1 December 2011
Ottawa banknote printer BA International being restructured
OTTAWA—THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED: BA International, a banknote printing operation in Ottawa owned by Giesecke & Devrient in Germany, will cease printing money by the end of 2012 due to a longer life expectancy of the new polymer bills.

But the 190 employees there will keep their jobs through Christmas and beyond, according to management.

"It is a difficult day for BA International," said Edgar Salib, president and managing director of Giesecke & Devrient Systems Canada. "The yearly demand [for new currency] from 2013 will drastically be reduced."

With the end of printing money for Canada, it will also be the end of the Ottawa plant's printing of notes for outside countries. "For every market we're in, we need a strong local market," he added, noting it comes down to "economies of scale".

Salib said the company is in talks with the Bank of Canada to provide "bank-note related services" that may save 30 to 40 positions out of 190 at the Ottawa location. While he doesn't know when negotiations will conclude, "there's no reason for me not to believe they won't be successful in the future," he said.

Operations in Ottawa will continue until the end of June 2012, with a "phase out" period from July to December 2012, he said. Those out of a job will be assisted to apply for jobs within the company's other locations, including those outside of Canada, noted Salib.

Salib also reported some good news for the company, explaining a Giesecke & Devrient "state-of-the-art facility" in Markham that produces a number of payment cards, identification cards, and health cards has more than doubled staff in the past five years from 250 to 550 employees.
— Jeff Hayward
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