The story of Boat Harbour has most often been told in numbers. Big numbers, small numbers, ironic numbers. Here are just a few:

  • Number of years since Boat Harbour was turned into an industrial waste treatment lagoon: 42
  • Estimated amount of liquid pulp-mill waste that has gushed into Boat Harbour since then: 1,000,000,000,000
  • Number of premiers who have overseen the Boat Harbour file: 10
  • Number of government commitments to close boat harbour: At least 5
  • Number of those promises kept: 0 (so far)
  • Number of provincial cabinet ministers who participated in meetings with the band in November and December 2008: 3
  • Number of towns Nova Scotia Water Authority chair John Seaman Bates once proposed should put their human sewage into Boat Harbour: 5
  • Number that actually did: 0
  • Amount in 1966 dollars to build the pipeline to carry waste from the pulp mill to Boat Harbour: $2,000,000
  • Amount estimated by a Truro engineer to transform Boat Harbour into a treatment lagoon: $95,000
  • Amount the Scott Paper company was to pay each year for waste treatment according to 1970 agreement with Nova Scotia: $100,000
  • Amount Nova Scotia paid the Pictou Landing band in 1966 as one-time compensation for loss of use of Boat Harbour: $60,000
  • Amount paid by the federal government to Pictou Landing band for failing to protect its interests when Boat Harbour became a waste lagoon: $35,000,000
  • Number of members of Pictou Landing First Nation): 565
  • Amount of the lump sum payment the band received under a 2001 memorandum of understanding with Kimberly Clark: $950,000.
  • Amount of annual payments thereafter: $200,000
  • Number of hectares of land the band was to receive under its MOU with the paper mill: 4,000
  • Size in hectares of the large settling (sedimentation) lagoon at Boat Harbour: 142
  • Number of cubic metres of accumulated sediment estimated to lie on the bottom of that lagoon by consultants Jacques Whitford in 2003: 70,000
  • Approximate number of Olympic-sized swimming pools to hold 70,000 cubic metres: 25
  • Average thickness of the sediment: 5 cm
  • Percentage of the toxic sediments the province thinks it can dredge out: 90
  • Estimated cost to dredge: $7,000,000 to $12,000,000
  • Percentage of responsibility the province has for pollution in Boat Harbour from 1967 to 1995: 100
  • Amount of the March 2009 loan to Northern Pulp by Nova Scotia to keep the mill in business: $15,000,000
  • Potential cost of replacement waste treatment facility for the pulp mill: $100,000,000

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This story is part of the 'Toxic Legacy' series.
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