Sale of Domtar's Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, pulp mill to Paper Excellence shows forest sector is no 'sunset industry,' says CEP president; new owner to invest C$200M converting mill to produce rayon, other products

OTTAWA, Canada , March 7, 2011 (press release) – The president of Canada's largest forestry union says today's announcement on the sale of the Prince Albert mill in Saskatchewan is "proof that if workers, governments and businesses work together on renewing Canada's forest industry, great things can happen."

"The Wall government and Paper Excellence are to be congratulated for not giving up on the forest sector and the community of Prince Albert," says Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada President Dave Coles.

Domtar announced today that it has sold the mill to Paper Excellence, which will invest $200 million in its conversion for the production of a variety of products, including rayon. The move creates hundreds of construction jobs and protects some 200 mill jobs.

"This is the result of mutual commitments by government, the industry and the union. CEP worked tirelessly for an arrangement that would benefit workers and the community of Prince Albert," says Coles.  "I hope Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal government sit up and take notice of this ground-breaking achievement, because the forest industry has a vital role to play in Canada's economy," says Coles.  "It is not a sunset industry."

CEP's Western Region Vice-President Jim Britton says this is "great news for Prince Albert and for Saskatchewan, with the creation of hundreds of full-time manufacturing jobs and thousands of hours of construction jobs.

"The expertise of CEP Local union members, their resilience and flexibility, went a long way to making the conversion of the PA mill a reality."

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