Environment featured Labour Racism

A message from Chief Andrea Paul: The forever argument of economy and jobs

Chief Andrea Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation posted this response to Unifor on her Facebook page this morning.

See also: Northern Pulp and Unifor: Wishing pesky fishers, Mi’kmaq and environmentalists away is not a solution

52 years of damage to waters, lands and air. 52 years of imposing this toxic waste to us, Pictou Landing First Nation and surrounding communities.

There has been 52 years of broken promises, decisions made without consultation, and throwing hush money on the table.

There was much opportunity for the Mill to do better and invest in cleaner and more environmentally sound technology – from the information shared by Unifor they definitely had the money to do so.

But the Mill didn’t want to invest in doing better. They never had to. They got away with their argument of jobs, economy and corporate bullying.

In their eyes – there was only one problem. The natives living in Pictou Landing. They never stopped complaining. They were always bringing up the pollution. So they tried the whole ‘let’s pretend to work with them’ and ‘let’s pretend we care about their concerns.’

Today, they are caught in a battle that THEY had years and years to resolve. They had many years of opportunity to do better. They chose not to. Even with the Boat Harbour ACT they still believed they were above that and didn’t begin consultation with the Band until 2017 after we requested it.

Just a reminder of the incomplete work that the Mill needs to provide to satisfy regulators – here is the focus report since Unifor didn’t seem to have a clue what was in it.


We have a duty to protect our environment. We have to remember not only the past generations that have endured this devastation but we need to protect the future generations. This is the teachings of our people. Seven Generations Teachings – how will the decisions of today impact the future? We saw what has happened and we cannot allow this to continue.

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

See also: Boat Harbour victim impact statement: a story of deception and broken promises

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  1. Thank you Chief Andrea Paul for standing your ground and speaking your truth (the truth) regarding Northern Pulp. Stay strong as you are a tremendous advocate.

  2. I wrote this and submitted to Chronicle Herald and Globe and Mail.

    Letter Page Editor,
    Globe and Mail,

    Dear Letters Editor,

    In response to yesterday’s report “Closing Nova Scotia Pulp Mill would cost 2700 jobs, decimate industry: Union.” I wish to wonder a bit more deeply than the union has. I always thought that trucks would work the same regardless of what they were moving. The service industries could serve environmentally-friendly businesses instead of the environmentally unfriendly businesses. My grandfather changed from being a horse teamster moving logs in New Brunswick, to being a horse teamster moving commodities in Massachusetts. A trucker in that industry, to whom Donna Crossland spoke, said he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a new trucking job.

    I wonder how many jobs, closing that mill down, would be saved and how many jobs, getting rid of the pulp mill would help create? Fishing, sports fishing, sports hunting, waterway tourism, eco tourism, upland tourism (which had been decimated), genealogical tourism (who wants to visit a cemetery or ancestor’s former home surrounded by or including clearcuts), ordinary tourism, herbalists, medicinal industries, scientific work with real sustainability in mind, maple syrup industry, flooring industry, value-added wood industries, and real lumber industry.

    I am sure the rarer real hardwood will get, the more valuable it will be. The rarer water’s value, which, according to UN studies, is being quickly ruined, certainly has to be considered. One also needs to take into consideration the service industries for each of those above industries and take into consideration service industries lost while those areas keep getting polluted and the forests raped. I wonder how the value of properties might go up if they weren’t surrounded by clearcuts.

    I wonder how many people would be saved or health improved, without those unnecessary pollutants and with the forest being the best means of clearing pollutants out. I wonder how much better the Earth would be, having atmospheric Carbon and Nitrogen kept in the forest, with soils cooled and shaded so they wouldn’t lose their long-stored carbon and nitrates. I wonder how much better off the soils and, consequently, the water would be with their systems protected instead of allowing the leaching and erosion to take place.

    All and all there are certainly many more jobs gained than lost and more people living longer as a consequence. Financially the Earth would be better off with environmentally friendly jobs–and wouldn’t the people be as well?

    Norris Whiston
    Retired public schools educator; BSc in Engineering University of Rhode Island; MEd Acadia University; Speaker on environment, nature and history and author.
    Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia B0K 1V0

    1. Congratulations at last someone who gets to the core. It is fine to blame govt and the company but the stand off will not be resolved without some kind od significant redeployment support. Thank you mr Whiston

  3. I to would like to thank you for speaking up and telling the truth about how the government has treated your people for over fifty years ref placing this treatment facility on your lands , conning your people into it actually …

  4. Yes, thank Chief Paul for standing with us and we stand with you. Let our voices bellow far and wide. United we stand.

    Much love and gratitude to you

  5. These are jobs have have cost Nova Scotians dearly. They have been a major contributor to the exploitation of our indigenous people. Pumping the waste from the mill into the Northumberland Strait would be an environmental atrocity. Close the mill and lets get on with helping the displaced workers use their skills to make this province a better place in a better world. Lets help them form worker owned businesses that will contribute to our communities. Lets develop a long term plan for high value added use of our forests. Lets use our resources to benefit Nova Scotians rather than foreign billionaires.

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