Published on August 18, 2014
CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
People lined the sidewalk on East River Road near the Pictou County Health Authority on Sunday afternoon as part of a protest by the Clean up the Pictou County Pulp Mill group. Throughout the protest they could be heard shouting, “What do we want? – Clean air. When do we want it? – Now.”
Protestors have found a new way to voice their frustrations with emissions from Northern Pulp.
The Clean the Pictou County Pulp Mill Facebook group announced on Tuesday that they will be holding a concert, which they are calling Clear The Air on the Pictou Waterfront.
The concert is an urgent call for immediate government action to control pulp mill pollution from the Northern Pulp Mill and will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m.
Dave Gunning will perform along 2014 ECMA award-winning musician and Clean The Mill member, with a wealth of other talented musicians and award-winning artists, including Matt Andersen, Thom Swift, Joel Plaskett, J.P. Cormier, Bruce Guthro,
Mary Jane Lamond, Wendy MacIssac, Catherine MacLellan, Garnet Rogers along with Jim Dorie, Fleur Mainville, Dolores Dagenais, Machete, Gabrielle Papillon,
Jon Raven, Trevor Stanley, Kent Vodden, and Wabanaki Confederacy.
The show is free. All ages welcome.
Gunning said the work for this idea started about a month ago and came together quickly.
“We’re just going through all the good options for protesting,” Gunning said. “This happened to be another good options.”
He said they’re trying to create more awareness and make sure the government continues to hear about the concerns.
“The concert is a nice way to vent with positive energy.”
He said he had no trouble at all recruiting artists to take part. He sent out one email and everyone responded saying they wanted to take part.
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At the concert each artist will perform one song.
While the province has issued a ministerial order that the mill must meet regulations by the end of May, 2015, Gunning said more is needed.
“It’s a positive sign but it unfortunately doesn’t change that the mill can exceed permit levels until May.”
Another concern he has is the fact that the Nova Scotia limits on emissions aren’t as stringent as other parts of the world including the US or even in other parts of Canada like Ontario.
He said it’s clear from the people who are speaking out that this is a problem.
“I know the people that are speaking out. They’re pretty gentle people who wouldn’t speak out unless it was bad. We need to make sure the government is hearing us.”
The town of Pictou approved a permit to allow the group to hold a concert on the waterfront during their council meeting on Monday night.
The only restrictions placed were that the town would not be responsible to cover the cost of extra policing or for the trash from the event, Mayor Joe Hawes said.