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LETTER: Northern Pulp book issue definitely was not censorship

The pulp mill at Abercrombie Point, Pictou County
The Northern Pulp mill at Abercrombie Point, Pictou County - SaltWire Network

Several news articles, letters, and an editorial in this paper have mischaracterized recent events as “…infringing on freedom of speech….” The focus of the sample letter by Cathy Cloutier was not suppression, as alleged, but a show of strong disapproval of the book’s promotion. This is not a subtle distinction.

Indigo/Coles is the only game in town for new publications and their promotion of anything implies integrity. A well-researched book would have been a boon not only to the immediate debate about the effluent plant but to the future of all industry in Nova Scotia. I wish there was one.

The book by Joan Baxter is a rushed attempt to promote a narrative, not a search for truth. It seeks to inflame, not inform. As such, anyone who promotes it is complicit in poisoning the public debate.

RELATED: Northern Pulp holds consultations, author of book about Pictou County mill to hold signing after all

Anyone unfamiliar with the issues of Boat Harbour and the pulp mill will be less informed after reading it than before. Its focus is to push a narrative, not document history or search for truth. It is opinion mixed with fact and the facts are often only partly present. The author appears to exclude much that does not suit her theme. She makes claims about cancer statistics but does not mention Parker Barss Donham’s skewering of them. Read his piece yourself at http://contrarian.ca the specific links are http://contrarian.ca/2014/07/25/cancer-rates-in-pictou-county-last-word/ and http://contrarian.ca/2014/07/19/a-bad-plant-gets-a-dubious-knock/

While there, read his other columns on the mill, well researched, pointed criticisms. That is how a professional does it.

Yes, I have read it, don’t waste your time. If you are interested enough to buy the book then you should be interested enough to go online and do your own research. Here are some links to get you started, http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/f05-119 the mussel study, http://www2.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/review/1996/mcgladdery/mcgladdery_e.html fisheries and oceans, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tony_Walker/publication/283709710_Assessment_of_Public_Perception_and_Environmental_Compliance_at_a_Pulp_and_Paper_Facility_A_Canadian_Case_Study/links/565329b708ae4988a7af6e10.pdf title says it all, http://novascotia.ca/nse/air/docs/16-45114_NS_Air_Zone_Report_2015.pdf http://aqicn.org/map/world/ air quality around the world in realtime, http://ec.gc.ca/inrp-npri/donnees-data/index.cfm?lang=En national pollution inventory search engine.

The story here is not “Wesayso Corp.” runs the world but a sordid tale of bureaucracy run amok with many victims, many villains, few heroes, and the mill is neither of the last two. By the way, Ms. Cloutier’s letter was intended as an aid, not an order. We members of Local 440 are not so easily led. Ask any manager at the mill.

Robert Maclellan, 30 years a member

Frasers Mountain

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