Nova Scotia

NewPage didn't pay for deliveries, say suppliers

NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd. mill wood suppliers say they didn't get paid for wood they delivered to Point Tupper during the last week.

NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd. mill wood suppliers say they didn't get paid for wood they delivered to Point Tupper during the last week.

Truckers and contractors say they're out tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"We trucked really hard last weekend to try to get everything in, the way they wanted, and now this is a big slap in the face," said Claude Bourgeois, head of Northeastern Pulp Truckers Association, which represents about 100 truckers who delivered wood to the NewPage mill.

Wood deliveries stopped this past week because the mill is preparing to shut down indefinitely next week.

Bourgeois was among a few dozen truckers and contractors who met with local NewPage management Friday morning.

"NewPage said … they were watching their liquid assets [to] try to make a pay cheque next Tuesday ... hopefully [be] able to make one next Tuesday for what they owe," said Bourgeois.

Some wood suppliers are owed as much as $300,000 but some said they don't think they have much hope of seeing that money.

They also said they don't blame local managers, who they believe are doing their best to sort out the situation.

"Everybody in this outfit is in the same shoes, we're out of work and they're also out of work if the place closes down," said Paul Delaney, a pulpwood contractor from Cheticamp.

The contractors said their best hope now is the program promised last month by Premier Darrell Dexter.

It's supposed to help keep the wood suppliers working during the NewPage shutdown.

Details of the province's program are expected next week.

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