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2011-11-28 at 15:14

Global Sticks looking to province for $2M bailout

By Leith Dunick,
FASD FactsDrinking Alcohol at any time during pregnancy could affect the normal development of the

The future of Global Sticks may depend on how generous the province is feeling these days.

CEO Reggie Nukovic on Monday said the company needs a $2-million bailout over the next few months to stay afloat, nearly two weeks after temporarily shuttering the 84-employee ice cream stick operation when the money ran out.

The province has already committed $5.85 million to Global Sticks, a number that rises to about $7 million when money given to partner organizations is factored in.

Nukovic, who takes full blame for not securing a consistent supply of birch wood, leading to missed payrolls and ultimately the possible permanent shutdown of the $12-million Oliver-Paipoonge facility, said he’s holding out hope they can overcome the obstacles and have the facility up-and-running before Christmas.

Employees, who were finally paid last week after the company missed payroll, were told of the closure on Nov. 15, a move Nukovic said would allow the company to restructure and refinance.

Shareholders plan to meet with local stakeholders, including creditors who have outstanding invoices, to work through the company’s financial struggles.

“We have a plan in place and it’s going to take a few more days, but we hope to get it out and workable. But we do need the support of all the stakeholders, obviously the stakeholders being the provincial government – and the Ministry of Natural Resource and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation,” Nukovic said. 

“We’re going to see the two mayors from Oliver-Paipoonge and Thunder Bay today. We need the support of everyone. It’s been a great breath of fresh air from our contractors and suppliers. We have some outstanding payments to them, but everyone has kind of sent their kind regards and said we’re here to support you guys and get you back on your two feet.”

Requests for comment from Oliver Paipoonge Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis, Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and Minister of Natural Resource Michael Gravelle were not immediately responded to on Monday.

About 10 employees, six in the boiler room and four in administration, remain on the payroll.

There’s still the matter of wood supply.

Nukovic said the company made errors when applying for wood allocation from the province, most notably not including enough Aboriginal content in the application, one of the main reasons Global Sticks was denied.

They’re still looking for a local supplier for the three to four truckloads of birch they need each day to keep the plant operational. Nukovic said most harvesters look at the species as throwaway material, but Global Sticks is willing to pay between $60 and $65 a cubic metre to secure a steady supply.

Meanwhile on Monday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath took the Ontario government to task over provincial money given to Global Sticks, demanding Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid provide an explanation. Duguid responded by saying not all companies Ontario invests in succeed.


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PC says:
We gave them how much money to start up a few months ago and already they want a bailout.
I certainly hope they don't get it. They did not do their homework and we are supposed to bail them out!
I say cut our losses. But then I am not the liberal government who apparently didn't read the business plan before they gave them the money for start up.
Somebody goofed and the tax payers are left with the bills.
So what else is new in Ontario.
11/28/2011 3:23:16 PM
passlake says:
that's some nice artwork behind you Mr. Nukovic. Have you considered selling it to the city? These days you probably COULD get $2 million for something like that.

...couldn't resist....
11/28/2011 3:47:59 PM
panzerIV says:
If I'm a creditor, I wouldn't invest in this company. If this company doesn't have the materials it needs to make the product then it can't make money. Unless this company can get a source of wood then its doomed to fail unfortunately.
11/28/2011 3:48:07 PM
chezhank says:
There is some irony in Thunder Bay residents having been sent Colo-rectal sample sticks.
Hopefully city hall got theirs!
Time for an employee buyout!Community Economic Development.
11/28/2011 3:49:17 PM
BAOR says:
Yet another immature jab at city hall .... hope you get banned forever. Nothing like a bitter old man who can't get elected bi*ching all of time. You are really something.
11/28/2011 5:54:59 PM
yqtyqt says:
Get your wallets ready provincial taxpayers. Another poor provincial investment of taxpayers money with no guarantee of long term jobs. Its little wonder that every Ontario resident pays $20 per week just to pay the interest on the poor investments of the McGuinty government. Or $4,000 per year for a family of 4 just to pay interest on the privincial credit card. And this number is growing at an alarming rate.

This bail-out is going to cost you. Why is gravelle and mauro not in this photo-op?
11/28/2011 3:50:08 PM
Delbert Grady says:
If you have a viable business plan and a means to pay off the loan any number of financial investors would be happy to get some return on their money.

If you dont have that you run to the politicians that are so desperate to attach themselves to a block of voters who remain stuck on those very politicians for future employment (ala CAW & Bombardier and the Liberals).

The big losers are the tax payers who get stuck footing the bill for the politicians bribery.

What a shame it is. Now almost daily we hear about our tax dollars being begged for at all levels of government.

Capitalism works great. The failures we see must be allowed to fail for it to work to its potential. When government oversteps their bounds like in this case (and so many others) we all lose.
11/28/2011 4:03:47 PM
passlake says:
I don't vote liberal, but to be fair..

a lot of the bombardier work was for Ontario public transit AND bombardier is a pretty stable company, comparatively speaking..

some investments, like streetcars for TO, make sense... others do not.. global sticks is on my "not" list.
11/28/2011 4:11:35 PM
deluxecustom says:
It sounds like these guys couldnt make ice in the arctic. Cant find wood eh? Lucky the employees didnt go postal after not getting paid this close to Xmas.Gravelle and Mauro will only be in the picture if there is an oportunity to pat themselves on the back. Walk away Mr Nukovic. Try selling an overhead tram in some other city. It's one thing to be a failure on your own. It's quite another when you trash away hard earned tax payers dollars.
Who knew colorectal sticks were related so closely to popsicles sticks? hehe
11/28/2011 4:21:33 PM
animiki says:
Any private sector business which relies on an infusion of cash from the public sector in order to even be viable is fundamentally flawed. The government should not be in the business of providing such funding, except in very specific cases (for example, small grants or forgivable loans to start-up entrepreneurs would be okay, IMO). But large pots of funding right on top of previous large pots of funding just set off warning bells for me all over the place. What was wrong in the original business plan that the original funding wasn't sufficient? Saying "birch supply" doesn't cut it, because raw materials are so basic that they shouldn't even be a question by the time the business fires up its line.
11/28/2011 4:24:33 PM
lori says:
my God what idiots you are. Blame the gov't for not giving them a wood supply. Then the company said it was their fault not the gov't's fault. Blame the gov't for giving them the money but wait, we blamed the gov't for the collapse of the forest industry. So the gov't gives them money for value added jobs and now it is the gov't's fault because the business is failing. Give them more money and watch the complaining. Don't give them money and watch the complaining and Hobbs who criticized the province will now want the province to give them money.
So what did we learn from all of this boys and girls.
That whinny, knowledgeless, uneducated, partisan, "expert critics" will say anything to criticize the gov't. So was the gov't bad for giving money or not giving enough.
Should they give 2 mil more or not give it to them. Should they save the jobs or let them be fired. c'mon you experts. Tell us all the magical forestry answer. What a joke. the experts know everything except what works
11/28/2011 4:39:24 PM
tiredofit says:
So your in favor of your Liberal buddies giving them even more money? So what happens 6 months, 1 year or even less when they come with their hands out yet again? Sorry, let's eat our losses and move on. Lori, part of the inital problem was the fact (and your buddy Mike admitted it) that they weren't given a wood supply/alotment etc..
Personally I'm sick and tired of these companies all expecting hand out/bail outs from the government. Hell, I could use a bailout as could thousands of others in this province, where's ours?? Screw Global. Take the 2 million and give it to the affected workers and it will be better used that's for sure.
11/28/2011 6:06:10 PM
lori says:
No tired I did not say give them another 2 mill. I was critical of the typical stupid postings. Critical of the gov't for no wood allocation when this guy said in the article they blew it on the application.
I am critical of those who criticize the gov't for giving money and those who will criticize if they don't give money. I critcize those like you who blamed the gov't for the forestry nightmare.
My posting was pretty simple.
Have expert critics here give us the answer. Tell us what will save the forestry sector
Second should we give this company 2 million more. Yes or NO
That's it. Pretty simple. Let's see how the vote goes. Have Bill and Mike take a poll of their constituents like John and Bruce do to decide what to do.
Better still let John and Bruce get 2 mil for the company. Let them get something for a change. But no matter what the expert critics will be here criticizing whatever decision is made for a poorly run company. That is the garbage so common on this site
11/28/2011 7:12:50 PM
tbay87 says:
When you give 7 million to someone, you better have a good idea where it's going. While I'm glad they did something for forestry, the government deserves some blame for this waste of money. Is the allocation too complicated / too much red tape, or did the government simply give millions to an incompetent company incapable of filling out some paperwork: either way, doesn't look very good on them.

If you look at the successful bailout of the auto industry, the companies weren't simply given a blank cheque: the government (primarily US) took control of the companies, basically fired the CEO of GM, set clear goals and restructuring guidelines, pushed the Fiat / Chrysler merger, etc. I'm not saying that's appropriate in this case, but simply having a 7 million investment go down the drain demands some accountability.

And that's why it's not as simple as give the money or don't: what conditions will be attached how likely is it to provide long-term stability, etc?
11/29/2011 1:26:32 AM
PC says:
No lori I blame the government for giving them the money and not reading their business plan and finding out that they didn't have a wood allotment.
Anyone setting up a business knows that when going to a bank for money they have to have a business plan and the bank loans money accordingly. If they find something missing they don't loan the money.
Apparently Bill and Mike didn't read the business plan or one was not submitted but they gave the money anyway.
That is not good money management and a waste of tax payers money.
But such is life under Dalton.
By the way just because we don't kiss liberal butts does not make us idiots.
I think it makes us kind of smart.
Kissing butt is not a great form of exercise.
Maybe you should give it up for a while.
11/28/2011 7:07:04 PM
northont says:
sounds a lot like another forest company wanting to get rich off govt money to me.Have we not spent enough taxpayer money keeping private companies affloat. I just wished I was smart enough to start a forest company and make millions, better odds than the lottery
11/28/2011 4:40:16 PM
nvjgu says:
Starting to look like a scam. Same thing Buchanan did. That's it NO more money.
11/28/2011 4:54:16 PM
SomeGuy says:
If you and your CFO put your houses up for collateral we'll talk.
11/28/2011 5:47:10 PM
yer joking says:
Sounds like a job fooooorrrr ......Super Bill and his money man! Here I come to save the day That means the Liberals are going to pay the tab out of their own pockets......NOT!
11/28/2011 5:56:29 PM
bobguy says:
I used to work in the wood industtry and I have a lot of experience with birch.

1.The birch we have here is sub-standard to other species of birch in more southern climates. The wood has a lot more rot while growing, has more branches and is hard to work with. Also, if you look at a birch stand, you will notice the first 6 feet comes out of the ground bending because several stems grow from a single point.

2. The only economical way to harvest birch is as a bi-product of cutting the good wood, spruce & pine in a mixed forest otherwise you are working to pay for your fuel.

3. the wood they are looking for is probalby 10% of the birch tree. Loggers need to find an end user for the remaining 90% of their logs.

That is the fundamental issue with their plan, that is why they failed.
11/28/2011 7:19:23 PM
hardrawkin says:
When the banks won't lend the money chances are that there isn't a viable business plan.
The government nor anyone needs to be throwing good money after bad.
Sorry for the people who worked there.
11/28/2011 7:58:16 PM
sam says:
I dont get it...someone please correct me if I am wrong but wasnt this company operating before in China or someplace like that and the reason they were relocating here was because of the wood they say they screwed up securing a wood supply?
11/28/2011 8:09:17 PM
THE Beaver..... says:
@ Lori....If you drive by Globals yard you will see lots pf Birch piled there.This company never had any intension to go logging and thats ok...go buy it,but you have to pay the bills that you owe.
11/28/2011 8:18:10 PM
The Beaver..... says:
sorry folks my last post to Lori got away on got to understand that the Government has nothing to give away...what it gives to has to take from another..its simple is it when we see bureaucratic bungling,and or maybe fraud..we have a right to Question that whether you like it or not.So now to make it all look good we even get in to Aboriginal thing,,Guess what..the Aboriginals up on mount McKay could have supplied all the Birch in the world to them for years to come.It would have also been incumbent for our two great politicians and Mr Denning to point that out to the Company.I for one am sick and tired to let the Liberals steal my money from me and hand it over to what are obviously very incompetent people.
11/28/2011 8:37:02 PM
lori says:
so beaver if I understand you and the other critics, you have the answers to how this should have worked and the Liberals stole your money. But no one so far has provided any real answers or facts.
Bobguy said the birch here is not good for this company. Is he right or wrong. The gov't supported a business venture. Was that right or wrong. Because it might fail, the gov't is wrong??? Based on what. The "critics" here are quick to lay blame without any facts to back it up. That's my sole issue. It seems the company is to blame but that doesn't fit with the agenda of the "critics"

So do we give another 2 mill or not?
Does the gov't say tough luck and give no hope to the workers. Yes or no??
Is this the responsibility of the province or should the FEDS step up to the plate for a change, JOhn/Bruce??
Show me how the wood allotment fixes what troubles this company??

This is typical here. All opinion, inuendo/ accusation. No facts to support our usual "expert critics".

11/29/2011 7:32:59 AM
PC says:
But no one so far has provided any real answers or facts.
well the gov. bill and mike certainly haven't.
here is what horwath was asking in QP. Does this seem like the libs have any sense of what Ontario really needs in job creation?
Ms. Andrea Horwath: Well, Speaker, with very much fanfare the government gave Global Sticks $7 million in grants and promised 130 permanent jobs. Instead, it closed its doors and some of the workers are saying they haven’t even been paid.

Navistar in Chatham received a grant of over $30 million, only to shed 1,000 jobs away.

Silicon Knights in St. Catharines received a grant of $2.5 million and just slashed their workforce by half.

Why is it that money that’s supposed to be creating jobs is getting handed to companies that are laying people off?

Don't care for the party but his question is dead on.
Hon. Brad Duguid:—just leave them out there unemployed.We’re not going to do that.
no! your going to bankrupt Ont. entirely giving good money after bad.
11/29/2011 9:25:02 AM
yqtyqt says:
PC. The ontario liberals have proven time and time again to be poor custodians of taxpayers money. Nobody with any sense of fiscal responsiblity would throw money away worse than McGuinty. Your short list of botched investments highlites of few of the bailouts/ giveaways. The list could go on and on.

When anybody investments, they want some guarantee of return. Normally a government would want iron-clad guarantees of permanent jobs and future corporate and personal taxes. They then use this income (taxes) to re-invest.

This government spends at least $16 billion more each year with no end in sight. If the expert liberals on this site can provide some idea of when this big black money pit will finally show some signs of closure, let us know. My take is they have no idea.

Dwight Duncan and Dalton seem to blame everybody and everything else but themselves. Global Sticks is just a small example of the miserable track record of the provincial liberals.
11/29/2011 9:54:26 AM
yqtyqt says:
Well several have attempted to explain how to you handle this situation. Perhaps you need a drawing or picture to understand.

I think most will agree that this was a poor investment of taxpayers money which was compounded by the wood allocation. Most (other than you) were not in favour of the original $7,000,000 unless theit was tied to long term job creation. Almost nobody (other than you) agrees that handing out more taxpayer money is a good idea.

Why were these funds not handed out on a conditional basis? You create jobs and we'll give you money at milestone events. Such as, if you stay in business for 5 years and maintain a payroll of so many dollars you get a portion of the $7 million. If you stay for 10 years you get more, and so on. That would guarantee corporate taxes and the personal taxes collected pay for the bailout.

Otherwise, the province is just throwing taxpayers money away. Or more correctly put - they are throwing our childrens/grandchildrens money away.
11/29/2011 9:42:10 AM
eastender says:
I say again , a criminal investigation is in order. Sounds awfully similar to what Brian Mulroney was accused of, (300,000 cash in a brown envelope) (airbus contracts) No I would not know where to start, But an investigation might bring facts to light. These people are blatantly abusing the public trust, and getting away with it. If the buisiness plan is good, then get private investment, but no private investor would give money to this type of operation, except the government, and its not their money. They both benefit, and we are the losers.
11/28/2011 9:03:23 PM
tsb says:
If this venture couldn't succeed in the first place, and if it is the fault of the company and not the government as Lori says, then we should let ourselves be fooled twice by them.

It would probably be easier to just end Global Sticks' misery, split that two million between the former employees for retraining, and call it a day.
11/28/2011 9:16:39 PM
bluejay says:
tsb: You all wonder why some of us on this site get so angered by some of the comments. Lori didn't say it was the companys fault, THE COMPANY SAID IT WAS THE COMPANYS FAULT. It's like you didnt read the article at all, or you did and just choose to ignore the facts that hurt your opinion. Message boards should be banned because people are just too stupid.
11/29/2011 9:30:19 AM
tbayguy009 says:
The company wouldn't exist at all ... if the provincial liberals didn't give them the start up money in the first place.

How about we blame the 'parent' for once. For being stupid. Shouldn't Mr Gravelle have used a little more due diligence BEFORE giving them the taxpayers money? The province created this company ... so which fool should we believe more?

I say, make this situation go away now. Cut off the spoiled brats in management, close the doors, have a fire sale and give someone else a chance to start this up. BUT, NOT one dime of government money this time. Private investors can bank roll it, and the government can get off it's backside and give forest businesses access to the resources that it needs.

How much birch has been fed into chippers to make pellets for Attikonan by now. None, or 1,000's of cubic meters????

Was any of that material useable for popsicle sticks?

The work force here has been used as pawns in a power stuggle. For forestry workers, this is nothing new.
11/30/2011 5:47:51 AM
realistic1 says:
Perhaps we should consult with the Dragon's Den before giving any money.
11/29/2011 3:16:38 AM
bluejay says:
Reading these posts I simply gain more respect for our local politicians and what they have to put up with. Can you imagine what this board would have read if that article was that the province did not give global sticks the 5.85 million because they didn't believe the business plan was viable. These same people would come here saying "here are the liberals once again not helping the forest industry in NWO" (which is so laughable). Nothing is ever good enough for you people. But I am reminded that if these boards represented what the residents of t.bay believed then our local mpp's would not have just won re-election.
11/29/2011 8:53:55 AM
animiki says:
You're right...the government should not be passing judgement on private sector business plans. The answer should be, "the government did not give $5+ million to this company because the government does not provide funding to private sector projects"...and that's all.

Wood supply is another matter. But the simple answer there is, if the species isn't otherwise allocated, it should be made available. Alternatively, the company can buy the wood they need from whomever holds the Sustainable Forest Licence(s) and factor it in as a cost of doing business. When it comes to capital for start-up, well, GS could do what companies have done for years--found investors in the private sector. If they can't find such investors, well, then they have a problem. They need to revise their business plan to better attract investors, or move on to something else.

The taxpayer should NOT be such an investor.
11/29/2011 12:11:41 PM
PC says:
I would not say they didn't help the wood industry. I would say they helped friends with money that could be spent in much better ways.
they helped one small company who obviously didn't show a business plan.
If the gov. really wanted to help business' they would cut hydro rates cut the HST on fuel and give Ontario half a chance of attracting large business ventures.
Instead of handing money hand over fist for photo ops they should start trying to reduce our debt improving health care and education.
But that list of failures Horwath listed is what the libs seem to be concentrating spending our money on.
And where are all those green jobs that were promised and the jobs that would be created by the HST implementation?
Instead of spending our money on wasteful things I would prefer them to start keeping their promises and actually do somethng good for Ontario.
11/29/2011 2:00:17 PM
The Beaver..... says:
@Lori Fact is that no Bank was willing to lend to this Company and by their own statement it took more then a year to get Financing..not good is it..And yes Lori bob is right..the Birch here is only good for Firewood the evidence is laying in the Equipment Dealers yard that has a big pile of peeled 2 foot chunks of Birch piled up.That waste pile is probably much more then was used to make sticks.It also comes to mind that the purchasing of Birch from the US did in fact have something to do with the Quality of our Native Birch and not as was stated at the time.Let me again assure you that The Beaver is totally peed off ...with having Incompetent politician handing out his money to incompetent Business people...and you should be as well Lori .
11/29/2011 9:15:45 AM
Gord says:
bravo - best post to this story
12/2/2011 10:41:25 PM
CityHawke says:
As we see many fingers can be pointed. Part of the problem is Thunder Bay's desperation to have any new business especially in the wood related sector. The politicians who are so quick to jump into frame to have their picture taken and the business owner who has been shielding the truth about the company's financial position. How many popsicle sticks do you have to sell to payback two million? Merry Christmas!
11/29/2011 9:55:15 AM
hotchoc says:
I have not seen one shred of evidence that the province is too blame for this. The company themselves said they were at fault. That may not be a popular opinion but I believe it to be accurate. The government may be at fault. I do not know but between the article and the postings nothing proves they are. What should the gov't have done. Here is where I will blame the government. They are so busy trying to resurrect a dead industry that they spend too much time dealing with forestry matters. It is dead. No one is buying wood or pulp. If they were companies would set up here. Let the workers get fired force them to new jobs or welfare and forget about this long dead industry. We do not care about it anymore.
Would that make the people here happy. Would the people so quick to blame government support that position or would they blame the government for not caring. As one poster already said. I have yet to see what the answer is to solve our forestry challenges. I see blame but no answers
11/29/2011 11:39:47 AM
PC says:
The government handed over tax money to a private company to start up.
The company should not have been given the money since it was private, it should have gone to banks or friends of the people who would knowing lend money.
We as tax payers gave money unknowingly and that is not right. I know we are not consulted on how the libs spend our money and if they do it wisely we don't complain but when the province owes so much it just seems stupid to give money and then a few months later get asked for money to bail out the company when it fails.
They claim bankruptsy and workers don't get paid and the tax payers certainly don't. But I bet the owners are sitting pretty.
Did anyone submit a business plan? and more importantly did the government read it if they did?
If they didn't the libs should pay the tax payers back from their liberal coffers.
11/30/2011 10:10:43 AM
animiki says:
As usual, there are multiple issues here, with multiple parties responsible.

The current government, when it assumed power, revised the terms of the NOHFC and similar programs to allow funding to be provided to private sector parties. Since the amount of funding available to the NOHFC is fixed, this meant less funding available to public sector projects which have no recourse to banks and investors. Under the PCs, for instance, funding was available to municipalities and First Nations for small capital projects (Thunder Bay, for example, purchased a hovercraft for rescue jobs in the harbor). These are good uses of taxpayer funds. Entering into the risk-rich world of the private sector is a poor use of taxpayer funds. The current government should never have done so, and should not, by extension, give more funds to this project now.

ALL recent governments have failed to adapt wood supply mechanics to the realities of the 21st century.

11/29/2011 11:59:19 AM
animiki says:

The wood tenure system as it stands is designed to support large, central operations such as pulp and paper mills and large saw mills. It isn't suited to smaller projects and more innovative use of underused species such as birch. This is less of a political problem than an issue of entrenched bureaucracies in the government and the industry. However, political will is required to change it. Fortunately, the process has begun, but it's FAR too slow.

The industry has failed to bring itself up to date and has leaned on a weak dollar to make its exports to the US profitable. When our dollar strengthened, the industry had nowhere to go. Mills here in the north are generally antiquated and inefficient compared to other jurisdictions like Russia and Brazil. The industry should have kept itself competitive by investing in new technologies and ways of working, but failed to do so.

How to fix it? Update wood supply and attempt to grow a new, modern industry. No quick fixes, sorry.
11/29/2011 12:06:02 PM
eastender says:
All this foofaroo about quality of birch, harvesting, aboriginal rights, etc. etc etc. has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of theis company. It just distracts from the real reason this company failed in the first place. IT WAS NOT MEANT TO SUCCEED. All the facts, bad birch not enough wood, no wood allocation is all smoke and mirrors. Even my 10 year old knows that you need to secure a wood supply before you even put one cent of investment into infrastructure and equipment. Do you think these people are that stupid that they would put all this money into a plant with no forseeable supply of wood. Of course not. Thats why they didn't put their own money into it , they put taxpayers money into it. They win you lose. And our elected officials let them, Because, well I'll let you guess why. Brian Mulroney only the tip of the iceberg.
11/29/2011 12:52:59 PM
The Beaver..... says:
eastender...ohhh you are so brilliant..except you don't see the woods because the trees are in the way,and you certainly have a hang up with Mulroney.Yes our Birch is not suited for this plant,yes there is too much cull as we know by now.And yes these people were stupid enough (or smart)to put your money and mine and a whole lot of other peoples money on the Line.And then this so called President has the insight to say on TV he is willing to
buy Birch delivered to the Plant for around $60 a meter..good luck to him.
11/29/2011 2:58:10 PM
Delbert Grady says:
Lori appears to be unable to comprehend that the government does not actually have money to give. Its our money and it doesnt grow on trees, nor do little bluejays magically make it appear.

Bad investments are the trademark of the Liberal government. Thats some cold hard facts for you.

another one is government is not supposed to act like a bank by funding pet projects with public money.

11/29/2011 3:01:35 PM
arnold says:
But the same can be said of the PC and NDP governments we have had in the passed.
11/30/2011 1:09:55 AM
Timeswasting says:
Stop trying to help a doomed industry with taxpayers money! How many trees make a few million Popsicle sticks - 3 or 4??? This whiole things gas been a red herring. There are millions being spent on mineral exploration and jobs could be popping-up everywhere if the Government just got out of the Private sectors way!
11/29/2011 3:57:29 PM
anvil of crom says:
and the sad fact is thousands of birch trees cut down a few years back lie rotten in the bush in this area.
I know having "scavenged" a few chords from some humongous piles left to rot, up near Armstrong.
A "person in charge" told me ,the companies had cut the wood but with a change in the market had no use for the wood.
Told me i could not "officially" take it, but hinted it would go nowhere and rot. i took a few chords. At least it wasnt wasted!!!
sad to see waste like this.
there were pulp trucks lie.
11/29/2011 7:24:45 PM
hadenough says:
It's not just in the Armstrong area that piles of birch were cut and not used.

BNH when it was operational was supposed to utilize birch,in fact I remember the statement that they needed every sawlog east from the Minitoba border but we know what happened there.

AbiBow used to use birch and poplar to mix in with the softwood pulp, I think Abitibi Mission used birch for it's bright white paper, we know what happened there too.

Mac/Blo then Columbia in Nipigon used birch for hockey stick shafts and plywood. They stoped the hockey sticks and went with plywood, but we know what happened there too.

GS was supposed to be able to purchase birch from other sources such as Bowater/Abitibi/Buchanan that declared the wood surplus or needed to get rid of it if they harvested it in the normal course of operations.

GS came into the game, a dollar short and a day late. Sucks to be them/us.
11/30/2011 9:10:03 AM
yer joking says:
A million here, a Million there pretty soon it might add up to real money!
11/29/2011 8:39:21 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I will try to ask this again since the Moderator deemed my last post inappropriate : What exactly does "Aboriginal Content " mean in terms of not getting a wood allocation . What bearing does this have on securing birch logs . Sounds like a Liberal "make work project" (Hoping for a photo-op)
11/29/2011 9:52:47 PM
animiki says:
I would assume it refers to this:

"Submissions (for wood supply) were evaluated against pre-established criteria such as financing, economic viability, operating feasibility, wood supply, Aboriginal benefits, management experience, and social, economic and environmental benefits."

This is from

Clearly, for projects requiring wood supply, and all other things being equal, benefits to Aboriginal stakeholders (presumably the First Nation(s) on whose traditional lands the harvesting would occur) were a key criterion. The implication is that GS didn't offer adequate (or perhaps even any) benefits to the Aboriginal stakeholders involved. In other words, the birch would be harvested from a given First Nation's traditional lands, but GS 't either wasn't indicating what return the First Nation would get, or the return was inadequate for the amount of harvest.
11/29/2011 11:37:51 PM
lori says:
animiki, the last thing you need to do is confuse people with facts and information.


only opinion is relevant here no matter how baseless or inaccurate.
11/30/2011 8:38:08 AM
tbayguy009 says:
Maybe you should enlighten yourself about the actual effect of the Liberal's policies to the town of Sault Lookout. Just as one example (there are many others).

EXACTLY relating to your point.

Native interests in returning the Hudson sawmill into operation were thwarted by Mr Gravelle's denial of a secured wood allocation.

Let me restate that again. "Sioux Lookout Mayor Dennis Leney has indicated that there has been some interest from First Nations in the Hudson sawmill but that this interest is tied to a secure wood supply."

The Liberal response. There is no wood for you! (Mr Gravelle's wood supply 'scheme')

They (the interested groups) didn't even ask for taxpayers money at that point.

Greenstone is the same boat. Again, with private investors.

Attikonan's Sapawe operations had an identified buyer, and again - no secured wood supply. Forcing the fire sale and destruction of the mill.

It is one thing to throw money away at Global Sticks, and another to stop private investors.
11/30/2011 8:50:53 AM
lori says:

I find something a tad interesting.

companies that were closed for 3 or four years all had interested buyers as the election was coming near. All around the same time.


And please, no one was going to be the Atikokan plant. Even with gov't wood the company had no where near enough wood to operate. They still needed to get other wood just like they had to when they were open from private companies.

Please spare us the pie in the sky make believe lecture that these companies were suddenly going to open after being idle for years.

They couldn't make it go when houses were being built in the US, how on earth could they make money when the main market wasn't buying???
11/30/2011 4:13:19 PM
tbayguy009 says:
Likewise, wasn't it interesting that all public service union contracts were cleared up ... just before the election?

What is fiction ... is that now, we will never know what would have happened, what could have happened, had the government actually stepped out of the way and given wood allocations to give these companies a chance?

Instead we are reading and commenting on a story of 5 million taxpayer dollars disappearing in a buff of smoke and mirrors. With their hands out for an addition $2 million more.

Isn't that the truth. Selecting and choosing winners and losers by the 'will' of the government and it's policies.

As for the answer to your question (under the name of Bluejay). BC and Quebec are recovering. Ontario is not.

Manufacturing jobs in this province are at a level equal to 1976. The province is sinking, and fast.

Small forest industry companies haven't even been given a chance. And it they never will be, under this governments policies.
11/30/2011 6:19:11 PM
PC says:
Apparently Marathon had 2 different buyers for the mill and the only thing that made it fall through was no wood allotment.
gravelle kept putting the company off saying later and then later never came until the Marathon allotment went to another company.
So no buyers had no option but to not buy or invest.

11/30/2011 8:12:34 PM
lori says:
so to summarize

Everyone knew this was a bad business deal except the gov't.

The government should never give money to support economic development of any kind

The wood allocation system was to blame even though there is not one shred of evidence to back that up.

The Liberal MPP's should not be fighting for money for our area unles they speak to
Delbert, YQT, PC, and company to decide how to best use the funds they have

and finally

it matters not what the news story may say or quotes from the company themselves,

only the opinion of the "expert critics" no matter how baseless or inaccurate is all that matters.

There, I think I summed up the position correctly.

Liberals are always wrong.

The "expert critics" are always right.

In 8 plus years this Liberal government has done nothing right.

Wow, I feel better for saying that.

Now if I could just sell that prime real estate property in Florida all would be great.
11/30/2011 8:36:14 AM
PC says:
I don't think I blamed the wood allotment for the problem.
I blame the lack of a business plan.
That should have covered the wood supply as well as everything else.
I blame the government for giving money to a private company without any safe guards. Even a bank asks for somesort of guarantee to recoup their losses.
Maybe if the libs would listen to the opposition instead of saying who cares what you think we will do what we want.
The lib MPP's should be supporting projects in the region, yes, but they should do their homework on them before giving them carte blanche.

"In 8 plus years this Liberal government has done nothing right."

you said it lori we didn't.

11/30/2011 4:30:51 PM
animiki says:
Regarding this:

"The government should never give money to support economic development of any kind"

Not as direct transfers to private sector companies, no. The government's sole role should be to develop and nurture a business climate that encourages private sector investment. That means a stable system of laws and regulations, clear requirements, minimal bureaucracy, the lowest possible tax rates and public utility costs. It doesn't mean giving public money to risky private investments because, well, if they can't attract adequate investment from people who want to make money off them, then the taxpayer ends up as the "lender of last resort". My response to that is thanks, but no thanks.
11/30/2011 11:19:58 PM
kurtz says:

"lori says:The government should never give money to support economic development of any kind"

Lori, you must be joking. You obviously don't know how the world works. Government has been investing in economic development since and before Confederation. How do you think things get built? The CPR? infrastructure? How do you think CPP and Old Age Security are funded? Do you think that little bit they take off our checks covers it? They invest in all kinds of companies, public and private, RIM as an example.

The problem here is that someone in the government signed off on something without the proper safe-guards.

Government investment is not the problem. It has and will be a part of investment for years to come.
11/30/2011 5:29:42 PM
spooner19 says:
I don't understand why everyone keeps bashing Gravelle and Mauro and yet every election they get voted in? Someone has to be casting votes there way. Maybe one day Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario will realize that voting a candidate in who's party is actually in control is really better for everyone. These idiots should have been gone years ago. Wake up people! A whole lot of talking does not make you a good politician.
11/30/2011 6:08:53 PM
lori says:
pc, you say it every time you put a posting on.

You want your elected MPP's to now research companies before giving them any funds.

Would you like your MPP's to review Marina Park expenditures before giving the city money.

How about how the city operates transit before giving gas tax funds.

How about the hospital before funding two cardiac units.

How about the college and universitiy before funding additional buildings or programs.

DSSAB before giving funding.

Lets review the City of T.Bay before providing infrastructure money.

Wow. Why don't we get them to build the facilities also.

PC, you complain about everything. They have made massive improvements to health care but because it doesn't work great for you, they didn't. Shortest surgical wait times in the country. We used to be the longest

They have moved ontario to the top of the list in education. You ignore it.

Nothing will ever be good enough. You will complain about everything. It is what you do
11/30/2011 6:16:18 PM
PC says:

You want your elected MPP's to now research companies before giving them any funds. YES. it is my money they are handing out.

Would you like your MPP's to review Marina Park expenditures before giving the city money
YES. it might make cost overruns a bit less. It might force planners to do more with less.

They have made massive improvements to health care but because it doesn't work great for you, they didn't. Shortest surgical wait times in the country. We used to be the longest.

health care in the city may be wonderful and I am very glad for the people.
Health care in the outlying area is crap. Since I live in the outlying area certainly I complain about it.
Trying to see a specialist in the city out of town people go on the bottom of a list. Since when is a 9 month wait to see one acceptable. According to this government it is just fine. Finally getting a specialist by telehealth is good but when you can only see him every 6 months if you are lucky is not.
go libs. go

12/1/2011 10:39:39 AM
tiredofit says:
ummm.. perhaps I misread the post Lori, but it sounds like you expect ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY from our MPP's for anything financial? Sorry, but that's how it sounds. If you sign off on it, your accountable for it, don't care who does the paperwork.
12/4/2011 9:33:02 AM
lori says:
here's more for those wanting to blame the gov't.

3-4 trucks a day. And for that we were going to provide this company with wood allotment?

And what about the other wood. Last time I checked, there are not birch groves around the area. They seem to include other species so how exactly would this company harvest the wood as I have said from the beginning.

They needed a supplier and they publicly said that is why they were locating here.

Please tell me how that is the gov'ts fault.

11/30/2011 11:12:13 PM
PC says:
3-4 trucks a day. And for that we were going to provide this company with wood allotment?

If they were not going to give an allotment then why give them the millions to start a business?

It is the governments decision to give a company the money so the government should take the critism when the company fails.
The government should have read the business plan the way a bank would.
Gee need a supplier, is there one ready to supply the product? No! then they don't get the money.
But the government saw a great photo op of a start up business and jumped in head first and a few months later they hit the not so hidden rocks on the bottom.
Banks and investors have checks and balances when making decisions and this government has none.
Opposition mpp's ask questions and the libs ridicule them with their answers.
In other words they are bullies like the school yard bullies mcguinty is finally starting to acknowledge their existance.

12/1/2011 10:29:01 AM
lori says:
PC, when you live in outlying areas you sacrifice. I did it but not you. You think a specialist should be at your beck and call and the folks in T.Bay can get in to a specialist at any time. My appointment is ten months just for the consultation. So whine to someone else.
You want your MPP's to do it all, then we don't need city councils do we. Just let the MPP's make the decision. The scary part, you actually think that is a logical position to take.
As for the business plan. How do you know they did not review the plan. How do you know the company didn't change things once they opened. How do you know the company didn't screw up what could have been a good thing. You don't.

You want the gov't to be all things to all issues and to be perfect. Well that dream isn't possible. Harris closed hospitals, schools, fired nurses, inspectors, cut welfare and reduced the number of doctors. I'll take the Liberal "errors" as you like to point out, long before a repeat of that sad story
12/1/2011 4:17:06 PM
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