Nova Scotia Premier McNeil appears to be backing off on his commitment to close Boat Harbour on schedule 27Sep2019

Does the Premier need to be reminded, today of all days, of Greta Thunberg: “We have started to clean up your mess and we will not stop until we are done”.
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From the Canadian Press in the Star on Dec 13, 2018:

Premier Stephen McNeil reiterated Thursday that his government has no intention of backing away from its deadline.

McNeil said it would look at options to help diversify the forest industry as a whole, but he wasn’t specific.

“We expect them (Northern Pulp) to meet that deadline. If they don’t we will continue to look at how do we best diversify the sector.”

From CBC News Nov 27, 2018

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil rejected the idea that Boat Harbour could stay open longer than planned Tuesday, and said it’s time for Northern Pulp and concerned community members to come up with a workable solution for treating millions of litres of effluent daily.

The treatment plant at Boat Harbour is scheduled to close in January 2020 as laid out in provincial legislation passed by the Liberals in April 2015.

Mill officials recently indicated they are unlikely to meet that deadline and will need an extension, but McNeil said the company has had “plenty of notice” to do the work required to prepare for the closure.

“It’s up to them to meet that deadline,” McNeil told reporters at Province House.

“I expect them to achieve that.”

In the Chronicle Herald Today, “A balanced decision on Northern Pulp” by Stephen McNeil (subscription required for access to the full article):

Boat Harbour will be cleaned up. There will be a comprehensive, science-based review conducted to assess Northern Pulp’s proposal to build a new effluent treatment facility as part of its mill operations in Abercrombie.

First, my pledge to the people of Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN), and to Chief Andrea Paul, will be honoured. Northern Pulp will stop pumping effluent into Boat Harbour, and that body will be restored as an estuary.

…Ultimately, any decisions on Northern Pulp will reflect the spirit of this Act [an updated Environemental Goals and Sustainability Act]. This means weighing economic interests and environmental impacts in a way that respects both and neglects neither. For this government, environmental integrity and economic growth must be connected hand-in-hand, not fist-to-fist.

No mention of the deadline.

The Liberals’ “Balanced Decisions” have their place but not in every place and time.

It was a balancing of fishing industry interests and biologists estimates of Maximum Sustainable Yield that resulted in collapse of the cod stocks.

Balancing of perspectives has given us Environmental Racism.

The wording of the op-ed is wishy washy enough that whatever McNeil decides in January of 2020, he can claim his decision is consistent with his latest pronouncement, if not earlier ones.

Perhaps that was intentional.

I respected much more his earlier statements, which like those of Greta Thunberg, were unequivocal.

A nod to Woods and Waters Nova Scotia for highlighting the McNeil op-ed.

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