So asks Darlene Grant Fiander, president, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia in an Op-ed in the Chronicle Herald (Sep 21, 2017).
Good question, and hardly the first time it has been asked. Continue reading
“Nova Scotia’s Environment Department has begun an investigation into Northern Pulp operations after the Pictou County mill exceeded air contaminant emissions limits by nearly 50 per cent in June…the third year in a row emissions from the power boiler at the Northern Pulp mill exceeded the limits set down by the Environment Department.”
Local mill watchdog Matt Gunning wants NSE to post results of emmissions tests on its website.
Read more at CBC news (Sep 19, 2017)
View also cleanthemill.com
“People of Pictou County have been concerned about the pollution produced by the pulp mill since it began operations in 1967, but the desire to maintain jobs had historically overpowered the voices of the concerned.” The pollution includes harmful air emissions, and use of Boat Harbour to treat pulp mill effluents, both notorious.
Since its rebirth following bankruptcy of the once family owned, 150 year old operation in Lower Sackville, N.S., Hefler Forest products has been running on the profitable biomass energy operation alone. (View post, Aug 3, 2017).
Now, according to an article by James Risdon in the Chronicle Herald (Sep 15, 2017) , they will be restarting the sawmill, beginning with “production of specialty wood products, including 12-foot and 16-foot lengths and deck boards”, and will add 25 sawmill jobs for a total of 40 employees.
As well, they will direct wastes, in place of a portion of purchased biomass, to the biomass energy operation thereby reducing a portion of the carbon emissions associated with any use of primary forest biomass. (“Hefler Forest Products has been buying the biomass needed to keep its power plant in operation through Wagner Forest Nova Scotia.” – CH, July 27, 2017)
In late June/early July, CBC Information Morning conducted four interviews related to Western Crown lands issues which had precipitated the Independent Review (see links).
Below is an ‘abbreviated transcript’ of the interview with Bob Bancroft.
Intro: Stephen McNeil announced a review of the provinces forestry practices during the election campaign in May. He said it would be completed by September. Yesterday DNR Minister Margaret Miller announced that the review will be headed by former Deputy Environment Minister Bill Lehey and it will be completed by the spring. Bob Bancroft is a wildlife biologist and was one of the authors of the provinces last forestry review in 2011
DC: Good morning Bob, what do you think of the choice of Bill Lehey to run this review?
I’ve followed this topic [NS forestry] in earnest for several months now, and everywhere it’s the same, from people in government, industry and even conservation; no one wants to talk openly about it – some for political reasons, some citing job security, and some because they don’t want to burn important bridges. So while visiting a slice of Crown land in Halifax County with yet another person in-the-know, I decided to indulge my source in anonymity. Otherwise, this story wouldn’t exist.
In the business section of the Chronicle Herald, James Risdon looks at the market for N.S. softwood lumber south of the border. “Booming softwood lumber prices are letting Canadian producers carry on business as usual…South of the border, lumber prices have gone up by almost exactly the same amount this year as the countervailing duties, says Joel MacLaggan, sales manager at Waverley-based lumber broker Eacan Timber.”
There are still concerns about a possible downturn in the U.S. housing and the exclusion of N.S., P.E.I. and N&L from the countervailing duties still has to be finalized.
View Business as usual for lumber producers (CH, Sep 5, 2017).
In a Canadian Press item about the addition of eleven species to Nova Scotia’s list of species at risk, Natural Resources Minister Margaret Miller is cited as saying that Nova Scotians can help with conservation by becoming better informed and taking care when venturing into the wilderness. (View Chronicle Herald, Sep 1, 2017).In the same Saturday print edition of the CH in which the CP item appeared, a letter to the editor bemoans “major cutting of forest going on here [West Dalhousie area, Annapolis Co]..just behind this is a block of what is now considered protected land, but they are cutting it all in between my land and the protected area…West Dalhousie is dealing with tree destruction, spraying, road issues, environmental concerns about which nothing is done. Furthermore, there is wild animal displacement due to habitat loss, although officials deny it.”
I hope all Nova Scotians take Minister Miller’s message to heart.
A response to the comments and questions was received from NSDNR Minister Margaret Miller on Aug 24, 2017. View Post on HFN website; it includes a link to the NSDNR response.