Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Resolute To Close Mill

Resolute Forest Products is making it official.

The company has announced it is permanently closing its idled pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances.

Spokesperson Xavier Van Chau says all efforts to restart the mill in some way were simply exhausted.

The company those is still looking at potential opportunities for its biomass boiler.

The decision comes just three months after the last operation paper machine was halted in January.

The remaining 50 employees working since will be offered job opportunities with Resolute's other operations.

One of the unions representing workers at the Fort Frances mill is expressing disappointment in the company's closure decision.

Unifor's Stephen Boon says workers agreed four years ago to concessions aimed at helping the company restructure and keep the mill profitable.

He says the union will now ensure that Resolute follows through on its commitment to provide new job opportunities for affected employees.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty calls the closure news devastating.

Rafferty says he's willing to work to secure the pensions and severance pay for affected workers and community assistance as required by the town.

Campbell Ready For Election

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says affordability will be one of the key talking points in her campaign for re-election.
She says last week's Liberal budget failed to address issues such as the rising costs of hydro, gasoline, and auto insurance which played into her decision to back her leader's decision not to support the document.
Campbell adds there's just no longer any trust in the provincial Liberals.

Leaders Campaign Day

For the leaders today in the provincial election, Premier Kathleen Wynne focuses on jobs with stops in Kitchener and Brampton before helping to open a campaign office in Ottawa.
PC Leader Tim Hudak travels to Mississauga, Burlington and Brantford.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath is in Toronto this morning before heading to Kitchener and Niagara Falls.

Sirens Tested In Fort Frances

It came a day earlier, but yesterday's sirens in Fort Frances were nothing more than a test.
Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service says they were sounded to test the system as they were working on some alarms that were not functioning properly.
The monthly test, which is done the first Wednesday of the month, will go ahead as planned today.
Officials advise that if the sirens do go off, turn to  93.1 The Border for an update instead of calling the fire department or turning to social media sites for information. 

Fool's Gold Preview

A northwestern Ontario junior mining company is in the spotlight in a television program to air next week on the Discovery Channel.
Fool's Gold follows Shotgun Exploration as its explores the former Straw Lake Mine, a once operating gold mine north of Fort Frances.
Mark Fairington, AKA Griz, calls it's a learning experience given that none of the crew had any mining experience.
A sneak preview of the program was held last night in Fort Frances.

Promise of Trade Jobs From PCs

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak is promising to create 200-thousand new jobs in the trades.
Hudak says cutting red tape and giving Colleges more say in how to attract students to the trades can lead to that number.
Even though he visited a company that received funding to create jobs, Hudak says reducing taxes and hydro costs are better measures.

Liberals Seeking Donors

The Ontario Liberal party is making a push to bolster its campaign coffers.

It's looking to add at least 500 new donors to its list by midnight tonight.

Successful Fundraiser

Riverside Foundation for Health Care's spring luncheon is being hailed a huge success.

More than 170 people attended Saturday's event in Fort Frances.

Almost $9,100 was raised.

New Instructor Hired

Rainy River Community College has hired a full time instruction for its Industrial Maintenance program.

Michael Koski has been an instructor at Mesabi Range College in Virginia for the past year and has more than thirty years of industry experience.

The program is aimed at preparing students for work in all types of industry and includes a certificate, diploma, and Associate in Applied Science degree.

Success For Cadets

Some success for members of the 144 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corp in Fort Frances following their involvement in the recent Northwestern Ontario band and drill competitions in Thunder Bay on the weekend.
The cadets placed second overall while their Drill Commander, Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Chelsea Barron was second as Drill Commander.
The team, which also included two cadets from the 908 Rainy Lake Air Cadet Squadron, placed first in the Best Dress category.