Politicians should insist mill clean up its act

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Dear Politicians:

As a resident of Braeshore living less than a mile from the proposed site of a pipe that will dump pulp effluent into the Northumberland Strait, I am deeply concerned that this is even being considered.

At the very least, there should be a Level 2 environmental assessment done to see what damage this pollution will cause to our lobster (and their eggs), our fish, our shellfish, our beaches and our tourism.

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For years that mill has been spewing toxic gases into our air and has totally ruined Boat Harbour. After reading the book “The Mill,” I now know that many governments have given millions of dollars and much of our timber to this mill. The more I read the more disgusted I got. You are all so afraid to lose jobs in the province when we are dying here in Pictou. As a nurse who worked at the Aberdeen for awhile, I saw more cancer patients than I have at any other hospital I have worked at, and I have worked in hospitals all over North America (as a travel nurse) and also up north five different times. My children were always sick with upper respiratory infections while they were growing up here in Pictou, but improved after we moved away when the oldest was eight. My husband developed MS while living here and we have since found out that there is a high rate of MS in this county.

We moved back here 14 years ago (outside of town, where the fumes nearly kill you) and were disgusted to see the same smelly smoke billowing across the causeway from the mill, after all their promises to “fix things” and clean the place up. People who work there call it “the smell of money” and accuse me of trying to take jobs away from Pictou County by daring to complain. It shames me to live here.

Please do something to make this mill find an alternative way to clean up their own waste and stop signing agreements with them that make you look utterly ridiculous. Fifty-year leases on lumber and pennies for millions of gallons of water? Seriously? Make them responsible for their own pollution! Insist that this foreign-owned power clean up their act!

Linda Gee

Pictou