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LETTER: Report card of good corporate citizen

The definition of a good corporate citizen has the following characteristics: a company’s sense of responsibility toward the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship: 1. through their waste and pollution reduction processes; 2. by contributing to educational and social programs.

In our country we are rather fortunate to have a plethora of businesses that step up to the plate to ensure that athletic teams, tourism ventures and community projects, to name a few, can continue to flourish with in-kind support and/or financial assistance. There is no doubt that companies in our area are being inundated with requests from the community, yet many, including Northern Pulp, have met the challenge.

I referenced Northern Pulp accepting the challenge and taking the initiative to be a better corporate entity with their high-octane public relations campaign as of late. The much-maligned company has attempted to prove to the public that they are one of the good guys, but alas, with a devastating knockout punch, one questions the hierarchy’s decision to punish a local business, Pictou Lodge, for voicing its opinion.

Northern Pulp had confirmed a Christmas party at Pictou Lodge, but wait, management at the popular North Shore establishment has apparently been critical of them in public. I consider this an admirable stance taken by Wes Surrett, however, Northern Pulp, if you can fathom, demanded a written apology. Unlike Coles, Pictou Lodge administration stood its ground and we should all applaud them. They were not about to be intimidated and bow to the pressure or threat of lost revenue.

Is that not an example of a bully? I suggest yes, and bullies, as we understand their tactics, cannot be trusted, are hostile and do not accept responsibility for their actions. And so, to emphasize my position, trust is paramount when hundreds of jobs, billions of dollars in revenue and a livelihood for years ahead are at stake in the fishing and tourism industry.

As well, when considering free speech and the Charter of Rights, Northern Pulp has further damaged its public relations campaign by throwing these doctrines out the window. One can conclude that Northern Pulp did bully Pictou Lodge and, furthermore, is not interested in some of our democratic principles. I fear the Donald Trump approach has been adopted, and how frightening is that!

All is not lost, however, since the Lodge will be able to recover that misplaced revenue, and guess who is filling the void – the fishermen of Pictou County, who have booked the venue. To the fishermen and their families, kudos to you and thank you for your support in acknowledging the fortitude demonstrated by management at the Lodge.

I suggest that Northern Pulp’s attempt at being that good corporate citizen has FAILED, and their decision to cancel STINKS!

Ken Johnston,


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