The Dryden Observer

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Hudson mill files for bankruptcy protection

Due to the loss of the Ontario Wood Supply Competition and their bid for wood, the Hudson Sawmill has filed for bankruptcy protection through BDO Dunwoody.

“We’re still hopeful that we can come to some agreement with MNDMF and Domtar to run the wood through the mill and take the chip product off, and we keep the lumber. Domtar wants the wood, it’s close wood and it’s cheap wood,” said Don Fenelon, mill manager for the Hudson mill.

Although Hudson has lost their wood rights, they are still in charge of maintaining the Lac Seul Forest as they are the SFL (Sustainable Forest License) holders.

“The thing that gets me, as a resident of Hudson, Sioux Lookout, is that they’re (Domtar) not creating jobs, they’re sustaining 331 jobs for Domtar, which we could produce those jobs extra.”

Andrea Horwath, MPP and leader of the NDP party approached the acting Premiere to address the issue of the wood allocation results and the demise of the Hudson mill.

“Unfortunately, the government stands by its decision, I didn’t get an answer that in any way addresses the concerns that the Mayor of Sioux Lookout (Dennis Leney) has been raising around trying to get the allocation maybe to the community, so that they can search for an appropriate operator,” said Horwath.

“I indicated in my question that the Mayor indicated there had been some interest by First Nations in the Hudson Sawmill, but of course, denying the sawmill the wood supply is going to make it absolutely impossible for the mill to go back to work, no matter how hard the Mayor and community try to find an operator.”

Horwath says the government stood by their process and decision, and were in no way in a place to change.

When asked about any future options for the mill, Horwath replied, “Not with a government that stubbornly sticks to a policy that’s not in any way prepared to tie the natural resources, in this case wood supply, to the very communities that should be able to use those resources to create jobs and economic viability for their communities. The government refuses to look at that possibility, and so this mill and many others are going to remain idled.”

By Ally Dunham – ally@drydenobserver.ca

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