To the Editor:
I left Pictou County right after high school; like many before and after me.
We came back, for family reasons, over 30 years ago.
This can be a difficult place to make a living but there are many things to be thankful for in this county.
We first settled in the West Branch area and had little to do with the towns. A lot of our focus was towards Truro.
The mill and its odour or pollution of the surrounding waters were not obvious or invasive in our lives.
Then we moved to Pictou and started to experience, first hand, the effects the mill and the power plant (coal burning) were having on our environment and, perhaps, the health of our population.
For many years I have been private in my views on what is happening at Abercrombie Point and with Boat Harbour.
As a society we pollute our environment every day with man-made substances that are foreign to the “natural” world.
Since the economy and many livelihoods rely on industry, we turn a blind eye to the harm being done to all living things on the planet, including ourselves.
Environmental pollution is a world problem which will take a lot of readjustment to improve.
In Pictou County we have a local issue that has environmental roots but has deep consequences for our society.
We live in a relatively free and just country and “freedom of expression” is a privilege we should protect.
Being able to express our views without fear of intimation or reprisals is something integral to our democracy.
Objecting to the recent book about the mill, in the ways it was done, has morphed from an environmental issue alone, to a right of free expression issue.
Circumstances in the U.S. should be enough to show us what results from deeply polarized views — turmoil, indecision and mistrust.
Open discussion, co-operation and understanding; we have to live together.
Thank you to those in our community who are supporting the concept of free speech; including The Advocate for providing this forum.
Is this the kind of society we want our children to grow up in, where these tactics win the day?
PS: I was talking with a person today, whom I respect for their honesty and work ethic, and was told that personal bullying and intimidation were being used to push the mill agenda. It’s one thing for a large international company to use these tactics but when we start to do these things to each other …