Premier Graham could learn lots about character from Danny Williams
Dan Benoit - Street Wise
December 19, 2008
It was almost a year ago today that UPM Kymmenne announced it was shutting down its Miramichi mill operations for good.
Just like that, 600 jobs were gone.
Premier Shawn Graham said he’d talk to some people, work with the different levels of government and figure out a way to diversify the area’s economy. I decided a year ago Graham’s comments were just noise and as far as I can figure out, that’s just about where things stand today.
This time last year Chris Allison, president of local 689 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union asked the government to expropriate the UPM mill but the premier said no way.
"There's no legal grounds whatsoever that would give the government the authority to go in and expropriate property and equipment that they do not own," Graham said.
Just the other day the company destroyed some essential equipment so the mill could never be used again. As far as ever running a mill there again, it’s all over but the crying and Premier Graham is yet to lift a finger to help as far as I know.
That’s one example of how a premier can deal with a bunch of industry parasites. Stand by and do nothing.
AbitibiBowater seeks legal action
Anonymous - Pulp and Paper Canada
December 16, 2008
Legislation that sanctioned the government’s expropriation of AbitibiBowater’s assets in Newfoundland have prompted the company to consider legal action, CBC reported. The company has requested the province establish a joint working group to go over all the issues associated with the closure of the Grand Falls-Windsor mill, the story confirmed.
The provincial government passed legislation this week permitting the expropriation of the company’s hydroelectricity rights from the generating station at Star Lake, in addition to all of its timber rights to forests on Crown land. These assets will now be run by the province’s own energy company, Nalcor, CBC reported. Premier Danny Williams said the government is proceeding this way because of AbitibiBowater’s decision to close down its mill.
“For a hundred years, Abitibi and its predecessors enjoyed the privilege of Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural resources,” CBC reported Williams as saying. “It simply makes sense if Abitibi are not going to continue the operation of the pulp and paper mill and renege on their commitment to our province, they will no longer have access to our natural resources.”
The company says it will consider the possibility of working with the government to resolve the issue, but is investigating whether or not international trade rules have been broken.