Terra Nova Shoes moving to Ontario

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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At least 80 layoffs as manufacturing operation closes

The Terra Nova Shoes factory in Harbour Grace is closing, as owner Kodiak Group Holdings picks up the Newfoundland and Labrador operation and moves it to Cambridge, Ont.

Politicians were on hand in September 2008 to announce a massive expansion to Terra Nova Shoes in Harbour Grace. - Telegram file photo

The manufacturing operation employs 80 people, according to a company statement issued this morning.

“All workers are being offered bonuses to stay and work until the plant ceases operations. Workers will be encouraged to apply for jobs in Cambridge. Successful candidates will receive relocation assistance to move,” it states.

The Ontario location is closer to the company’s head office and distribution centre.

"We care deeply about everyone who has worked hard in Harbour Grace to make Terra a world-class brand, which is why we are encouraging our employees to apply for opportunities at the new facility in Cambridge. We've made sure their severance packages go beyond what is required and we are offering bonuses for workers to stay until the plant ceases operations,” said Kevin Huckle, president of Kodiak Group Holdings in the statement.

“We are committed to manufacturing in Canada. However, the reality is the high costs to continue operating the Harbour Grace plant have become unsustainable over the past several years. If (the company) is going to remain competitive, we have to be making our products in a central location in Canada that allows us to service our customers faster and more efficiently at less cost,” he said.

“Our industry operates in a very competitive global market with price-sensitive consumers, and we must be cost-efficient to remain competitive. Despite the significant investments (the company) has made since it purchased Terra Nova Shoes in 2005, it cannot continue to absorb the high operating costs and logistical challenges associated with operating a manufacturing facility in Harbour Grace, which is why we needed to reorganize our operations in Canada to remain competitive.”

The factory first opened in 1971.

It is scheduled to close at the end of November.

The company had been provided a provincial government loan for expansion of the plant in 2008. It has committed to repaying the loan in full.

More to come.

Related story: Putting the boots to 'em

Organizations: Kodiak Group Holdings, Terra Nova Shoes

Geographic location: Ontario, Cambridge, Canada Terra Nova

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Recent comments

  • Dan
    November 11, 2014 - 22:31

    So work gloves can be sucessfully made @ Superior Glove in Point Leamington, NL and show increased growth every year since it started, but Terra can't make it profitable to manufacture work boots in Hr.Grace, NL.Maybe they should look at changing management instead of location.

  • Brett Horsman
    October 16, 2014 - 19:15

    I have used Terra Nova work boots now for 25 years or better. I use then for quality and durability. and that they were made here in Atlantic Canada. I have used Kodiak work boots. and to be honest they suck. hard on the feet just a all around bad boot. come on people support our little piece of Canada keep our jobs here thank you a very P.O client

  • Servival of the Fit
    July 11, 2014 - 08:55

    The way I see it is all of the NL citizens that transplant themselves in the West (Alberta) and earn extrodinary amounts of money have a tendancy of tranferring their wealth back to NL. That wealth is then converted into artificially inflated housing prices. Then those housing prices have tendacy of inflating the standard of living which puts a lot of basic needs and housing out of reach for the average wage earner which makes it harder to keep up with the Jone's.That leads to putting pressure on the business owner to increasing wages and benefits. Of course when that happens business profits starts to erode and therefore business fail. So does the family values. So don't blame it on businesses that support the local economy for years. Blsme it on Alberta.

  • Scott R
    July 10, 2014 - 06:21

    We need " Solutions " , not more criticism.

  • The 4 amigos
    July 09, 2014 - 07:59

    I guess it's time to expropriate a shoe factory! Rubber boots for all!!!

  • wallace
    July 09, 2014 - 04:47

    will never buy boots from them again if they move out of Newfoundland

    • a business man
      July 09, 2014 - 09:09

      I will buy boots from them BECAUSE they moved out of Newfoundland. I will even buy their boots for friends and family just to demonstrate my support for the company's relocation plan. I am a Newfoundland taxpayer and voter, but because my business interests are mainly in Ontario, I want Ontario to grow, even at the expense of Newfoundland. For that reason, I want all jobs from Newfoundland to move to Ontario. That is why I support MF....because I hope that the increased energy cost will result in more Newfoundland job losses.

  • Stampy
    July 08, 2014 - 19:21

    Terra Nova shoes in Harbour Grace is the most important thing to many people, it has put food on the table for many families and to take it from them is like starving them. One of my family members have worked there for over 35 plus years and at 62 she cannot move to Ontario nor can many of the other employees so if it's a good idea to close the doors on a company and move it to Cambrige so be it! Although I do see many Newfoundlanders use boots made by Terra Nova shoes. If you can come up with a statement to explain why tearing a job from someone, who depended on this company in Newfoundland, was a way to keep it going. Not only are you disappointing these residents of the province but it is heartbreaking to see your family and friends losing a paycheck. Who's genius idea was it to ruin the lives of over 80 people. For people who make comments about the only people who wear work boots live in western Canada don't know their economy very well!

  • heather mccarthy
    July 08, 2014 - 19:01

    Growing up in Harbour Grace my whole life, Terra has played a big part in our lives. I have family and friends that work at the plant and it has been a big shock to the workers today.. Terra has been here in our town since 1971 making work boots and shipping them to distributers world wide. To people who make comments like everyone works in western Canada is ridiculous!! Maybe if they would open there eyes and realize the impact on these 80+ workers today and if they were impacted themselves they would speak differently.

  • Lonewolf
    July 08, 2014 - 17:00

    Can't blame them for moving, they make workboots! Whose gonna wear them in NFLD. everyone works in western Canada, everytime you try to start something in NFLD. some idiots will protest and stop the work from happening.

  • Charles Murphy
    July 08, 2014 - 16:05

    So what are you going to do about it, sit around and " Cry ", All across this province of N & L, we have community's dying. all because people don't know where to turn to. Give me a break. Like I was trying to tell everyone in the last byelections, to get someone from outside. to show you how to build your community, But " No" you had to elect someone from the district. People you got Dwight Ball telling everyone he going to " Diversification " of our economy. If he become our next " Premier ". Now its time for him to step up. I know what I would be doing, if I was the MHA for that district, I would putting that 80 people back to work, plus " More ", and please don't tell me its can't be done. Because you would be wrong. In other words, it a challenged to anyone to prove me " Wrong ".

  • Can we get a liberal hockey stick factory next?
    July 08, 2014 - 15:16

    Funny pick. Jerome looks like he's trying to avoid putting them on; call recess. Danny is setting them up to put them on in one jump! Keith got it figured out and then there is some old skipper on the end there from the union first one with the boots on. How did he race Danny?Jeeome figured it out after he crammed his foot in atop of that tissue paper. It's like they are covering their tracks by changing footwear!! They should go back and reenact this for the town it would raise everyone's spirits. Loan term is up in 2018, until paid off?

  • Last pair of Terra Nova boots!!!!!
    July 08, 2014 - 13:58

    Another Nfld success story going to Ontario. Government loans and employee loyalty made this company successful not Ontario. They want the facility moved and want our workers. What a joke. Nfld will never get anywhere with this artitude..

  • Skater
    July 08, 2014 - 12:11

    Tear it down ! New arena site ! Miss the tax money!

  • W Bagg
    July 08, 2014 - 11:14

    Let's continue the prosperity wave from 2003. 8 milion interest free and I'm sure it's all paid back now.

  • Wanda
    July 08, 2014 - 10:25

    Sad to hear this news today! The residents of harbour grace and local nearby communities have made Terra what it is today! A lot of years of hard work and dedication gone into this very successful business! Very sad to see it go! A lot of people losing their jobs because you and I both know, majority of those hard workers are unable or not willing to relocate to Ontario! For many, Newfoundland is home, and home is where they wanna be, especially those close to retirement! Majority of the workers at Terra have been there for years, placing them in a category of mature workers, no experience other than making boots, and too old now to retrain for different jobs! Sad, very sad!

  • will
    July 08, 2014 - 10:20

    Even they are after receiving that much government money they are ashamed to come look for more, but kiss goodbye to what they owe.

  • ABBY
    July 08, 2014 - 09:47

    So what's new.

  • TJ
    July 08, 2014 - 09:37

    Having spent some time in the Cambridge area recently, I can honestly say this is a very beautiful area of Ontario. Lots to do but not crazy big and busy like the Toronto area. Not sure what housing costs will be like though.

    • steve
      July 08, 2014 - 19:48

      Toyota is here,so you can imagine the housing market here.