News Release Archive

ABT Canada Ltd. has plenty of reasons to celebrate this year:
1997 marks the 30th year of operation for the East River Plant,
and the company is throwing a party for its 340 employees in
honour of the occasion.

The manufacturing plant's recent performance and future expansion
plans also represent milestones in the company's history. "Sales
are excellent due to the strong Canadian economy and positive
international sales growth," said Kevin Publicover, controller at
the East River Plant, near Chester.

The company is confident the strong performance will continue and
is investing $1 million in new equipment. The province is
contributing another $500,000 toward the project through the
Shipper Assistance Program administered by Economic Development
and Tourism.

"The East River plant is another example of how small Nova Scotia
companies are competing and winning around the world," said
Richie Mann, minister of economic development and tourism. "Our
support of ABT Canada Ltd. demonstrates the strong partnership we
have with Nova Scotia businesses. We are optimistic that this
partnership will continue to stimulate growth and create jobs."

ABT Canada manufactures hardboard door facings, siding and wall
panelling for customers throughout Canada, the United States and
overseas. Parent company ABT Building Products Corp. of Wisconsin
bought the plant, formerly known as Canexel, in 1994 as ABT was
looking to expand internationally.

The purchase is proving to be good news for both the plant and
the company. This latest upgrade involves the installation of an
automated conveyor, painting and oven system that will be used to
paint hardboard. An existing system is used to paint door facings
and wall panelling; it runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Because we're at full capacity, we've been sending our hardboard
to third parties outside the province for finishing," said Mr.
Publicover. "With the new paint line, we'll be able to
manufacture the hardboard and paint it on our premises."

Keeping the entire product line in Nova Scotia is important for
several reasons, he said. "We'll have more capacity, and we'll be
more flexible."

The paint line is expected to be operating by mid-November and
will likely be staffed by four people per shift.

Before then, there's a celebration to plan: "We're hosting the
event in honour of our employees," said Mr. Publicover. "After 30
years, they're still turning out high-quality products. It's an
impressive history and one worth acknowledging."

Invitations for the July 12 event are being sent to about 700

The Shipper Assistance Program was established to help companies
that faced increased transportation costs when the federal
government cut the Atlantic Region Freight Assistance Program.
The program has helped about 40 businesses across the province so
far, with sufficient funding available to maintain the program
for at least another year.


Contact: Angela Poirier
         Economic Development and Tourism

         Phil Ellwood
         ABT Canada Ltd.

trp                       June 19, 1997 - 9:50 a.m.