OTTAWA, Jan. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - I sympathise with White Birch Paper retirees. Let me tell you what I went through with the CCAA.
I worked for 39 years at the Thurso paper plant. I worked both the night shift and the day shift and this was detrimental to my health. Now that I have retired and should be able to derive some benefit from all those hours spent fighting off sleep, the Ontario Court of Justice has deprived me of that entitlement in the interest of a multinational company.
On January 6th, 2009, the Brookfield Asset Management company, which already had a controlling interest (60%) in Fraser Papers, acquired 16.3 million common shares and 81.5 million stock purchase warrants worth $120 million which gave it a 75% interest in Fraser Papers. Six months later, yes only six months later and after buying $120 million worth of stock, Brookfield Asset Management asked the Ontario Court of Justice to place Fraser Papers under bankruptcy protection and the Court agreed to do so. Strange!
The Fraser Papers plant in Thurso was sold to Fortress Paper. The Fraser Papers plant in New Brunswick which, according to Brookfield Asset Management, was not profitable was placed under bankruptcy protection by itself. Today, the controlling owner of the plant is still Brookfield but the plant is running under the name Twin Rivers. Strange!
The Thurso paper plant managed by Fortress has suddenly become profitable and the Twin River Papers plant in New Brunswick, managed by none other that Brookfield, the company that filed for bankruptcy protection on its behalf in June 2009, has also suddenly become profitable. Strange!
The Ontario Court of Justice has condemned us, the retirees, to pay for part of the debts of Fraser Papers with our pension fund. Let it be quite clear that this reduces our income by about 40% for the rest of our lives. Imagine having your salary cut by 40% overnight with no hope of ever seeing it increase again while expenses such as taxes, electricity, gas, etc. keep increasing. And all this in order to pay off creditors such as banks! Strange!
Today, while Brookfield Asset Management, which by the way has a portfolio of $150 BILLION, continues to make millions of dollars of profits at its Twin Rivers plant, we also have become victims of Brookfield. We have had to say goodbye to our well-deserved retirement dreams, our leisure activities and our children's inheritance.
Unfortunately, justice is such that it gives the rich the right to use the laws to steal from the less fortunate.
For further information: