Publications look for other options with Transcontinental closing P.E.I. printing plant
'My number one concern right now is getting things across a bridge when the weather is not good'
The closure of the Transcontinental printing plant in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., has left some the Island's publications looking for alternatives.
Eleven employees will lose their jobs with the closure of the plant, according to Katherine Chartrand, senior director of corporate communications at TC Transcontinental.
The company announced the closure will take place by the end of January 2020, in a news release Thursday.
Currently, the plant prints multiple local publications, including:
- West Prince Graphic.
- Eastern Graphic.
- Island Farmer.
- County Line Courier.
- The Buzz P.E.I.
- Salty Magazine.
- La Voix Acadienne.
- The Employment Journal.
- Penny Saver P.E.I.
"It's for sure going to cause us a bit of a problem," said Marcia Enman, managing editor of La Voix Acadienne. She said she is worried about the increased cost associated with shipping in her paper from off-Island.
"We'll have to work with that when it comes," she said. "We've challenged a lot of things through the years, like as far as surviving, we're still there. I just see this as another challenge and we'll get through it."
Peter Richards, managing editor of the Buzz P.E.I., said his publication is also still figuring out how to move forward.
"We intend to keep publishing. Our readers will still want to get an issue every month and we're going to provide it," he said. "So we have to look at what kind of options are going to be available to us."
This won't be an entirely new experience, he said. For its first 18 years, the Buzz was printed in Nova Scotia.
Laura Weatherbie, publisher of Salty Magazine, said she was surprised by the announcement of the closure and that the change will take some getting used to.
"It's going to take a little bit of work. We're putting together an RFP, request for print, and we're going to see how close we can get it to Prince Edward Island," Weatherbie said.
"I mean, Salty is all about being local. So the idea that we have to print somewhere that isn't local, is difficult."
Shipping the magazine from off-Island is also worrying, she said.
"My number one concern right now is getting things across a bridge when the weather is not good," she said.
"We have a distribution schedule that we have to stick by, our advertisers require it. So, what happens if we have a three-day storm that has shut down traffic to high-sided vehicles on the bridge?"
Hard to replace
Weatherbie, Richards, and Enman all agreed that the quality provided by Transcontinental will be hard to replace.
The printing company announced "a re-organization of activities" at the Transcontinental Halifax plant, in the release Thursday.
Last year, 10 employees at the Borden-Carleton plant were laid off after it was announced that The Guardian and Journal Pioneer would no longer be printed at that facility and would instead be printed in Halifax.
The company said this latest decision aligns with priorities to optimize its printing platform.
More P.E.I. news
- A previous version of this story incorrectly called Laura Weatherbie Salty's editor. In fact, she is the publisher.Dec 03, 2019 11:22 AM AT