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Fishermen's groups seek candidates' stance on Nova Scotia pulp effluent

The Northern Pulp mill is seen in Abercrombie Point in 2014, with the Town of Pictou in the background. FILE
The Northern Pulp mill is seen in Abercrombie Point in 2014, with the Town of Pictou in the background. FILE photo. - Christian Laforce

Mill discharge is a federal issue, they say

A coalition of Maritime fishing associations that oppose plans by a Nova Scotia pulp mill to discharge effluent into the Northumberland Strait is bringing their concerns into the federal election campaign.

In a joint statement released Monday, the coalition, representing the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association, Maritime Fishermen’s Union and  Pictou Landing First Nation, says it will be seeking the position of all local federal election candidates on Northern Pulp’s proposed effluent pipeline.

The coalition maintains the pipe would, on a daily basis, release between 65 and 87 million litres of effluent into the Northumberland Strait, “one of our most important commercial fishing areas.”

It points out the area falls under the Canadian Fisheries Act and is the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“We expect nothing less than support for a full federal environmental assessment and a land-based solution in hopes of mitigating a potential environmental marine disaster,” the groups’ joint statement said.

“Exploration of effluent treatment options that allow the mill and fishery to co-exist in a sustainable manner for the future, preserving jobs in both the fishing and forestry sectors is a preferred outcome but not at the expense of the fishery in this region. We are not interested in tearing communities apart but rather maintaining viable and profitable communities in every sector,” the groups’ joint statement said, insisting support for a land-based treatment facility is the responsible option.

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