22 May 2012
Vancouver-based company buying idle paper mill
PORT HAWKESBURY, NS—THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED: A paper mill in Nova Scotia that was shut down last year appears to have a new future under a new owner. But it will come at a price to the workforce.

On Sept. 7 of last year, NewPage, a supplier of paper to commercial printers, filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. while its Canadian subsidiary NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp. started proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The two paper machines at the Point Tupper plant in Port Hawkesbury were shut down at that time.

An article in the Chronicle Herald said workers accepted a new contract from the potential buyer, Vancouver-based Pacific West Commercial Corp., in April that resulted in the workforce shrinking by 250 employees (a more recent CBC article pegs that number at 320). Workers also accepted pay cuts and the loss of some seniority rights, according to the Herald.

Reports also indicate the new owners intend to operate only one paper machine.

UPDATE: The sale of the mill is still pending. "The proposed transaction with (Pacific West) has not yet been finalized, as it remains subject to various conditions which must be satisfied," noted George Kinsman, associate partner with CCAA monitor Ernst & Young. He didn't specify what those conditions are. "The parties remain hopeful that a late summer transaction will materialize."
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