Three provincial ministers plan to be in Pictou County Mar. 7, and have asked to meet mayors, wardens, municipal and community leaders, and the Pictou MLAs. The ministers hope the meeting will kick off a team effort to help the community respond to job losses at Michelin and elsewhere in the region.
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Province, County explore new economic activities
"This has been a hard week for the people who live and work in Pictou County, and there will be hard days ahead," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. "But you have tremendous people, spirit, ideas and opportunities in your communities too.
"Your government, across all political parties, stands with you. Together, we can find opportunities and the right supports to keep your economy moving forward," Mr. Samson said.
Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan said department staff reached out to Michelin shortly after the company's announcement on Monday.
"I want the Michelin workers to know that government is here for them to provide the support they need during this difficult time," said Ms. Regan. "We have a transition team in place that is ready to help, and we will work closely with Michelin and the community to determine exactly what services are needed."
Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen said the loss of 500 good-paying jobs not only affects Michelin workers, but local businesses, their employees, Michelin suppliers, and the tax revenue for the towns and counties.
Federal Minister Peter MacKay, and Pictou County MLAs Pat Dunn, Karla MacFarlane and Tim Houston will play a key role in responding to this challenge.
"These individuals care deeply about their communities and the people who live here," said Ms. Whalen. "I want to meet with them and hear their ideas so together we can move Pictou and Nova Scotia forward."
Ms. Whalen will also speak at the Pictou Chamber of Commerce on Friday.
"Michelin remains an important employer in the province, and we appreciate its continuing commitment to the Pictou community," said Mr. Samson. "Their plan to offer support for entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Michelin Development program has had success elsewhere. We expect to see similar benefits here."
On Monday, March 4, Michelin announced it plans to significantly reduce tire manufacturing at its Granton plant over the next 18 months. Significant aspects of Michelin's Canadian operations will continue at the Pictou County site, with a $10-million investment slated for its rubber mixing operation.