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LETTER: Selective hearing on Northern Pulp issue


The Boat Harbour treatment site processes wastewater from the Northern Pulp mill, seen in the background. - Christian Laforce / File
The Boat Harbour treatment site processes wastewater from the Northern Pulp mill, seen in the background. - File

Not only did I read Premier Stephen McNeil’s Sept. 29 opinion piece with great interest, I had to agree with him. Yes, it is a “balanced decision” that is required in relation to the Northern Pulp dilemma — balanced and with some flexibility by all involved, including the public.

The premier’s reliance on “science and reason” is certainly commendable. Environmentalists and various protesters alarmed about climate change are relying heavily upon what the majority of scientists in that field maintain and predict. “Believe the science” is what so many waved placards proclaim.

Why not rely upon science as well when it comes to effluent treatment? Why prejudge? Why all the fearmongering? Let’s wait and see what the science shows. The fact that there are many such mills in North America and other countries which treat their effluent responsibly fills me with some confidence. And let’s not confuse “faith in science” with “faith in government,” or worse still, “faith in political leaders.”

Speaking of that, I must accuse the premier and his government of inconsistency and hypocrisy. He is advocating faith in science and reason on this issue. Where is the faith in science on two other issues, where science and reason (as well as economic benefits) are not given a chance? I am referring to the all-too-quick moratorium on onshore gas exploration and the continuing prohibition against uranium mining. Faith in science and reason should not be selective.

Morris Haugg, Amherst

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