N.S. premier responds to Unifor’s plea for Northern Pulp build
August 12, 2019 By P&PC Staff
August 12, 2019 – Nova Scotia’s premier has dismissed Unifor’s request to allow Northern Pulp’s new effluent treatment plant to begin construction ahead of the company finishing its due diligence for the province.
Northern Pulp has been ordered by the Nova Scotia government to stop diverting its effluent into the heavily polluted Boat Harbour by January 31, 2020. In order to keep operating, the mill must find an alternative way to dispose of its effluent. The mill is currently working to amend its environmental assessment application for a new treatment plant with additional information required by the province. It needs that application approved in order to receive a permit to build.
Unifor, the union representing workers at Paper Excellence’s Northern Pulp mill, released the results of a study it commissoned last week that indicated 2,700 jobs would be lost across the province if the mill closes. Union leader Jerry Dias issued a public plea requesting that the province approve Northern Pulp’s plan immediately in order to avoid even a temporary shutdown, and to allow Northern Pulp more time to submit the additional information while construction is underway.
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According to The Chronicle Herald, Premier Stephen McNeil has responded to Dias’s request, saying that the only way for Northern Pulp to proceed with its new plant is to receive its permit through regular channels after an assessment by the government’s environmental agency.
McNeil says that while maintaining jobs is important, the new facility needs to “meet the environmental standards of today.”
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