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LETTER: Health of the Northumberland Strait is vital

I’m proud to say I was born and raised here in Central Nova. I chose to raise my child here. And win, lose or draw, I will continue to call Central Nova home. 
Since I call this beautiful part of Nova Scotia home, I especially care about our local environment and the local economy. As a child, I swam in the Northumberland Strait and came to understand its importance to residents, fishing families and tourists. As a mother, I want my child’s future to include water that is clean enough to swim in. 
I have been clear from the beginning on my position on the Northern Pulp effluent proposal; I am taking a no-pipe and no-extension position – plain and simple. This is the only socially and economically responsible position. 
The Pictou Landing First Nations deserve closure to the trauma from decades of pollution, and a full restoration of A’se’k (Boat Harbour). The health of the Northumberland Strait is vital for the livelihoods of many in Central Nova. Friends in the fishing industry have expressed grave concern about the potential impact on their industry. For the sake of our fisheries, the health of the water and local ecosystem, it is simply not worth the risk to pipe effluent into the Strait. 
We need a real plan to address the reality that we may need to move forward without the mill operating. We need to address the unsustainable state of the forestry sector. Pension security is a major concern for many mill families. We in the NDP introduced a private members bill to end pension theft. This bill would have strengthened the laws to protect workers’ pensions and benefits. Unfortunately, the other parties did not support our bill. Our made-in-Canada Green New Deal calls for bold investments to create hundreds of thousands of new green jobs as we transition to a greener economy. Under our plan, we will create new good family-supporting jobs here in Central Nova. 
I call on my fellow candidates to make their position on this critical issue clear to voters. The voters deserve clarity. 

Betsy MacDonald 
NDP Candidate, Central Nova

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