FREDERICTON (GNB) – Membership of the transition adjustment committee tasked with helping the Belledune region has been finalized.

The committee was created by the provincial government to assist employees of the Brunswick smelter, which is expected to close at the end of the year, resulting in more than 400 direct job losses. The committee’s work will be based in Belledune.

“I thank the people who have agreed to help these employees, their families and the entire region recover from this upsetting development,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “Their contributions will be most welcome as we work together on a plan to support the affected individuals and the community as a whole.”

The committee members will represent the private sector, economic development groups, the employer, employees and the community.

Private sector representatives:

  • Barry Kyle
  • Serge Landry
  • Roger Clinch
  • Duane Woods

Economic development representatives:

  • André Frenette
  • Anick Chouinard
  • Herb Emery
  • Gaëtan Thomas
  • Denis Roy

Community representatives:

  • David Peter-Paul
  • Sasha Labillois
  • Joe Noel
  • Denis Savoie

Employer and employee representatives:

  • Alexis Segal
  • Bart Dempsey

The committee will be supported by ex-officio members represented by officials from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Opportunities NB, the Regional Development Cooperation and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

It was announced last week that Denis Caron would chair the committee.

“The region is looking for long-term solutions to the challenges we face as a result of the closure of the smelter,” said Caron. “Residents and leaders know there are both short-term and long-term needs we want to address to make our region successful for the future.”

Caron said the committee’s first meeting will be next week, and the group is already planning a job fair for the region, to be held Dec. 17.

There are also two working groups: one group will focus on supporting the transition of affected workers to other opportunities within the workforce, while the other will support private sector economic development opportunities in the northern region.