Pictou Landing First Nation to get cut of Northern Pulp's $225K fine

The Pictou Landing First Nation will receive one-third of the $225,000 fine handed to Northern Pulp in March for leaking 47-million litres of mill effluent into Boat Harbour two years ago.

Fine under Fisheries Act split between three groups affected by spill

Pictou Landing First Nation will receive one-third of the $225,000 fine handed to Northern Pulp for leaking effluent into Boat Harbour. (Pictou Landing First Nation)

Pictou Landing First Nation will receive one-third of the $225,000 fine handed to Northern Pulp in March for leaking 47-million litres of mill effluent into Boat Harbour two years ago.

The company pleaded guilty to a charge under the Federal Fisheries Act of illegally dumping a harmful substance into a habitat frequented by fish.

Pictou Landing First Nation is the last recipient of a share of the fine to be named. The Mi'kmaq Conservation Group in Pictou County and Pictou County Rivers Association were previously designated as recipients. Each of the recipients will receive $75,000.

Provincial court Judge Del Atwood said in a decision this week that allocating funds to Pictou Landing First Nation is a small but important step in the government's reconciliation with First Nations people.

Step toward reconciliation

"Reconciliation will be accomplished in steps—some great, some small," the judge wrote. "It shall require traditional institutions and structures of power to listen to the truths which are fixed indelibly in the minds of elders who have overcome generations of enforced silence and who will be silenced no longer.

"The Pictou Landing First Nation has spoken the truth; reconciliation will move forward in a small way by this court responding affirmatively to what has been spoken."

The judge recommended the funds be used by Pictou Landing First Nation for fish conservation projects.

The fine must be paid by the end of June.