Fishermen return with more resolve to block Northern Pulp survey ship
Fishermen in Nova Scotia's Pictou County are none too happy with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
One day after comments from McNeil angered Northumberland Strait fishermen, they responded by expanding their daily blockade as the sun came up Friday morning -- with as many as 40 boats.
“You know, this is in response to (Premier McNeil’s) comments (Thursday), you know, about stopping the blockade,” said fisherman Darryl Bowen. “And, as you can see, there are seven times the boats here today.”
All week, fishermen have been blocking a survey boat that's been hired by Northern Pulp to design a route for an effluent pipe, into the Northumberland Strait.
McNeil had this to say Thursday.
“When you have people out there trying to do lawful business (and) other people are preventing them from doing that, it's always a concern,” McNeil said.
Bowen sees it a different way.
“It's our legal right to protect our industry, you know,” he said. “They just, it's unacceptable. They can't run that pollution out into our fishing grounds.”
It wasn't just fishermen. McNeil also upset Pictou County's three MLAs -- all Tories.
“They can tell us where they stand on it. What they want me to do,” said McNeil. “I have heard from none of them about it.”
Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane didn’t mince her words.
“There's no other way to put it. It is a lie,” she said. “Anyone can go to the legislature website and look at Hansard and see the number of questions that I have asked.”
When asked about McFarlane’s reaction, McNeil’s office responded that “his position on Boat Harbour has been clear.”
In a written statement, officials with Northern Pulp make no mention of Friday's activities, or whether they'll be calling the police.
Northern Pulp spokeswoman Kathy Cloutier says that as situations arise, they will be working with authorities to ensure the safety of their employees and their contractors.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.