POLITICS

Nova Scotia reaches $23.7-million deal to buy land from Bowater Mersey

01/06/2012 12:19 EST | Updated 03/07/2012 05:12 EST
LIVERPOOL, N.S. - The government of Nova Scotia has reached an agreement to buy about 10,120 hectares of land from Bowater Mersey.

The province says the $23.7-million deal will provide more recreational opportunities along the province's South Shore.

The land includes forests, old-growth timber stands, ocean and lake frontage, wetlands and some land of cultural significance to the Mi'kmaq.

The purchase is part of the government's $50-million rescue package for Bowater Mersey's struggling paper mill in Liverpool.

Premier Darrell Dexter says it will also help meet the government's goal of protecting 12 per cent of the province's land mass by 2015.

Late last year, unionized workers at the mill voted to cut 110 jobs in an effort to reduce labour costs and help save the operation, which employed about 300 people.

The deal Friday came as Bowater Mersey announced it would extend a shutdown by another week due to poor market conditions in Europe.

CEO Brad Pelley said some clients the mill normally serves are flooded with paper products. He said demand may increase if the company pulls some volume out of the market.

Operations are set to resume Jan. 16.

(CKBW)