Terra Nova Shoes moving to Ontario

At least 80 layoffs as manufacturing operation closes

Published on July 8, 2014
There was good news in Harbour Grace Thursday, with the completion of a major expansion at Terra Nova Shoes. Shown here trying on Kodiak and Terra Nova boots are (from left) area MHA and Justice Minister Jerome Kennedy, Premier Danny Williams, Business Minister Paul Oram and Industry Minister Trevor Taylor. Photo by Terry Roberts/The Telegram

The Terra Nova Shoes factory in Harbour Grace is closing, as owner Kodiak Group Holdings picks up the Newfoundland and Labrador operation and moves it to Cambridge, Ont.

The manufacturing operation employs 80 people, according to a company statement issued this morning.

“All workers are being offered bonuses to stay and work until the plant ceases operations. Workers will be encouraged to apply for jobs in Cambridge. Successful candidates will receive relocation assistance to move,” it states.

The Ontario location is closer to the company’s head office and distribution centre.

"We care deeply about everyone who has worked hard in Harbour Grace to make Terra a world-class brand, which is why we are encouraging our employees to apply for opportunities at the new facility in Cambridge. We've made sure their severance packages go beyond what is required and we are offering bonuses for workers to stay until the plant ceases operations,” said Kevin Huckle, president of Kodiak Group Holdings in the statement.

“We are committed to manufacturing in Canada. However, the reality is the high costs to continue operating the Harbour Grace plant have become unsustainable over the past several years. If (the company) is going to remain competitive, we have to be making our products in a central location in Canada that allows us to service our customers faster and more efficiently at less cost,” he said.

“Our industry operates in a very competitive global market with price-sensitive consumers, and we must be cost-efficient to remain competitive. Despite the significant investments (the company) has made since it purchased Terra Nova Shoes in 2005, it cannot continue to absorb the high operating costs and logistical challenges associated with operating a manufacturing facility in Harbour Grace, which is why we needed to reorganize our operations in Canada to remain competitive.”

The factory first opened in 1971.

It is scheduled to close at the end of November.

The company had been provided a provincial government loan for expansion of the plant in 2008. It has committed to repaying the loan in full.

More to come.

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