Nova Scotia introduces legislation to implement provincial investment at Bowater Mersey pulp and paper mill in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, including C$25M for energy innovation, C$23.7M for land acquisitions, C$1.5M for worker training

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia , December 6, 2011 (press release) – Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker introduced legislation today, Dec. 6, implementing a provincial investment in jobs, land purchases and innovation at the Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Mill near Liverpool.

"We are taking the necessary steps to protect 2,000 good jobs," said Mr. Parker.

"This legislation is a strong statement of our ongoing commitment to work with our partners to support good jobs, strong rural communities and a sustainable pulp and paper industry that is an integral part of the provincial economy."

The Bowater Mersey Investment (2011) Act will give legal authority to enact a multi-year agreement, outlined by Premier Darrel Dexter on Friday, Dec. 2, that includes a capital investment, land acquisition and worker skills training.

Highlights of the agreement include:

-- $25 million in capital improvements to help reduce electricity consumption and also produce additional renewable energy
-- $23.7 million to buy 25,000 acres of company-owned land, some of which could be used towards the province's goal of 12 per cent protected lands by 2015
-- $1.5 million for skills training through the Productivity Investment Program

The agreement, which focuses on energy, innovation and production improvements, also acknowledges contributions from the Region of Queens Municipality, Nova Scotia Power and the Port of Halifax.

"We applaud the government for its decision to support the communities that depend on the continuing operation of Bowater Mersey," said Region of Queens Municipality Mayor John Leefe.

"The government's efforts provide immediate stability and a bridge to get us where we all want to be, in an economically buoyant and secure future."

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