1. Boat Harbour clean-up

Geotubes holding toxic sludge. Photo: Nova Scotia Lands

“Fifty-two years of toxic sludge — enough to fill 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools to the brim. That’s the clean-up job now in the late planning stages for Boat Harbour,” reports Jennifer Henderson:

Boat Harbour is an expanse of stanky brown holding ponds or “lagoons”  at an effluent treatment facility located next-door to the Pictou Landing First Nation. “Nova Scotia’s worst example of environmental racism,” to quote former Environment Minister Iain Rankin.

An open house was held at the Pictou Landing Fire hall yesterday, hosted by Nova Scotia Lands. That’s the provincially owned crown corporation that inherited the mess shortly after June 2014, when a pipe owned by Northern Pulp broke and sparked a week-long blockade of the mill by First Nation people and white protesters.

Henderson goes on to provide details of the proposed clean-up of Boat Harbour, which will take 10 years to complete.

Click here to read “Boat Harbour: How to clean up a toxic soup.”

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2. Lunenburg wants to delay the Boat Harbour clean-up

The effluent from the Northern Pulp Mill currently flows from the aeration pond where it spends about a week, into the stabilization basin of Boat Harbour. Photo by Joan Baxter

But just as Nova Scotia Lands is preparing for the Boat Harbour clean-up, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg wants to delay the clean-up, reports Gayle Wilson for Lighthouse Now:

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) council voted in favour of sending a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil “urging an immediate extension” of the Boat Harbour Act deadline so that Northern Pulp’s effluent plant and pipeline can be completed.

However, the motion at the July 23 council meeting added the condition “that Northern Pulp press forward with all the required studies and obtain environmental approvals as required.”

MODL is concerned that the closure of the mill would impact jobs negatively in Lunenburg County.

You can listen to the council discussion here, starting at the 49:15 mark. A reader remarks:

One councillor, Ernst, stated the current government approved the Mill’s current outfall until 2030. The current government, did no such thing. The Hamm government did that. Hamm as you know is now Chair of the Board at Northern Pulp and their Forestry Corp.

The mayor of MODL, Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, is a former Cabinet Minister under Hamm as well as Rodney MacDonald (Environment). She can be heard promoting supporting the letter.

This is exactly what environmental racism looks like.

3. Boy drowns

A 15-year-old boy drowned at Kidston Lake in Spryfield yesterday. A pair of police releases say the boy drowned at around 7pm; his body was discovered by RCMP divers at 11:30pm. Police are not releasing the boy’s name.

4. Farm Assists raided

Police raided the Farm Assists store on Gottingen Street yesterday, reports Alexander Quon for Global.

5. Workers

Yesterday, the Canadian Centre for Police Alternatives–Nova Scotia released a report, “A Rising Tide to Lift All Boats,” that documents just how bad Nova Scotian workers have it. A press release announcing the publication reads:

The report finds that, on the whole, Nova Scotia falls well short on the most important and far-reaching of the Labour Standards Code’s provisions: standard hours of work, overtime provisions, vacation, minimum wage and statutory holidays. When one factors in the fact that Nova Scotia exempts workers in a long list of occupations and industries from enjoying even these watered-down protections, this report concludes that workers in Nova Scotia are denied many of the protections other Canadian workers enjoy. 

You can read the report here. If you scroll to page 80, Appendix A, you’ll find a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction comparison of regulations and protections for workers; Nova Scotia is at or near the bottom of the pack for every metric.

Why do we still have a 48-hour work week? That is, overtime doesn’t kick in until one works 48 hours in a week in Nova Scotia, while the civilized world puts it at 40 hours.

Government & Campus

Everyone is on vacation.

In the harbour

05:00: Atlantic Sky, ro-ro container ship, sails for Liverpool, England
06:00: ZIM Tarragona, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Valencia, Spain
09:00: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Fairview Cove from Saint-Pierre
13:00: Rebecca, cargo ship, sails from Pier 27 for sea
15:30: Viking Conquest, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
16:30: ZIM Tarragona sails for New York
18:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for St. John’s
22:00: YM Movement, container ship, arrives at Fairview Cove from Norfolk

No cruise ships this weekend.


There weren’t even any parts falling off aircraft yesterday to get snarky about. I’m going to weed the garden.

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  1. Re: Farm Assists raided
    I know a person, that is to say actual person with actual blood in her veins, actual passions and actual affections. She also has actual bone cancer and actual extreme pain. Her only relief has been Farm Assists’ dried mango infused with marijuana derivatives. The alternative, as far as I can tell, are legal physician-owned prescription mills who direct patients to, IMO, shady companies like CannTrust. But my friend is a long way from the nearest prescription mill, so let’s send her our thoughts and prayers because we know those will help.

    True, we’re all waiting for “edibles” to become legal like smokables, but why not lighten up a bit on enforcement in the meantime? Cops on the ground know it as “discretion” and use it frequently.

    And if Farm Assists was selling smokables for less than the NSLC can in it’s slick stores, who gives a shit? After all, it’s a legal substance.

  2. Did the Municipality of the County of Lunenburg Council , at any point in their discussion of the Boat Harbour Act, even mention that Pictou Landing First Nation representatives, Clean the Mill Group, the fishermen’s associations and alliances and/or Friends of the Strait had been consulted on this matter? This Council is not interested in hearing from all of the stakeholders. If it was they’d have needed to rent a conference center just to hold the numbers of fishermen and environmental stewards that would show up.

    Minister Miller recognized how wanting Northern Pulp’s proposal was.

    If failing to plan is planning to fail, then maybe offering a poor plan, which NP has already done, has consequences too–like a clock (and a COUNTDOWN). 182,181,…
    Premier MacNeil has said that there will be no changes to the Boat Harbour Act without the agreement of PLFN. PLFN has a countdown underway. ERGO…

  3. Not only does overtime not kick in until 48 hours, some employers have employees sign documents that they are “voluntarily” waiving overtime through schemes like agreeing to be paid for the extra hours in subsequent pay periods. How can this be legal?