s recent announcement that it plans to permanently shut down the mill.

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Abitibi has not secured a buyer for the facility or the equipment associated with it and has said it has no plans of selling as this point, CP reported.

However, with the possibility of 300 people being thrown out of work by the closure, the province has confirmed it won’t shy away from hard tactics to obligate a sale.

“If there was a buyer for that property who wanted to operate then we’d certainly have a duty and obligation to look at expropriation,” CP reported Byrne as saying.

Abitibi confirmed last week that it will permanently shut down its Stephenville and Kenora mills. This decision came on the heels of an offer made by the Tory government in Newfoundland for $150 million to keep the Stephenville mill up and running.


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