Premier MacLauchlan is to be congratulated for taking a strong stand on the need to protect the waters of the Northumberland Strait from any unintended consequences of treated effluent coming from the Nova Scotia Northern Pulp plant. I share his concerns.
The Premier’s call for a stronger environmental regime to protect the waters of the Strait might have more credibility, however if his government and the governments before his had not overseen an environmental regime that has led to a massive degradation of P.E.I.’s water resources.
Something has gone horribly wrong. Our current environmental rules, regulations and enforcement have obviously had unintended consequences: annual fish kills, wells contaminated by nitrates and pesticides, anoxic events, estuaries clogged from soil erosion and nitrogen loading and the fact that P.E.I. contributes 95 per cent of the nitrates in the Northumberland Strait (The Guardian September 30 2017). We too desperately need stronger environmental protection for our waters.
So, if Premier MacLauchlan’s statements about the pulp mill effluent signals a newfound concern for our P.E.I. environmental standards and practices, then bravo. If not, his concerns ring hollow.