Dunderdale refutes accusations of company

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale today expressed disappointment in the recent "misleading statement" of Motion Invest regarding the interest of the company in the former Abitibi mill in Grand Falls-Windsor.
"Lott Paper approached the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador expressing interest in the mill at Grand Falls-Windsor and subsequently a letter of intent from Motion Invest followed, along with details of how they would like to proceed with reactivating the mill," Dunderdale said in a news release. "Our government, acting in good faith, worked with both companies to further explore their interests in the mill.
"Based upon the letter of intent they put forth, we asked for further financial information as well as a business plan. The purpose of this was to ascertain relevant information such as other business and financial partners, financial institutions and details associated with their interest which would then enable us to evaluate the plan comprehensively."
In response to questions, Dunderdale publicly indicated that a company had expressed interest in the mill and was expected to provide the provincial government with detailed financial information along with a business plan for operating the mill. The provincial government was accused of raising expectations in the province about the future of the former Abitibi mill in Grand Falls-Windsor.
"If in answering the question of the Leader of the Opposition during Question Period I had not been truthful and not provided information about the interest expressed by the company, I would have been criticized for being secretive," Dunderdale said. "At no time have I said that a deal was done, was close to being done or that any form of significant negotiation had taken place. That being said, we owed it to the people of Grand Falls-Windsor to pursue and thoroughly evaluate this expressed interest."
Dunderdale stated that while the companies involved claim not to have provided detailed information and were only seeking to conduct a feasibility study, substantive information was provided to the government. The proposal put forth included timelines for operations, estimates of employees to be hired, along with a request of financial help from the provincial government totaling $52 million.

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Abitibi, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • McManus
    July 20, 2010 - 13:03

    Minister Dunderdale should be glad the bankrupt German company is gone.

    She should be quiet now, after making her mistake on the last day of the House of assembly sitting of revealing that government was reviewing a business plan (that was only a letter, not a plan) and not checking out the state of the company's finances.

    Let's cut to it: Dunderdale was trying make Jones look stupid (which is normally easy) but Dunderdale blew it big time.

    She should not speak until the facts are determined.

    Neither the public or the Premier are well served by these mistakes.

  • member of the 20%
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I'd like to thank the paid Tory wag for weighing in on this issue with a long-winded, scripted response as a feeble attempt to shift blame and responsibility.
    McManus, you are dead on. And, its time that Dan and the bobbleheads come clean with the taxpayers; lies, deceit and cover-ups must stop. This is by far the most inept and incompetent administration we've ever elected in this province and its high time for a clean sweep.

  • gerard
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    If Danny Williams did not want information given out on a subject, the official statement would be, there is still interest by a German company but we cannot release a name or give out more detail at this time because of the sensitive nature of these discussions.

    Danny do not want that mill restarted because he would have to stop taking CENTRAL's wood and giving it to CornerBrook and he do not want to give any company a deal on CENTRAL'S hydro production.

  • member of the 20%
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Another blunder by Due Dilgence Dunderdale; just imagine the magnitude if she had signed off on the $52M.
    How can 2 positions be so diametrically opposed?? I think its time that we have a third-party observer present during all future negotiations between potential investors and this administration.

  • Nobody was Wrong!
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    To be honest I think Ms. Dunderdale didn't do anything wrong here. She was asked by the Opposition if there was a proposal on the table and she answered to the affirmative that something had come in for the the government's perusal, but it was in its infant state.

    Ms. Dunderdale in her statement to Ms. Jones question did not build up any hopes for the electorate of Newfoundland and Labrador, she instead told it like she saw it at first sight, but stated many months of perusal would be in order before any decisions were made.

    I also don't blame Ms. Jones, the Liberal Opposition for asking whether there was an offer from the German Company, AND that was her right on behalf of the electorate of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and I think she did a great job in asking her question. The electorate of Newfoundland and Labrador has been demanding those type of questions to be asked of the ruling party for years now so that so that mattes are more transparent.

    Had we had this type of governance down through the years, I am sure the province of Newfoundland and Labrador would have been one of the GREAT Economic Powers in Canada today and it would have become just that many, many moons ago. Besides we would NEVER have lost our population base. Down through the years we elected politicians who didn't have their province's electorate at heart, if they did we would not have lost our natural resource base in its raw state nor our human resource to the extent that we did.

    The electorate should know what is going on to a certain extent up front, but with full details to be put forward before any contract is signed off on, so as to prevent another unconscionable Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Contract or even a Voisey's Bay Contract where all of the raw ore and jobs, so far, have gone to the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. AND if more due diligence had been put into our fish resource, we could have been a very rich province because of that one resource.

    Those who are in charge of this province should know by now, if we want to create economies with jobs we have to process, refine and smelt our raw materials. There is no other loophole to attaining vibrant economies with jobs, unless a province does all of the work that needs to be done on its raw resources to bring them to the finished state and and then market the finished product.

    We also have a great geographic location which permits us to do anything we want to do here in this province, we are half way between two great economic powers and we are situated on one of the busiest trade routes in the World, the North Atlantic.