A Dartmouth-based life sciences company is creating new opportunities for some of Nova Scotia’s brightest graduates and seasoned professionals. Precision BioLogic Inc. is expanding its Dartmouth operations and plans to create up to 30 jobs in the next five years. The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) is supporting the company’s growth plans with a five-year payroll rebate for up to a maximum of $445,029. “Precision BioLogic is a homegrown company that is reaching markets around the globe,” said Minister of Economic and Rural Development Percy Paris. “The company is creating high-quality career opportunities for Nova Scotians and we couldn’t be happier to partner with them.” Precision BioLogic is one of many companies participating in BioPort Atlantic 2009, a conference held by the Nova Scotia Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Association which starts tonight until Sept. 24. “We’re excited to be growing our business here in Nova Scotia,” said Michael Scott, CEO and chairman, Precision BioLogic. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and our superior customer service. This focus, in conjunction with our dedicated employees, is a key reason for our continued growth.” Precision BioLogic develops, manufactures and markets diagnostic products used to test blood clotting abnormalities. Patients waiting for surgical procedures as well as those with a high risk of heart attack or stroke benefit from these types of tests. The company is known worldwide for its innovative and high quality products. “Precision BioLogic is building on Nova Scotia’s strengths -innovative business, skilled and talented people, and competitive success in export markets around the world,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Business Inc. Marli MacNeil, CEO of BioNova, the province’s life sciences association said news of the expansion is evidence of the potential for the province’s industry. “This is good news for the entire industry,” she said. “Precision BioLogic is one our life sciences pioneers and it has set a standard for excellence that does all Nova Scotians proud.” BioPort Atlantic is an annual conference featuring life science business leaders and scientists, government representatives, entrepreneurs and investors, innovators and students from North America and abroad. More details can be found at www.bionova.ca . Precision BioLogic designs, develops, manufactures and markets specialized medical products used to diagnose blood coagulation disorders. Its products are used in more than 1,000 laboratories across Canada, the United States and Europe. For more information, visit www.precisionbiologic.com . Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia’s private-sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment-attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital. Go to www.novascotiabusiness.com for more details.
The Canadian-U.S. softwood battle is putting the squeeze on one eastern company with a unique vulnerability to such disputes — its operations cross the border between the two countries.Headquartered in Maine with significant New Brunswick operations, the Twin Rivers Paper Co. operates integrated pulp and paper mills connected by pipelines crossing the St. John River. One pipeline carries pulp from Edmundston, N.B., to the paper plant, while another transports steam between facilities. Wood chips and biomass from Canadian sawmills help generate the steam used to make pulp.Twin Rivers President Ken Winterhalter says recently imposed duties — which total nearly 27 per cent — will drastically raise the costs of the wood chips and biomass, threatening jobs in both countries.“Increased costs have the potential to destroy the financial viability of the Madawaska paper mill and eliminate thousands of jobs in northern Maine,” he wrote in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.Twin Rivers is a major employer for the New Brunswick city of Edmundston. It is also the biggest business in the Maine town of Madawaska, which has a population of just 4,000.Edmundston Mayor Cyrille Simard said in an interview that the two towns are closely connected because of the mills, with some employees crossing the border daily to get to work.“There’s a lot of preoccupation in the community because this could have an impact, and the importance of the forestry sector is tremendous.”Simard said it is helpful to have Maine Gov. Paul LePage in New Brunswick’s corner in requesting the U.S. government exclude the province from softwood duties, as has been the case over three decades.The Republican governor has urged the U.S. administration not to disrupt the lumber trade between Maine and the border provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, arguing it would hurt good-paying jobs.“As we like to say in Maine: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the governor wrote earlier this month in a letter to Ross.Like U.S. President Donald Trump, LePage has a reputation for making controversial comments that generate widespread criticism.“I know the way he (LePage) does business and maybe this is the kind of language that some people in the White House understand in a better way,” said Simard.New Brunswick wants to be treated the same way as the other Atlantic provinces, which Ross said this week are likely to be excluded from duties when a final determination is made this summer.Twin Rivers general manager Gilbert Carre says the company isn’t seeking any special concessions.“We’re just asking that we be treated the same way that we were treated in the past and be totally excluded.”Edmundston Chamber of Commerce president Luc Michaud said businesses are taking the challenges in stride in part because the pulp and paper industry, including Twin Rivers, has faced layoffs and bankruptcy over the last 25 years.“People are already acquainted with bad news about Twin Rivers,” he said.