Resolute Forest Products announced the temporary closure of its Kénogami (Quebec) supercalendered paper mill from June 23 to July 4, 2016.
The 11 days of downtime, impacting 184 employees at the operation, is in large part attributable to the ongoing market disruption caused by measures taken by the former provincial NDP Government in Nova Scotia and the former Conservative Government of Canada in support of the Port Hawkesbury (Nova Scotia) paper mill.
Resolute has consistently raised concerns with government officials, including at the Canadian federal level, that special measures of support discriminated in favor of Port Hawkesbury and resulted, among other damages, in the permanent closure of Resolute’s Laurentide (Quebec) paper mill in the fall of 2014. As a result, late last year, Resolute filed a Notice of Arbitration with the Canadian Federal Government under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Richard Garneau about Government support of Port Hawkesbury
“In light of today’s announcement, I reach out again to Canadian International Trade Minister Freeland urging her to address the competitive disadvantage in which supercalendered manufacturers, such as Resolute, find themselves today. We are in the untenable position of dealing with a dual set of consequences: unfair government support of Port Hawkesbury here in Canada, and retaliatory, protectionist actions by U.S. authorities,” stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “At least as far as the U.S. part of the problem is concerned, it is essential that Canada ensure the formation of a fair and equitable Chapter 19 Panel under NAFTA to rectify the injustice visited upon Resolute by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”