Servinor boss Pierre Goyet was surprised and bewildered to bear the company would be sold.
At a December 12 meeting, the executive body of the Cree Regional Authority ordered CREECO. to sell Servinor, its money-losing food distributor.
The decision was unexpected for Pierre Goyet, who has been the company’s director-general since June 1998.
Asked how he felt, Goyet replied, “How would you feel? I felt people were not informed about everything. It is a very unusual way to operate.”
Goyet was reluctant to get into details, saying: “This is politicians speaking. We don’t get involved in politics.”
But he suggested the company isn’t doing as badly as some think.
“We are reorganizing the company and we believe that in a few years the company should be making money,” he said from Servinor’s head office in Val d’Or.
The Cree-owned company has been plagued by complaints about poor service and had trouble convincing the two biggest Cree communities, Mistissini and Chisasibi, to use its services.
One Cree official has estimated Servinor has cost Crees about $30 million since CREECO. created the company in 1993.
But Goyet claimed things were improving. He said “80 percent” of Servinor’s customers were expanding their business with the company. “We see light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Goyet acknowledged that business in the Cree communities isn’t showing much sign of improvement.
“But there is a good reason for that,” he said, without being more specific.
Servinor is projected to lose $1.6 million this year on revenues of $24 million. It’s expected to keep losing money until at least 2003, according to Jack Blacksmith, who is president of both CREECO. and Servinor.