Saturday, 16 November 2019

“So what will happen if the mill just defies the Boat Harbour Act and keeps on operating, using Boat Harbour for its effluent?” Not a whole lot of anything, writes Betsy MacDonald. Which is why we urgently need honesty and clarity from Premier McNeil, she argues.

Very pleased to post the brief but well-argued Save our Seas and Shores submission in response to the Northern Pulp proposal to dump its effluent pipe into the Northumberland Strait. “Northern Pulp’s focus report reads as if they are dumping into pristine waters, rather than the deeply degraded fragile ecosystem the Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St Lawrence have now become in 2019,” write Mary Gorman and Percy Hayne.

Many different groups have challenged Mi’kmaw sovereignty over A’Se’k and the area around it, and for centuries, the Mi’kmaq have resisted and protected their homeland. Historian Colin Osmond describes how today’s Mi’kmaq protectors of A’se’k walk in the footsteps and shadows of generations of Mi’kmaq who have done the same.

I am curious about how grassroots activism intersects with traditional politics, so with a federal election coming up I figured I do a couple of interviews with candidates, and ask my questions.

Here is the first interview, with Betsy MacDonald, who is running for the NDP in Central Nova. We talked with her about Boat Harbour, poverty, climate change, how activism shapes her views, and what to do about the many challenges people face in rural Nova Scotia.

I interviewed Joan Baxter, author of The Mill, and all round excellent reporter. We talked to Joan about bringing her African experience to Nova Scotia, what’s good and not so good about journalism here, the dangers of too much skepticism, the walls governments build around information, why give up your weekend to sit behind a computer, and much more. “That’s the very long story about how I got to be old and cranky,” Baxter said.

Chief Andrea Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation posted a response to the Unifor proposal on her Facebook page. “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.”