By: The Working Forest Staff
As part of an ongoing, extensive value for money review across government, Manitoba Sustainable Development has determined the Pineland Forest Nursery, near Hadashville, is no longer viable as a provincially operated entity and will be ceasing its operation on Dec. 31.
However, the Pineland Forest Nursery contains valuable assets and the province is exploring new options for its use. A request for proposal (RFP) call will be issued shortly in an effort to find a buyer for the assets who will, ideally, invest in a new operation in the facility. Manitoba is a great place to grow a business, and the province is committed to encouraging continued investment and economic development for sustainable job opportunities.
Employees have been notified that operations will continue throughout the summer and fall but will cease as of Dec. 31. Pineland Forest Nursery has a mix of approximately eight full-time and 17 part-time/seasonal employees as well as casual staff hired during peak times for about eight weeks per year. The province is working closely with the employees and will offer whatever support it can during this transition period. Full-time staff will be eligible for redeployment to other jobs within the provincial civil service.
Pineland Forest Nursery was originally established to produce seedlings for the Province of Manitoba but grew to produce seedlings for customers outside the province as well. However, Pineland Forest Nursery has recorded substantial operating losses over a number of years and the provincially operated model, as it currently exists, is not sustainable.
“Pineland is an incredible asset with a strong local workforce that is ready to continue the great work they’ve been doing for many years,” said Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen. “Manitoba is an excellent place for business to invest, build and grow. There are many options and opportunities at Pineland, and we look forward to receiving detailed proposals from interested groups.”
The RFP is expected to generate significant interest, with opportunities for new and creative ventures in areas such as agriculture, horticulture or even cannabis production.
Manitoba has many economic advantages with its central location, experienced local workforce and low cost of living, and is one of the lowest-cost jurisdictions for hydroelectricity in North America. Pineland is located within one hour of Winnipeg and just minutes from the Trans-Canada Highway, allowing for easy transportation in any direction.