January 7, 2020 By P&PC Staff
The government of Nova Scotia has scheduled several open houses this month to provide information on employment programs and services for workers affected by the upcoming closure of Northern Pulp.
On Dec. 20, Premier Stephen McNeil announced there would be no extension to the Boat Harbour Act, which legislated a deadline of January 31, 2020 for Northern Pulp to pull its effluent drainage pipe out of Pictou County’s Boat Harbour. Without a government-approved replacement plan, the mill subsequently confirmed it will close.
The open houses will be held Jan. 14 to 23 in New Glasgow, Middle Musquodobit, Liverpool, Bridgewater, Sheet Harbour, Antigonish, Lower Sackville, Truro and Amherst.
A list of dates and locations is available on the government’s new website dedicated to its forestry sector support program. The $50-million program will help workers with employment services and reskilling.
At the open houses, workers and business owners can access services such as career coaching, job search assistance, training and employment insurance. Funding may also be available to help people find another job or get more training.
The province is also working with community economic development partners to host information sessions for local businesses. Companies that may be impacted by the pulp mill’s closure will hear about current opportunities in their region and have an opportunity to share their ideas. Dates for these sessions are forthcoming.
Information sessions with Northern Pulp employees were held Jan. 6. The closure will affect 300 direct jobs at the mill, plus an estimated 2,400 in the province’s supply chain.
A 24/7 confidential, toll-free line is also open for anyone seeking emotional support as a result of the mill’s closure at 1-866-885-6540.
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