No decision on government's offer after Pictou Landing community meeting

Amanda Jess
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PICTOU LANDING – After three hours of discussions with the community, no decision was reached on what to do with an offer from the province on Boat Harbour.

Protestors set up a blockade outside the site of a broken Northern Pulp effluent pipeline Tuesday. Pictou Landing First Nation band council has met with mill officials and the province. They held a community meeting concerned the government's offer on Saturday afternoon. AMANDA JESS - THE NEWS

Chief Andrea Paul wouldn’t comment on what the offer was, or how the discussions went, but she did say she felt better than she did two days ago.

Others leaving the meeting, which was closed to media, said the province asked the community to stop the protest, and if they did, they would draft legislation within a year to close Boat Harbour.

A timeline on when Boat Harbour would actually close had not been determined.

They said they had a few days to decide or the offer would be off the table.

“I think we need to have more time to go over every matter of the situation to get a clear understanding of future plans because it’s not fair to everybody else,” Dion Paul said after he left the meeting.

He said they had discussed concerns surrounding the burial ground, and the history of offers from the government.

Chief Andrea Paul said they invited members of Pictou Landing First Nation as well as residents throughout the county to the meeting so that they would have the same understanding.

“I think it’s important that everybody is on the same page. Because we’ve had a tremendous amount of support outside the community so I wanted to make sure they were included in our conversations.”

While they continue to discuss, the protest will go on, she said.

“We do have to go back to the province. I’m not going to disclose if there’s a deadline or not.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment said they couldn’t comment on the offer while the community was still in talks. 

Organizations: Department of Environment

Geographic location: Boat Harbour

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  • John C
    June 16, 2014 - 07:04

    It would be a major drawback for the county to lose the jobs, seems like everything in 'rural' East Canada is shutting down, but mills in this day and age, without economic 'support' from the government, are no longer viable and perhaps the governments investing would be better spent to assist in developing alternative sources of work. This mill and related pipeline are already well past its life expectancy, another factor why the necessary subsidies from government. If you think about the negative environmental/health aspects, in this 'day and age', a paper mill would never be built in proximity of any substantial population base. The mill should close and the government should clean up the mess, as it committed legally to do so; people need to support the First Nation's in this effort as it's inevitably the only practical solution from all aspects - in terms of viability, health, economically, environmentally, etc. It is tough to think about the additional loss of jobs, but perhaps our health, the environment and quality of life as a community are more important. John C.

  • PS
    June 15, 2014 - 14:35

    The air quality in Pictou County has been amazing since the plant has been shut down! I don't want there to be any more job losses but they need to clean up the mess they made now, and the ones from the past, and make significant improvements for the future!

  • Jason
    June 15, 2014 - 01:04

    Don't close Boat Harbour! Close the MILL! Close the MILL! Close the MILL!

  • reality
    June 15, 2014 - 00:19

    Excuse me but wishing the place being closed down is a terrible thing to say. How about your boss telling you that you are gonna loose your job How would you feel? How would you figure out paying your bills or putting food on the table for your family? I bet you wouldn't feel to dam good scrambling trying to find another source of income. Yeah I want to have this environmental problem fixed as well as everyone else. But by saying you hope the place is shut down is just plain ingornant if you ask me. That mill employes a lot of people and not to mention the woods workers truck drivers etc..... now that would just put a huge damper on the economy now wouldn't it? Oh and by the way if the mill did shut down for good then who are we gonna blame cancer on? Like really people wake up and take a big reality check. This one mill causes all the cancer in pictou county by the way everyone is talking. How about we shutdown everything else as well that gives off pollutionand we can bbe one big county with no jobs and we should all be healthy as a horse

  • Sarah
    June 14, 2014 - 19:46

    Please PLFN stand your ground! You have the only chance to make a Real Diffrence!! The Mill is overdue....can't wait for the Stinkpit to close it's doors for good!!

    • Truth
      June 14, 2014 - 22:39

      Yeah who cares about the people that work there. That stink is a living for some people.

  • Chris Morrison
    June 14, 2014 - 18:04

    THIS IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM... "Others leaving the meeting, which was closed to media, said the province asked the community to stop the protest, and if they did, they would draft legislation within a year to close Boat Harbour. A timeline on when Boat Harbour would actually close had not been determined. They said they had a few days to decide or the offer would be off the table." (from today's News article) So long as this form of "negotiation" exists - then the government clearly does not understand or is not paying attention to the severity of the situation in terms of personal health, the environment, or quality of life. This is not about figuring out the obvious and setting timelines for when some right thing may be done. How dare the government even suggest that "a deal" be "taken off the table" if a decision isn't made soon enough - soon enough for what!!!!