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LETTER: Rural industries can co-exist and prosper

I’ve lived, gone to school, worked and volunteered in Pictou County almost my entire life. I grew up on a dairy farm in Scotsburn, learned about forestry at my father’s side and spent many a day and night on a fishing boat hauling lobster traps, shucking scallops and shaking a herring net, with my stepfather, grandfather and various other family and friends who own fishing gear.

This year I celebrated 11 years as an Accounts Payable Accountant for Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation. This does not mean that I have lost my social responsibility or my love of the fishing industry, in fact, I think I’ve become more aware because of it. I process the vast amount of payables this mill pays each and every week, I see firsthand the money that Paper Excellence puts into the local community’s businesses, the donations to local charities and the government taxes and loans that are paid. The capital improvements that this company has completed and committed to are vast and encompass all areas of the business and environment.

  1. love Pictou and would hate to have to uproot my family and head west; but that would be the reality for me if this mill were to close. My husband works in forestry; processing thinnings and forest treatments, and could find very good work out west. Our industry jobs make it possible to live in Nova Scotia. I am a firm believer in Buy Local, Eat Local; the majority of my discretionary income is spent at local restaurants, coffee shops, farmers markets and small shops. My daughter would hate to leave her 4-H family; the 4-H community would lose a 10-year volunteer in my husband. Female hockey, horseback riding, summer camps, local theatre productions, music lessons are all things that she would leave behind.

To the naysayers commenting about the lies surrounding Boat Harbour 50 years ago, I ask this of you – do you expect to be judged by something your ancestors and friends did 50 years ago? Do you believe that science and technology have not improved in 50 years? Or that when something reaches a magic arbitrary number that it should be closed or put down? Those are some pretty scary thoughts and I would like to hope that most of us have evolved past that and will continue to do so.

I’ve been asking questions since the Government of Nova Scotia passed the Boat Harbour Act. I’ve been getting answers, some that create more questions and some that answer them. I’m confident that the right thing will be done and that the backbone industries of rural Nova Scotia (forestry, fisheries, agriculture and tourism) can coexist and prosper with the right leadership.

Be a leader, ask good questions, get answers and spread the truth.

Jennifer Buchanan

Pictou

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