Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Unusual flooding, erosion, something has changed about the Margaree River in Cape Breton, writes Sam Ainsworth. When local residents start pointing it clear cutting of the Margaree watershed by Port Hawkesbury Paper, the company fights back. An expert report, the local salmon fishers association, politicians all get mobilized to argue that things in fact are just fine. Not so fast, writes Ainsworth, ” The Margaree could be a beacon of light in a very dark history for salmon in this province but the clearcutting must be drastically reduced.”

This weekend we feature In the shadow of the dam, APTN’s brand new and excellent documentary on the indigenous resistance to the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador. You can’t condemn environmental racism and violation of Indigenous rights in Nova Scotia, and remain silent on what’s happening in Labrador right now. It’s that simple.

Roberta Benefiel, founding director of  Grand Riverkeeper, Labrador, is visiting Nova Scotia to remind us that for the people who live there Muskrat Falls is an environmental disaster that will poison traditional food sources and flood indigenous lands. She believes that through the Maritime Link this is Nova Scotia issue as well. “There may not be that many of us, but people do live here. We need to put a face to these people,” Benefiel tells the Nova Scotia Advocate.

About eight hundred Nova Scotians marched to Province House because they hate the devastation of our forests caused by clearcutting and because bureaucrats and politicians aren’t listening to them. To mark this important event we offer up a handful of photos and a transcription of the remarks by Melissa Labrador, a Mi’kmaq woman of the Wildcat community near Kejimkujik.

While municipalities reliably test the quality of water delivered through the utilities they manage, rural residents who rely on wells are on their own, reports new contributor Fazeela Jiwa. Now a new organization, Rural Water Watch Association (RWW), will respond to rural community members’ calls to test their water quality, addressing concerns about living close to toxic sites like landfills or incinerators.

On October 1st Nova Scotia became the province with the lowest minimum wage in Canada. That milestone event caused Christine Saulnier of the Nova Scotia office of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) to pull out the calculator and draw some shocking conclusions. Read the Coles version here, or better yet, check out Christine’s entire article on the CCPA website.

Stephen Thomas, energy coordinator at the Ecology Action Center, read the news about the most recent donation by a fossil-fuel company to Dalhousie University and he took to Facebook to express his displeasure and concern. We asked if we could republish it, and he agreed, although he felt it was  pretty unpolished. Sometimes unpolished is fine. 

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s most emissions-intensive provinces. Peggy Cameron wrote an open letter to Stephen McNeil pleading to change that. “You need to say “no” to highways and pipelines that increase our use of fossil fuels. Then you need to tackle this short list: increase renewables for Nova Scotian use, not export; shut down coal-fired generating plants; incentivize regenerative agricultural practices; stop clear-cutting and pesticide-spraying; promote afforestation and value-added production; establish a province wide integrated transportation network; and create a net-zero-carbon building programme.”

A letter written by Joanne Light to federal Fisheries minister Dominic Leblanc. She pleads for a radical rethink of the proposed twinned Avon River causeway in Windsor. Endangered salmon cannot enter the Avon River to spawn, and that should be fixed. Leblanc knows what to do, after all, a couple of years ago he helped fix a similar problem in the Peticodiac River, in his own riding.