The Pictou County Chamber of Commerce says it supports Northern Pulp and the province’s decision to close the treatment facility in Boat Harbour.

Chamber president Jim Fitt issued a statement last Friday outlining its position regarding the pulp mill and the treatment facility.

Internal Services Minister Labi Kousoulis introduced the Boat Harbour Act on April 17 that passed second reading on April 21 to end the use of the Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility for Northern Pulp by Jan. 31, 2020.

Fitt said the chamber “supports the province’s decision to close and remediate the industrial treatment plant at Boat Harbour.

“We value a balanced approach in relation to environmental stewardship and a diverse economy.”

Fitt said the chamber is aware the bill’s intent closes Boat Harbour earlier than the time of the current lease the pulp mill has with the treatment facility.

“In terminating the Northern Pulp’s lease to operate the treatment facility 10 years early, we look to strong leadership from the province and the engagement of local and provincial stakeholders to help Northern Pulp prepare for the system closure by 2020,” he said. “The forest industry, the jobs it creates and the economic impact it has on all of Nova Scotia are essential to the sustainability of our economy. The Chamber of Commerce is prepared to assist government, the Company, the business community, the Pictou Landing First Nations community and the community at large in any way we can.”

The chamber’s statement came after widespread reaction to comments by chamber executive director Jack Kyte on April 20 during a radio interview.

Kyte, who worked at the pulp mill for 25 years, declined comment on what was said during the interview, saying Fitt was the spokesperson for the chamber and what was contained in Fitt’s statement is the chamber’s current position.