Optimism reigns in Miramichi with saw mill back online
The mill is expected to employ 110 people
The Miramichi Lumber Products saw mill is operating again after more than a year of being shut down.
Claude Robichaud returned to his job at the mill in January to help prepare the mill for full production. He said he’s optimistic about the mill’s future.
"It is going to do well I`m sure of that — we’ve got pretty good people working here they really want [to work]," he said.
The mill is expected to employ 110 people.
Hal Raper, the chief financial officer of Miramichi Lumber Products Inc., said there’s reason to be optimistic about the mill's future now.
"It’s been a while coming but we’ve had a lot of local investors invest and help get the mill up and running," said Raper.
"And of course the lumber prices are much better than they were a year and a half ago."
Miramichi Mayor Gerry Cormier said the city has faced a lot of difficult economic hardships and hopefully this is sign of positive change.
"Well in 2008, when I was elected mayor, we were pretty well flatlined, just about dead. As a matter of fact, I think Miramichi Lumber and Atcon were the only ones going at the time, so from there to come back and see life put into it and give hope to people who are hurting — so many gone out West — we’re hoping to get them back home," he said.
Mike Hill, the president of Miramichi`s Chamber of Commerce, said the city suffered through mill, base and mine closures for almost 15 years.
Hill said he’s glad the tide is turning.
"Because it means that perhaps, from an economic decline standpoint, we've reached the trough — we're now growing and that`s an exciting time for us."
About 550 jobs will be also be added to the economy through a new federal pay centre, set to open in the next few years.