PICTOU - The Pictou Progressive Conservative MLAs are calling on Randy Delorey, the Liberal Minister of Environment, to come to the site of the effluent spill and tell people the plan to keep them and the environment safe.
On Tuesday, untreated effluent from Northern Pulp spilled into Pictou Harbour. The mill has been shut down since.
“The Minister should face the people, look them in the eye and explain what he’s doing to keep them and their environment safe,” says Tim Houston, Pictou East MLA. “People are extremely concerned and they should be. The Minister owes them the respect of coming to see the site for himself.”
Karla MacFarlane, Pictou West MLA says she is frustrated by the slow response from the Liberals following Tuesday’s spill and questions their competence on the issue.
“People have a lot of important questions they want answered, like how did this happen?” says MacFarlane, who is also the PC Environment critic. “It’s been more than 48 hours and we have little-to-no detail from the Minister about the clean-up. Time is precious. A competent government would have a plan and keep the community informed."
Pictou Centre MLA, Pat Dunn says he shares his constituents’ concerns about the impact this will have on the environment and local fishery.
“The Liberal Minister must take action to get this cleaned up before it has detrimental, long-term effects on our environment and our health,” says Dunn. “The Liberals just don’t seem to get it. There’s no excuse for the Minister not to come to see the mess for himself.”
Yesterday, Nova Scotia Environment informed the public that Environment Department inspectors continue to investigate an effluent spill at Northern Pulp that happened Tuesday, June 10.
"Our first priority is to protect the health of residents and the environment," said Environment Minister Randy Delorey. "Staff are focused on identifying what damage has been done, and what Northern Pulp will need to do to clean up the spill."
Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are also investigating, and Northern Pulp has hired Stantec Consulting to develop a plan for cleaning up the spill.