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Nova Scotia to ease spring weight restrictions to assist forestry sector

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Nova Scotia’s Transportation Department is looking to help forestry contractors affected by the closure of the Northern Pulp mill by selectively easing some spring weight restrictions on secondary roads.

Companies looking to move wood or forestry equipment over short distances can now apply for a special move permit, which the department is calling a short-term measure to help keep people in the sector working.

READ MORE: N.S. seeks to reinvigorate the forestry sector by converting public buildings to wood heating

The department says it will allow the use of some provincial roads on a case-by-case basis, based on road and weather conditions.

The change regarding weight restrictions was put in place after the issue was raised by the province’s Forestry Transition Team, which is exploring ways to assist the industry.

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READ MORE: Economic fallout of Northern Pulp closure will cut deep in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County

Some operators have said that they could face a full-blown crisis as a result of the annual road closures, which typically occur in early March.

Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines says special permits have been considered in the past, and most of the requests have come from the forestry sector.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2020.

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