#EnvironmentalRacism; #NovaScotia; #BoatHarbourAct; #FirstNations; #LossOfJobs
Nova Scotia, Dec 20 (Canadian-Media): Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil's decision On Friday not to amend the Boat Harbour Act, considered province's worst examples of environmental racism, forcing the closure of Northern Pulp's effluent facility by the end of January was a shock to the company and its employees as it could kill as many as 2,700 forestry-related jobs, media reports said.
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Brian Baarda, CEO of Northern Pulp parent company Paper Excellence said the company put together what it believed was an excellent plan for a replacement treatment facility that should have been enough to gain approval from the province's environmental regulator.
The premier's decision, delivered to reporters in Halifax on Friday, follows an announcement earlier this week by Environment Minister Gordon Wilson, who said he needed more science-based information from Northern Pulp to address concerns about potential environmental risks associated with the mill's proposal for a new effluent treatment facility.
McNeil announced a $50-million transition fund to help those in the forestry sector affected by the decision. The work will be managed by three government departments and the Nova Scotia Community College, and McNeil made a pledge to workers in the sector.
"We have not forgotten you and I have made it clear that this transition is a top priority. Our government is committed to economic growth and environmental integrity."
Legislation was passed in 2015 setting the date to close the facility at Boat Harbour, a former tidal estuary next to Pictou Landing First Nation that for five decades has been treating the mill's wastewater and is heavily polluted.