Federal Government Commits $100 Million to Boat Harbour Clean Up

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Pictou Landing First Nations Chief Andrea Paul address the crowd during a federal funding announcement that will see the federal government commit $100 Million to the remediation and restoration of Boat Harbour. 

PICTOU LANDING, NS - Pictou Landing First Nations Chief Andrea Paul said she wasn’t sure she would see the day Boat Harbour would be cleaned up, but that dream is starting to become a reality thanks to a recent substantial government funding commitment.   

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser announced Thursday in Pictou Landing First Nations that the federal government is committing $100 million to the remediation and restoration of Boat Harbour .

“The clean up of A’se’k is a long time coming for our community,” Paul said. “In 253 days to be exact, effluent will stop pumping into Boat Harbour. We have never been this close. Having Boat Harbour restored back to its natural state is all we ever wanted.  It is all our elders have wanted to see.”

In addition to the federal government’s contribution, the province has also pledged more than $100 million for the project that will restore the natural flow of water between the ocean and the harbour.  The federal money will come from the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

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Central Nova MP Sean Fraser announces $100 Million in federal government funding for the clean up of Boat Harbour.

“The project will treat water, soil and sediment that has been impacted by industrial waste since 1967,” Fraser said. “It is also going to improve portions of local road by replacing the causeway with a newly constructed bridge that will restore the free flow of water between the tidal estuary and the Northumberland Strait. This will allow the fish and bird habitat to be restored and also reinstate the traditional use of the property by the Pictou Landing First Nations Community for recreation, fishing and hunting.”  

Boat Harbour has been operational since 1967 and it was sealed off from the Northumberland Strait in 1972.  The facility, which treats effluent from the local pulp mill Northern Pulp, is owned by the provincial government and it is responsible for its cleanup.

The Boat Harbour Act was passed in 2015 by Nova Scotia’s Liberal government and requests the current effluent treatment facility to close by January 31, 2020. The actual cleanup of the treatment facility is not expected to start until 2021. The current cost is forecast at $217 million.