Citizens pledge support for Pictou Landing First Nation and closure of Boat Harbour in 2020
The crowd that gathered at Harbour House in Pictou on Tuesday was passionate in its support for closing Boat Harbour in January 2020.
The occasion was the premiere of the short video by Australian singer-songwriter Mark Lang, (“Pictou Landing”), and the official launch of the Declaration of Support for the Closure of Boat Harbour on schedule.
Lang filmed footage of the Boat Harbour treatment facility while on vacation in Nova Scotia last summer. The film gives an inside view into the reality of Boat Harbour.
“Few Pictou County residents outside of Pictou Landing First Nation have ever seen Boat Harbour,” said Gayl Nelson, a county resident. “We hear that it is an environmental disaster, but to see it and imagine living beside it is horrifying.”
Pictou County folk artist Dave Gunning, a member of the FONS, personally knows Lang and put him in touch with people who were willing to talk about the environmental impacts of the pulp mill.
“He did it because he was so moved and wanted to help,” Gunning said at the video launch. “He wants to help us get the message out more, about what’s happened at Pictou Landing and Boat Harbour.”
Jill Graham-Scanlan, president of Friends of the Northumberland Strait, explained why the group organized the event and the declaration.
“We feel that this is not a time to be silent,” Graham-Scanlan said. “Promises have been made and broken for decades about ending the use of Boat Harbour for mill effluent. We felt it was important to create a way for people to take a public stand in support of Pictou Landing First Nation.”
The declaration is endorsed by Pictou Landing First Nation.
“This is not just a Pictou Landing First Nation responsibility,” says Warren Francis, a Pictou Landing fisherman. “This affects all of Pictou County and all of Nova Scotia.”
FONS is also organizing an open house on Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Fisheries Museum in Pictou. The public is encouraged to drop in, watch the video and sign the declaration.
The Declaration of Support for the Closure of Boat Harbour can also be signed online at friendsofthenorthumberlandstrait.ca. To date, more than 1,500 signatures have been gathered.
The video Pictou Landing can be viewed at https://youtu.be/ DDYwZO9Ot44. The song Pictou Landing, soundtrack for the video, will be available soon on Spotify.