Premier’s reflective end of year message cites tourism and seafood exports as highlights of the economy, no mention of forest products

It’s worth noting perhaps.

No mention either of progress in sorting out forestry issues with receipt of Lahey Report, the promised Independent Review repeatedly cited in the run-up to the 2017 election.

View STEPHEN MCNEIL: Momentum building for Nova Scotia
(Cape Breton Post, Jan 4, 2019).

Related: VIBERT: Forest sector will fight for Northern Pulp
Jim Vibert in Journal Pioneer, Jan 5, 2019

The battle lines are drawn, but the battle is not yet joined.

When Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil conceded in year-end interviews that the future of Northern Pulp’s Pictou County mill is very much in doubt, his words didn’t surprise the province’s forestry sector, but they still sent a shiver down its collective spine.

…In a weak economy, the province’s determination to stick to its guns and its deadline will be tested.

The mill has economic tentacles that stretch across the province, into most saw mills and many woodlots. Its closure will hit the sector hard and be felt beyond, in places like the port of Halifax where Northern Pulp is the largest single shipper.

If the premier and the deadline are indeed unmoveable, the best outcome is a speedy end to this drama. Then the players that remain in the forestry sector can get to work on whatever transitions they need to make to survive and adjust to the loss of a mainstay.

However all of this plays out, in addition to the economic and environmental concerns, the province needs to consider the communities that are bitterly divided by this issue and bring it to a speedy resolution.

Thank you for that last sentence, Jim Vibert.

Some Comments on Vibert Op-ed on WWNS:

TMP: NP not having their treatment facility completed on time does not require the govt to extend the deadline. It requires the mill to sit idle until they have something in place. It would be NP’s choice to close down if they do so due to sitting idle.

The date for Boat Harbour closure is not a purely political decision. If a deal had not been struck between the Pictou Landings First Nations and the province after NP’s 47 million litre effluent leak, the mill would have had to shut down in 2014. The move closure date was the only way to give the mill a fighting chance, they were given 5 years and the closure date was timed with the end of their current Industrial approval. Extending the closure date would be extending 53 years of environmental racism that has been recognized as one of the main reasons for its closing. Do we really want to be the people who say ‘we can clearly tell this is racism, let’s keep doing that.’?

How can the mill have a positive assessment? They won’t be submitting a complete application and they will not have consulted the public on their present plan.

Northern Pulp is NOT the province’s largest shipper. NP exports less than a quarter billion a year. Michelin also exports more than that.
Forestry itself may be their biggest shipper industry wise but I have doubts with that since Fishing exports top $2B.

AI: Vibert writes an ad for Asia Pulp and Paper with no regard for the destruction the mill and clearcutting have done.

KF: I know some folks that are in the forestry sector that DO NOT support Northern Pulp!!! The fishing industry is the BIGGEST industry in Nova Scotia. Asking for an extension to Boat Harbour is the most disrespectful demand imaginable! Our forests are being slaughtered and our waters being threatened! Who in their right minds would ever support that!!!!!

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