As I read in the paper and hear from others, the forestry industry has been getting those involved – harvest contractors and truckers – while lobbying county councils and whoever will listen to their request for a Boat Harbour extension, so the mill "can get it right" with their pipe into the strait.
That would be a first step, one that I can't see happening, but perhaps that's my problem. Pictou Landing First Nation would have to agree to an extension after already agreeing to a two-year extension. The MacNeil government was able to get them to agree to January 2020 after PLFN wanted it to happen in 2018. Two years to get it right wasn't enough time, so how long would those involved want the extension to last?
After 50 years of having a large, open cess pool in their backyard, they now have a solid date for its closure. I applaud their efforts to stay hunkered down, now counting down the days to the closure. Only a vote-killing change in the legislation by the government will extend that date.
So, after that first step, what is next? The mill will have to get the Department of Transportation to allow them to run their pipe in the ditch of Highway 106 out to Caribou Harbour. That would probably be fairly easy if the government has already done the vote-killing job of overturning the closure legislation.
Someone should now be visiting Pictou town council to get them to allow the pipe through their watershed. They've come out against that happening, but what could go wrong with that plan?
Then the Northumberland Strait fishermen from the Maritime provinces have to agree to allow the pipe to be under fishers as they steam out to work each day. And we all would hope that the travellers on the P.E.I.-N.S. ferry aren't able to see the 200- to 300-metre "dead zone" below the pipe outlet from the deck of the ferry.
Then we have to be ready to explain to our children and grandchildren that we've left them with their very own "Boat Harbour" to clean up with the new facility located on the mill site. And tell the people of Pictou and others downwind of the mill that they have to, on occasion, suck up that foul smell so the rest of us don't have to make any change from the status quo.
There are a lot of steps to keep this mill running and the time is getting awfully short. We need some leadership from our elected representatives in Halifax to tell us how they will help those most affected by this impending mill closure.
To keep quiet on this very important point is leading to much angst and concern in most of the people they represent.
Green Hill, N.S.