By: The Working Forest Staff
International Falls Journal — The paper mill in Fort Frances has been sold by Resolute Forest Products according to a statement issued Monday.
The statement said:
The Town of Fort Frances wishes to confirm for all of its citizens, stakeholders, and regional partners that the properties comprising the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances have been sold by Resolute Forest Products.
Since news of a potential new operator for the mill first surfaced in December, a working group consisting of the mayor and members of council and town administration has been engaged to monitor this file and liaise with Resolute, the province, and prospective buyers – including Riversedge.
The town’s goal has been — and continues to be — returning this key economic asset to productive use that preserves its operating capacity and makes use of our region’s publicly-owned forest resources.
The mill properties have been not only an economic driver for the Fort Frances area but a recipient of significant public investment over the years. We look forward to the buyer confirming its intentions for the mill properties and their return to economic productivity for Fort Frances and the surrounding area.
Mayor June Caul and council wish to thank the community for its patience during this transition period.
The town also wishes to thank Minister Greg Rickford for his ongoing support of our communities’ best economic interests.
Councillor Douglas Judson told The Journal since being sworn into office Dec. 3, the issue of the mill has been a top priority.
“We have had to fight every step of the way for our wood rights, against bogus threats of litigation, and just to be heard as a small town in the wilderness,” he said. “It’s high stakes stuff, and it’s not over yet. But our council has been emboldened along the way by the significant public support and advocacy we have seen from local residents — people with roots in the forestry sector that want to see a productive future for this asset. We’ve also had allies in neighboring communities, in Métis, First Nations, and labor leaders, and in local MPP Greg Rickford. For that, we are grateful.”
Judson said while Monday is a milestone, there are still details to be learned.
“We have had opportunities to meet with representatives of Riversedge and we look forward to learning more about their plans and how our community’s goals and economic future align with those plans,” he said. “I welcome new ownership of the facility and look forward to working with them. This mill is a key economic asset that is intimately tied to the future of our community, and frankly our town’s ability to balance the books. We take its future very seriously.”
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