EEL RIVER CROSSING (GNB) – Léon Chouinard et Fils Ltée will be able to establish a new open joist flooring and beam factory in Eel River Crossing, thanks to investments from the provincial and federal governments.

The project will allow the company to produce its own open joist floor systems and beams, rather than importing them.

“With this investment, our government supports the creation of jobs in the Restigouche region, and especially for the manufacturing industry,” said Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault. “We support the workers of this important industry as they strive to build a better life for their families and their communities.”

Arseneault spoke on behalf of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bill Fraser, who is also responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund, and also on behalf of Economic Development Minister Rick Doucet.

“The government’s support will help Léon Chouinard et Fils develop its business while increasing its productivity and efficiency,” said Bernard Valcourt, federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “This project, which strengthens the region’s industrial sector, will create jobs and stimulate growth in this rural New Brunswick company and, as a result, further boost our region’s economy.”

Valcourt spoke on behalf of Rob Moore, minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The provincial government is contributing $200,000 through its Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund and $60,000 through the New Brunswick Growth Program. The federal government is providing a $500,000 repayable contribution from ACOA’s Business Development Program. The company is investing $240,000 in the project.

"Over the years, Leon Chouinard et Fils has continuously invested and focused on continuous improvement processes to meet the needs of its customers,” said Gilles Chouinard, president of the company. “This project will create many new jobs and will enable us to have a more complete range of products and better control over the quality and the delivery to our customers without having to rely on another manufacturer. It is important to acknowledge the support of the federal and provincial governments for this project. The collaboration with our governments allows our company to remain competitive.”

The company was established in 1977 by Léon Chouinard and his son, Jean Pierre. The business manufactures roof trusses, prefabricated wall panels, pre-assembled floor systems and baby barns. The company employs up to 69 full-time employees during its busiest period.