Receiver appointed for Forestry Companies


Great West Timber
Image by Derek Silver.
THUNDER BAY – Perhaps it was inevitable, but the official move into receivership marks a sad day for the forestry sector in our region.

The following statement has been released by Northern Sawmills, Atikokan Forest Products Great West Timber and Buchanan Northern Hardwoods following applications brought by GE Finance and the CEP, the Commercial Court in Toronto appointed a receiver  or a  Trustee in Bankruptcy for the companies:

These companies have all had a long history in Northwestern Ontario.  Our employees have been an instrumental part of that history.  They have been dedicated, hardworking and committed. The successes that these companies have had were due in large part to the efforts of those who have worked for and with these companies.

Throughout the course of the downturn in the forest industry the companies, the union and the employees  have sought to keep theses facilities in a position that would allow employees to return to work and company obligations to be dealt with when the market allowed.

The issues facing the US housing market are unprecedented and remain extremely difficult.  A problem that was by all accounts initially expected to last no more than 6 months has now lasted more than 3 years and – by some forecasts – could continue for some time.  We wish to acknowledge how difficult the past number of years has been for our employees and their families. The companies understand the decisions that the union and lenders have made and are cooperating with them.  We hope that a buyer will emerge who will operate the mills in the future.

This is a matter that is now subject to the rules governing these legal proceedings and we are not in a position to make further comments on the specifics of various claims or cases.  These proceedings affect only these 4 companies.  Terrace Bay Pulp, the operations associated with it, and other sawmills or companies are not affected by or the subject of these proceedings.

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