The Mill (NP)

News items from 2023 and 2024 related to Northern Pulp/”The Mill”/Paper Excellence in NS.
Undoubtedly a few were missed.

Scott Pulp Mill ca 1990. Photo by Verne Equinox, on Wikipedia. View An abbreviated History of The Mill.

July 12, 2024
Northern Pulp 2.0
Jennifer Henderson in the Halifax Examiner “…Houston was asked what exactly is the province’s role in the feasibility study Paper Excellence Canada has begun to determine whether it would be profitable enough (a 14% annual return) to build a new pulp mill in Queens County now that its $450 million lawsuit against the province has settled and its Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County has been permanently closed…[Said Houston]: The opportunity for a new, modern mill that Nova Scotians can be proud of is a pretty appealing thought. We know there would be tremendous economic benefits – through the construction, the operation, and through paying for fibre because we have tens of thousands of land owners looking for markets.”

June 12, 2024:
Canada’s Forest Fibre Grab
Podcast on The Clear Cut. “We return this week with journalist Joan Baxter, who dives deeper into her work for the Deforestation Inc. investigative series that showcases reporting from 300 journalists worldwide. Joan shares with us her findings on ecologically destructive practices hidden behind sustainability claims. We learn about how Joan’s investigation into Canada’s logging industry helped uncover a web of corporate consolidation that has been aided by funding from taxpayers. We also discuss her book, The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, the story of taxpayer support for the Northern Pulp Mill in Nova Scotia and its history of “environmental racism” and public protests.”

May 29, 2024:
– Not Your Grandfather’s Mill
Forest NS Blog

May 27, 2024:
– The Halifax Examiner investigates: Northern Pulp
Halifax Examiner. “Joan Baxter literally wrote the book on Northern Pulp Mill — it’s called The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest. So it is Baxter who is both the originator and the go-to person for the Halifax Examiner’s reporting on all things Northern Pulp and on the broader forestry issues related to it…Since then, Baxter and the Examiner have reported on Northern Pulp as it worked its way through the creditor protector process, and most recently, the settlement agreement between the company and the province of Nova Scotia.
This page collects all that reporting in one place.
– Mayor Jim Ryan Celebrates Loss of Hundreds of Jobs
Forest NS Blog “Town of Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan celebrated the loss of hundreds of forestry jobs. The Town of Pictou didn’t receive tax revenue from Northern Pulp, so the mayor’s statements are unsurprising. He called the loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs “transformational” and added, “We have a fair bit of both housing and commercial development happening in the town since then.” Just how well is the Town of Pictou doing?..”

May 24, 2024:
Northern Pulp critics urge N.S. government to be wary of Paper Excellence
Jean Laroche · CBC News. “They weren’t always forthcoming with us,’ says Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan…Environmentalists were more pointed in their criticism of the company and the possibility of it setting up a new mill. “If I were on the South Shore, especially around Liverpool, I would be very concerned that this is just making another deal with the devil,” said Ray Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator at the Ecology Action Centre. He called the new mill being considered “a type of mill which is very heavily chemically dependent and therefore produces all this pollution.” As for the potential of jobs created by a new mill, he said: “Be careful what you wish for.” Mike Lancaster, the co-ordinator of the Healthy Forest Coalition, said the province doesn’t need another pulp mill. The only operating pulp mill in the province is in Port Hawkesbury, on Cape Breton Island.

May 23, 2024:
– Paper Excellence Canada and the province of Nova Scotia reach a settlement
Paper Excellence Canada
– Nova Scotia and Paper Excellence reach settlement over $450 million lawsuit and creditor protection process
Tim Bousquet in Hfx Examiner. Subscription required. Intro in Morning File for May 24
– Pictou County, Liverpool react to Northern Pulp settlement deal
CBC News “Local councillor in Pictou worries about job losses, while Liverpool residents hope for new mill”
– Liverpool could be site of new Northern Pulp mill
By Rick Conrad for www.qccrfm.com “Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston announced on Thursday that Paper Excellence, which owns Northern Pulp in Pictou County, will be launching a feasibility study into whether it can open a mill in Liverpool.He was speaking at a news conference in Halifax. His opening remarks were broadcast to a crowd of local politicians, chamber of commerce members and forestry sector workers at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool.The possible new mill in Liverpool is part of a settlement agreement to resolve the company’s $450-million lawsuit against the province. “The Pictou mill is not reopening,” Houston said. “The province has agreed to support Paper Excellence in the idea of building a new kraft pulp mill in Queens County, in the areas around the former Bowater mill…“We are building a stronger economy for Nova Scotians, and a new mill has enormous economic potential. It could kickstart a new chapter for communities along the South Shore and the province’s economy overall.” Northern Pulp closed its mill at Abercrombie Point, Pictou County, in 2020, after the Nova Scotia government under Stephen McNeil refused its application for a new effluent treatment facility. It had been pumping effluent into nearby Boat Harbour, sparking protests from the Pictou Landing First Nation. Houston said Thursday that any new mill in Queens County will have to meet modern standards…”

 

May 22, 2024
– Northern Pulp ponders a move to Queens County, say sources
By Michael GormanCBC News

Mar 25, 2024:
EA for Northern Pulp effluent treatment facility given one-year extension
on www.esemag.com “Northern Pulp, the Nova Scotia paper mill that closed its doors in 2020 after the province rejected plans for a new effluent treatment facility, has received a one-year extension to complete a new environmental assessment for the facility.”

Mar 15, 2024:
Nova Scotia grants Northern Pulp mill one-year extension for environmental assessment
The Canadian Press in CTV News Atlantic

Dec 23, 2023:
Northern Pulp’s $450 million lawsuit looming over Nova Scotia
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner

Aug 30, 2023:
– Court grants Northern Pulp extension on creditor protection
Michael Gorman · CBC News “Mediation between the company and N.S. government could be nearing conclusion”

Jul 16, 2023:
Paper Excellence owns the pollution-spewing Northern Pulp Mill, has poisoned a First Nation, isn’t paying $85 million it owes Nova Scotia, and is leaving its pensioners hanging. But it’s been named one of Canada’s “best 50 corporate citizens”
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner

“In 2015, I made a commitment to clean up Boat Harbour and I am honouring that commitment today. Now, I am making a commitment to the workers of the mill and the forestry sector throughout Nova Scotia that we will be here for you in this transition – and make no mistake, I will honour that commitment as well.” – NS Gov. News Release, Dec 20, 2019

June 29, 2023:
Conflict over where to put toxic sludge stalls Boat Harbour cleanup
By Alan Beswick The Saltwire Network (Subscription may be required) “Where do you put half a million tonnes of toxic sludge? The Pictou Landing First Nation doesn’t want a half-century of accumulated Northern Pulp and Canso Chemicals pollution in their backyard anymore. Build Nova Scotia, the provincial agency tasked with cleaning up the former Boat Harbour Effluent Treatment Facility, wants to drain/treat the water from it, put the sludge in an expanded containment cell onsite and cap it. As the two appear deadlocked, the federal environmental assessment on cleaning up the province’s most polluted site is stalled and what was originally predicted to be a $300-million price tag is heading north…”

June 7, 2023:
Natural Resources committee refuses to summon Paper Excellence’s Wijaya
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner

May 16, 2023:
Post-tropical storm Fiona decimated Nova Scotia’s woodlots. These ecological foresters tell us what cleanup should look like.
By Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner (Susbscription required; see Morning File for summary) ” ask Miller about arguments I’ve heard at meetings since Fiona that brought together woodlot owners, forestry contractors, and industry spokespeople in northern Nova Scotia, that they need the Northern Pulp mill back in operation. Without it, some said, they had no place to send the waste or low-grade wood that Fiona blew down. “Here’s the question to ask them,” Miller replies. “Why, after 50-plus years of what they call ‘scientific forest management’ [that came with the pulp mill], are our forests full of low-grade material?”
China is after Canada’s pulp and paper industry – it’s a national-security issue
ROBERT DIMITRIEFF SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL OPINION “The March, 2023, acquisition of Resolute Forest Products by privately held Paper Excellence – among other purchases of Canadian producers by parties related to foreign corporations, notably from China – places these essential resources under the control of overseas interests. Paper Excellence, despite being based in British Columbia, is controlled by a member of a Chinese-Indonesian business dynasty and has already amassed a sizable share of Canada’s forest products industry. While Paper Excellence denies this, a whistle-blower has called the company’s rapid North American expansion since 2007 a “fibre grab” for China in an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and 39 media outlets, including the CBC and Glacier Media. NDP MP Charlie Angus raised concerns about this issue during a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources back in March, 2023. I could not agree more with his assertion. The fact is this shift not only threatens to redirect essential supplies during crises but also exposes Canada to geopolitical vulnerabilities…”

May 1, 2023:
– Northern Pulp gets creditor protection extension
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. “On Friday, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick once again approved an extension of Northern Pulp’s creditor protection, this time for four months, until August 30, 2023,” reports Joan Baxter. In its request for the delay, Northern Pulp suggested it might look for a different location for the mill. It also listed a series of “milestones” that it hopes to reach by August. “On Friday, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick once again approved an extension of Northern Pulp’s creditor protection, this time for four months, until August 30, 2023,” reports Joan Baxter. In its request for the delay, Northern Pulp suggested it might look for a different location for the mill. It also listed a series of “milestones” that it hopes to reach by August…”

Apr 27, 2023
– Northern Pulp considers producing electricity from trees downed by Fiona
Michael Gorman · CBC News “Officials with the company that owns the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County are exploring the potential of selling electricity produced from burning fallen trees as a way to generate revenue and dispose of blowdown from last fall’s post-tropical storm Fiona.”

Apr 16, 2023:
Dalhousie study finds Northern Pulp Mill was by far the biggest polluter near Pictou
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner (subscription required) “At times, the pulp mill emitted 10 to 80 times more fine particulate matter than nearby Michelin Tire plant and Nova Scotia Power’s coal-fired station.” The article cites this paper: A baseline characterization of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration and releases in Nova Scotia, Canada, by Gianina Giacosa et al., 2023 in Atmospheric Pollution Research

Apr 12, 2023:
NDP Natural Resources critic Charlie Angus speaks about Paper Excellence
By Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. “…Angus thinks Nova Scotians should be asking why Paper Excellence’s Northern Pulp still has a licence to harvest on Crown land in the province even though its pulp mill is not operating. As the Examiner reported here, Northern Pulp is still enjoying access to public forested land in Nova Scotia the pulp mill owners were granted by the 1965 Scott Maritimes Act, and its most recent licence that is up for renewal in July this year covers 308,000 hectares of Crown land.”

Mar 22, 2023:
– Government will ensure wood pulp giant Paper Excellence respects Canadian laws
By Elizabeth Thompson for CBC
– Deforestation Inc: Media investigation into Paper Excellence ignites concerns on Parliament Hill over the company’s mysterious ownership, Chinese ties, and rapid expansion in Canada
Joan Baxter in Halifax Examiner

– Deforestation Inc: Canada is a ‘world laggard’ in sustainable forestry, say critics, and Paper Excellence’s expansion threatens this country’s boreal forests
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Subscription required for access to full article. “This is the sixth in a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence…”

Mar 14, 2023:
Deforestation Inc: Nova Scotia opts for forest certification scheme critics call ‘greenwashing’
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Subscription required for access to full article. “This is the fifth in a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence”

Mar 12, 2023:
Deforestation Inc.: Is Canada’s biggest forestry company living up to its green promises?
Stefan Labbé in www.vancouverisawesome.com/ “…In 2020, Paper Excellence released its first sustainability report with the pledge: “Our fibre is derived from well-managed, sustainable North American and European forests…Paper Excellence has said between 10 and 14 per cent of the wood feeding its mills comes from old-growth trees…Since the 1990s, over a dozen forest certification schemes have emerged with stated plans to hold companies accountable for their practices. Among the most rigorous is that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international organization based in Germany. As old-growth trees feed mills, FSC measures fall short…”

Mar 10, 2023:
– NDP critic calls for pulp-and-paper giant to appear before MPs
By Elizabeth Thompson, CBC News
– Deforestation Inc: Paper Excellence’s rapid expansion in Canada is a ‘fibre grab’ to feed mills in China, say critics
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Subscription required for access to the full article. “This is the fourth in a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence…The privately owned and secretive Indonesian conglomerate now has access to 22 million hectares of Canada’s woodlands…The Northern Pulp mill has been closed since January 2020. The mill’s owner, Paper Excellence, and its Northern Pulp family of companies are currently not repaying $86 million of outstanding debts to the province because they are under creditor protection. And Paper Excellence is suing the province for $450 million. But that doesn’t mean Paper Excellence’s Northern Pulp has stopped harvesting on public land in Nova Scotia. Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) spokesperson Adele Poirier says Northern Pulp can access up to 308,000 hectares (761,000 acres) of Crown land to meet its 100,000 green metric tonne annual allowable cut under its current timber licence in central Nova Scotia.”

Mar 9, 2023:
– Deforestation Inc: Are Paper Excellence and Asia Pulp & Paper linked companies? They say they aren’t. Here’s what we’ve learned
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner.. Subscription required for access to the full article. “This is the third of a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence, already Canada’s largest pulp and paper producer following its 2022 acquisition of Domtar and now much bigger following its March 1 takeover of North American logging giant, Resolute Forest Products.”
– Who’s behind Canada’s new pulp-and-paper powerhouse, and where’s the money coming from?
Zach Dubinsky, Elizabeth Thompson · CBC News

Mar 2, 2023
– Deforestation Inc: Paper Excellence and the ‘environmental insult’ to a First Nation community
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Subscription required for access to full article. “This is the second of a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence…Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul recalls the events of that morning as if it were yesterday.”

Mar 1, 2023:
– Deforestation Inc: How an email from China triggered an international investigative journalism project
Joan Baxter in the Halifax Examiner. Subscription required for access to full article. “This is the first of a series of articles resulting from a yearlong investigation into Paper Excellence, already Canada’s largest pulp and paper producer and now even bigger with today’s completion of the acquisition of North American logging giant, Resolute Forest Products. These articles are part of the much larger “Deforestation Inc.”collaboration of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists […]”