Four cities ask for help for the forestry industry

Four cities ask for help for the forestry industry
Four cities ask for help for the forestry industry

Four towns in northeastern Ontario are calling on the provincial government to help sawmills find markets for byproducts like wood chips and forest biomass.

Kapuskasing Mayor Dave Plourde recently sent a letter to Natural Resources Minister Graydon Smith asking him to establish a working group on sawmill residues following the closure of paper mills that purchase these products.

The mayor says he is writing on behalf of the towns of Kapuskasing, Hearst, Cochrane and Chapleau, which all have sawmills.

He says the situation is urgent and that it endangers our forest industry and the communities that depend on it.

The Espanola plant of the Domtar paper company closed last year while the plant AV Terrace Bay ceased production in January.

Mayor Plourde adds the upcoming closure of the company’s cellulose production line Rayonier Advanced Materials in Témiscaming, Quebec.

This makes things quite difficult in Northern Ontario especially, but throughout Ontario. It is to make sure that we find solutions for the problem that existshe says of the proposed working group.

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Dave Plourde, mayor of Kapuskasing, believes that it is urgent for the provincial government to form a working group to find outlets for sawmill by-products.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Bienvenu Senga

Dave Plourde says the Kapuskasing paper mill can’t take all the shavings from Northern Ontario sawmills.

There’s more than they can handlehe mentions.

There are all sorts of different industries that could be started so that the sawmills would have a place to send the chipshe emphasizes.

One of the possibilities is the creation of energy, according to Mayor Plourde.

Forest products GreenFirst has also obtained a grant from the provincial government to carry out a feasibility study to develop a cogeneration plant using forest biomass in Kapuskasing.

[Une telle usine] would take all the biomass of Cochrane, Hearst, Kapuskasing and even moresays Dave Plourde.

At the same time, the Kapuskasing paper mill would use the electricity produced to improve its efficiency.

Hearst Mayor Roger Sigouin highlights the importance of ensuring the future of the Kapuskasing paper mill and more.

We have to find other projects. This is why we asked the government to help us with funding for these more in-depth studies.he said.

Mayors Plourde and Sigouin affirm that Minister Graydon Smith is aware of their requests.

Mayor Plourde indicates, however, that he has not received a response to his letter dated June 6.

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