PICTOU – On Friday July 6, Pictou harbour will fill with fishing and pleasure boats and the Pictou waterfront with citizens gathered for the first major Nova Scotia #NOPIPE Land & Sea Rally in support of a healthy Northumberland Strait.
“We cannot allow 70-90 million litres a day of pulp mill waste to enter the prime fishing grounds of the Northumberland Strait,” says Ronnie Heighton, president of the Northumberland Fisherman’s Association and Gulf of Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board.
At issue is Northern Pulp’s proposed new effluent treatment system. The system would pipe waste effluent through a 10 kilometre long underwater pipeline from Abercrombie Point and discharge it into the Northumberland Strait, home to lobster, crab, scallop, herring and mackerel fisheries and spawning grounds. Northern Pulp’s proposed new system is planned to replace the existing Boat Harbour treatment facility that will be closed and begin environmental clean-up in 2020 as part of the Nova Scotia Boat Harbour Act.
“That the proposed alternative to Boat Harbour merely shifts the burden of pollution to Northumberland Strait is unacceptable. The discharge pipe system would be a clear violation of the spirit and substance of the commitments made by the Government of Nova Scotia,” says Chief Andrea Paul of the Pictou Landing First Nation.
Jill Graham-Scanlan, president of Friends of the Northumberland Strait, says citizen concern has been building steadily since Northern Pulp announced its proposal last September. “What is at risk is huge,” says Graham-Scanlan. “The livelihood of over 3,000 fishermen from three provinces, a First Nation commercial and food fishery, a $200 million Northumberland tourism economy, a $65 million sport fishing industry, property values, small businesses and the social well-being of our citizens are all at risk.”
The July 6 #NOPIPE Land & Sea Rally is organized by the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association and Friends of the Northumberland Strait, and supported by Pictou Landing First Nation and organizations including the PEI Fishermen’s Association, Maritime Fishermen’s Union, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, the Pictou Lobster Carnival and other fishing and environmental organizations. Their goal is “No Pipe in Our Strait” and “No Pulp Waste in our Waters.”
Graham-Scanlan sums up the sentiment of all the groups. “We need to protect the Strait for future generations. Nova Scotia deserves better than this risky plan. We deserve a 21st century solution.”
When & Where
Friday, July 6, 12 noon – 2 pm
12:00 pm Citizens gather at Pictou Exhibition Grounds in preparation for march
12:30 pm Citizen March – Pictou Exhibition Grounds to Hector Quay Marina, Pictou Waterfront
12:30 pm Boats gather at mouth of Pictou Harbour
1:00 pm Boats sail into Pictou Harbour, remarks and messages of support – Hector Quay Marina, Pictou Waterfront
Who & What:
Hundreds of boats to fill Pictou harbour including fishing boats from all three Atlantic provinces and Pictou Landing First Nation
First Nation chiefs from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick will stand with Chief Andrea Paul from Pictou Landing First Nation
Citizens will march through the streets of Pictou in support of a healthy Northumberland Strait
Representatives from fishing industry, First Nations, tourism, recreation and environment will share messages of support.
Friends of the Northumberland Strait is a community group which came together because of its concerns about Northern Pulp’s proposed wastewater treatment facility, especially the plan to continuously discharge pulp effluent directly into the Strait. Their goal is to create a better future together by protecting the water, air, land and resources of our region, so that we can thrive for many generations.