HALIFAX — The Green Party of Canada stands with the Pictou Landing First Nation, the fishers and a coalition of local organizations including the Town of Pictou, who are urging the Nova Scotia government to reject Northern Pulp’s proposal for a new effluent treatment facility.
“I want to make it crystal clear that the Green Party supports Pictou mayor Jim Ryan, Indigenous leader Andrea Paul and Friends of the Northumberland Strait in their opposition to this proposal by Northern Pulp mill,” said Green Party Interim Leader Jo-Ann Roberts.
“The risk to marine water quality and fish habitat of dumping 85 million litres of treated industrial effluent into the Northumberland Strait is too high. The livelihoods of those who depend on these waters will be in jeopardy. We must not repeat the mistakes made in Boat Harbour.”
Green Party east coast fisheries critic Clive Doucet observed that the fishing industry is crucial to the social and economic health of the Maritime provinces.
“Tourists do not visit Nova Scotia to check out Northern Pulp’s mill in Pictou,” said Mr. Doucet. “I call on the new federal minister of fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, who understands what the fishery means to this region, to order a federal environmental review of the Northern Pulp proposal. It is time we required extraction companies to show how they will improve the quality of life in our region, not threaten it. Economic growth is generated by people, and people do not locate to compromised environmental areas.”
“Ocean acidification, increased water temperatures and decreased oxygen levels associated with climate change are fundamentally altering marine ecosystems and threatening all fisheries,” said Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “It’s crucial we eliminate any added stress to these environments and that means demanding that industries adhere to strict regulations when it comes to disposing of waste. I heard from Pictou residents back in February, during the Community Matters Tour, and they are extremely worried about this situation. I assured Chief Paul that Greens would stand with her and with the community in ensuring the province honour the Boat Harbour Act, no extension. We stand in solidarity with the Pictou Landing First Nation, the fishers and other community groups protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence."
Greens propose that coastal communities dependent on marine harvesting for their livelihoods be actively involved in fisheries management. Environmental concerns raised by these communities must be considered and respected.
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