Premier to Announce the Fate of Northern Pulp
The Premier will lift his veil of secrecy over the future of Northern Pulp on Friday.
Stephen McNeil released a statement today in response to his Environment Minister’s call for the Pictou County mill to complete another environmental assessment of its latest waste treatment plan.
The premier seemed to put some distance between himself and his minister, referring to him as “the regulator”. The fact is that Gordon Wilson is a cabinet minister who would have been expected to discuss any decision about such a sensitive issue behind closed doors with the premier.
McNeil said, “Our government now faces a very difficult decision - whether to give the company an extension to allow it to do the work necessary to prove it can operate in an environmentally sound manner, or let the Boat Harbour deadline stand, effectively shutting down the mill.”
It was McNeil who led the charge to close Boat Harbour’s effluent disaster five years ago and he has repeatedly said there would be no extension of the January 31st deadline.
Describing it as “one of the most difficult decisions our government has had to make to date,” the premier promised to make his public announcement on Friday.
He has two options: hold to the deadline set under the Boat Harbour Act, effectively closing the mill on January 31st, or allow the company to operate as usual during preparation of the latest demand for an environmental assessment report.
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