This morning I woke up to hear Northern Pulp’s PR spokesperson on the radio warning people to beware of misleading information. I could not agree more.
However, let’s look at what misleading information is circulating, and who is spreading it.
Both Northern Pulp and our provincial Minister of Environment have told the public that “effluent has been going into the Northumberland Strait for 50 years.”
I call that a misleading statement. Over the past 50 years, most of the contaminants from pulp effluent have settled out in the 300-acre Boat Harbour lagoon, turning it into an environmental disaster and creating immeasurable harm to Pictou Landing First Nation. That’s why the public will pay more than $133 million to clean up what is one of the most contaminated sites in Canada.
The Boat Harbour remediation team is responsible for the clean-up of hazardous contaminants left by mill effluent in Boat Harbour. They have conducted studies of the area and clearly state, “No contaminated sludge has been found out into the Northumberland Strait.”
Northern Pulp’s proposed new system would be a very different story. If the provincial government allows this project to go ahead, the mercury and other heavy metals, petroleum byproducts and other hazardous substances that have contaminated Boat Harbour for decades would be released into the vulnerable fishing and spawning grounds of the Northumberland Strait as they have never been before.
That’s just one reason that I am going to the # NOPIPE Land and Sea Rally in Pictou on Friday, July 6 – to protect a clean and healthy Northumberland Strait and all the industries and communities that rely on it.