Boat Harbour – Documents
April 23, 2009, 1:00 pm ADTLast Updated: April 12, 2019, 12:50 pm
This page collects, together in one place for the first time, many of the key documents documenting the history of dealings over Boat Harbour. From the initial cabinet orders that allowed the conversion of a quiet tidal estuary into a waste treatment lagoon, to the $35 million compensation settlement between the Pictou Landing First Nation and Ottawa, you can read it here. The documents are in pdf format and can be viewed in Adobe Reader or any other software that can view pdf files.
1965 order in council giving the go-ahead to the plan to dam the Middle River branch of Pictou Harbour to create a huge water supply reservoir for Scott paper mill at Abercrombie Point.
One-page report to cabinet from the minister responsible for the Water Act recommending that the Nova Scotia Water Authority be given the go ahead to turn Boat Harbour into an industrial waste treatment lagoon.
Mar 19, 1966 letter from Dr. Joseph B. MacDonald of Stellarton to Premier Robert Stanfield ridiculing idea advanced by the water authority that Boat Harbour would be improved by the addition of industrial waste.
Estimate for the Nova Scotia Water Authority from Amherst-based Conlon Engineering Limited of cost of turning Boat Harbour into an industrial waste treatment lagoon. Conlon estimated the cost up to about $100,000.
1966 Proposed Treatment Estimate
1966 federal order in council authorizing transfer of riparian (shoreline) rights to Boat Harbour to Nova Scotia in exchange for $60,000 payment to the Pictou Landing band.
Dr. MacDonald, from Stellarton, writes once more, this time to Rust Consultants, who investigated the pollution problem in Boat Harbour, for the provincial government, in 1970. He describes a public meeting in 1966 at which E.L.L. Rowe, who succeeded John Bates as head of the water authority, said he would not install aerators to add oxygen to waste at Boat Harbour because he was a “cost man.” MacDonald decries the effect of the mill pollution on the local environment.
Pictou Landing councillor Henry Ferguson’s handwritten letter to Rust consultants about pollution in Boat Harbour.
Letter to Rust consultants from the New Glasgow Lions club expressing “grave concern” over Boat Harbour pollution.
August 1970 letter to premier G.I. Smith from the minister of Sharon-St. John United Church in Stellarton, protesting the attitude of the government toward citizens who expressed concerns about Boat Harbour pollution.
E.L.L. Rowe of the water resources commmision responds to the minister`s letter above.
1970 letter from schoolgirl Delia Foote to Premier Gerald Regan. “I do hope you try to solve this problem because it affects a great number of people.” Regan’s short reply is attached.
Ottawa’s original statement of defence, from 1986, responding to the suit by the Pictou Landing Band against the federal government for failing to protect the band when Boat Harbour was converted to a treatment lagoon.
The amended statement of defence from 1989.
The 1993 agreement in which Ottawa gave the Pictou Landing Band $35 million to settle the lawsuit.
1993 35-Million Dollar Agreement
1995 agreement between Nova Scotia and Kimberly Clark to allow continued use of Boat Harbour, with the paper company leasing and operating the waste lagoon. The agreement was signed by Scott Maritimes, which by the time it went into effect was part of Kimberly Clark. Nova Scotia remainded responsible for everything that went into the lagoon prior to the agreement coming into force.
Associated agreement by which Nova Scotia licensed Kimberly Clark to operate the waste treatment lagoon.
Associated agreement to lease Boat Harbour to Kimberly Clark.
December 1995 agreement to indemnify Kimberly Clark against any claims made in relation to operation of Boat Harbour prior to that date.
Agreement by Nova Scotia in 1996 to lease equipment at Boat Harbour to the paper company. Associated with the above agreements.
Document circulated to Pictou Landing band members in 2002 describing 2001 memorandum of agreement with Kimberly Clark, including proposed payments to band and land transfers.
Agreement proposed by Northern Pulp in late 2008 but not accepted by the band. Money advanced to the band was returned by the band’s lawyer to avoid jeapordizing the band’s negotiating position.
February 2009 newsletter from the Pictou Landing chief and council to band members describing the impasse with the province and the pulp mill over continued operation of Boat Harbour. Also, the letter to the band from then Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott promising, yet again, to shut down Boat Harbour. “We believe your community has suffered from the negative effects of the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility for far too long. We are fully commited to ending that suffering as quickly as it is practical to do so,” he writes.