To the Editor:
Dear people of Pictou County, I write this letter as a concerned Pictou Island landowner.
Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe vents into the mouth of Pictou Harbour.
As a person who takes the ferry back and forth from Pictou Island, my observations are that wind and wave direction in the Northumberland Strait changes continually and it’s impossible to predict with certainty that ocean currents will travel in the same direction at all times.
I ask you to consider these questions.
How will Pictou Island landowners, and owners of any coastal land surrounding Pictou Harbour, be assured that the effluent being discharged into the Northumberland Strait will never end up on their property’s shoreline?
Where is all of this effluent supposed to go, anyways? Is it supposed to collect around the pipe’s vent on the ocean floor, or is it supposed to be disbursed around the Northumberland Strait wherever it may go?
How will this effluent be kept out of the food chain? Will water plants and shellfish absorb the effluent in the Northumberland Strait?
What will that do to the Pictou County fishing industry?
How will the Pictou County fishing industry, which already faces challenges like rising operating costs and global competition, be able to deal with an infected food chain? What if fish are tested, and are shown to contain chemicals from the effluent?
Northern Pulp says that this pipe will be fine and that the effluent will be benign. Mill owners said that the last time, and the result is Boat Harbour being a toxic cesspool that will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up.
Why will ‘this time’ be different?
Instead of supporting this pipe plan, we can support what we love: Pictou County’s towns and villages, where wildlife and people intermingle in clean country air and water. That’s what people all over the world love about Pictou County. We need to protect it, for us, and our kids, now and in the future.
Please discuss these questions with your family, friends and colleagues.
Go to the upcoming community meetings. Honk your support for those protesting this plan. Please tell your Pictou County councillor your opinions. Email your local MLA and MP. And believe in a better and brighter future for Pictou County.