Apple producer forced into bankruptcy

Ashley Thompson
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This photo was taken when Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley visited J.W. Mason and Sons Ltd. on June 26. (File photo)

A long-standing Hants County employer has been forced into bankruptcy.

A restructuring plan drafted with the revitalization of J.W. Mason and Sons Ltd. apple growing operations in mind was rejected by the company’s secured creditors earlier this week.

Details made public by the CBC said the secured creditors were owed $7.8 million.

West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee says the loss of Mason Apples will be felt by many within a community that has already been hard hit by the impending closures of the Minas Basin Pulp and Power Mill in Hantsport, and Sepracor Canada in Windsor.

“It will have a huge impact,” he said, speaking of the bankruptcy of Mason Apples.

“I mean, there’s 30 employees that would have been just laid off in the plant and [at] picking time I’m sure there’s over 100 employees.”

Dauphinee says Mason Apples was a source of steady employment for many people who would rather not pursue post secondary studies.

“Some of them have worked there their whole working career.”

The family-owned business, with a large packing facility and offices on the Windsor Back Road, was founded in 1939.

Mason Apples spokesperson Stephen Wells, one of three brothers who share ownership of the company, refrained from getting into specifics in an interview, but did offer a comment on behalf of his business partners.

“The only thing we can say is that we’re very disappointed in this outcome,” he said.

A bookkeeper for Mason Apples and its former sister company, Select Transport, stole nearly $290,000 from the privately owned companies between October 2007 and September 2009.

Last November, Clarke Road Transport Inc., of Halifax, acquired Select Transport’s operating assets through a bankruptcy sale.

 

Organizations: J.W. Mason and Sons, CBC, Sepracor Canada Select Transport Clarke Road Transport

Geographic location: Hants County, Hantsport, Windsor Back Road Halifax

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  • Jack
    December 08, 2012 - 13:08

    Due to the recent string of job losses in rural Nova Scotia, especially great quality jobs in Lunenburg, Hants, and Pictou counties, the Dexter Government has to make a more diligent effort to bring and retain major employers in rural Nova Scotia or these workers will go to Alberta Oil Patch or Labrador Iron Belt where great paying and stable jobs are available. Some companies on the dishonour roll of job losses include Canadian Salt Company in Pugwash with 42 jobs, Sepracor in Windsor with 32 job losses, Nova Forge in Trenton with 32 job losses, Lunenburg County Recycling Centre with 19 job losses, Scotsburn Dairy with 11 job losses, and now J. W. Mason and Sons with 30 jobs. If the Dexter Government doesn't stop rural Nova Scotia's economic bleeding, then you'll hear more highly skilled employees moving to Alberta or Newfoundland where they have high paying and long term jobs. Premier Dexter, you have a choice, either you find ways to keep or grow jobs in rural Nova Scotia or continue to lose our hard working people to Alberta (Oil Patch) and Newfoundland (Labrador Iron Belt) and they will never come back. Secondly, the Nova Scotia Government should have a law banning layoffs and plant closure announcements between November 15 and January 15 as Nova Scotians have enough stress during this time of year with Christmas Season, and don't want to worry about job losses heading into the holidays. No more hollowing of Rural Nova Scotia.

  • Jack
    December 08, 2012 - 12:58

    Due to the recent string of job losses in rural Nova Scotia, especially great quality jobs in Lunenburg, Hants, and Pictou counties, the Dexter Government has to make a more diligent effort to bring and retain major employers in rural Nova Scotia or these workers will go to Alberta Oil Patch or Labrador Iron Belt where great paying and stable jobs are available. Some companies on the dishonour roll of job losses include Canadian Salt Company in Pugwash with 42 jobs, Sepracor in Windsor with 32 job losses, Nova Forge in Trenton with 32 job losses, Lunenburg County Recycling Centre with 19 job losses, Scotsburn Dairy with 11 job losses, and now J. W. Mason and Sons with 30 jobs. If the Dexter Government doesn't stop rural Nova Scotia's economic bleeding, then you'll hear more highly skilled employees moving to Alberta or Newfoundland where they have high paying and long term jobs. Premier Dexter, you have a choice, either you find ways to keep or grow jobs in rural Nova Scotia or continue to lose our hard working people to Alberta (Oil Patch) and Newfoundland (Labrador Iron Belt) and they will never come back. Secondly, the Nova Scotia Government should have a law banning layoffs and plant closure announcements between November 15 and January 15 as Nova Scotians have enough stress during this time of year with Christmas Season, and don't want to worry about job losses heading into the holidays. No more hollowing of Rural Nova Scotia.