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N.S. backs loan offer that would pay severance to Northern Pulp workers


September 10, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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Northern Pulp. Photo © Murdo Ferguson/Paper ExcellencePhoto © Murdo Ferguson/Paper Excellence

The province of Nova Scotia says it will support Paper Excellence’s loan offer to Northern Pulp so it can pay the outstanding severance, salary and benefit payments owed to the mill’s workers.

According to The Guardian, Paper Excellence submitted a proposal for British Columbia provincial court to approve a $6.2 million loan that would cover the wages and benefits Northern Pulp owes its workforce.

The money would cover salary continuation payments for non-unionized employees, and retiree benefits.

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When the Nova Scotia–based kraft pulp mill applied for creditor protection in June, Paper Excellence – its parent company – offered a $50 million loan. The loan, which Paper Excellence said could be used to maintain the mill, work on a plan for an effluent treatment plant, and pay out wages, was conditional on Northern Pulp paying Paper Excellence first should the mill go bankrupt.

That loan offer was met with objections by Nova Scotia government representatives, who said Northern Pulp owes the province $85 million and that the taxpayer should be paid before any other debt.

In August, the province of B.C. (where Paper Excellence is headquartered) allowed $15 million of the $50 million loan offer to go toward maintaining the mill, but ruled that the money couldn’t be used to pay wages.

The $6.2 million loan offer, which comes without the same payment conditions, still must be approved by the province.

Read the full story here.