McNeil: Bowater Bailout a Costly Mistake by Dexter Government
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says the decision to indefinitely idle the Bowater Mersey paper mill in Liverpool is a devastating and costly one for the mill’s employees, the people of the South Shore and taxpayers across the province.
“This is obviously difficult news for the people of Liverpool and the South Shore, in particular for those remaining employees at the Bowater mill and their families - the employees have had to make some incredibly tough decisions over the last ten months and certainly no one wanted to see it end this way,” expressed McNeil. “It’s another setback for a region already facing serious economic challenges.”
The Leader of the Opposition says while the Dexter government was quick to sign a cheque granting Bowater’s parent company Resolute 50 million dollars of taxpayers money, there was very little in that deal to benefit the province.
“From the beginning, we had concerns with the 50 million dollar Bowater deal and the Dexter government’s failure to secure guarantees, both in terms of jobs and the mill’s long term future,” McNeil says. “Unfortunately, it appears those concerns have been realized.”
Tying the future of the mill and the handout from taxpayers to a failing product like newsprint was where the Dexter government went wrong.
“Demand for newsprint has been in steep decline and by failing to diversify the product line at Bowater, this government missed an opportunity to keep the mill open and operating on the South Shore - a missed opportunity the people of Liverpool and the taxpayers of our province will pay for with the loss of 2000 jobs and millions in public money.”
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