Jones not impressed with Dunderdales handling of mill fiasco

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones says Natural Resource Minister Kathy Dunderdale's press scrum this afternoon regarding the Grand Falls-Windsor mill was "a sad attempt on her part, and the government's part, to try and save face."
Jones' comments came a couple of hours after Dunderdale told reporters Motion Invest might still submit a proposal to restart the idle mill.
The company, a European Investment group, announced Tuesday it was no longer interested in the mill, which was closed by Abitibi-Bowater in March 2006.
The company said its decision resulted from "wholly inaccurate reports and statements" about its intent.
Dunderdale told the House of Assembly last week Lott Paper - which is backed by 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.
Jones told The Telegram the province has created a fiasco.
"You've got to remember that she blurted out the interests of this German company in the House of Assembly right in the middle of a polling period and no doubt was designed to position the government and stage them in a way that looked as if they were dealing with real industry and real issues in the Grand Falls area. And we're finding out today that that is not the case."
Jones says it appears Motion Invest and Lott just don't have the capital required.
She adds that people have to be skeptical about a company telling government it has an interest in buying the Grand Falls-Windsor mill.
"Where the world market is in pulp and paper, we're seeing mills close today all over Europe, all across North America, so it's not a commodity that's in high demand at this stage."
Jones says when a company asks for $52 million like Dunderdale says Motion Invest did, it should have raised government's guard.
"But yet for weeks government continued to disclose information around the company, that they were waiting for a proposal to come forward, and even today, all I've seen is just an attempt to save face."
The Liberal leader says she doesn't see anything materializing with Motion Invest.
Since Dunderdale went before the microphones, Motion Invest has reaffirmed for The Telegram that it is no longer interested in the mill.

Organizations: The Telegram, European Investment, Abitibi-Bowater

Geographic location: Grand Falls, Europe, North America

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Recent comments

  • Ken
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    This Minister knows nothing about the paper business. Everything this govt does is for political reasons not business reasons or for that matter in the best intest of the taxpayers.

    The Minister and the others connected with this file only speak when it is to their political advantage. Any true business leader would be cracked to do business with this crowd of vote getters.

    Dianne Ms. Jones is part of the problem not the solution. She was the first pony out of the gate to support expropriation of the assets without proper debate or investigation. She has NO creditability nor does Dunderdale.

    The chance to save papermaking in Grand Falls-Windsor is over. Govt. has the hydro for Nalcor and the communities don't
    even get to tax the resourse leaving their own backyard. Why Dunderdale would even talk about an expression of interest is beyond me. Obviously she doesn't understand the money markets, the forest industry and the fact there is NO interest in papermaking with old equipment. She doesn't even understand that her irresponsible comments have actually hurt the situation. When you are totally self absorbed with getting votes you will say and do anything to influence the masses.

    If they truly wanted to save papermaking in Central they would have been better playing with the crowd that had the mill running. Now its just a joke.

    Susan Sullivan let the cat out of the bag last Christmas when she said its time we all moved on. This govt with our money is on the hook for a blunder bigger than Sprung.

    Oh so sad.

  • Mike
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Dunderdale is dangerous. Almost everytime she opens her mouth, she says something that makes the gov't and the province look bad.

    Even if we were to forget that she allows Quebec Innu into the province to hunt illegally, suspends conservation officers for doing their job, was the minister that oversaw the expropriation of polluted grounds, publicly stated that polluter pays only to find out that they owned the polluting mill, and everything else that she says and do we, or Danny, excuse her latest blunder.

    The discussions were susposed to be confidential. In fact, I am sure that there was a mutual non-disclosure agreement to allow the gov't and Motion invest to openly review the viability of the mill. That is standard practice. What interested party will trust the gov't now? How does Danny leave Blundrdale in cabinet after this serious a gaffe?

  • dianne
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Here is my question to Ms Jones, if she was the Premier of The provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Tomorrow! whats would she do. with the Grand falls paper mill, How would she go about trying to get peoples back to work, or do she just like to blow wind, because this is not a hard question to answer, after all she is asking the people to vote for her.. in the up coming election.