Ministers to meet with “Clean Pictou Air” businesses

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Following the recent challenges experienced with the odours and air pollution from Northern Pulp, local tourism businesses have rallied together to form a group called Clean Pictou Air.   The group’s mandate is to find a solution that works for everyone involved.

Northern Pulp

“We feel that we have every right to conduct our business in a clean and safe environment and to provide that same healthy environment to our visitors” says Anne Emmett of the Clean Pictou Air group of businesses.

The hospitality business is one that often doesn’t get a second chance, the group stated in a release.

Visitors exposed to poor air quality and smog are unlikely to return they say.

The committee has requested a meeting with Randy Delorey, Minister of Environment; Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Michel Samson,  Minister of Economic and Rural Development  and Tourism and say that all three have agreed to meet  with committee members July 16 in Pictou.

“We have to work together to find a solution that is in everyone’s best interest. We have been good neighbours and are looking for the same in return,” states Emmett. “We simply want to continue to run our businesses unencumbered by air pollution, in order to create a positive memorable experience for our visitors”

Geographic location: Pictou

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Recent comments

  • Jason
    July 25, 2014 - 01:17

    It's not only the mill. The people eat like crap there and a lot are overweight with diabetes and other health related/food related/poor lifestyle diseases, the mine in Stellarton has coal dust spread throughout the entire town (and they destroyed Foster Avenue in the process), the hard drugs there and crackheads are rampant; I couldn't believe it the last time I was home how bad it was. I'll NEVER be back. 20 years Pictou County will be one huge ghost town. Mark my words.

  • ostm
    July 16, 2014 - 22:42

    When the mill opened they said it would only be operational for 30 years. Well 40-50+ years later it's still here, highest cancer rates in Canada likely related to it. The mill also routinely gets government money to continue to operate... Heath for all far outweighs jobs for a few. close the mill!

  • Paula Millman
    July 16, 2014 - 11:24

    I'm glad that many Pictou businesses have decided to speak as one voice and that this issue has raised attention throughout the province. It is no longer our unspoken, not-so-hidden secret.

  • zach
    July 16, 2014 - 10:14

    I think everyone should honestly just let the DOE do there jobs. People in this small town have nothing better to do besides complain about something it becomes a bit of a joke and make a you ashamed to call this place my home. People have it worse in other places we are just one of many concerns the DOE has right now so be patient and let these people do their jobs for once.

    • Sarah Palmer
      July 16, 2014 - 11:15

      If the DOE was actually doing something that produced results we would -I am Canadian – I try not to boast, I don’t make waves, I don’t shout my problems from the roof tops – instead I write letters and I trust the people I have elected to work toward my concerns on my behalf. I trust that all Canadians have compassion and honour and will do what it takes to preserve our land, our people and the rights and liberties we have come to hold so dear. Among the most basic of these rights is that to breathe clean air and to walk through our beautiful country without being accosted by the pollution and nightmarish landscape produced by NP

    • local
      July 16, 2014 - 11:29

      not a good way to look at it zach... let the government organizations do their jobs without the input of the local citizens and businesses? If you go through life without holding the government accountable and speaking out against their questionable actions, I feel bad for you. Get in line sheep.

    • Sarah Palmer
      July 16, 2014 - 11:36

      Problem is- the DOE are not doing their jobs- I am Canadian – I try not to boast, I don’t make waves, I don’t shout my problems from the roof tops – instead I write letters and I trust the people I have elected to work toward my concerns on my behalf. I trust that all Canadians have compassion and honour and will do what it takes to preserve our land, our people and the rights and liberties we have come to hold so dear. Among the most basic of these rights is that to breathe clean air and to walk through our beautiful country without being accosted by the pollution

  • Dave Gunning
    July 16, 2014 - 10:11

    To the Ministers, Urgent assistance is needed to help citizens in Pictou County who are living in the fall out areas of the smoke emissions from Northern Pulp which is a bleached kraft pulp mill. Currently the mill is operating with no electrostatic precipitator. A functioning electrostatic precipitator would normally filter out particulate matter bonded with chemicals used in the bleaching process. Because Northern Pulp is operating without this essential component they are releasing high levels of pollutants into surrounding areas with one of the hardest hit areas being the town of Pictou. In 2012 Northern Pulp emitted a level of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) that put them 336,900 % above the Federal Reporting Threshold level as set by Environment Canada. The Threshold level that Environment Canada deems noteworthy is 0.3 tons annually and Northern Pulp released 1011 tons in 2012. source Environment Canada National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) According to WHO (World Health Organization) air pollution from PM2.5 is a large contributor / cause of: strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases including asthma. According to Statistics Canada's 2013 report out of all the Provinces in Canada, Nova Scotia has the highest cancer incidents rate. And Pictou County has the highest cancer incidents rate in Nova Scotia. Northern Pulp is killing the local economy, the environment and the health and wellness of Pictou County. This is a serious situation and we the citizens of Pictou County need your help. What can you do? Best regards and sincere thanks for your potential willingness to go an extra mile with this one. Dave Gunning

    • Micky Clark
      August 04, 2014 - 22:17

      Well put...thanks!

  • Gerard Halfyard
    July 16, 2014 - 09:58

    We should all have the right to be able to breath's as simple as that :)

  • the fracker
    July 15, 2014 - 06:02

    Kathy I worked on cruiseships including the Queen Mary 2 . THe Saga ship that was into Pictou was subject to the mayor of New GGlasgow pawning over the PAXS. The excursions were ridiculous IE travelling tothe Winery near Tatamagoiuche. If anything has turned the American Cruises ship away it is fact that the schedule shows on their calls to Pictou this year they are supposed to be in Charlottetown as well on the same day. These Tourism operators really should shut up because of their stupidity of buying anything in Pictou as the tourism traffic is not there to begin with. The mill has contributed Billions to the local economy since the late sixties it has provided jobs and pensions to probably over 1000 people . Tourism well hey a two month job for college students .

    • Shawn Poirier
      July 16, 2014 - 14:36

      What level of pollution would you consider a tipping point for a community to take action? Hmmmm? Bend over Pictou and take it like a man! Amazes me how ignorant people can be.

  • Joe MacDonald
    July 14, 2014 - 10:31

    The pulp mill was here before most of these businesses, so if they don't like it why would they start a business here. As far as i am concerned if you don't like the mill than leave.

    • Mark MacKinnon
      July 14, 2014 - 13:38

      The pulp mill at Abercrombie opened in the late 1960s. The town of Pictou has been there since the early 1800s. I don't own a tourist business nor do I work at the pulp mill or have anything to do with either. But we have lived at the same property since 1978 - and this property was my parents' farm and ownership in our family dates to the 1870s. We despise the emissions from this pulp mill - in the air and the water. It needs to either clean up or close down. Enough is enough. And do the same with Emera's generating station in Trenton while they're at it. We do not need to sacrifice our health in Pictou County for these businesses any longer.

    • Brandy
      July 16, 2014 - 10:32

      Such a sad and selfish statement.... "If you don't like the mill than leave". Population in Pictou is decreasing and Joe, that's not a good thing. Everyone deserves clean air.

    • Paula
      July 16, 2014 - 13:57

      If there is abuse in your neighbourhood move especially if the abuse happened already before you come to live on that street. Is that the idea?

    • Joe Gillis
      July 16, 2014 - 14:36

      How can these facts be defended in good conscious? "Heart attacks, heart failure and stroke make up an estimated 42%-69% of deaths and 60% of the hospital admissions linked to poor air quality. Anyone can be affected by high pollution levels, but the risk is greater for people with heart conditions such as angina, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems and for those who have had a previous heart attack; people with respiratory conditions such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); people with diabetes; the elderly; children; and pregnant women." Heart & Stroke Foundation..

    • Joe MacDonald
      July 23, 2014 - 10:46

      Mark: So you moved there after the mill was allready running and then you started to complain about the mill, but its ok because your parents lived there when it wasn't running. When i buy a house I generally look for a place that isn't around industry. Brandy; People are leaving all rural towns in NS (except Tata) it's hard to live in a town that has 0 decent employment. In a perfect world you are right though everyone deserves clean air, problem is this is far from perfect. Paula ; Yes basically that is what i mean. Joe: Facts what facts we are getting lied to by both sides, the people for the mill and the people against it.

  • JC
    July 08, 2014 - 12:35

    When I see tourists coming off the tour bus in Pictou, they spend 30 seconds looking at the Hector than go back in the bus to escape the smelly haze coming from the mill. I'm sure they'll be coming back REAL soon...

    • johnny smoke
      August 02, 2014 - 12:06

      Who do you really care about? A few tourists who will maybe and I say maybe drop a few hundred bucks or 230 mill workers and double that number in associated industries? Who pay taxes and support other local business. Get real or get a life enough of this Alice in wonder land this county needs the jobs we cannot all work for the government although as of late it would seem to be that way.

  • Kathy
    July 08, 2014 - 08:54

    The cruise ship that came here a couple years ago. I stood as the passengers got off , they were disgusted as I spoke to them. This is so normal to me I didn't even notice it. They were having breakfast on deck as they were coming into port as they told me. They couldn't even eat breakfast as they darted inside the ship to finish. They said it a sin because this is such a lovely town with so much potential. What happened to the other cruise ship that was supposed to come ? Did they cancel because the word is getting out. I feel sad for the local businesses that suffer at the hands of Northern Pulp. Clean up or get out !!!!!