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N.S. announces team for forestry transition post–Northern Pulp closure [UPDATED]

January 3, 2020  By Maria Church

Greg-watson-550x368-mariaGreg Watson, manager of North Nova Forest Owners Co-op Ltd., is one of nine transition team members announced by the Nova Scotia government.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has announced the members of a transition team assembled to aid the province’s forestry workers and business impacted by the closure of Northern Pulp.

According to a government news release, the team will meet for the first time on Jan. 9 to discuss short-term interventions, potential areas of investment for the $50-million transition fund the government announced on Dec. 20, and longer-term and innovative approaches for the forestry industry in Nova Scotia.

Kelliann Dean, deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs and trade, is leading the team of both industry and government members, including:

  • Julie Towers, deputy minister, department of lands and forestry
  • Simon d’Entremont, deputy minister, department of energy and mines
  • Ava Czapalay, acting deputy minister, department of labour and advanced education
  • Don Bureaux, president, Nova Scotia Community College
  • Jeff Bishop, executive director, Forest Nova Scotia
  • Debbie Reeves, chair, Large Private Non-Industrial Landowners of Nova Scotia
  • Greg Watson, manager, North Nova Forest Owners Co-op Ltd.
  • Doug Ledwidge, president and CEO, Ledwidge Lumber

“We know there is an impact on workers and the industry, so it is critical to have industry representatives at the table. I am grateful these individuals have agreed to work with government to ensure we identify the most effective ways to support the industry in the short term and to provide advice on longer-term options for the future of forestry in our province,” McNeil said.

“As a government, we want and need a forestry industry in Nova Scotia because it helps drive our rural economy. I am confident we will find a path forward that balances economic growth and environmental integrity.”

On Dec. 20, the premier announced Northern Pulp would not receive an extension to the Boat Harbour Act, which legislated that the mill must remove its current effluent treatment pipe from the waters of Boat Harbour by Jan. 31 of this year. Without an approved replacement plan, the mill subsequently announced it would close, costing 300 direct jobs and approximately 2,400 jobs in the forestry sector.

Editor’s note: On Jan. 7, this article was corrected to reflect that Robin Wilber, president of Elmsdale Lumber Company, is no longer a member of the transition team.

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