Strait Area's Newest Business: Federal Gypsum

Jul 22, 2004

DUNDEE (July 22, 2004) – The Point Tupper Industrial Park has a new tenant – Federal Gypsum Company. The plant will produce the province’s first made-in-Nova Scotia gypsum wallboard.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), the Cape Breton Growth Fund (CBGF), the Office of Economic Development, and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) have partnered to help support Federal Gypsum’s operations.

Mike Simpson, President and CEO of Federal Gypsum Company, announced Thursday at the Dundee Resort in Richmond County that his company will begin operating in the Strait Area by the fall of 2005, and will employ 80 people.   

“We were initially attracted by the established workforce, geographic location, and abundant resources,” said Mr. Simpson. “We’ve been impressed with the business interest shown by the people of the area. We are excited by the business opportunity ahead of us. We look forward to working with the community to become a key business fixture in the Strait Area.”  

Joining Mr. Simpson for Thursday’s announcement were Ernie Fage, Minister of Economic Development; Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament, Cape Breton-Canso; Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Heritage; Stephen Lund, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc.; Gail Johnson, Warden of the Municipality of the County of Richmond; and Billy Joe MacLean, Chair of the Mayors and Wardens Committee for the Strait Area.

“This is an example of the province’s economic growth strategy — Opportunities for Prosperity —  at work,” said Economic Development Minister Ernie Fage, on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. “It also highlights the importance, in the strategy, our government places on building regional economies in rural areas. We welcome the business expertise the Simpson family brings to Nova Scotia.”

The total project is worth $15.5 million. NSBI is supporting it with a $4.5-million term loan. The Cape Breton Growth Fund is contributing a $3-million repayable loan, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is adding $500,000, and the Office of Economic Development is contributing toward the total project with a $1-million term loan.

“This is an exciting day for the community and for all of Cape Breton. As the Member of Parliament for this area, I am pleased to see this facility open. This means opportunities for higher-paying, skilled employment. With support from the Cape Breton Growth Fund and ECBC, this facility represents the economic diversification taking hold across the Island,” said Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner.
“This will be the first plant to produce gypsum wallboard in Nova Scotia. Federal Gypsum has an excellent business case, will add value to a key resource, and will create significant employment for the area – reasons why NSBI is proud to support the company,” said Stephen Lund, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc.  “I want to thank our federal, provincial, and municipal partners who have been involved with the work from start of the process almost two years ago.”   

“Richmond County is excited to welcome our newest employer – and neighbor – to the Point Tupper Industrial Park,” said Gail Johnson, Warden of the Municipality of the County of Richmond. “The creation of 80 jobs will make a significant contribution to our economy.”

“Federal Gypsum is another example of a company that sees the business advantages that the Strait provides,” said Billy Joe MacLean, Chair of the Mayors and Warden’s Committee for the Strait Area. “Our community welcomes the Simpson family and Federal Gypsum to the area.”

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business-development agency, an organization that works with companies to deliver business solutions. The private sector-led organization works to attract new businesses to the province, and helps those already in Nova Scotia expand, through services such as export development and financing.

The Cape Breton Growth Fund (CBGF) is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia, and has a mandate to assist in the transition of the Cape Breton economy. To date, the CBGF has invested $56 million, creating more than 3,000 jobs.