J. D. Irving
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J.D. Irving Limited is a privately owned conglomerate company headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Its activities include many industries: forestry, paper products, agriculture, food processing, transportation, shipbuilding. The company forms, with Irving Oil and Brunswick News, the bulk of the Irving Group of companies, which regroups the interests of the Irving family.
JDI traces its roots to a sawmill operated in Bouctouche, New Brunswick by its namesake, James Dargavel Irving. J.D. Irving's operations were entrusted to his children, one of which, Kenneth Colin Irving, assumed majority ownership and used JDI as a springboard for expanding into pulp and paper and other forestry-related businesses between the 1920s-1940s.
In the post-war years, JDI took control of pulp mills in Saint John and upstate New York, as well as sawmills throughout New Brunswick. During the 1950s, JDI took control of a shipyard in Saint John and started several trucking companies and heavy industry companies like Irving Equipment to satisfy the growing needs of the company.
From the 1960s-2000s, JDI expanded to become the largest forestry concern in the Maritimes and northern Maine and the region's largest industrial player, with extensive land holdings, tree nurseries, pulp mills (plants producing kraft pulp, supercalendered paper, tissue products, and corrugated medium), sawmills, a retail chain of home improvement stores (Kent Building Supplies), modular home construction (Kent Homes), industrial construction, wallboard manufacturing, marine towing and dredging (Atlantic Towing), prefabricated concrete (StresCon), steel fabrication (Ocean Steel), frozen food production (Cavendish Farms), fertilizer and agri-services (Cavendish Agri-Services), railways (New Brunswick Southern Railway), and manufacturing of personal care products including tissue and paper towels (Majesta and Royale) as well as diapers (Irving Personal Care).
In the 1970s and 1980s, JDI expanded into trucking with its Scot Truck subsidiary based in Debert, NS. Now called Midland Transport and based in Dieppe, NB, it is joined by sister companies Midland Courier (Dieppe), Sunbury Transport (Fredericton) and RST Industries (Saint John).
As a large regional industrial conglomerate, J.D. Irving Ltd. subsidiaries have been the focus of several notable incidents:
- In 1970 an oil barge named the Irving Whale sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence causing periodic oil spills until it was raised by the federal government in 1996.
- In 2007 the Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd. mill at Reversing Falls accidentally released 680,000 litres of green liquor into the Saint John River; pleading guilty, the company received a fine of $50,000. In November 2008 Environment Canada investigators exercised a search warrant at Irving Pulp & Paper's head office to seek more information on this accidental spill.
- In November 2008 JDI Logistics and Atlantic Towing made the news over an accident involving the transport of 2 new turbines from Saint John Harbour to the nearby Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. The JDI subsidiaries had been sub-contracted by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, prime sub-contractor for refitting the nuclear plant for the facility's owner NB Power. The 2 turbines were manufactured by Siemens AG in Scotland and were shipped to Saint John on a road transport vehicle aboard a cargo ship. The cargo was off-loaded under the supervision of JDI Logistics from the ship onto a barge owned by Atlantic Towing Ltd., however the cargo shifted and the barge tipped, sending the turbines and the road transport vehicle into Saint John Harbour, adding to the delays for the refit of the nuclear power plant.
- In late November 2008 the Atlantic Towing Ltd. dredging barge Shovel Master was being towed by the company's tugboat Atlantic Larch from Saint John to Halifax for a refit when it foundered in heavy seas 20 nmi (37 km) west of Yarmouth, NS. The barge crew of 3 was rescued by a CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter before the barge capsized. Several ATL tugboats and commercial divers responded and a tow line was secured to the capsized, yet floating, barge by the tugboat Atlantic Oak. The barge was towed 45 nmi (83 km) south of Yarmouth however it sank in 150 m (490 ft), carrying 70,000 L (18,000 US gal) of diesel fuel, as well as 1,000 L (260 US gal) of hydraulic fluid and 5,000 L (1,300 US gal) of waste oil.
J.D. Irving Ltd. subsidiaries
- J.D. Irving Ltd. (holding company)
- Irving Forest Products & Services
- Irving Transportation Services
- Irving Shipbuilding & Fabrication Services
- Irving Retail & Distribution Services
- Irving Consumer Products
- Industrial Equipment & Construction
- Atlantic Wallboard
- Irving Wallboard
- Gulf Operators
- Irving Equipment (crane rental, heavy lifting, specialized transportation, pile driving and project management services)
- Specialty Printing
- Personnel Services
- Protrans Personnel Services Inc.
- Security Services
- Industrial Security Inc.
- Professional Sports
- Brunswick News
- Telegraph-Journal (Saint John NB)
- Times & Transcript (Moncton NB)
- The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton NB)
- The Tribune (Campbellton NB
- La Voix du Restigouche (Campbellton NB)
- The Bugle-Observer (Woodstock NB)
- Le Journal Madawaska (Edmundston NB)
- L'Étoile (various editions)
- Kings County Record (Sussex NB)
- Miramichi Leader (Miramichi NB)
- The Northern Light (Bathurst NB)
- Here (Saint John NB, Moncton NB, Fredericton NB)
- Former subsidiaries
- Industrial Equipment & Construction