Letters to the Editor

Death warrant for forestry

The Chronicle Herald,
December 23, 2019
Death warrant for forestry
Re: the impending closure of Northern Pulp:
First, the repercussions of prematurely closing the mill have been vastly understated. Whoever came up with the number of 2,700 people employed by the forest industry does not understand it. That number is low and does not count the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of woodlot owners and farmers whose woodlot income makes up a huge portion of their family income.
No one supports polluting the environment, but there was time to fix this. Shutting down the primary buyer of woodchips and poor-quality wood not only closes down an industry, but it will effectively destroy Nova Scotia’s forests.
Proper forest management cannot occur without the ability to sell poor-quality fibre. This fibre presently has no other market and comes under CFIA restrictions if we find one. So the few mills that manage to run will only be buying the very best timber. Every contractor and logger will be forced to cut their best timber in order to make their equipment payments and not go bankrupt. Most contractors would have a couple of million dollars worth of gear. The larger ones would have tens of millions invested, and few or none would have it all paid for.
So what happens when, as landowners and loggers, we cannot sell poor-quality wood? What happens is we cut the best and leave the rest. So forget forest management in Nova Scotia; it cannot happen, and after a decade or two, there will not be any forests left to manage.
Worse yet, all those against giving the mill time to mitigate its effluent have been lied to about the effects of this closure. Those folks think it doesn’t affect them, but it does. Your government services just got cut. The $2 billion that the forest industry used to contribute to Nova Scotia’s economy will leave a gaping hole in health care, education, policing, road repair, the environment — every government service, in fact.
This decision didn’t have to be made, and unless it’s corrected, it will have devastating and long-lasting effects for all Nova Scotia.
Gerald Keddy, New Ross, former Progressive Conservative MP

Stubborn Stephen strikes again

The Chronicle Herald
December 23, 2019
Stubborn Stephen strikes again
If Capt. Edward Smith of the Titanic had heeded earlier warnings of icebergs ahead, there would have been more than enough time‎ to change course and avoid one of the greatest sea disasters of all time. Instead, Smith stubbornly held his course.
I’m afraid the same goes for Capt. Stephen McNeil, premier of Nova Scotia, on whose watch the province now faces economic disaster. Capt. McNeil had five years to show leadership and ensure that the Northern Pulp mill understood, and did what was necessary, to get environmental compliance.
Instead, Capt. McNeil yet again showed his stubborn streak‎ and continued full speed ahead while ignoring all warnings until it was too late to do anything to avoid hitting the iceberg.
Principled leadership? Nope. Pigheadedness? Yep!
It’s just like Stubborn Stephen’s mismanagement of health care. He refuses to admit he has created a life-threatening crisis.
We Nova Scotians need to wake up and get someone to relieve Stubborn Stephen and get him the heck off the bridge before he drowns us all.
James R. O’Hagan, Bedford

Selective hearing on Northern Pulp issue

The Casket
October 2, 2019
Selective hearing on Northern Pulp issue
Not only did I read Premier Stephen McNeil’s Sept. 29 opinion piece with great interest, I had to agree with him. Yes, it is a “balanced decision” that is required in relation to the Northern Pulp dilemma — balanced and with some flexibility by all involved, including the public.
The premier’s reliance on “science and reason” is certainly commendable. Environmentalists and various protesters alarmed about climate change are relying heavily upon what the majority of scientists in that field maintain and predict. “Believe the science” is what so many waved placards proclaim.
Why not rely upon science as well when it comes to effluent treatment? Why prejudge? Why all the fearmongering? Let’s wait and see what the science shows. The fact that there are many such mills in North America and other countries which treat their effluent responsibly fills me with some confidence. And let’s not confuse “faith in science” with “faith in government,” or worse still, “faith in political leaders.”
Speaking of that, I must accuse the premier and his government of inconsistency and hypocrisy. He is advocating faith in science and reason on this issue. Where is the faith in science on two other issues, where science and reason (as well as economic benefits) are not given a chance? I am referring to the all-too-quick moratorium on onshore gas exploration and the continuing prohibition against uranium mining. Faith in science and reason should not be selective.
Morris Haugg, Amherst

Scroll to Top