November 30, 2007
The Provincial Government has notified Domtar that it wants to continue discussions about the reopening of Domtar's mills in northern Saskatchewan, but it will not proceed with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in September by the former government.
"We have a very valuable forest resource in northern Saskatchewan, especially in the Prince Albert area," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "We believe that, with our positive business environment, Domtar's assets can be operated on a strictly commercial basis without government investment."
Government will not offer any grants, loans or equity investments to Domtar, but is prepared to discuss other options. The decision not to proceed with the MOU signed by the previous administration will save Crown Investments Corporation and Saskatchewan taxpayers nearly $100 million.
"This is consistent with the position we have held since the MOU was signed," Boyd said. "We do not believe that a taxpayer bailout is the right way to go, but there are other things we can look at to ensure a bright future for the Prince Albert pulp mill and Domtar's other assets in northern Saskatchewan."
Government is hopeful that discussions with Domtar will begin in the near future.
"Our goals are to get the employees of the Prince Albert pulp mill and Domtar's other mills back to work as soon as possible and to ensure that we use our forest resource to its full potential," Boyd said.
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