Environment, health must be a priority

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

To the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, the Honorable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia and Honorable Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly for Nova Scotia:

I was born in Nova Scotia, and raised in Braeshore just a few miles from the Town of Pictou. I lived, played and was educated in Pictou area schools, and worked for several seasons as a lobster fisherman, I have a very strong attachment to that area.

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I am deeply saddened by the damage that Northern Pulp has already inflicted to the environment there. The disgusting brown foam that lined the shore at what was once the pristine Lowden’s Beach, the unbearable stench of the pollution that has incessantly spewed from the stacks at the pulp mill, and the toxic disaster that is Boat Harbour are all unacceptable.

I wish to register my concern and absolute objection to the discharge of effluent into the Northumberland Strait. The matter should not even be taken under consideration absent a long term Level II, detailed assessment of the risks to the environment that may result from discharging effluent into the Northumberland Strait. The health of that marine environment is paramount, as is the health of the people who live, work and play on the Strait and its shores. Such an assessment should be completed by a highly qualified and independent entity.

There should be no need to remind any elected official of their responsibility. It should not be difficult for any of you to determine your course of action. The concerns being expressed by the fishers of the Northumberland Strait are not figments of their imagination… they are real and have not been satisfactorily addressed by the pulp mill representatives nor by any government officials.

The jobs associated with Northern Pulp are important, but the environment and people’s health must always be considered a higher priority.

James A Hislop

West Kelowna, BC