On behalf of the Town of New Glasgow, Mayor Nancy Dicks has expressed support for the remediation being planned for the closure of the Boat Harbour effluent treatment plant.
Dicks sent this support in the form of a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil on Oct. 17. In the email, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane, Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn and Pictou East MLA Tim Houston were also addressed.
Along with the three Pictou County MLAs, the letter was also addressed to Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal; Hon. Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business; Margaret Miller, Minister of Natural Resources and Iain Rankin, the Minister of Environment.
Dicks told the News that in light of the mandate for the Boat Harbour facility to close in 2020, the Town of New Glasgow supports the Government of Nova Scotia, Northern Pulp and owner Paper Excellence in the process they have entered into to replace the facility.
“The mill can’t operate without an effluent treatment facility – we understand that. That letter of support was saying that we support the consultation process that is needed to make a decision on the new treatment facility,” said Dicks.
Dicks noted that the town’s expectation is that Northern Pulp abides by all environmental and industry standards, with complete consideration taken for the environment.
“We acknowledge that this has to take into consideration our environment – and our fishing industry in particular – and none of those are to be compromised,” said Dicks.
The mayor noted that she understands the concerns of those in the fishing industry, stating, “New Glasgow town council is not supporting one industry over the other. We are supporting the proper process, consultation – and the environmental guidelines.
“Our goal is that through proper process, we can find an opportunity for Northern Pulp to operate, and at the same time, be very cognizant of the fact that we must be aware of the impact on other industries and the environment.”
Kathy Cloutier, director of communications with Paper Excellence Canada, wrote in an email that, “as a long term corporate citizen of the region, all retirees and current employees of Northern Pulp appreciate acts of support and recognition regarding our contribution to the local economy and province.”
As one of many stakeholders, Cloutier wrote, “we appreciate the willingness of New Glasgow to put pen to paper offering support to the government of Nova Scotia and Northern Pulp as we work through the process that will see an effluent treatment facility replacement constructed.”