Sunday, July 8, 2018

#nopipe Protest in Pictou and the Either Or Proposition

Dear Reader,

There are always neo-liberal and capitalists interests that will try to force their agenda on the working people and their communities.

No matter the cost in environment, health, social interests of a people, community, province, country.

In Pictou County on July 6, 2018, hundreds of people joined in solidarity with local residents who oppose the planned new treatment facility plan at Northern Pulp. This is a paper mill that has inflicted untold damage to the waters in the area, subjected the citizens to perpetual air pollution as well, and has the privilege of a comprehensive indemnity agreement given by the provincial government in 1995. A conservative government if I recall correctly. It is an agreement that is at odds with the legal instruments put in place to protect people and environment in the province. How it stands, I don't know. However, there is always social contract, and you cannot indemnify that.

With the slogan "No Pipe", what the protesters are really saying is that they don't want any more false dilemma arguments from the mill, the province, the neo-liberals, or the capitalists. What the protesters are saying is in today's era of technology and scientific capacity - there are no false dilemmas - we can have clean water, a working - pollution free plant, and jobs for the community. And here is where the social contract kicks in - if you want to run a plant, and make money, and have an indemnity agreement, it will still cost you to do that in Nova Scotia. The mill will absolutely have to invest in clean technology if it wants to survive.

What matters to the whole province - even in Metro Halifax is good jobs, ethical work that is not based on a 100 year old philosophy that dictates to citizens the rule of law for corporate enterprise. Those days are done. People are awake, and passionate about moving Nova Scotia out of the dark and dangerous era of ignorant decision making. We can ship ethical arse wipe out to the world and not collapse from the decision.

Believably, we saw people from PEI and other provinces come to support the citizens of Pitctou and of Nova Scotia and support their call for ethical work that does not make the workers and waters sick. And to reject the Either Or argument proposed by the mill and accepted by the province.

There was leadership in abundance at the protest. There was representation from the Green Party, who formally requested the provincial environmental assessment be revisited. Maybe with a view to more science and less indemnity. There was also representation from many non-profit organizations, political organizations, Native communities, grass roots organizations, businesses that understand ethical choices. And there were ordinary citizens that came out of conscience. It was truly amazing.

Some say Premier MacLauchlan taunted the Nova Scotial government - that pesky free speech thing.

These groups showed dedication to the social contract, which is the only recourse in light of the disgusting and comprehensive indemnity agreement. They attended and flew the many true colours of their social and science dedication - and demand a different outcome for the people and environment.

Because the varied groups that attended value science, they listened, and considered a PEI report stating the protests are having a negative impact on the Strait and may have a negative impact on business in the area and that the pipe will net impact the waters. And, after some consideration, they rejected that idea. Because science and empirical evidence.

Which is great - because this is how science and ethics operates.

It is possible to have a clean operation and to make money - the notion that you cannot have both has to be challenged. Every time.

Some protesters were confused about it.

The McNeil Government has been unusually silent about the protests and arguments against the indemnity agreement and the proposed pipe into the Strait and the ensuing protests. Almost as if it doesn't concern them - though it truly does. It is delightful to hear the capitalists whinge about the protests, with a surprise and hurt that no indemnity agreement could ever have anticipated. The Liberals are in trouble and are shuffling cabinet, and the Conservatives are trying to make hay out of this but the tide has turned and they will have to paddle might hard to just keep their heads up above the murky, polluted mess they defend.

We need leadership that isn't afraid to stand up to other Premiers, to Ottawa and to special interest groups with their radical, unscientific and wholly capitalist agendas.

Trust the citizens of Nova Scotia who act in solidarity for our communities. Who value clean environment. Who reject sudo-science and truthiness. Who understand that social contract is the overarching principal that protects people and demands a voice at the neo-liberal table. They will fight for you. In the streets, in the hallowed halls of government, in the garden of your soul.

Fight for your communities.

Fight for your future.

Join the fight against special interests today. Educate yourselves about  the forest industry from Yarmouth to Pictou County to Cape Breton. Follow the money and see where it leads. Check the subsidies to these industries. Check if they are negotiating more disgusting indemnity agreements. Check if they are breaking environmental laws. Shine a big, bright, light into the dark corners. And bring it home!!

Check to be sure you are on the voters list and that your information is up to date. Do it now, and be sure to vote for science and social contract in all upcoming elections in this province.

We can't let special interests turn out the lights in Nova Scotia. We need that light to shine!

in response to John Lhor, MLS, Nova Scotia - July 2018

I have added links for the Indemnity Agreement and the MOU with the Province if you have the stomach for it. Here is the profile on the NS government website the the lawyer that crafted this piece of work .

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