Natural gas a major step forward

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By Barrie MacMillan

Mayor of New Glasgow

In 1979 Mr. A. Gordon Archibald presented a proposal on behalf of ICG Scotia Gas to provide natural gas to the Town of New Glasgow. Thirty-four years later on April 5, 2013 a milestone announcement was actually made by The Honourable Charlie Parker, Minister of Energy for Nova Scotia that natural gas is on its way to Pictou County.  This announcement signals a very important first chapter in the fulfillment of a vision I and others have dreamed for Pictou County for many years and it is no secret that I believe that natural gas will be a major step forward for the growth and development of our region.

Our major industries and our businesses will benefit from this new source of energy and it will also stimulate meaningful change and growth through energy efficiency, cleaner energy sources, cost savings and enhanced infrastructure. 

The partnerships between Heritage Gas, Northern Pulp and the Province of Nova Scotia will bring the first business anchor for natural gas to Pictou County. That leadership will be the catalyst and the economic engine for further investment and development that will bring many benefits to our industries, our businesses, our major institutions and to our communities.

Last month the Town of New Glasgow was very proud to have partnered with Eco Nova Scotia, the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power to play a role towards increased use of green energy in Nova Scotia through the innovative COMFIT program.  The wind turbine at our Forbes Lake Water Treatment Plant facility will produce energy efficient power that will be purchased by N. S. Power and, in turn, enable our Town to invest new revenues back into our Water Treatment Plant.

Strong environmental stewardship is a priority for New Glasgow and this successful partnership enables us to continue to achieve these goals for the betterment of our community.  The Town of New Glasgow has completed several infrastructure projects that have reduced our carbon foot prints and this is our latest commitment to environmental action through the building of a small wind turbine at the Town owned and operated water treatment facility site that is an exciting partnership venture.  This turbine project has received funds from Eco Nova Scotia, Clean Air and the Climate Change program and is also supported by the Town of New Glasgow.  The delivery of a clean water supply with high standards for our customers is further enhanced by the utilization of renewable energy on site.

The installation and commission of the wind turbine supports the Town of New Glasgow’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy and cost efficiency.  This means that New Glasgow will have helped support the reduction of carbon emissions by nearly 100,000 kg per year.

I had the pleasure of attending the Town of New Glasgow’s Earth Hour program and presenting brief opening remarks. The program was held at the Community Room in the New Glasgow Library.  We were extremely pleased to welcome representatives from the New Glasgow Girl Guides and so impressed by them taking such a keen interest in Earth Hour. Fleur Mainville and Ray Stewart provided great entertainment prior to the screening of the movie “Surviving Progress”.  Many thanks to all who attended the event or supported the Earth Hour challenge through their own initiatives for their interest in our community and our planet.

Please mark your calendars on May 11th for a performance of the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in New Glasgow at Glasgow Square. In addition to providing musical support to the Canadian Forces, this band, which is comprised of 35 professional musicians, works with numerous charitable organizations to better many local communities.  In our case this performance will be a very important fund raiser for the restoration of the Pioneer Cemetery located off the Pioneer Trail in the south end of New Glasgow. It is our honour to host the Stadacona Band, which is often referred to as “the finest band in the land”. Of special note for this performance is that the newest member of the band is New Glasgow’s very own Natalie Alcorn. It will also be a great treat to have Natalie joined by her musical family for one number. Please contact Glasgow Square Theatre or stop by the Town Hall for tickets and time information.

In closing, I want to share with the community that our CAO Lisa MacDonald and I met with members of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy.  The Commission was appointed in late November by Premier Dexter and has been engaging citizens across the province to identify emerging economic opportunities and challenges.  The purpose of the Commission is to identify new directions for wealth creation in all regions of the Province. During the course of the meeting we were asked to finish a sentence. On behalf of the Town of New Glasgow we responded as follows:


“The Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy would have succeeded if in ten years …..”

§ shipbuilding opportunities actually happened for the entire province;

§ our youth stay and become entrepreneurs

§ if we have sustainable energy sources/options

§ healthy, active aging community members still positively contributing to our communities and economy

§ more entrepreneur incentives and business growth support

§ lower taxes


The Town of New Glasgow was certainly appreciative of the opportunity to provide our direct feedback to the Commission and the Province on this important initiative.


Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Clean Air, Nova Scotia Commission on Building Community Room New Glasgow Library Royal Canadian Navy Canadian Forces Glasgow Square Theatre

Geographic location: New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Billy Bragg
    April 15, 2013 - 17:12

    Waiting for the Great Leap Forward song comes to mind when I read the Mayors dripple. A politician is nothing but a Shapeshifter forming a new shape whenever they think it is good for their political future. Thing is Ron Wagner you are right about a switch to natural gas for transportation but sadly Canadians have not embraced this like developing economies like Brazil, Argentina , Nigeria, Pakistan and India. Recently Canada's minister for International Trade was part of a Deal signing for a fleet of 5000 Tractor Trailers to be retrofitted with Hybred Natural Gas Diesel engines for the Worlds most wealthiest industrialist. The Signing was not in Canada , Any of the G7 or G20 nations it was in the largest city in Africa Lagos Nigeria for a company owned by Aliko Dangote who is on a path to become the Fifth Wealthiest man on the planet. While his country adds a daily count of 11000 babies (more then one New Glasgow Population) we struggle with the Bureaucrats in Halifax who stopped a Fortune 500 company from delivering Natural Gas to Pictou County. You don't suppose GreenBrier, Nova Forge or Maritime Steel could have used that advantage that is now rapidly disappearing because the cost of Natural Gas is indeed on the rise once again. A Fleet of 5000 is about 25 percent of the total NG vehicles in Canada. And we think we are ahead of the Emerging economies of the World ? Hardly they are overwhelming us with efficiency and sound choices based on best business practices.

  • johnny smoke
    April 14, 2013 - 18:32

    Hmm I read with great anticipation the mayor's homily on all of the wonderful things happening or planned for this great town. Trouble is it is somewhat hard to determine if he is talking about the past, the present or the future. Seeing that most of the industries that would benefit from the natural gas line have either shut down or went bankrupt, and seeing that the major end user of the gas is presently being kept alive on life support by the taxpayers of this province I am somewhat tepid in my endorsement of his vision. After all ten years is a long time to wait for all of the goodies that we are paying through the nose for today.One thing for certain though with the passage of ten years the chances are that we will have moved beyond the small town mentality that passes for forward thinking as espoused by our leaders today.

  • Ron Wagner
    April 12, 2013 - 21:39

    Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products, and will bring jobs that boost our economy. It lowers CO2 emissions, and pollution.