Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government is shutting down operations at a 65-year-old provincially run tree nursery it says is losing money – but the province’s largest union says that’s a mistake. Pineland Forest Nursery near Hadashville, Man., has been growing seedlings for the province for reforestation since 1953, according to its website.
The province announced it will end operations at the site by Dec. 31, and seek out a buyer. Going forward, future seedlings will be purchased through a tender process with private nurseries, a spokesperson for Manitoba Sustainable Development told CBC News in an email.
The closure will put eight full-time and 17 part-time staff out of work, plus seasonal workers, the province said in a release. The province said the nursery isn’t sustainable. According to the release, it’s been losing money for years. “Pineland Forest Nursery has recorded substantial operating losses over a number of years and the provincially operated model, as it currently exists, is not sustainable,” the release stated.
A provincial spokesperson said she couldn’t provide details about how big those losses were, or how much the province expects to save by selling the site off.
“The province is seeking to maximize the value of this asset through the upcoming RFP. Therefore any information that could be considered commercially sensitive or provide a competitive advantage cannot be provided outside of the RFP process,” she wrote in an email.
The closure is part of an ongoing value-for-money review across the provincial government. In the release, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen said potential Pineland buyers have “many options and opportunities.”
“The RFP is expected to generate significant interest, with opportunities for new and creative ventures in areas such as agriculture, horticulture or even cannabis production,” the release stated.
Source: CBC News