Page 36 - The Pulp Mill Comes to the Strait
ISSUE : Issue 25
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/6/1
have enough of water. And if we had failed there, there would be no pulp mill any? where in the Strait area. That's for sure. Leonard: The reason I knew it wasn't true-- them saying we only had 9 when it required 12--because when this thing started, I went to Halifax to see how much water we did have. And three of the lakes back two miles had a river coming from them, and they were tapped into a hydro plant that Mulgrave owned there for a niamber of years . And I found out they were using 12''illion gallons a day there. So I told the meeting, the ministers were wrong and I could prove it. Well, the fat was in the fire after that. And that was just that one set of lakes, and we had more--we had plenty of water. After that night in Antigonish, one of the ministers called up, said he'd nev? er go to one of those meetings again, I said, "You'll never get asked, as far as I'm concerned." Robert Winters was the federal Member, and he was a pretty good friend of mine. I called him and I called one of the provin? cial Members--I don't remember which--and I told them that I wasn't satisfied with that meeting, that we did have the water-- their own records in Halifax showed that we had what was needed, and more on the Barry Lake, and that didn't include Goose Harbour. The information I had on Goose Harbour was that there was 16 million gal? lons of water there. So I told the govern? ment, unless we get this thing straightened away properly and aboveboard, I'm going to the papers with everything I have. I wanted to deal more openly with the whole situation. In about a week's time, I got a call from Halifax, They were sending down a hydro engineer, Would I be free to go out with him to the lakes? Some of us went out. This engineer said, "You can't dam this place. The water is running out." But we were convinced this fellow was wrong, because he never got out of the boat. I got suspicious. Normally I would have believed him, but something told me not to. I went down there--and I saw right away what had confused him. The trees at the edge of the lake were taller, getting more moisture, while the other ones were shrub. And sitting in the boat, it looked as though the land dropped a- way--but it was just the top of the trees, the land raised behind there. I called up, lied a little bit, said we had two survey? ors out there--that place can be dammed. So they sent an engineer down and we all went out Goose Harbour Lake. We started a- way in the morning, bright and early, sur? veyed- -including John Randall, Montreal Engineering. Took us the day. Just about 5 o'clock when we finished. I was so tired I didn't know whether I'd walk out of there or not, "John," I said, "I want you to tell me whether you can dam that or not. And if you can't, I'm going to stay here." He figured for awhile and said, "Yes, you can put a 20-foot dam on that. And before we came out here, I looked at the water? shed area--and there's something like 16 million gallons of water." Now that's how close we came to not getting the pulp mill. Because really, the government sent Mont? real Engineering in to prove that I was wrong. But it turned out I was right. There was enough water. And that's why wa? ter goes from this side of the Strait over to the pulp mill. I had hoped that the mill would be here in Mulgrave. In fact, here's what our plan was at that time. Dr. Don MacNeil and I went to Halifax to meet members of the British American Oil Com? pany, And we took out a map of Nova Scotia and penciled out the Point Tupper area and suggested that as an ideal place for an oil refinery. And we thought without any question that the pulp mill was coming on this side, so we'd have employment on both sides of the Strait. This is the way we were looking at it. There was still the problem of assuring any prospective company they would have e- nough wood. There was about 1 million acres of crown land. And there were sev? eral leases. The Oxford Paper Company had CONTINUED NEXT PAGE Visit Our Gallery of Local and Nova Scotia Artists Gardner's Gallery & Frame Shop Ltd. Quality Custom Framing - 200 Charlotte St., Sydney SUBARU 4-Wheel Drive HOltf DA. CIVIC VOXATO AUTHORIZED SALES AND SERVICE KEN YAZER MOTORS LIMITED SYDNEY 539-1500 NOVA SCOTIA Marine on Trans'Canada Hwy. 'Vk Wj'jT 5 miles west of '''F Baddeck 'w'' • Swimming Pool '''''L • Laundromat - Camper's Store '''L'' • Playground - Hot Showers Jw 'Bi>' 'i' • Full Hookups - Canoeing 295-2288 BADDECK - CABOT TRAIL KAMPGROUND (36)
Cape Breton's Magazine