McNeil: $25 Million for Plant Upgrades Needs to Go to the Community
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says the $25 million originally allotted for equipment and efficiency upgrades as part of the failed Bowater bailout needs to be made available to the community to support the people as they struggle to adjust to their new economic reality.
“This is a frightening time for the community and its people,” says McNeil. “The community needs to be assured by this government that it will get as much financial support as the Dexter government gave to the corporation that decided to shut down its operations after taking our tax dollars.”
McNeil says the road ahead for the people of Liverpool and the entire South Shore will be challenging, but that their ingenuity and dedication to their community combined with government resources will help turn their economy around.
“We said the community and the people of the province deserved guarantees from Bowater before the government agreed to sign a $50 million bailout agreement with the company,” says McNeil. “We didn’t get those guarantees when the government tried to bailout Bowater – the community at least deserves the guarantee of financial support as the people of the South Shore pool their collective efforts and talents to support their local economy.”
McNeil says close to 2,000 jobs were dependent on the mill and the province’s economic growth is extremely dependent on the jobs it created and the products it exported.
“We need at least that $25 million available to invest in that community so we can ensure its economy recovers,” says McNeil. “A weak response by the Dexter government will put unnecessary barriers in front of the talented and entrepreneurial people needed to turn the economy around.”
McNeil adds the Dexter government must refuse to give any more cash to the corporation that already received more than $20 million dollars from the government.
“We’ve already given this corporation too much money without guarantees and we’ve seen where that got us,” says McNeil. “We need a clear financial commitment to the people of the South Shore – anything less is inexcusable and unacceptable.”
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