Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford has responded to a petition put forward by residents of the Town of Fort Frances.
The petition was submitted to Rickford's office on Tuesday with over 2,000 signatures asking for the province to enforce the license agreement it has with Resolute Forest Products and the Crossroute Forest.
Rickford reassures the community that a successful bidder acquiring the mill property will have access to wood fibre materials. He says, "If Repap, or any other bidder, was to successfully execute an agreement with Resolute Forest and the sale of that asset, wood rights will be available in the Crossroutes Forest."
"The Forestry Management Plan that is up for renewal in 2020 will, in a larger scale, ensure that will be an opportunity for them to access a greater allocation of wood fibre," says Rickford.
He also expressed his displeasure with Resolute requiring potential bidders to sign non-disclosure agreements that prevented them to speak with the provincial government. He says he personally has put an end to that.
The MPP said he is focused on getting the mill re-open and ensuring that the community's interests in the Crossroute Forest are protected.