FORT FRANCES – The Town of Fort Frances has issued a statement on the ongoing developments with the property that was sold by Resolute Forest Products:
The Town of Fort Frances wishes to confirm for all of its citizens, stakeholders, and regional partners that the properties comprising the pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances have been sold by Resolute Forest Products.
These properties have been transferred to a new owner, which we understand to be a subsidiary of Riversedge Developments that is held in partnership with a local entity.
Since news of a potential new operator for the mill first surfaced in December, a working group consisting of the Mayor and members of Council and Town administration has been engaged to monitor this file and liaise with Resolute, the province, and prospective buyers – including Riversedge.
The town’s goal has been—and continues to be—returning this key economic asset to productive use that preserves its operating capacity and makes use of our region’s publicly-owned forest resources.
The mill properties have been not only an economic driver for the Fort Frances area, but a recipient of significant public investment over the years. We look forward to the buyer confirming its intentions for the mill properties and their return to economic productivity for Fort Frances and the surrounding area.
Mayor June Caul and council wish to thank the community for its patience during this transition period.
The town also wishes to thank Minister Greg Rickford for his ongoing support of our communities’ best economic interests.
Councillor Douglas Judson tells NetNewsLedger, “This file has been our top priority since being sworn into office on December 3. We have had to fight every step of the way – for our wood rights, against bogus threats of litigation, and just to be heard as a small town in the wilderness. It’s high stakes stuff, and it’s not over yet. But our Council has been emboldened along the way by the significant public support and advocacy we have seen from local residents – people with roots in forestry that want to see a productive future for this asset. We’ve also had allies – in neighbouring communities and in local MPP Greg Rickford. For that, we are grateful. And, certainly, today is a milestone, but time will tell what kind. We have had opportunities to meet with representatives of Riversedge and we look forward to learning more about their intentions and how our community’s goals and future align with those plans. This is a key economic asset that is intimately tied to the future of our community – and frankly our Town’s ability to balance the books. We take its future very seriously.”