ABERCROMBIE – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie said meetings with the Clean Pictou Air and Northern Pulp mill officials on Thursday were productive.
Baillie said the trip to Pictou County was an effort to see if there is more that can be done to reduce emissions from the mill before the new precipitator is installed next year.
“I believe there are things the mill is trying to figure out and I expect that they will share what they can do immediately with the people of Pictou County as soon as they can.”
He calls the visit something that Premier Stephen McNeil should have done already.
“They have bought into the idea that people in Pictou County just have to suck it up until next spring,” he says of the Liberal government. “Well, I don’t accept that and having given them their chance, I believe we are now doing what the government should’ve done, which is come to Pictou and find a solution that gets us where we need to be, which is good jobs and a clean environment. Not one or the other.”
As the opposition, their next step is to continue to hold the government accountable, he said, and to work with anyone who has ideas of how to balance both jobs and the environment.
A part of the solution, he believes, is to have independent emissions monitoring with publicly released results.
Randy Delorey, Nova Scotia’s environment minister, wouldn’t say what level of emissions would force the government to close the mill when speaking with reporters in Halifax on Thursday, stating that they were waiting on results from a test scheduled for Aug. 18.
They are expecting the results in October, a Canadian Press story said, but Delorey said he didn’t know if the results would be public.
“I was very disappointed to see the minister of environment say today that although they are eventually going to measure the emissions, he would not commit to making the results public and that is not fair,” Baillie said.
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