In 2009, the government under the leadership of Danny Williams expropriated the paper mill and property previously owned by Abitibi Consolidated.
One of the first moves by the government was turn off the heat and steam that was still keeping the former paper mill from environmental damage done by mold. Prior to the expropriation of the mill I asked a former member of management why is Abitibi keeping the heat and steam on in the former mill. Answer, if, the mill were ever sold there would be no environmental damage (mold) throughout the mill. My question is, once the government had the property did they have any intention of find an owner for the mill? If, so, why did they turn off the heat and steam.
Recently I did an interview with CBC about the future of the Grand Falls House, and it is depressing to say and people agree with me that the government hasn't got too much interest in promoting this house as a part of our heritage.
If this house were in St. John's there would be a bronze plaque already on the entrance going up to the property.
The owners of this house and the former paper mill are responsible for billions going into our economy throughout the whole province. Since 2009, our elected officials, municipal and provincial have been very low-key about the future of this house.
I hope the new members that were just recently elected to council will be more vocal than the past council about the future of the Grand Falls House.
I will pay close attention to Councillor Pinsent because he was a member of a group that was against the town's location for a hotel on the banks of the Exploits, not against the hotel being built in the town but being built on contaminated soil.
I was told that next week the council will tour the premises and I hope and so do many townspeople that the right decision will be made.
William Coaker, a former politician and Founder of the Fishermen's Protective Union and the Fishermen's Trading Co., a building that once housed the Fishermen's Advocate in Port Union (Coaker's Home Town), is now under restoration. I ask, how much money is the NL government putting into this project? Did the Fishermen's Union and Trading Co. put billons into the provincial economy like the Harmsworth Brothers paper mill? I doubt it very much.
So, I think Minister Susan Sullivan and Mayor Allan Hawkins must show their leadership and be more vocal regardless of their political positions and lead the way.
The (provincial) government turned off the heat and steam and let the paper mill deteriorate. Is this the same plan they have for the Grand Falls House?