Northern Pulp needs leadership now

For some time now, there has been a heated debate about the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County. There are more than 330 people who work at the mill, the vast majority of whom are members of Unifor, Canada and Nova Scotia’s largest private sector union and largest forestry union. They are community volunteers, single moms, hockey coaches and mill workers. They raise their families in Pictou County and are proud to do so. Their jobs and work are important to the economy of the region and to the social fabric of the communities.

They are among the thousands of people who make a living directly or indirectly from the mill, including workers at sawmills across the province, contractors, truck drivers and Halifax Port workers where the mill accounts for 37% of Nova Scotia’s exports to China.

Since Northern Pulp was purchased by new owners in 2011, there have been millions invested to clean and modernize the mill. Unifor members at the mill want the best for their community and are working hard to make Northern Pulp a world-class facility. We want to ensure, like the forest sector, that the fisheries sector, including in the Northumberland Strait, is healthy and sustainable for generations to come. Proper tests must be run, and for this to happen, the province must take a leadership role in establishing trust in the process with all stakeholders.

Sign our petition to Premier Stephen McNeil and Liberal MLAs to demand leadership to secure forestry jobs across the province and bring the community of Pictou together.

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The Message:

Premier Stephen McNeil,

The situation surrounding Northern Pulp has become increasingly tense in recent months as the deadline set by the province to close Boat Harbour approaches. The company has stated they may miss their target for completion of a new treatment facility, and with recent opposition to a scientific survey vessel preventing environmental assessment in the Northumberland Strait, we are looking at the very likely possibility Northern Pulp may suffer a shut-down.

As I'm sure you are aware, even a temporary shut-down of the mill will have a domino effect that will result in thousands more people losing work than the already significant 330 workers at Northern Pulp. Sawmills may be forced to close immediately. Transport truck drivers will go without work. The 30,000 woodlot owners across Nova Scotia will see their lands diminish in value by half overnight.

The impact of a Northern Pulp closure or work stoppage carries serious consequences for the entire province that cannot be ignored.

Misinformation about how a Kraft pulp mill like we have in Pictou operates has led to some groups imagining a solution for the mill that is not possible. No matter the amount of money invested, a "no pipe" system will not work at this type of mill. To be very clear, not a single bleached elemental chlorine-free (ECF) Kraft mill in the world has a closed-loop, or “no pipe” system. Such technology doesn’t exist for this type of mill which currently produces bleached Kraft pulp which is used to produce toilet paper, tissues and many other consumer products for Asian and North American markets.

Therefore, no pipe means no mill and the loss of a significant economic base for the region and thousands of workers. We want to ensure, like the forest sector, that the fisheries sector, including in the Northumberland Strait, is healthy and sustainable for generations to come. Proper tests must be run, and for this to happen, the province must take a leadership role in establishing trust in the process with all stakeholders.

Your leadership is urgently needed to allow the process of constructing a new treatment facility to proceed, which includes providing the time necessary and a significant involvement by your government to fostering understanding and cooperation within the community.


This message will be emailed to:
  • Premier Stephen McNeil
  • Randy Delorey
  • Kelly Regan
  • Hugh MacKay
  • Gordon Wilson
  • Rafah DiCostanzo
  • Karen Casey
  • Tony Ince
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Patricia Arab
  • Geoff MacLellan
  • Lloyd Hines
  • Lena Diab
  • Brendan Maguire
  • Labi Kousoulis
  • Ben Jessome
  • Margaret Miller
  • Chuck Porter
  • Keith Irving
  • Leo Glavine
  • Suzanne Lohnes-Croft
  • Mark Furey
  • Keith Colwell
  • Derek Mombourquette
  • Iain Rankin
  • Bill Horne
  • Zach Churchill