HALIFAX: Workers and business owners affected by the closure of Northern Pulp will be able to attend public information sessions.

The Government of Nova Scotia is working with Service Canada and Nova Scotia Works to hold open houses for those who wish to access employment programs and services, whether they are currently unemployed or are planning ahead.

On January 16, Career Connections in Antigonish will host an open house. For more information, call 1-844-344-1369 or e-mail: information@careerconnections.ca. Times and locations will be posted at: https://www.novascotia.ca/forestry-sector-support as they are confirmed. Attendees are encouraged to register for the open houses in advance using the contact information provided.

People can access services like career coaching, job search assistance and training. Funding may also be available to help people find another job or get more training. They can also get information about Employment Insurance.

The province said it is also working with Regional Enterprise Networks and other community economic development partners to host information sessions for local businesses across the province. Businesses that may be impacted will hear about current opportunities in their region and activities in support of the forestry sector. They will also have an opportunity to share their ideas. Details of these sessions will be shared soon.

A confidential, toll-free line is now open to help anyone in need of emotional support as a result of the pending closure of the Northern Pulp mill. Government is partnering with Morneau Shepell to deliver the service. People can call the free support line at 1-866-885-6540. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When calling the line, people will receive professional counselling support and/or a referral to resources in their community. Morneau Shepell is a provider of human resources services that focus on supporting the clients’ mental, physical and social well-being.

On December 24, a toll-free line (1-888-315-0110) opened for individuals with immediate needs and questions. To date, more than 200 calls have been answered. This line will remain open to continue to provide information tailored to individual needs including emergency assistance funding, and employment and training opportunities

Information sessions with Northern Pulp employees were held January 6, and led by Employment Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Works, Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and Service Canada staff.

The government has also launched a Forestry Sector Support Web site at: https://www.novascotia.ca/forestry-sector-support.