Premier Andrew Furey says the province will do what it can to be there for the workers of Kruger’s paper mill in Corner Brook.
The premier was responding to questions from Opposition Leader Tony Wakeham in the House of Assembly.
Wakeham asked the Premier if he had spoken with Joe Kruger. “I have not spoken with Mr. Kruger yet,” the premier said Wednesday afternoon. He indicated how valued the mill and its workers and those in the province’s forestry industry are. “We can guarantee you this—government will be there for them,” said Furey
Long Range Mountains MP and federal Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings echoed that sentiment. “The paper industry is changing, they know that,” said Hutchings, who meets regularly with Kruger officials.
Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons says the city is trying to determine how serious the situation is in light of a week-long shutdown at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper effective next Monday.
The company says the mill is being shut down for seven days due to “the difficult business environment in the newsprint sector”—something Parsons calls a “gut check.”
Parsons says they’ve seen these kinds of things before, and know that maintenance will be carried out during the shut-down, but they’re anxious about how this will unfold.
“This is the reason…for our existence here,” says Parsons. “Every time we see an interruption in that stream of steam going up in the air, everyone worries.”