Angus Challenges Abitibi On Dam Sale

Charlie Angus has written to Richard Garneau, CEO of Abitibi Bowater calling on Abitibi to meet with the community of Iroquois Falls prior to any attempt to sell the dams on the Abitibi River. In the letter, Angus reminds Mr. Garneau that the working families of the Iroquois Falls region have done more than their fair share to keep Abitibi afloat and it is incumbent upon the company to be up front about their plans for the dams.
In the letter Angus writes: “The workers of this mill have helped your company survive the roughest downturn in the history of Canada’s paper-making industry. As the sale of the dams could have major impact on the bottom-line sustainability of the Iroquois Falls operation, it is only fair that you engage with these stakeholders on the implications of the dam sale.”
Angus reminds Garneau that Abitibi’s short-term need for cash could have long-term negative consequences for the region if the dams are simply sold off.
“This deal is not in the interests of the people of our region. Before any further steps are taken, it is incumbent upon your corporation to engage in consultations with the workers and community of the Iroquois Falls region.”
Angus says there has been a great deal of uncertainty since Abitibi began looking to sell the dams. Angus has asked Garneau to state what commitments the company is willing to make to the community.
“What power-pricing agreements will remain in place? Will this proposed sale have any effect on the production capacity at the mill? What kind of commitments will Abitibi make to ensure this mill remains a competitive low cost producer?”
Angus says he is looking forward to hearing from Mr. Garneau on the issue.