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In Nova Scotia, a dispute between fishermen and a pulp mill escalates with a standoff at sea

October 25 Across from the fishing pier in Pictou, Nova Scotia, smokestacks pump out billowing clouds of white smoke that drift over the choppy water. The Northern Pulp mill sits on one side of the harbor, churning out pulp that’s used to make toilet paper and paper towels.

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‘Get out of here,’ fishermen tell crew on Northern Pulp survey boat | CBC News

After a confrontation on the water, a fleet of fishing boats escorted a vessel believed to be conducting survey work for Northern Pulp back to the harbour in Pictou, N.S., on Tuesday morning. Fisherman Allan MacCarthy was the first to reach the survey boat about three kilometres from Caribou, N.S.

 

Northern Pulp’s new proposal comes one day after effluent leak

Northern Pulp is proposing a new route for its controversial plan to pipe treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait. The idea comes the day after a leak was found in the current pipeline near Pictou Landing First Nation. First Nations leaders and fishing groups still say any pipeline is unacceptable, though.

 

‘I’m terrified nothing’s going to survive’: Pictou County man worried effluent has spread to his wetland property | The News

PICTOU LANDING, NS – There are few things William Rowsell enjoys more than strolling through his wetland property and being at one with nature. Except on Oct. 23. After returning from work, Rowsell picked up his newspaper and learned about a leak in the pipeline that carries effluent from Northern Pulp.

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Quotes from elected representatives on the proposed effluent pipe and the environmental assessment of the project. You be the judge.

 

PC Leadership candidates comment on Boat Harbour/Northern Pulp

Only Tim Houston has stated clear concerns about the EA process UPDATE Oct 26, 2018: Houston got the nod In Interviews conducted by the Chronicle Herald on Oct 24, 2018, candidates for the leadersh…

 

Trudeau leaving Northern Pulp’s Northumberland Strait pipe plans to provincial jurisdiction | The Register/Advertiser

SUTHERLAND’S RIVER, N.S. – Pictou Landing Chief Andrea Paul says she “felt a little defeated” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to a question July 17 about whether the federal government would be willing to step in and

 

Lenore Zann, MLA Truro- Bible Hill, Millbrook, Salmon River. Posted on the Clean up the Pictou County Pulp Mill Facebook page, 10/22/2018.

For Immediate Release – TRURO: NDP Environment spokesperson Lenore Zann made the following statement in response to news of an effluent leak at Northern Pulp this weekend:

“News of any spill at an industrial site is concerning. The Liberal government needs to ensure that this weekend’s effluent leak is dealt with quickly and properly to avoid any additional impacts to the Pictou Landing community.

For months, we have heard serious concerns from fishers, Indigenous communities, tourism operators, and other community members about Northern Pulp’s future plans for effluent treatment. Given this spill, I am calling on the McNeil Liberals to support the growing call for a federal environment assessment for the new effluent treatment system.” #nopipe

 

Karla MacFarlane, Pictou County MLA & interim PC Leader. Taken from CBC News, PC leadership candidate calls for longer look at Northern Pulp’s effluent plan, Feb.2/18.

“It can be all done on land. And I think when you know better, you do better, and I will never, ever endorse a pipe going out into the strait,” MacFarlane told the fishermen, earning a round of applause.

 

Tim Houston, Pictou County MLA & PC leadership candidate. Taken from CBC News, PC leadership candidate calls for longer look at Northern Pulp’s effluent plan, Feb.2/18.

“I respectfully ask you to raise the bar on the environmental assessment process and get three independent experts to inform yourself and the community on the alternatives that can be considered,” Houston said in a Jan. 29 letter to Environment Minister Iain Rankin obtained by CBC News….

In his letter to Rankin, Houston said the proposed wastewater facility should undergo a Class 2 environmental assessment — a review that can take up to 275 days, compared with the 50-day review period, with 30 days set aside for public comment under the Class 1 assessment, which is currently scheduled.

 

John Lohr, Kings North MLA & PC leadership candidate. Taken from CBC News, PC leadership candidate says ‘paid protesters’ attended Northern Pulp pipe protest, July 17/18.

One of the candidates vying for the Nova Scotia PC leadership says “paid protesters” were among the hundreds of people who gathered in Pictou, N.S., earlier this month to rally against Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipe.

John Lohr, the MLA for Kings North, made the comments in a Facebook post on Saturday, saying “this is exactly what the radical eco-left wants. To shut down our jobs and put working class Nova Scotians out of a job.”

He added that if he becomes premier, he “won’t back down to a few paid protesters and lefties that are opposed to working class jobs.”

 

Tensions around Northern Pulp have local MP ‘deeply concerned’ | CBC News

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser says he’s ‘deeply concerned’ about what could happen in his riding as tensions continue to escalate around the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County.

 

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P.E.I. politicians call on N.S. counterparts to hear concerns about Northern Pulp | CBC News

Members of a legislative committee on P.E.I. will be sending a letter to their Nova Scotia counterparts asking them to hear concerns being raised about the Northern Pulp project in Pictou, N.S. Representatives from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association appeared Friday before the standing committee on agriculture and fisheries, giving MLAs an update on the project.

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UPDATE: Northern Pulp pipeline could harm herring spawning beds, say P.E.I. fishermen | The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – A marine biologist working with the Island’s fisheries association says a proposed effluent pipeline in Pictou, N.S. could have negative impacts on already threatened fish and marine habitats in the Northumberland Strait. Speaking before the P.E.I. legislature’s standing committee on agriculture and fisheries on Friday, Melanie Giffin, who works with the P.E.I.

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Petition to the House of Commons, E-1750. Calling Upon the Government of Canada to authorize a full environmental assessment report under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency regarding the proposed effluent pipe into the Northumberland Strait.

The Gulf of St Lawrence may soon be unable to support marine life and/or a commercial fishery. According to a new study released last week by international scientists, the Gulf of St Lawrence is rapidly deoxygenating. We can’t undo the past, nor can we control ocean currents, but we can stop the dumping of 90 million litres daily of toxic, de-oxygenating pulp mill effluent into the sensitive spawning grounds of the Northumberland Strait.

Please sign this non partisan petition to show you care and to enable Canadian citizens to demand action and accountability from our elected Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

To sign, use the link below or Google House of Commons Petition 1750

***This petition closed 10/19/2018 with 6183 signatures. Thank-you to all who have participated in and supported this petition. Progress updates will be posted.***

Petition e-1750 – E-petitions

There is no obligation on the part of any Member of Parliament to sponsor an e-petition. Neither the House of Commons nor any Member of Parliament sponsoring a petition endorses the views or information contained in any e-petition posted on this website.

The below is by Michael Harris, Oct. 8th, 2018.

The fight to keep a pulp mill from poisoning the Northumberland Strait – iPolitics

Justin Trudeau likes to say he’s a torchbearer for the environment. The prime minister also claims he’s a champion of Indigenous peoples. And he is every bit of that – on paper. But he risks becoming the Pontius Pilate of the Environment and another double-talking Indian agent if he doesn’t change his tune on Boat […]

 

 

Gulf of St. Lawrence is canary in climate-change coal mine: May – iPolitics

As an environmentalist living in the age of climate change, Elizabeth May is used to bad news. But she says a recent study on the deoxygenation of the Gulf of St. Lawrence “just about knocked me over.” Published late last month in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study found there is rapid deoxygenation happening […]

 

 

Lack of oxygen in Gulf of St. Lawrence needs emergency action, says activist | CBC News

Green Leader Elizabeth May asked for an emergency discussion Tuesday in the House of Commons on the Gulf of St. Lawrence following the release of a report detailing declining oxygen levels in the water. Speaker Geoff Regan turned her down.

Below a letter from Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you today because of the dire situation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. You may have recently heard that marine life in the Gulf is under serious threat due to warming waters and rapidly declining oxygen levels. If you missed this news, you can watch me call for an emergency debate in the House of Commons to address this ecological crisis. Climate change presents an urgent threat to our natural world, and as a country we need to be doing everything within our power to be part of the solution. Right now the effects of climate change are being felt across Canada and the world, but they are becoming most dangerously evident in the Gulf.

Despite these frightening and sobering scientific warnings, we continue to forge ahead with industrial projects that may very well make the situation worse. One of these projects—the Kraft pulp mill in Abercrombie, Nova Scotia—will put this sensitive ecosystem at an even greater risk than it currently is. This important e-petition (#1750) calls on the government to conduct a full environmental assessment before the mill starts pumping 70+ million liters of bleached pulp effluent into the Gulf of St. Lawrence daily. To approve a project of this proportion without conducting a proper environmental assessment is ludicrous. If approved, this project will threaten the vibrant tourism and fishing industries in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Quebec. In 2018, we should know better than to blindly approve projects.

This e-petition closes for signature on October 19, so the time to act is now to help save the Gulf of St. Lawrence! I need you to sign it today.

Earlier this week, Michael Harris wrote an insightful article that dives deep into the rich history of the region and the courage of those putting everything on the line to protect their home. The fight to keep a pulp mill from poisoning the Northumberland Strait is far from over, but the brave people fighting this pipe need our help.

“Parts of this once stunning estuary in Pictou County have already become a national disgrace. According to people who live here, the affected areas are in the same league as the poisoned tailing ponds of the Alberta tar sands and the Sydney tar ponds on Cape Breton. What was once a tidal bay supporting a variety of marine life is now a toxic lake.”

Sign this petition and then share this email with your friends, or forward them this link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1750.

By signing this petition, you are standing shoulder to shoulder with members of the Pictou Landing First Nation, residents of Pictou County, and countless fishermen and their families who depend on a healthy ecosystem in the Gulf for their livelihood. This vital ecosystem is already under serious threat from the impacts of climate change, and it is up to us to do what we can to preserve it for future generations.

In solidarity and action,


Elizabeth May O.C.
Member of Parliament
Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada

P.S. – After signing the petition on www.petitions.ourcommons.ca,  be sure to check your email and click on the confirmation link that is sent to you by the House of Commons.

 

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is Losing Oxygen Faster Than Almost Any Other Marine Environment

The Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada is rapidly losing oxygen, declining by as much as 55 percent in some spots since the 1930s – compared to a 2 percent drop globally. Now, new research has found that the region’s dramatic oxygen decline is due largely to climate change and shifts in the major ocean currents that feed the gulf.

 

Large-scale shift causing lower-oxygen water to invade Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence

Rapid deoxygenation in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence is caused by shifts in two of the ocean’s most powerful currents: the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current. A detailed model shows that large-scale climate change is causing oxygen to drop in the deeper parts of this biologically rich waterway.

 

 

 

 

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Liberals, Oil Surveys, and Right Wales

February 14th, 2018

“Is the Trudeau government attuned to the threats to marine species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from seismic surveys and drilling,” asks Michael Harris in this week’s iPolitics article, “How the federal government is doing wrong by North Atlantic right wales.” “Or Is it all political and bureaucratic razzle-dazzle while the beat from the […]

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Should Parliament Consult with First Nations when Drafting Legislation that Impacts Them?

February 1st, 2018

Our answer: Of course. The Mikisew Cree First Nation took their case to the Supreme Court of Canada this month, arguing that they have a right to be at the table for legislation relevant to their treaty rights, particularly environmental assessment, fisheries and navigable waters protection. If successful, this precedent would forever change the way […]

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SOSS Press Clippings

February 1st, 2018

Thank you to all the folks who made the media release and the protest on Jan. 24th a success! Our coverage was a big milestone in pressuring the Liberal Cabinet and PMO to keep their promise on environmental assessment. We press on! CBC Nova Scotia: Environmental groups perplexed over possible offshore assessment changes National Post: […]

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14 Days to Save The Gulf of St. Lawrence ~ urgent action!

October 4th, 2016

It’s like a bad dream that you can’t wake up from. The company that has wanted to drill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for nine years, the same company responsible for seismic testing while the endangered blue whale was migrating, wants a new license.
This in spite of numerous calls for a moratorium on all oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and an historic statement from the Chiefs of the Mi’qmawei Mawiomi calling for a 12-year moratorium on oil and gas in The Gulf. Read about this Sierra Club Canada Foundation campaign and send your email today!

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