It’s been a divisive few years for Pictou County. Emotions have run high over Northern Pulp air emissions (2013), amalgamation discussions (2016) and now lines are being drawn over the Northern Pulp effluent treatment plant.
When it comes to such a complex issue impacting a community, there is no room for political gamesmanship. That’s why I was disappointed to see John Lohr’s comments in The News last week accusing me of being, “OK with the Mill closing because a Class 2 will take too long.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The community, and the province, have the right to expect a level of scrutiny appropriate for such a project of this magnitude.
A Class 2 assessment is the right thing to do. The responsible thing to do.
There is no line to be drawn between doing the right thing for the environment and the mill closing. That is fear mongering. It can never be a choice between jobs or the environment. There is no room for that old-fashioned thinking. It's 2018 and people know it can be both. This is the perfect example.
It’s easy to come in from the outside and tell a scared community that you’ll make their problems magically disappear. There’s not much leadership in promoting a solution that further divides opposing views.
You don’t build trust with that approach.
To paraphrase Bob Stanfield, a progressive conservative will be concerned about the effects of economic growth – and respectfully, John Lohr – they’ll also be concerned with what it does to our environment.
This is an opportunity for the community, Northern Pulp and indeed all of industry to unite and show that they are not afraid to have this project subjected to scrutiny. Together, we can call on the McNeil Liberals to work with us to make a Class 2 happen. Let's do that.
Let’s get this right. Together.
MLA, Pictou East