Transcontinental has proposed creating 100 jobs … but not without Publisac

Transcontinental is proposing to invest 45 million in eastern Montreal and create 100 jobs there at the end of 2019, on the condition that Montreal allow it to continue distributing Publisac, it has learned. Journalism.


Hugo Juncas

Hugo Juncas
Journalism

Philip Facilitator Lessard

Philip Facilitator Lessard
Journalism

The advertising notebook, which the city could fix its fate in the coming months, has been the subject of an intense mass lobbying campaign … and behind the scenes.

According to a document obtained by Transcontinental Journalism, the company put a plastics recycling plant in the balance in an effort to persuade Plant management to keep the regulatory status quo on the flyers. “Provided that the current distribution method is maintained, we are proposing to the City of Montreal: a major investment in the circular plastic economy that will make Montreal a leader in this field,” notes the document Transcontinental provided to Mayor Plante on December 2, 2019, according to the company.

At the same time, the committee of elected municipal officials who had been considering the future of Publicisak had finished its work. Three days later, she made her recommendations, which were largely unfavorable to the company.

In addition to creating jobs, the company proposed in its document to “increase the plastic recycling rate in Quebec from 35% to 55%.”

Anti-Publisac recommendations

On December 5, 2019, the Standing Committee on Water, Environment, Sustainable Development and Large City Parks adopted 10 recommendations resulting from the consultation. First: It is not possible to place the printed advertisement in front of the property unless the resident expressly expresses his desire, and that the advertisement books are not wrapped in plastic bags whose contents must be emptied at the sorting center.

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Meanwhile, Transcontinental took Denis Coderre’s salary as part of a second term of “strategic advice”. He said on November 3 that his advice was to set up a new recycling plant. asked by Journalism Ahead of the November 6 and 7 polls, Dennis Coudrey asserted that he was “not at all” behind this “conditional” investment strategy. He insisted “neither near nor far” through his press secretary, Elizabeth LeMay.

Two years later, the city didn’t finally budge on the Publisac dossier, but the Executive Committee was due to introduce an internal bill in June. Mayor Valerie Blunt finally decided to wait for the election to lead him.

Jean-Francois Barenteau, the outgoing mayor of Verdun and in charge of the file on the executive committee of the previous administration, said in an interview with Journalism. The decision came from the mayor’s office. ”

Jean-François Barenteau did not run for re-election on 6 and 7 November.

“Save the environment”

In a letter to Journalism, Transcontinental explains that the company wanted to share its project for a new recycling plant with the mayor at the December 2019 meeting, “noting that it wants to invest in an enabling environment where there will be Publisacs for recycling and manufacturing.”

According to our information, the CEO of the company, François Olivier, as well as its chairwoman, Isabelle Marco, were present during the meeting, which turned out to be tense.

At the same time, the company was also considering setting up its plant in the United States, according to a source familiar with the matter who wants to remain anonymous because it has signed a confidentiality agreement.

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In a press briefing during the final week of the campaign, Dennis Coudrey also mentioned this possibility when he tried to explain the mandate he took for Transcontinental, from 2019 to 2021.

“East of Montreal, there was a factory that we wanted to set up, and then we had the choice between Montreal and then on the US side. So I gave the advice,” Denis Coudrey said during a press meeting on November 3.

bankrupt factory restart

The city did not follow up on the December 2019 meeting with senior management across continents. In June 2020, Transcontinental nevertheless acquired the Enviroplast recycling plant in the Anjou region. Subsequently, the activities of this facility, which were suspended for several months after the bankruptcy of the previous owner, were able to resume work.

The company says it invested “several million of its own money” in the acquisition, “betting on Montreal, without guaranteeing that the city will not ban Publisac.”

Transcontinental declines to say more about how much it ultimately invested, and the company’s most recent annual report provides some details on the matter. He only mentions the 2.4 million acquisition cost of the plant, “excluding any consideration to be paid which is dependent on achieving operational performance based on annual production of recycled plastics”.

“We have since invested several million dollars in new equipment, which allows us to not only manufacture recycled plastic pellets for Publisac, but also to use these recycled pellets in our products manufactured in our plants in the United States,” explains François Tachero, Vice President Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Transcontinental.

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Transcontinental says it employs 125 people in its recycling and packaging plants in eastern Montreal.

The company also adds that it has invested $1 million in a machine to make paper envelopes. Transcontinental says it prints 24,000 per week, for buildings where home entrance doors are located.

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