Ben Baldwin will forever be remembered by many Miramichiers and New Brunswickers as the farmer who used his scientific knowledge to take on the polluters of Miramichi. Ben died peacefully at his home in Miramichi on July 7, 2017 at the age of 86.

A founder of the Miramichi Environmental Society and a former board member of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Ben was a geologist and an environmentalist when being an environmentalist wasn’t cool nor easy.

Ben Baldwin 2009 321x480Ben Baldwin at the Conservation Council’s Spring Auction in 2009.

An edition of Harrowsmith magazine from 1991 features Ben in its hometown hero series. Ben told the reporter, “Somebody has to speak out. It’s nothing particularly heroic on my part. I care about what’s happening. You get disgusted, and it takes a lot of physical energy. But as long as we live here, we can’t avoid being involved in environmental issues. We breathe the air too; we can’t just sit back and ignore the stink.”

Starting almost immediately upon his return from Western Canada to live a life on his family farm in Miramichi in 1985, Ben soon responded to remedy a local farmer’s concerns of chemicals oozing onto her property from the Domtar Wood Preserving Plant, and then to a long list of other environmental problems plaguing Miramichi.

“Ben was a big guy with a big heart who stood up for what he believed in. I had the good fortune to know Ben as a friend, and my life is the richer for it,” wrote David Coon, who worked with Ben during both their time with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

My earliest memory of Ben is of my dad, Donald Glynn, and Ben talking about their vegetables at the Miramichi Agricultural Exhibition on a hot summer day in August. Ben’s vegetables from Spruce Shade Farms almost always took first prize. Whenever dad spoke of Ben, it was always with such respect — an admiration shared by many across the province.

Ben was the partner of Inka Milewski, the Conservation Council’s former science advisor. The Conservation Council family expresses condolences and love to Inka and Ben’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Written by Tracy Glynn of The Conservation Council of New Brunswick

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Check it out: Every Living Thing – Experiencing a bioblitz

Wednesday, 05 April 2017
by Raissa Marks
Header 1 blue owl

The documentary film, Every Living Thing -­ experiencing a bioblitz, will take you on an amazing journey of what it's like to spend four weeks over two summers exploring all aspects of nature – fish, insects, plants, fungi, reptiles, amphibians and mammals - that live in NB’s own Grand Lake Protected Natural Area.

Celebrate the UN Decade of Biodiversity – host a film screening in your community!

Unlike reality TV, this documentary film features real scientists speaking about real issues affecting real people living in real communities.

Every Living Thing was produced by NB-based company, Flower Power Production, in collaboration with the New Brunswick Museum's BiotaNB program.  BiotaNB is a 20-year biodiversity research project to identify and catalogue as many species in the province of New Brunswick, before human encroachment and climate change intensifies.  The NBEN is partnering with Flower Power Production to promote community film screenings of this film across Canada. 

Sooooo many opportunities to have your say

Tuesday, 22 November 2016
by Raissa Marks
There are so many government consultations going on that it’s hard to keep track! We’re making it a bit easier by compiling a list of those of interest to environmental groups and their deadlines:

Pre-budget Provincial
New Brunswickers are invited to attend upcoming public meetings focused on priorities for the 2017-18 budget. November 16-December 5

Electoral Reform Provincial
The Commission on Electoral Reform is looking at alternative voting systems, voting age, and other election rules. Deadline: November 30

Navigable Waters Federal
Review of the previous government’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Deadline: December 7

Environmental Protection Act Federal
Comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of theCanadian Environmental Protection Act. Deadline: December 1

Charities Federal
Modernization of the rules governing charities and their political activities. Deadline: December 9

Environmental Assessment Federal
Comprehensive review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes. Deadline: December 18

Fisheries Federal
Review of the 2012-13 changes to the Fisheries Act made by the previous government. Comments welcome on restoring habitat protections that were lost and also on incorporating modern safeguards. No deadline mentioned but the committee responsible is submitting its report in “early 2017”.

National Energy Board Federal
A targeted review of the NEB’s structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act. Deadline: January 17

Clean Air Act Operating Approval – Irving Provincial
Renewal of the Approval to Operate for the Irving Pulp and Paper Limited Reversing Falls Complex in Saint John. Deadline: March 7

Action Alerts

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.

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.

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