Uncertainty Over Northern Pulp’s Future Hurting Forestry Industry

Above a Crossroads, Cumberland Co., garage where two mechanics worked on a big diesel machine Friday, Dwayne MacGillivary sat at a worn desk pondering what to say to his operators.

He’s been getting the same question from the men who run the two bunchers, three processors, two forwarders and six tractor-trailers for LG MacGillivary & Son Lumbering Ltd.

“I’ve got people coming and telling me they’ve got a job offer and should they take the opportunity,” said MacGillivary.

“What am I supposed to tell them?”

He doesn’t know what to tell them.

Because he doesn’t know if the Cumberland County forestry outfit started by his grandfather in 1954 will exist past January 2020 – the legislated closure date for highly controversial Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility owned by the province and leased to Northern Pulp.

All he knows is what he and the rest of the province heard from Paper Excellence Canada chief executive officer Brian Baarda last week.

“If the government does not give us enough time to complete the new facility, we will have no choice but to permanently cease operations in Nova Scotia,” said Baarda of the projected year-long gap between the deadline for Boat Harbour’s closure and the anticipated earliest possible completion of its proposed replacement.

“If we do not get an extension from the government, that will mean we shut down operations in Nova Scotia.”

So far the government has held the line on not granting an extension.