To the editor:
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of whether Northern Pulp should stay or go.
Both sides argue it will cost jobs, regardless of which way the pendulum swings. NP in their on-going ads maintain they “care” and that they have a place in the forestry sector of Nova Scotia.
They also maintain the pipe they are proposing to route into the Northumberland Strait will discharge treated effluent that is, to some extent, purified and of no appreciable concern to the environment. I think when you get right down to it, this is nothing more than semantics from a company that is determined to get what it wants by dividing the community, if not the province, in the name of jobs.
The ball is clearly in NP’s court and what bothers me most about this effluent scenario is that NP is not even opening the discussion to an alternative solution – an alternative to running toxic waste straight into the environment. My understanding is that NP makes toilet paper, tissue paper and paper towel. Why do these products have to be bleached to a pristine white? It is the bleaching process that creates the toxic waste? Would people’s lives be turned upside down if these paper products had a natural brownish hue instead of brilliant white? Will NP’s profit margins plummet if the bleaching is stopped?
The natural environment of Pictou County and beyond is being sacrificed for aesthetics and few people, it seems, are actively discussing this crucial point. For a company that insists it cares about the environment, they do not appear to be willing to spend the money necessary to put in place a closed-loop system that would settle this particular matter and show, in fact, that they do care. Rather, they appear more concerned with promoting the same narrative about jobs and minimizing their contribution of laying waste to pristine environments.
That the company is more anxious about getting an extension on bringing their plant up to specs, so they can continue the toxic discharge, is a clear indication to me of their insincerity to everything but their greed.
In my opinion, the company is a disgrace and should be given the boot before weak-kneed governments, again, capitulate to their hypocrisy.