Minister of Natural Resources Responsible for financial challenges in the Hardwood Sawmill Sector (August 20, 2007)
In a Notice of Application filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice this morning, the owner of Boniferro Mill Works, Jim Boniferro, is claiming that the Minister of Natural Resources’ admitted practice of over-charging on stumpage fees is jeopardizing the financial viability and operation of his company and therefore 50 Sault Ste Marie jobs. “The Minister of Natural Resources acknowledged that there are significant issues with the stumpage fees with respect to residual value charges to hardwood mill operators and that he would look for a solution,” said Boniferro. “It is months later, the viability and operation of our company and 50 Sault Ste Marie jobs are at stake and still the Minister has done nothing to correct the system.” The Notice of Application claims that the Minister of Natural Resources and provincial government has not ever had the authority to collect the residual value tax and therefore the stumpage fees that have been paid by Boniferro Mill Works to date be should refunded. “Everyone is working together to keep this mill profitable and productive,” said Ken Matilla, Chair of Steelworkers Local IWA-1000. “Now is the time for the Minister of Natural Resources to do his part, realize the fees he collected are wrong and refund the money.” Boniferro Mill Works, located in Sault Ste Marie, produces high quality, forest products for the market from a valuable, renewable and sustainable forest resource through continuous secondary research and recognized forest management.