Pulp and Paper Canada

News
Welcoming Remarks (Excerpts)


March 1, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Scott Travers (Minas Basin Pulp & Power)

Before I close an old door and open a new one, I have a parting message.

Before I close an old door and open a new one, I have a parting message.

As we are all challenged with the pressures of the day, we tend to do a lot of complaining about things we have no control over: the US dollar, the escalating energy costs, the pressure from Asia. We are putting a lot of energy into things we can’t control.

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What we should do is put all of that energy into things we can control.

I’m not saying we are not doing things to make us better, leaner and more competitive. I think we are making great strides. What I am asking is: are we excelling with technology? Are we creating the best technology? Are we developing the best in our people? And are we setting Canada as the standard of excellence in paper?

***

If you’ve been in the industry for a while, try to remember those people who invested their time and effort in you. Those people who taught you the ropes. You have a chance to re-invest that knowledge in the new blood that is with us today.

If you are new to this industry, seek out a mentor and, trust me, there are times their knowledge will save your neck.

So if you want to mentor or want to be mentored, turn to your association, and do your part to strengthen this industry.

***

And finally, I have a message to the CEOs in the crowd.

Mergers and acquisitions have gone a long way to strengthen our industry. You should be commended for your vision, courage and commitment. It hasn’t helped strengthen this association, however. We have fewer companies and as a result, fewer people in them and hence, a reduced membership. Decisions on technical development are being left up to the mills. Cost factors are driving all mill managers to make cuts. Our mills are adopting a “we can do it ourselves” attitude.

As CEOs, we don’t leave it up to the mills to decide if they will adopt a safety program, or to insure against risk, or whether they should adopt an environmental policy. Why, then, are we leaving personal and technical development policies to the mills to decide?


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