Bye, bye bologna and doeskins: the decline of forestry on the South Shore

Larsens and Maple Leaf better keep an eye on their bologna sales.

CBC Nova Scotia is reporting the Bowater paper mill outside of Liverpool is shutting down for a fourth spell.  (Gosh have they even been OPEN this summer?)  It’s not just a sad thing for the workers employed with this particular mill… it’s another knock against a way of life.

In fact, reports are, the company wants to take a million tonnes off the market, toying with the supply and demand principle.  As a result, there are “rotating shutdowns” at its operations.  Which is bureaucratese for “go take turns on the pogey line.”

It’s all very sad for an area dominated by forestry.  Contrary to popular myth, Nova Scotia is not built entirely on the fishery.  Many industries have fuelled the province’s growth including logging.  This is especially true of New Germany, where Christmas trees and logging are king, second only to Michelin in terms of putting money into our pockets.

The decline of the industry is bad news for the South Shore.  The fisheries have long dried up (just ask Lunenburg) and forestry is no doubt following behind.

It means many face losing their jobs.  Loggers who cut the wood.  Truckers who haul the wood to mills.  Millworkers who process it.  Truckers who take the chips, and paper, and lumber out of the plant.  Employees who sell the products.  Businesses who sell things to all these works.

For the South Shore, it will result in fewer pickups sold, along with less harvesting equipment, fewer hours in servicing all those products–and of course, less bolonga for sandwiches and doeskins for those cold mornings.  I mean seriously, doeskin manufacturers must be shaking in their boots.

All of this for an area steeped in logging lore.  After all, my father works in the woods, harvesting and hauling wood to the roadside.  And my mother’s father used to be a cook in the Mersey camps, back when men went away for months at a time to cut wood.

Like the fishing industry, the loss of the forestry industry does not bode well for Nova Scotia–and especially, for small towns like New Germany.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Very good article. I am dealing with many of
    these issues as well..

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