To the Editor:
I am writing this letter because I think it is time that my voice as a concerned citizen of this county should also be heard.
I became an employee of Northern Pulp in the spring of 2004. I am one of the fortunate people of Pictou County that was able to secure a permanent job here in the county. I had worked for years in construction before this. It is not easy having to leave your family when your children are young.
I feel that my livelihood in this county is being attacked by individuals because they feel that the pulp mill is going to poison our environment with the installation of the proposed new effluent treatment plant. The effluent that has been going out into the strait has been going out there for the past 50 years.
My father worked at the mill for 34 years and raised three children here on the income he received from the mill. We were fortunate to have him work here and able to come home to us every night and he didn’t have to leave to work away for weeks or months at a time. He took us fishing in these waters when we were growing up and now that I have a son I also take him fishing and hunting as well in this county. One of our favourite spots to fish is off the point at Pictou Lodge. Do you honestly think that if I thought for one moment that the effluent from Boat Harbour was as lethal as some on social media are portraying it to be, that I would risk the health of my family for the sake of enjoying a few mackerel or buying lobster from local fishermen?
I enjoy living in this county and I hope cooler heads will prevail in the battle over the installation of the new effluent treatment plant. Because I fear, that if this doesn’t happen, there will be a real negative effect on this county not only for myself and fellow workers at the pulp mill, but also the rest of the county and beyond in the province of Nova Scotia, from the suppliers to the mill as well as the people who have a vested interest in this mill running as well.
Do not get me wrong here, I feel everyone’s frustration over this contentious issue. I am a concerned citizen as well and would like to live to a ripe old age and enjoy the forest and ocean as well with my future grandchildren. If for one second I thought the people who owned the pulp mill were deliberately doing something to jeopardize my or my family’s health, I would be the first to knock on my general manager’s door and ask him some serious questions.
As I stated earlier, I feel that people out there are spreading information that is not true. Please for the sake of the future of all our industries, have a fair and open mind about the issues that are before you on this particulate matter. We can get through this. With an open mind and listening to all the facts and figures that are to be presented to you will give you a clear understanding of the whole subject matter. We can do this together.