Mr. Speaker, we have just learned that the new Abitibi-Consolidated, a merger of Stone Consolidated and Abitibi-Price, has decided to locate its head office in Montreal.
Abitibi-Consolidated is thus joining other companies like Avenor, Donohue, Tembec, Cascades and Kruger, which also have their head offices in Montreal. This good news means that Montreal can consolidate its role as a major player in the pulp and paper industry.
The new company, whose annual sales top $4 billion, becomes the world's top producer of newsprint; 54 per cent of its jobs will be divided among 14 plants set up in Quebec.
In addition, the presence of numerous other head offices of paper manufacturers, forestry research and training centres, and the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, is a clear indication of Montreal's strong position in the pulp and paper sector.
We are delighted at this news and welcome Abitibi-Consolidated to Montreal.