LONDON, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. will invest hundreds of millions into building a fresh-poultry facility in London, Ont., but close three smaller plants in the province.
The protein company will invest an initial $605.5 million into the plant and an additional $5 million into related projects over the next five years, while $34.5 million will come from the Ontario government and an additional $28 million from the Canadian government.
The facility will span nearly 60,000 square metres and employ 1,450 full- and part-time workers once operations begin, which is expected in the second quarter of 2021. Construction will begin this spring.
Production from three of Maple Leaf’s other plants will eventually be consolidated into the new facility, the company said.
Its St. Marys plant is expected to close by late 2021 and its Toronto and Brampton facilities will close by in mid- to late-2022. Those plants are between 50 and 60 years old, the company said, and their location, footprint and infrastructure limit opportunities to expand and modernize to meet growing market demand.
“We deeply regret the impact that these eventual closures will have on our people and communities,” said Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain in a statement.
The company plans to provide those employees with job opportunities at the new facility or other plants it operates, he said, as well as services to help them eventually find new employment.
Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)
The Canadian Press