To the Editor:
The recent announcement by Northern Pulp of their intention to construct a pipeline out into the Northumberland Strait and discharge effluent is absolutely appalling. The impact on the environment would be devastating. The marine environment currently supports one of the finest lobster harvesting areas in the world together with the harvesting of ground fish, scallops, mussels, clams and associated species. The beaches which surround Pictou provide immeasurable pleasure and recreation to residents of the area and are held in great esteem by visitors.
For over 50 years in various forms Northern Pulp has occupied its current site polluting the air and devastating Boat Harbour with its effluent. That this has continued with no abatement for this length of time is unbelievable. The current owner, Sinar Mas Group, a massive Indonesian conglomerate, has absolutely no intention of bringing this plant up to 21st century standards of operation.
For every industrial endeavour there is a penalty; during the 19th and 20th centuries the unrestricted exploitation of resources both natural and human has been dire. Vast numbers of species have been made extinct and other populations brought close to that point. Despite drastic warnings from environmentalists we continue to despoil our habitat for the simple motive of greed. This project continues in that tradition.
The pulp and paper industry has an abysmal record, the release of free mercury into the watershed of northern Ontario from the pulp mill at Dryden has caused untold devastation to the indigenous people. Similarly, the current discharge of air-borne and water-borne pollutants from Northern Pulp operations have had a serious deleterious effect on the health of Pictou residents. Northern Pulp is trying to achieve its agenda by carrying out the lowest level of Environmental Assessment. It has used coercive tactics in public forums, by stacking meetings with employees and suppressing the free flow of information.
I am calling on the federal government and the provincial government to immediately place a cease and desist order on this project. There is absolutely no way despite any so-called environmental assessment that this project should be allowed to continue.
Three Brooks Road
CC. Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Honourable Catherine McKenna, Honourable Stephen McNeil