The following letter was written by nine-year-old Hannah Fleury, to N.S. Environment Minister Margaret Miller in response to the environmental assessment of Northern Pulp’s proposed replacement effluent treatment plant.
Dear Environment Minister Margaret Miller,
I am writing to you about Northern Pulp’s pipe that they want to build.
I am nine years old from Central Caribou, N.S. Please do not dismiss my letter because of my age. I have grown up on the beaches of Caribou and my cottage on Pictou Island.
I have fished lobster with my grandfather and father every spring since I was four. My great-grandfather, grandfather and father have all fished the same Pictou Island grounds that I would like to fish someday. Kids like Greta Thunberg are making grown-ups take climate change seriously. If she can do that maybe I can do the same with this pipe idea, because it is serious, seriously bad.
I am asking you to not allow Northern Pulp to put its pipe in our ocean. It will make all the marine life swim away. People around the world are making changes and working to stop pollution, why would we allow this to happen to our beautiful beaches, to the animals and fish that live in the Northumberland Strait? We need to think forward not backwards.
In 4H, I am doing a project on Sustainable Fishing Practices in Nova Scotia. While doing my project, I have found lots of examples of fishermen, scientists and First Nations working together and coming up with ideas so there are still fish in the ocean in the future. Destroying their marine habitat with brown, hot, smelly water is not sustainable.
When I was at marine biology camp, we did an experiment with oil on a feather and used Dawn soap to try and get it off like in the commercials. It was hard to get any of the oil off and in the end, we weren’t able to get it all.
We were learning about a spill, an accident, and this pipe will be pumping an unimaginable amount of pollution on purpose everyday into the ocean. This experiment also made me think about the Dawn commercial, using hurt ducks to sell their soap and it made me mad. I have to listen to Northern Pulp commercials everyday telling me how great they are, but just because it is in a commercial does not make it true.
In school we talk about not littering, reduce, reuse and recycle. We learn about pollution and what we can do to help the Earth, but we are not allowed to talk about Northern Pulp even though some days when the wind is blowing the smog toward our school we have to play inside because the air hurts to breathe and it smells worse than dog farts.
If you allow them to build their new system it will be burning sludge on top of what they burn now, it will be worse.
If you have ever played on a beach, eaten seafood, enjoyed your day on a boat I want you to think about that when you make your decision, think about that and think about a nine-year-old in Caribou, N.S. staring out at a new Boat Harbour.
Thank you for reading my letter.
Central Caribou, N.S.