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Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 4:48 PM
rwspencer38 rwspencer38 is offline
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90-mil loan that will never get repaid back. I doubt the sustainability of the pulp industry and I can only forsee the plant filing for bankruptcy in a few years. Harsh I know but such is life.
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Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rwspencer38 View Post
90-mil loan that will never get repaid back. I doubt the sustainability of the pulp industry and I can only forsee the plant filing for bankruptcy in a few years. Harsh I know but such is life.
You're not wrong. My friend and I had a similar discussion today. In that sense, I suppose it is JUST like tossing money, considering the very small chance of getting repaid. It also probably delays the inevitable, stretching out the life of the plant longer than it otherwise should be around.
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Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:29 PM
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SignalHillHiker SignalHillHiker is online now
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I've given a lot of thought to what I feel we should do, as a province, in these situations.

If I was in charge and had $90 million to tackle the problem of having our fourth-largest city reliant on a dying industry, I wouldn't use it as a sustenance loan.

I'd use most of it to provide 100% coverage grants to mill workers who want training to change their careers. The money would cover two years at any provincially-supported educational facility (MUN/Grenfell or CNA). I'd limit it to two to encourage workers to choose useful trades rather than intellectual pursuits. There's nothing wrong with the latter, of course, but it doesn't help this situation.

The rest of the money I'd provide to the municipality and regional investment attraction initiatives. In Corner Brook, I'd expect a lot of the money to go into aquaculture and tourism.

The corporate bigwigs of the dying industry wouldn't get anything from me.
Note to self: "The plural of anecdote is not evidence."
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2013, 1:22 AM
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Trevor3 Trevor3 is offline
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This is really just throwing good money after bad.

In Grand Falls we had a mill that had was incredibly outdated but lasted as long as it did because it had power and fibre sources. In Stephenville we had a mill that was among the most efficient in Canada in terms of power and fibre, but did not have its own source of either.

The advantage that Corner Brook has over both of those, aside from still operating, is low labour costs. Employees have taken pay cuts numerous times to keep it afloat and so far it has worked. Long term, it does not have a future. Much has been made about the mill's future in supplying emerging foreign markets in Asia, however, it is possible to grow a tree in South America that takes 70 years to grow in Newfoundland in just 7 years, and process that tree with much cheaper labour and then transport your product a much shorter distance to market. Unfortunately again, Corner Brook primarily exports to the U.S. which is the fastest shrinking market on the globe.

Further, IF the mill were to close it would not devastate the economy as people expect it would. CBPP is down to a single machine operation, from a 4 machine operation in 2005. There are about as many people working in that mill now as the Abitibi mill in Stephenville when it was shut down, and fewer than were working in Grand Falls-Windsor. Both of these places have fared well and Corner Brook, with 3 times our population, should be able to absorb the loss without any sort of significant government subsidies to the local economy. The Corner Brook economy is already diversified as a regional service centre, is trying to become a player in tourism, and just needs to rid itself of a city council that is more interested in buying itself ipads than trying to attract business.

Just to nitpick, because I can already people from CB yelling at you Signal, and I've been on the receiving end of this before, "Corner Brook is Newfoundland's 2nd city because the other two are suburbs of St. John's".

BUT from a political point of view, propping up the mill buys you votes in about 5 seats that "rely" on it.
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Old Posted Dec 21, 2014, 1:58 PM
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I had been thinking of starting a new thread on the next provincial budget seeing it could be a controversial one and may impact development in the city and the province. I figured we could probably just take the 2013 of the title of this thread instead of starting a brand new one.

I read back through the thread and it seems like some of the more controversial changes that were made in 2013 haven't gotten much attention since.

The privatization of the adult basic education program was super controversial. The only thing I have really heard on it since the privatization was from a woman who had protested the privatization, and she praised how much better it was delivered by Academy Canada.

I have not heard anything negative in the news about the school boards being reduced to one English and one French. I don't know if anyone else has heard much on it.

The government's decision to stop operating the West Coast Training Centre and handing it over to the municipality was another big issue. It has since been taken over by the YMCA. I haven't heard much on it but I did see some positive comments about how much better the facility was being run by the YMCA.

It's decisions like these that I think the government should be looking at. They were actually changes in the way services and programs were delivered.
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