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OPINION: P.E.I. demands environmental review

Premier Wade MacLauchlan, left, and StandardAero Summerside president Jeff Poirier are shown on a walk-through Monday of the company’s facility in Slemon Park.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan, left, and StandardAero Summerside president Jeff Poirier are shown on a walk-through Monday of the company’s facility in Slemon Park. FILE PHOTO

MacLauchlan makes statement on Northern Pulp effluent treatment facility; threat to lobster fishery

On Friday, while hundreds of people – including many Islanders – demonstrated in Pictou, N.S. against the Northern Pulp’s effluent pipeline plans – P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan wrote to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeill reiterating the concerns of Prince Edward Islanders regarding Northern Pulp’s plans for a new effluent treatment facility in Pictou County.

Following is the text of that letter:

“As you know, there continues to be significant concern expressed about Northern Pulp’s plans for a new effluent treatment facility for its Pictou plant and the impact on the environment. Including the potential consequent effect on the commercial fishery and aquaculture industries.

I continue to hold these concerns, including the direct impacts in our province and on the eco-system of the Northumberland Strait. Given the amount of time that has passed and fresh uncertainty about the Northern Pulp proposal, I believe there is now an opportunity to take a more fully collaborative approach.

. . . (I want to make) specific note of the potential risks of the project to vital sectors including the fishery and tourism, in our region and requested that a panel of experts and relevant stakeholders be established to review the environmental impacts of the project.

It is imperative that this matter be seriously considered given the potential risks on an important habitat and on critical sectors, beginning with the fishery and tourism... If the matter is still to be pursued through an environmental assessment, I would strongly urge that the federal process be engaged and that Prince Edward Island be fully consulted and engaged.

I appreciate your attention on this important matter. Our government is prepared to be part of an active response.”

- Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island

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