Leamington mayor hopeful for a solution to Heinz leaving
John Paterson hopes another company will use the same facility to process tomatoes for sale to Heinz
Leamington's mayor remains hopeful a solution can be found to keep his town the tomato capital of Canada.
He said a number of proposals are being considered, including a "co-pack" situation, where another company uses the same facility to process tomatoes for sale to Heinz.
"That would be an ideal situation for us," he said. "Because then we could keep our tomato farmers producing the tomatoes. We could keep some of our employees working on lines that they already know, and the administration that already knows how to do everything as well."
Some residents are concerned politicians are just talking and are not coming up with solutions. Recently Premier Kathleen Wynne, NDP MPP and agriculture critic John Vanthof and PC leader Tim Hudak all vistied Leamington.
Paterson doesn't share those concerns.
"When the cameras are off, and the reporters are gone, there's much more nonpartisan talk from all three parties and they know the reality of the day," he said. "They have to put their party's stance forward. But, at the same time, they know they have to work together to solve problems just like this."
Some residents will hold a vigil outside the plant Saturday night after Leamington's Christmas parade.
Paterson said he's working closely with federal and provincial officials, as well as the Windsor-Essex economic development commission, in hopes of finding a way to keep the plant going.
"All three parties are starting to realize that there's really something wrong, and we need to address it here in Ontario," he said.
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