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Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Natural Resources Notebook

The provincial government — through the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development — has offered an $84,000 repayable loan to GFI Composites Ltd. to help get a new manufacturing facility for bathtub and shower units up and running.

With this investment, GFI Composites Limited will be Atlantic Canada’s first manufacturer of fibreglass bathtub and shower units, a product that is in high demand as a result of the strong construction industry in the province,” said Business Minister Keith Hutchings.

It will be an addition for “Newfoundland and Labrador’s leader in the fabrication of fibreglass products for the offshore oil and gas industry.”

The company’s newest products are expected to be on the market by the end of September.

GFI Composites was started by Pat and Denis Galway in 2008 and, in July 2012, Pat Galway told The Telegram he saw an opportunity to apply their growing expertise to create tub and shower units. He said there is opportunity to manufacture more “high freight items” in the province.


Cornerstone keeps adviser

Goodbyes can be tough, so the board of directors at Cornerstone Capital Resources has decided to simply not say goodbye to its former leader, Glen H. McKay.

Having ended his time with the board of the Mount Pearl-based company in 2012, McKay has been asked to become part of a company advisory board.

“During the past year we have made some difficult decisions to cut expenses and abandon non-core properties, with a view to re-focusing the company on our South America properties, which we believe have the potential to deliver superior returns to our shareholders,” president and CEO Brooke Macdonald said in a statement.

“We will benefit greatly from Glen’s strategic counsel as we seek to advance our (mining) projects, either alone or with partner(s).”


The Gull Island blockage

It has been said before — by Premier Kathy Dunderdale to reporters in November 2012, by Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall in a recent interview with The Telegram — that Ontario is interested in Gull Island power.

About 2,250 megawatts of power could be produced from a hydro development at the location, between Muskrat Falls and Churchill Falls.

The problem is how to get it from point A to point B, considering the present relationship with Quebec and the inability for the proposed link with Nova Scotia to handle Gull Island power.

Tom Marshall’s answer when asked how they get Gull power to Ontario is simple: “There’s no way right now,” he said. “We have all this power and we’re blocked.”


West-East labour leech?

A report released Tuesday by Trans-Canada Corp. and compiled by Del-oitte & Touche LLP states the company’s proposed West-East pipeline will produce lots and lots — and lots — of jobs during construction.

The Energy East pipeline would be 4,500-kilometres long, including 1,400 kilometres of brand new pipeline and would bring Alberta oil to New Brunswick.

The Deloitte report states the

$12-billion development would offer more than 10,000 direct full-time equivalent jobs. The jobs are expected to be offered through 2018 — bumping up against a critical period for megaprojects in this province.


Your say, their speeches

The next couple of weeks are heavily scheduled for public engagement.

Two items you will hear more on: the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board  has launched into public consultations for a regional environmental assessment. The open sessions hit the Avalon Peninsula early next week.

Pending elections — one municipal and one for Liberal leadership — have pulled the economic and social impacts of heavy industry, oil and mine development front and

centre. A live mayoral debate on VOCM for the City of St. John’s already raised oil and gas development, with mayoral candidate Sheilagh O’Leary questioning if the city’s current financial standing is the result of good decisions or oil industry spinoff.


The Natural Resources Notebook is compiled by reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick.

Do you have news from the resource sectors? Let us know at

Organizations: Department of Innovation, Rural Development, GFI Composites Cornerstone Capital Resources Trans-Canada Energy East Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

Geographic location: Gull Island, Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Ontario South America Muskrat Falls Quebec Nova Scotia West-East Alberta Avalon Peninsula

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