Nova Scotia forms C$14M Forestry Infrastructure Fund to keep the NewPage Point Tupper mill re-sale ready, provide jobs, specialized training, awaiting court approval

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia , September 21, 2011 (press release) – The province's seven-point plan to provide jobs, specialized training and to keep the NewPage mill in Point Tupper re-sale ready, is progressing.

An agreement has been reached with NewPage Port Hawkesbury to establish a $14-million Forestry Infrastructure Fund, pending court approval. The agreement has been filed with the court-appointed monitor for a hearing Friday, Sept. 23, under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings.

"We are working as fast as we can to help workers and their families in the Strait area," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "But we appreciate and respect that there is a court process that must be followed."

The Forestry Infrastructure fund will allow for:

–- new silviculture work
–- harvesting, including a six month stockpiling program
–- road maintenance on Crown land
–- forestry training program
–- establishing a woodlands core team

A four-member management committee, led by Julie Towers, executive director of renewable resources at the Department of Natural Resources, has been formed to oversee the fund and work.

The other members of the committee are representatives of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, the monitor and NewPage.

The agreement also creates a $988,200 Silviculture Reserve Fund to resolve outstanding payments for silviculture work for NewPage before Sept. 9.

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