Thursday, November 22, 2012

Resolute Commited To Helping Workers

Resolute Forest Products says it will assist workers affected by the company's decision to idle, indefinitely, its kraft mill and a paper machine at its Fort Frances mill.

As many as 239 employees are expected to be laid-off by next February.

Spokesperson Pierre Choquette says they are hoping to mitigate the impact as best as they can.

Some employees may be eligible for early retirement packages while others may be offered employment at Resolute's other operations.

Production at the kraft mill and paper machine number 5 is expected to come to a halt by the end of this month.

Another paper machine and the biomass boiler are being maintained.

Union Disappointed By Idling

One of the unions representing workers at the Fort Frances mill is disappointed by Resolute Forest Products decision to idle, idefinitely, the kraft mill and a paper machine.

Steven Boon of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union says employees were called on many times to help keep the mill competitive.

Boon feels the cancelling of a historic agreement for pulp by Boise in International Falls was a key factor in the shutdown of the kraft mill.

More Hope Of Continued Operations

Our elected officials continue to have discussions with Resolute Forest Products regarding its future plans for the Fort Frances mill.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says company officials have told her they are working to protect both the mill's assets and outside contractors.

Campbell says no request for provincial assistance was asked at this time.

Campbell says she came away from her discussions with Resolute with some hope of a restart at a later date.

Blame Pointed At Feds For Closure Decision

Fingers are being pointed at the federal government for some of the reasons behind Resolute's closure decision.

In Ottawa, Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty says the government's commitment to the forest industry has been less than adequate.

 Rafferty says since the Conservatives took office more than 30,000 forestry jobs have been lost in northern Ontario alone.

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Denis Lebel says any difficulties within the industry remain  market related.

Job Actions Expected In Class Today

Elementary teachers across the Rainy River district are expected to begin today a series of work-to-rule job actions to back demands for a new contract.

The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says it's received the no board report from a Ministry of Labour conciliator regarding its stalled negotiations with the Rainy River District School Board.

Jackie Dupuis-Brandli says blame for labour unrest is solely with the provincial government which is hamstringing local bargaining with the passage of Bill 115.

New Recycling Measures Proposed

The Progressive Conservatives say they have a better plan for recycling hazardous and electronic waste in Ontario.

They're proposing to get rid of controversial eco fees and two industry-led stewardship organizations that oversee the  recycling programs.

The Tories say they'd instead set enforceable targets for diverting waste and allow producers and importers decide for themselves how to pay for recycling those products.

First Nations Salary Disclosure Bill

The federal Conservatives are pressing ahead with a bill to force First Nations chiefs to publish their salaries and financial details.

The government is invoking closure on the bill, which essentially calls a halt to parliamentary debate and forces it to a vote.

It was prompted by Canadian Taxpayers Federation research that found more than 200 band politicians had salaries higher than that of a provincial premier.

Insurance Case Before Human Rights Tribunal

Whether an insurance company can charge more to people over the aged of 80 is the subject of an Ontario human-rights hearing starting today.

Denis Olorenshaw argues the higher premiums for older-aged drivers amounts to age discrimination.

The 92-year-old launched a complaint two years ago when a company wanted to charge him 250 dollars more than his 62-year-old daughter.

Citizen Of The Year Named

The town of Fort Frances has named its citizen of the year.

He's is Ken Christianson, a long-time assistant coach with the Fort Frances Muskies boys hockey team.

Christianson will be honoured by the town officially at its annual dinner later this month.