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LETTER: Cutting old growth for biomass furnace

An alarming email today tells me the biomass furnace at Port Hawkesbury Paper and run by NS Power has been operating at full blast 24/7 for months. This is in spite of what Premier Stephen McNeil told us just a few months ago. This was even while the mill itself was closed for two of the last four weeks due to lack of sales for glossy paper.

The softwood biomass in Cape Breton is nearly exhausted and they are now gearing up to mass cut old growth hardwood at a very, very low stumpage cost to PHP – maples, beech and birch. They will chip that and truck those chips to Irving at Sussex and Saint John, N.B. The empty trailers will load softwood sawdust and shavings and haul that back to Port Hawkesbury at Nova Scotia taxpayer expense.

They will cut 100-plus-year-old sugar maples that could be tapped every spring to make maple syrup, which can be exported. The carbon credits from those same trees can be auctioned off once a year at about $ 19 per tonne of carbon absorbed.

Is this how we want our resources managed? To be nearly given away?

This is unacceptable to everyone except the Department of Natural Resources and the Liberal Party in Nova Scotia. I am enraged!

Don Wilson

Brule Point

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