So comments Paul Pross in an op-ed in the Chronicle Herald yesterday (Nov 26, 2018), responding to a CH editorial on Nov 22 titled “N.S. stuck in a muddle”.
Unfortunately, neither item is publicly available. Here are a couple of extracts from the CH editorial:
The Northern Pulp cost-benefit equation gets harder to evaluate by the day. Since 1967, the kraft pulp mill at Abercrombie Point has represented an uneasy balance between employment and environment in an economically precarious region…
If Northern Pulp misses the 2020 deadline, would the province really order a shutdown? History suggests otherwise. Governments of all stripes have bent every effort to keep pulp and paper alive in Nova Scotia. It is too big to fail.
So unless it becomes an election issue, the province will likely muddle along, spending money but never escaping survival mode for an industry perpetually under pressure.
I asked Paul Pross if he would send me a copy of his original submission to post on NSFN. Here it is as submitted:
Your editorial ‘Northern Pulp Dilemma’ (November 22, 2018) is as muddled as the situation it describes.
Is it really useful to suggest that the province will continue to ‘muddle along, spending money but never escaping survival mode for an industry perpetually under pressure’?
At the very least you could have returned to your opening remark that ‘the Northern Pulp cost-benefit equation gets harder to evaluate by the day.’
You could have insisted that the government undertake a thorough, transparent and hard-nosed cost – benefit analysis of the situation.
Just how many full-time jobs are at stake at the mill? How much is the mill costing Nova Scotia taxpayers? How difficult would it be to replace those jobs? Could displaced employees be compensated or found rewarding alternatives at less cost to the Province than currently? Is the mill’s pollution discouraging other enterprises from establishing in the area? How much would we really pay in damages if the Province were to precipitate the closure of the mill?
Nor should the cost-benefit analysis end at the mill gates. You refer to ‘many more’ jobs in the forest, sawmill and transportation sectors. But would those jobs die with the mill? We need to know.
We need to know, too, how much the mill is extracting from our forests. Is it true, as some believe, that it is chewing up the province’s last remaining wood-basket in South Western Nova Scotia? What impact is that having on the forest, now and in the future?
Perhaps if we were given an honest and complete cost benefit analysis of the Northern Pulp situation, the equation would no longer be hard to evaluate.
I suspect many Nova Scotians, of all political stripes, would like to know the answers to the questions posed by Paul Pross.
Thanks for sharing, PP.