Paris neighbourhood ‘should be in favour’ of Olymel plant closure

PARIS, ONT. After 27 years in Paris, Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc. will close its doors on Dec. 22.

The announcement was made on Wednesday in a statement released by Olymel, the Quebec company that acquired Pinty’s in 2018.

“We were in the situation where we had two plants, but neither were working at full capacity,” said Richard Vigneault, corporate communications spokesperson for Olymel. “We unfortunately decided to close the Paris plant and concentrate all our capacity in further processing at the Oakville plant.”

Around 93 affected employees from the Paris site — which prepares chicken products for bulk distribution — have been offered the opportunity to relocate to other locations in Oakville, Brampton or Port Colborne.

Josh Emilson, who has worked at the Paris location for two years and is on leave for an injury, said the news was “very sudden” and that many employees aren’t willing or able to commute the hour-plus drive to the other plants.

After opening at 20 Scott Ave. in 1996, Pinty’s expanded the facility multiple times over the years and made a zoning bylaw amendment application in June 2022 that would allow it to expand by another 31,000 square feet.

At the time, nearby neighbours expressed concerns to council, stating they were already contending with, “a constant 24-7 hum of noise and odour,” from the plant. “We want Olymel to be a successful company with all the things that come with that success. We do not want it to be at our expense,” their statement said.

The investment needed to upgrade the equipment to address the complaints was not working in favour of staying in Paris, said Vigneault. “I think the neighbourhood should be in favour of this decision.”

Olymel announced additional closures, including the Princeville, Que., plant and an accelerated closure of a Quebec distribution centre. “This is a business decision taken with the perspective of what’s best for the whole company,” Vigneault said.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator