Cit­i­zens pledge sup­port for Pic­tou Land­ing First Na­tion and clo­sure of Boat Har­bour in 2020

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY -

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.

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