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Forestry workers welcome Northern Pulp’s $350-million transformation plan


July 16, 2021
By P&PC Staff

The union representing forestry workers in Nova Scotia say it supports Paper Excellence’s announcement to spend $350 million to transform the Northern Pulp kraft pulp mill in Pictou that has been in hibernation since 2020.

“We hope Northern Pulp’s plan to transform the mill into one of the world’s cleanest will meet Nova Scotia’s environmental standards so workers can get back to their good jobs that are vital to the province’s forestry sector,” says Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, in a statement.

Unifor Local 440 represents nearly 300 workers who were laid off in 2020 when operations were paused at the mill. More than 2,500 other jobs were also impacted.

The mill has started the first step of the environmental assessment application by filing a project description.

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The planned investment to create a tertiary effluent treatment system that reduces odour, emissions, water usage and meets or exceeds environmental standards is good news for the province’s forestry sector, says Unifor.

A new wet electrostatic precipitator will also remove fine particles from being released into the air.

“We welcome the community consultation that shows Paper Excellence is listening to its neighbours, the Mi’kmaq Nation, Pictou Landing First Nation, and workers,” says Linda MacNeil, Unifor’s Atlantic regional director.

“We urge the Nova Scotia government to show leadership and make science-based decisions if we are going to see a re-opening of a clean and sustainable mill.”