I decided to join the Environmental Liaison Committee after learning of Northern Pulp’s proposed plan for a revitalized mill here in Pictou County. I wanted to be a part of the possible solution that could help remove the divide between neighbours, friends, and family that the closure of Northern Pulp caused.
I grew up my whole life in Pictou County, just like my parents did, their parents and their parents before them. Our roots run deep in this community and now that I have a son of my own, I want him to be able to grow up and raise a family here if he so chooses. This dream cannot be fulfilled if we continue to drive industry and jobs out of rural NS. As I grew up I watched my father lose 3 jobs as his place of employment shut down, the Trenton Carworks, Nova Forge Corp, and lastly Northern Pulp. Each one of these closures took a toll on our family as well as every other family that was affected by those shutdowns.
This doesn’t mean we can overlook the environmental consequences of these industries and forge on at any cost. Those days have come and gone, but we still need industries like Northern Pulp to produce the products we use every day and if we still need these industries. The question then lies with why not here?
I believe that if both sides are willing to listen and act upon the thoughts and knowledge of others, we can have a mill that satisfies the environmental aspects and concerns of the surrounding community members, fishermen, and First Nations. If this can be achieved, it will help provide a necessary boost to the local economy and hopefully help keep young people here in Pictou County where they can raise their families and enjoy all of what our small community has to offer.