TRURO, N.S. – The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce described the impending closure of the Tandus Centiva factory as “troubling news,” for the local community.
“Our immediate concern is for the more than 240 people who have had their world turned upside down by this news and we are working with stakeholders in the community to assist them during this difficult time,” said Chamber president Ron Smith in a release Thursday. “These are not just employment statistics, these are moms and dads, families rooted in this community being impacted.”
The chamber believes the closure, announced April 16, will have a major financial impact on the local economy, both in lost income and from a lack of service and supply chain resources in both Colchester County and beyond.
With Tandus Centiva just months away from shutting down, the Chamber is also worried about the forecasted closure of the RCMP Operational Communication Centre, which is anticipated to put 55 people out of work in Truro.
The Chamber is closely monitoring the situation with Northern Pulp’s mill in neighbouring Pictou County, where a possible closure could result in thousands of job losses in the forestry industry across the province.
Tarkett North America, which owns the Tandus Centiva plant, did not share its reasons for relocating to Georgia during a discussion with officials at the site on Wednesday afternoon.
But Smith said the provincial government has a responsibility to acknowledge the competitiveness of Nova Scotia’s taxes and regulations impacting the business climate to entice expansion or creation of new enterprises.
“We expect our government to demonstrate leadership to support business proactively in ensuring our region and our province is an attractive place to start or grow a business and attract investment,” said Smith.
In his view, the province had to address the regulatory and tax burdens on business and investors. While Colchester County still enjoys a robust economy, provincial taxes are some of Canada’s highest.
Meantime, the Chamber is continuing to support both Tarkett North America and its workers during the transition period.
“We are continuing to see such positive growth in this region and we know there are good jobs available here,” said Smith. “With our diverse economy and supports from government and private sector it is our greatest hope to see all of these skilled, talented workers find work and remain in our community.”