Almost lost in the shuffle of mill activity in the news recently is the effect of what happens to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper on the powerhouse in Deer Lake.
Most would agree that a big reason the mill is still around in 2012 is because it generates its own power. Without cheap power it’s entirely possible the mill may have been mothballed years ago like similar facilities on the island.
The local union in Deer Lake which oversees the power plant had been relatively quiet but they’re starting to make noise with everything that has been going on. Rightfully, they’re asking what will happen to them? Would the power plant be shut if the mill closes or folded into the provincial power grid?
There are those who speculate that folding it into the grid, along with an upgrade, could go a long way towards helping the province meet its power generation goals. Be that as it may, the local union has a point when it asks: “What about us?”
The case could be made they’re not just asking about themselves, but of the town.
What happens to Deer Lake if the mill closes? Or any of the communities surrounding Corner Brook?
These are questions that corporations and governments need to be asking in this age of austerity.
Cutting at the bottom doesn’t help your bottom line. It hurts entire communities when industrial facilities go out of business, so the Deer Lake local has it right. It’s time for those silent to start speaking up.