January 24, 2019 4:57 pm

Boat Harbour deadline won’t move but open to legislature debate:Premier

Fishing boats pass the Northern Pulp mill as concerned residents, fishermen and Indigenous groups protest the mill's plan to dump millions of litres of effluent daily into the Northumberland Strait in Pictou, N.S., on Friday, July 6, 2018. Northern Pulp says it is taking legal action after fishermen blocked survey boats hired to examine a route for a contentious undersea effluent pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia’s premier says he has no intention of changing a legislated deadline to close the Northern Pulp mill’s wastewater treatment plant in Boat Harbour – but he is open to debating proposed changes in the legislature.

Stephen McNeil says any changes to the January 2020 deadline would have to evolve out of a community consensus in Pictou County, and would have to be brought to the floor of the legislature by the area’s Opposition members.

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In the meantime, McNeil says the government will keep its word to stick to the deadline.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says he believes the government is looking for political cover after creating a “jam” it doesn’t know how to get out of.

Houston, who is the MLA for Pictou East, says while there may be a scenario where he would bring forward an amendment to the deadline, he doesn’t know what that could be at this point.

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Houston says as things stand, he has no information that suggests the deadline should be moved.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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