Industrial Slush Fund

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  • Bill,
    I agree with the points you have on the process for loan evaluation and creating a sustainable business and forest industry in Nova Scotia. There is much work to be done and we need a long term strategy.

    Where I have to disagree is the impact that the mill shutting down would have had. My family is a small woodlot owner and had the mill shut down, they would be off to Alberta, along with the majority of our town of 2,000(ish). The mill directly and indirectly impacts everyone in the New Ross area and if it were to shut down, it would be a disaster.

    Newsprint is not the future but the investment in bio-fuel processing as part of the deal is a start. The long term vision should be on bio-fuel as part of the mill’s portfolio. This would pump back energy onto the grid.

    Basically we have a 5 year window to fix the plant to be a viable industry. What many in Halifax and urban areas forget is that rural NS is tied heavily to the industry and if it AND Newpage close, rural NS will be a ghost town.

    PS – as for Bob’s comment on Jan 4. I’m not sure if he is a forestry operator but we’re not a “lucky few”. This line of work comes with no hand outs even with this influx of cash to bowater. It’s a daily struggle with little pay out. I’d highly recommend trying this career to see how “lucky” it really is. You are correct though in that we need a business environment where businesses prosper not flounder.

    David | January 17, 2012 | Reply

    • David thanks for this. We agree on most of what you say. My concern is the undisciplined process for making the decisions, and that we are not doing enough to enable other resource industries (mining, aquaculture,oil and gas) which could represent a promising future for rural Nova Scotia.


      Bill | January 17, 2012 | Reply

  • Bill, I couldn’t agree more with your stance. I found the whole exercise to be very depressing. Using your numbers, we as taxpayers are paying $250,000 for ever “saved” job in that mill. And the saved job likely has a life of no more than 5 years. Government has a role to play in economic development, creating an environment where business can prosper, not using taxpayer dollars to essentially transfer to the lucky few in Queens county

    bob | January 4, 2012 | Reply

  • It is truly risible that the Premier feels that the best place to get advice on business evaluation is from members of the House
    Individually or collectively they do not have the education, experience. or ability to make major economic decisions nor the will to seek or listen to the advice of those who do.
    Their economic decisions are quixotic and in pursuit of the almighty vote and the ideals of a socialistic leader.

    Name | December 25, 2011 | Reply

  • When you have dug yourself deep into a hole, it is best to stop digging.

    gordon stanfield | December 21, 2011 | Reply

  • I’ve been reading your articles over the past few years, and I’m just writing to express my gratitude for all of your work on these different issues.

    Your recent post on unsustainable industrial bailouts is spot on, and it’s refreshing to read such incisive commentary on issues relating to Nova Scotian governance.

    Although I am now pursuing my undergraduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I was raised for virtually my entire life in this province, and I only wish that more people agreed with your stances.

    Scott Stirrett | December 20, 2011 | Reply