June 24, 2010
BLACKS HARBOUR (CNB) - The provincial government is making an investment to help Connors Bros. complete efficiency upgrades to its processing plant. Premier Shawn Graham made the announcement today.
Graham made the announcement during a tour of the plant with Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet; Nabil Salib, plant general manager and company vice-president; Tony Hooper, company vice-president; and Ron Schindler, company executive vice-president.
"This company has been a vital part of our provincial economy since the 1890s," said Graham. "As we move toward a self-sufficient future, our plan for lower taxes and our strategic investments in key industries are helping companies to jump into new markets and diversify their products. Connors Bros. is an important example of how the revitalization of a traditional industry can carry a company successfully into the future."
The provincial government is providing a $3-million forgivable loan as part of a $12-million project that will help maintain more than 1,000 jobs in southwestern New Brunswick.
Connors Bros. is one of Canada's oldest food producers and the largest producer of canned sardines worldwide. In 2004, the operations of Connors Bros. merged with those of Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC and Clover Leaf Seafoods Co.
"We are proud to call Blacks Harbour the Sardine Capital of the World," said Schindler. "The assistance from the province means we can continue to produce a variety of high-quality canned seafood to compete in a global market. This modernization initiative will improve plant efficiencies and working conditions while helping us become more energy-efficient. These changes will be good for business, for our employees and for our future."
The Blacks Harbour plant is the only sardine cannery in North America. Its various companies produce canned tuna, salmon, sardines, clams, oysters, other specialty seafood products and canned meat products to a global market.
"In New Brunswick, our people are our greatest resource," said Doucet. "Our government is pleased to support one of our province's oldest and most significant employers as it continues to improve this facility for its workers and to find innovative solutions to stay competitive in a dynamic world marketplace."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Ashley Bursey, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-461-0942, email@example.com; Mike Randall, communications, Connors Bros., 506-878-3025.