Breaking promises should not be easy


To the Editor:

I am writing because I’m outraged by a portion of the February 28, 2018 editorial of the Pictou Advocate (p.6) where it is stated “The current government promised to close Boat Harbour, where the effluent is currently treated, in 2020. The right solution to this matter is worth a broken promise.”

This trivializes a horrendous history of government lies and manipulations that were used in order to get permission from Pictou Landing First Nation to turn the healthy ecosystem of Boat Harbour into a toxic site used to dump the pulp mill’s effluent and treat it somewhat. Anyone who has visited the site knows that what flows from Boat Harbour is far from clean water. This latest promise is not the first. According to “Boat Harbour by the numbers,” an exposé that was published online in 2009 by University of Kings College Journalism Students, the promise to close the “treatment facility” and clean up Boat Harbour had already been made by five different provincial governments (cited in The Mill by Joan Baxter, p.117-118).

It is true that it’s important to find “the right solution” rather than accepting the very questionable idea proposed by Northern Pulp to treat the effluent on site and pipe it out to the Northumberland Strait. However, why is it so easy to break very important promises made to Mi’kmaq people and so hard to tell this rich corporation that they might have to close, even temporarily, if a satisfactory solution to deal with their waste-water is not in place by 2020?


Catherine Hughes

River John