Pipes versus Environment challenge Liberal governments in Ottawa and Nova Scotia (and the rest of us)

A Canadian Press article in today’s Chronicle Herald, The growing impatience of an industry town: ‘This has really created tension’ about The Pipe proposed for the Northern Pulp Mill in Pictou, and a Reader’s Corner letter – Vote pipeline in peril – about the Kinder Morgan pipeline tell much the same story, differing only in scale and location.

Both are pitched by advocates for pipes or pipelines on the basis of jobs and economy, and are opposed because of environmental concerns and related jobs; in both situations, middle-of-the-road Liberal governments are trying to have it both ways; and both split communities and even families.

As I see it, there is a “solution” in Nova Scotia: an entirely land based treatment system, but given the time frame that could mean closing The Mill for a period beyond Jan 2020, the deadline for closing down the Boat harbour treatment system. I think pretty well all agree there is no backing away from that commitment, even the provincial Environment Minister Iain Rankin calling Boat harbour “one of the worst cases of environmental racism in the province, and possibly Canada” according to the CP article.

There do not appear to be any “solutions” for the western pipeline, but it’s not like the whole oil industry in Alberta is going to go under without it.

I guess it’s convenient to blame governments or blame industry for the situation we find ourselves in but we all need to do a lot of soul-searching individually and collectively about how we live on the planet and with each other.

My 2 cents worth.

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