Grand Falls-Windsor mayor remains optimistic about towns future

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Grand Falls-Windsor's mayor is left wondering what could have been after a European investment group announced Tuesday it was no longer interested in the town's shuttered newsprint mill.
Al Hawkins said he's disappointed the provincial government - which had been in talks with the company, Motion Quest - didn't get a chance to analyze the business plan and see if something could have worked.
"It's rather disappointing we never, ever got a chance to get into it and see if there was an opportunity there," said the mayor.
Even if the province had a chance to do due diligence, Hawkins allows a deal to reactivate the mill might not have been reached.
"But we'll never know that," he said.
Motion Invest issued a release Tuesday saying it was no longer interested in the mill, which Abitibi-Bowater closed in March 2009.
The company said its decision resulted from "wholly inaccurate reports and statements " about its interest in the property.
Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale told the House of Assembly last week Lott Paper, a company related to Motion Invest, had expressed interest in the mill.
It was later reported Lott was in bankruptcy protection.
Motion Invest's statement indicated its discussions with the province were supposed to be confidential.
Hawkins said what's happened has given him a better appreciation of why the province keeps negotiations confidential.
"This is the risk," he said.
Despite the setback, Hawkins remained optimistic about what's happening in Grand Falls-Windsor.
He's pleased the province is looking for opportunities for the mill, but said if anything pans out at this point in time, it'd be a bonus.
"You live in hope … We're going through this transition period where we're looking at diversifying our economy. We're looking at other opportunities, and we are improving and things are dong quite well. Anything that would deal with utilization of our fibre and hydro resources, that would be a big bonus."

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • Frank M
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    But is the Mayor optimistic about the possibility that Kathy Dunderdale will remain in cabinet?

    Her comments demonstrated a lack of due diligence on this German company.

    A lack of due diligence is why the province is now responsible for an environmental cleanup that will cost hundreds of millions.

    This has to end.