New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan and Warden Ron Baillie of the Municipality of the County of Pictou jointly issued a statement today in response to the announcement that the Michelin North America (Canada) plant in Granton will significantly reduce its production at the local plant and approximately 500 employees will be impacted by this change.
“This is a devastating hit for the economy of our region and for northern Nova Scotia and beyond,” says Mayor MacMillan, who is also speaking on behalf of Warden Baillie who is currently out of the province.
“We are very concerned for the employees and their families throughout the communities of Pictou County who are impacted by this manufacturing change. Pictou County is home to these employees and where they want to live and raise families. For many of us, this will impact our family, our neighbours and our friends. It will be felt deeply across the County in all communities. Five hundred jobs are not easily replaced. We are also concerned about the impact that will reverberate across the region through the effect this will have on other small businesses that work directly with the Michelin plant in our area. This is a major hit to our economy.”
“Michelin is a business leader in Pictou County and they provide great corporate leadership and contributions to the community that extend even beyond employment. We recognize that Michelin is responding to changes in the global market place,” says Mayor MacMillan. “As hard as it is to come to terms with this kind of job loss, we are extremely appreciative that Michelin remains committed to have a workforce in our region and that they have invested in the Michelin Development Fund that supports and encourage small business development and entrepreneurship. Pictou County is known for its strong entrepreneurial spirit and we hope that there will be many new opportunities for Michelin employees who want to enter into their own business ventures.”
“Michelin will continue to be an important part of our economy and we will work with the company to do what we can to ensure they continue to have a presence here. We have been in direct contact with Jeff MacLean, plant manager at Michelin, Granton, and he has assured us that Michelin plans to invest in Pictou County for the long haul through its Service Z Facility and Membrane Production, and that this facility will continue to employee 350 people, “ explains Mayor MacMillan. “Mr. MacLean has also indicated that the company will offer relocation employment opportunities to its employees as well as retirement eligibility and he will be meeting with the municipal leaders of the region to provide more details.”
“Today’s announcement speaks to the importance of the Now or Never Report from the Commission on the New Economy and what we as a province are facing. What is happening in the global economy affects us right here at home in Pictou County and Nova Scotia, “ continues Mayor MacMillan. “Unfortunately, this is a most difficult and real example of what will be in-store for us as a province, if we are not prepared to change. We must find new opportunities, new industries and new approaches to support and retain existing businesses while also strategically recruiting the right new businesses that are good matches for the quality of life and quality of place we have here in Pictou County. We will be looking to the province and our local MLAs as well as our Member of Parliament for support and will work with them to address this loss of employment. We are fortunate Michelin continues to remain dedicated to our region and has such concern for its employees. However, we must also be proactive and strategic and work hard to plan ahead for these kinds of changes.”
“The Town of New Glasgow and the County of Pictou have established a collaborative partnership on many projects including a recently announced a business investment strategy and other joint infrastructure projects that will provide a strong foundation for commercial and residential development,” concludes Mayor MacMillan.