|Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul|
(second from Right) - Photo: Pictou Advocate
In Northern Nova Scotia, tucked away between the forests and the sea, sits the small community of Pictou—home to 3000 people, and tragically, one of Nova Scotia’s most shameful secrets. Though it is located in the beautiful Nova Scotia highlands, with beaches facing the warm lapping waters of the Northumberland Strait, Pictou is nevertheless avoided by most tourists, and is best known instead for its legendary ill health. Cancer, heart disease, lung disease, rates of miscarriage and infant death; in all of these Pictou is either the worst county in the province or among the worst. The waters of Pictou Harbour test positive for a variety of toxic heavy metals, and the air tests positive for pollutant rates thousands of percent above Federal limitations.
The source of all this? A dammed off poisonous stew, a toilet for the toxic excretions of the local pulp and paper mill—Boat Harbour.