Forestry issues prominent in Nova Scotia Day of Protest

It was a day that did not reflect well on Nova Scotia government over many years and under Liberal, NDP, and Conservative Premiers. On the same day, we learned of the passing of activist Betty Peterson whose motto was “Keep on keepin’ on”.

View VIDEO/STORY: Liberals taken to task on poverty, environment in day of protest by Stuart Peddle for the Chronicle Herald, Feb 27, 2018.

Several hundred protesters voiced their concerns outside Province House on Tuesday as the Nova Scotia legislature began its spring session.

They came in two waves as a diverse group verbally took Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government to task over a wide range of topics, including plans for effluent from Northern Pulp to be piped into the Northumberland Strait, to clearcut concerns, to poverty and access to health care. Later in the afternoon, after most of the earlier protesters had left, a group of a couple of hundred parents, teachers and their supporters revitalized the event as they called on the Liberals to reassess the decision to implement the recommendations of the Avis Glaze report on the education system.

Before heading to the protest, EAC’s Wilderness Issues Co-ordinator Raymond Plourde talked at length with Rick Howe about forestry issues. See Rick Howe Show Audios – select Feb 27, 11 am audio. (It’s available for one week following the interview.)

Also yesterday, A blistering commentary by Joan Baxter:
COMMENTARY: Taxpayers on hook forever for Northern Pulp Chronicle Herald Feb 27, 2018

…This is where things get interesting for Northern Pulp, and potentially very expensive for the people of Nova Scotia. Although neither the government nor Northern Pulp seems keen to draw attention to it, an indemnity agreement signed in 1995 by then minister of supply and services Gerald O’Malley put Nova Scotians on the hook for the cost of treating and disposing of the mill’s effluent — forever. It is “intended to provide the broadest possible indemnity to the Indemnified Parties,” who shall be held “harmless” from any claims and expenses arising out of the effluent treatment system.

This means the government is the regulator responsible for approving a treatment system that it may also have to pay for…In addition, mill manager Bruce Chapman told The Chronicle Herald that the province will be “pressed” for compensation by Northern Pulp (part of the Paper Excellence Group linked to the billionaire Widjaja family of Indonesia), because former premier John Hamm’s government gave the mill a lease to use Boat Harbour for its effluent until 2030.

It was a day that did not reflect well on Nova Scotia government over many years and under Liberal, NDP, and Conservative Premiers.

Thanks for speaking up, people! (The Coast, Nov 7, 2017)


And it’s appropriate to acknowledge that on the same day of this protest, we learned of the passing of social activist Betty Peterson over the previous weekend. She was a figure almost everyone who has been involved in a protest at Province House would recognize. She was 100.

View RIP Betty Peterson, iconic peace activist and voice for change
The Coast, Feb 27, 2018

When asked by The Coast in 2014 if she had any advice for the next generation of strong activist women, Peterson was characteristically straightforward.

“Keep on keeping on,” she said. “It’s worth it. Keep on keeping on. It helps you to keep your sanity, and it gives other people hope and calls them into action. I think there’s a great deal of discouragement, and we have to let them know it’s worth it to get out there and keep things alive.”

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