The Conservation Council of New Brunswick held its 45th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Fredericton.

Upwards of 40 people gathered at Conserver House for the meeting, drawing members of the board of directors, funders, staff and other interested individuals from across the province.
 
Attendees tackled the usual business of amending bylaws and composing the board for the year ahead, and were treated to a presentation on Crown Forests from University of New Brunswick professor Tom Beckley.

No doubt, though, the highlight of the affair was celebrating the dedicated service of outgoing president Stephanie Coburn with a scrumptious gluten-free cake baked by the council’s own Stephanie Merrill.

Coburn got a little teary-eyed during a lengthy and warm standing ovation from attendees who wished to show their appreciation for the expertise and guidance Coburn provided over three years as president of New Brunswick’s environmental advocate.

Coburn and her family operate a farm in Millstream, outside Sussex, where they produce grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pigs, and vegetables. She was also the owner and operator of Winterwood Natural Food Store in downtown Sussex.

Attendees gave a warm welcome to Liane Thibodeau, who stepped up to fill the role of president of the board. A retired human resources consultant, Thibodeau is a co-founder of the Miramichi Environmental Society and served on the Conservation Council’s board in the 90s. Recently, she was active in the movement to protect our land, air and water from the risks posed by shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Close to 50 people were present in the afternoon for forestry professor Tom Beckley’s presentation on the forest strategy brought about by Premier David Alward’s Progressive Conservative government.

Beckley noted the new plan, announced in March 2014, effectively flipped Crown Forest management on its head, putting timber allocation above conservation goals, a reversal of a long-held, conservation-first focus. Beckley argued the debate around the forestry strategy should be framed as a moral and ethical issue, not simply a scientific or economic matter. Above all else, Beckley said the plan is morally and ethically wrong, and should be opposed on those terms.

The meeting also saw new faces added to the Conservation Council’s board of directors. Rob Moir, an associate professor of economics at UNBSJ, and John Bird, who will be called to the New Brunswick Bar this fall, were welcomed to serve three-year terms on the board.

Moir has run for federal office three times on campaigns based on social and environmental justice. Over the years, he has provided advice, reports, and expert testimony on pipeline locations, hydrocarbon security, suburban development in environmentally-sensitive zones, shale gas extraction, mining, and Crown Forest management.

Bird completed his Master of Laws, Environmental and Maritime Law, at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Throughout his academic career, Bird has investigated safety concerns associated with nuclear- and coal-sourced energy, sustainable development, state and corporate responsibility, climate policies, and the diversity, speciation and decimation of reef ecology.

Staff and board members at the Conservation Council welcomed the newest members and are eager to draw from their experience and expertise.

Two board members, Frank Johnson and John Crompton, agreed to serve another three-year term with the council. Carla Gunn stepped down from the board this fall. Gunn, a psychology professor and author of a fantastic environmental fiction novel (Amphibian), was thanked for her three years of service, during which she provided solid guidance to the executive committee and excellent advice to staff at Conserver House.
 
Head to the post on our website to download the powerpoint presentation that ran at the AGM, giving a visual rundown of what staff and members of the Conservation Council were up to in 2013-14.

Spotlight

Blog

New NBEN Logo!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017
by Raissa Marks
A new logo for the NBEN was launched at the Eco-Confluence gathering last weekend!
logo 1

The violet, as New Brunswick’s provincial flower, represents the province and its environment.  The centre is the network which brings us all together.

The logo was designed by Annika Chiasson, the NBEN’s Communications Coordinator and talented graphic designer.

Community Group Recognized for Environmental Work

Monday, 30 October 2017
by Raissa Marks
For Immediate Release
October 30, 2017

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, an environmental award was presented to New Brunswick citizens in honour of exemplary service to their community.

The Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association was honoured with the Phoenix Award “in recognition of their unfaltering and ultimately successful commitment to defending their community and home from the threat of heavy industrial development.” The Phoenix Award is dedicated annually to a group or individual who has dedicated their efforts to policies and legislation and have been through “the fire”.

The tank farm and marine export terminal for the Energy East pipeline were slated to be built in Red Head, in East Saint John. Concern over the environmental impact of this project to their home community and communities across the country and around the Bay of Fundy caused local residents to organize against the Energy East pipeline. Due to their efforts, alongside those of many along the entire route of the proposed pipeline, the Energy East proposal was withdrawn by TransCanada earlier this month.

Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Environmental Network, praised the efforts of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association. “They impressed many in the environmental movement and beyond. They showed that dedicated, hard-working citizens can stand up to big industry, build broad alliances, and come out of a big challenge stronger and more united. Red Head residents were at ‘the end of the line’, and showed that, regardless of where you are located, standing up matters.”

The award was presented during the New Brunswick Environmental Network’s annual meeting, Eco-Confluence, which was held in Fredericton over the weekend. Each year, significant efforts by citizens and citizen groups toward the protection and restoration of New Brunswick’s environment are recognized at a special awards ceremony.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network is a non-profit communications network of over 100 citizens’ environmental groups from across the province. The goal of the Network is to encourage communication and collaboration among groups and between groups, government and other sectors.

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Award Presentation Gordon Lynaya for web
Gordon Dalzell, Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, presenting the 2017 Phoenix Award to Lynaya Astephen, Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association.  Photo Credit: Pascale Ouellette

Upcoming Events


Peace and Friendship Alliance Gathering
Fri, Nov 24th, 2017


A Tale of Two Necessities: Children and Resource Development
Tue, Nov 28th, 2017
New Maryland

Deadline for ETF submission
Thu, Nov 30th, 2017

Action Alerts

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

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