Thursday, August 04, 2005

NEWS FLASH>> Bathurst mill closes, hundreds lose jobs

Rumors of an impending closure have been circulating for the better part of the last 15 years, since Stone Container Corp. took over the mill. It was spared closure in the late ‘90s after Stone merged with Smurfit, but just barely. On old roommate of mine who works for the management consulting firm that facilitated the merger told me that the only thing that saved the mill then was the depressed state of the Canadian dollar. He said that if the dollar ever recovered, the mill would surely be mothballed.

Well, the Canadian dollar has strengthened by 30% over the past 3 years, so guess what? The Bathurst mill has closed. What a shocker!

I’m going to keep an eye on the Op-Ed page of the local paper over the next few weeks. If I’m right, I’m probably going to find plenty of opinion pieces and letters to the editor from disgruntled workers bemoaning the closure and castigating those evil American fat-cat Smurfit-Stone executives.

Personally, If I was a laid-off mill worker, I’d save my ink for my union bosses, who should have warned me years ago that the $40/hour money train I’d been riding wasn’t going to keep chugging along forever, that no amount of bitching or cajoling from the union would keep my job safe from the threats posed by foreign competition and exchange rates, and that I would do well to save a few bucks along the way to soften the blow when the axe finally came down.

But hey, that’s just me.


At 8/04/2005 11:49 AM, Blogger Eddie said...


At 8/04/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

You are a great Canadian, and a great American. I loved your post. I have been to Canada many times, tried to argue with Canadians (politely) about polticis, and it never ceased to amaze me how liberal and leftist the views are. They only seem to get half the news and stories we do in the USA. I don't get it.

At 8/04/2005 1:20 PM, Blogger Ace said...

Unfortunately, I'm not an American yet. I have another 3 years or so before I take the pledge for the first time.

As for Canadian libs, I've had more nasty debates than I can count. It wasn't always that way; before Trudeau decided to pinko-fy the whole country in the '70s, Canada had it's fair share of dyed-in-the-wool Tories. A pleasant remnant of the country's British heritage, I guess.

Now, I just find the whole country rather sad. I mean, just a few weeks ago the Supreme Court ruled that the disastrous government health monopoly is, in part, unconstitutional. People are in a panic, scared to death that they might actually get a say in how they procure their healthcare services. That's what decades of socialism will do to a nation.

At 8/04/2005 2:00 PM, Blogger allison said...

zeke- come meet name is Mijo

At 8/04/2005 2:40 PM, Blogger Ace said...

Christ, not that I'm complaining, but who are all these random people who just happened to stumble onto my blog today? Aside from my mother and a couple of assorted friends, nobody usually reads this damn thing.

At 8/05/2005 7:32 AM, Blogger Eddie said...

I found your blog by hitting "next blog." I regularly comment on Allison's site, and I am guessing she found it by clicking on your picture on my site. Just a guess, though.

I find it hilarious that you find their heatlh system to be a disaster. Yes, they have bragged to me about how they get to see a doctor. Wait 3-6 hours in a waiting room and hope to be seen. Need hip surgery? Non-essential, wait for one year. Ouch. Our system isn't perfect here, but I never have to wait for anything, never have to switch doctor's every 3 months because mine moved to another Town, and if I needed surgery, it would happen immediately. Thanks.

At 8/05/2005 7:44 AM, Blogger Ace said...

My mother was told she would have to wait 6 months for an MRI on a bad shoulder. My aunt, who's a nurse and a huge fan of socialized medicine, told her that was a perfectly reasonable wait that constituted an adequate standard of care. Upon hearing this story, my sister informed us of her boss's ordeal. Told to wait 3 months for an MRI, the boss decided to take matters into her own hands and go to a private clinic that does diagnostic testing like MRIs. Turns out the boss had a brain tumor. The 3 month wait would have been extremely detrimental.

I usually don't like to share anecdotes about the inferiority of the health care systems because it always becomes a game of oneupsmanship when talking to Canadians. However, I thought that story illustrates the point nicely.

Here's a great link of the whole socialized medicine mess:

Socialized Medicine

At 8/05/2005 12:14 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

Ace, I am sorry to hear that your mother needs to wait so long. How pathetic. Yes, I have had Canadians tell me that one american goes bankrupt every 30 seconds for health care, etc. etc. It's amazing what they will spit out at you as "fact." The fact is, we do have free healthcare here for the poor, it's called Medicaid. Fact is, we provide healthcare for the elderly, it's called Medicare. Furthermore, it is illegal in the US to deny anyone health care in an emergency room, regardless of ability to pay!

In my opinion, this country is far too generous. If you refuse to work or pay for health care, then it's reasonable to be denied care. You would quickly find out how fast people would be willing to afford health care here and it would become cheaper for all, as now the have's subsidize the have not's. Thanks for the great link.


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