October 31, 2017
(For immediate release)

Fredericton, NEW BRUNSWICK. A retired research scientist for the Canadian gov­ern­ment and expert on genetically modified foods, Dr. Thierry Vrain, will be in New Brunswick between October 30 and November 2, 2017, where he will be presenting his findings to the public in four communities: St. Louis-de-Kent, Edmundston, Petitcodiac and Fredericton Junction.

Dr. Vrain worked for 30 years as a research sci­en­tist for the Canadian gov­ern­ment in Québec and British Columbia where he con­ducted research on genet­i­cally mod­i­fied pota­toes, among other projects. In British Columbia, Dr. Vrain was section Head of the Biotechnology and Nematology sections at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (Agriculture Canada) in Summerland.

The most common genetically engineered crops have been modified to be resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides such as Monsanto’s Round-Up, and this has been a major focus of Dr. Vrain’s work. For the past decade, he has been travelling the world to inform the public of the unacceptable risks that glyphosate poses to human health and the environment.

In New Brunswick glyphosate-based herbicides are widely sprayed on agricultural land and on forests or softwood plantations to kill off hardwoods that might complete with conifers planted for pulp and other low-value wood products.

Dr. Vrain’s visit could not be more timely. The subject of herbicide spraying on public forests and on NB Power right-of-ways is garnering a great deal of public attention and provoking widespread protest, spearheaded by the work of the Stop Spraying NB movement (Facebook Group: Stop Spraying in New Brunswick).

In recent years, glyphosate has come under a great deal of scrutiny world-wide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s research arm labelled glyphosate a “probable carcinogen” and in 2017, a long-term study published in Science Reports linked “chronic ultra-low dose” exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides with liver disease in rats.  The same year documents unsealed by court order in the United States revealed collusion between an official in the Environmental Protection Agency and Monsanto to falsify academic reports and stifle others to give glyphosate-based herbicides a clean bill of health. More recently, California has added glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing agents that must come with a warning label. 

In New Brunswick, a number of municipalities, including Moncton, Cap Pelé, Tracadie, Miscou, Tide Head, Paquetville, Sackville and community groups such as the Saint-Quentin and Cap Pelée/Beaubassin-Est Chambers of Commerce, have publicly expressed their support of the Stop Spraying NB movement by either sending letters of concern to provincial government or signing a resolution against spraying in our forests and under NB Power lines.

The movement to stop pesticide spraying in New Brunswick on public lands and under NB Power lines is rapidly gaining momentum. Signs calling for an end to the spraying are popping up all over New Brunswick. At the Union of Municipalities Tradeshow on September 29, 2017, municipal politicians and staff noted that, “there are signs everywhere.”

More than 35,000 people have already signed a petition to stop the spraying, with more coming in every day. Citizens of this province are growing more and more aware of the immense value of their diverse Acadian forests, their wildlife, their drinking water, their rivers and lakes, forest foods, and their health. They are demanding a ban on the spraying of herbicide on their woodlands.

Dr. Vrain’s presentations are of utmost importance, focusing as they do on the research that Health Canada is choosing to ignore, the negative effects of glyphosate residue in and on edible plants, including the berries, mushrooms, medicinal plants that NB citizens gather in our forests, and which wildlife depend on for their survival.

Dr. Thierry Vrain’s public presentations are being hosted and funded by local community groups, together with a number of grassroots organizations that are listed below, and will help the public become better informed about scientific knowledge on long-term, low-dose exposure to glyphosate.

Wednesday, November 1, 7-9 pm
Maritime Motorsports Hall of fame
Petitcodiac, NB
(Organized in collaboration with SSNB Inc.)

Thursday, November 2, 7-9 pm
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 55
159 Sunbury Drive
Fredericton Junction, NB
(Organized in collaboration with The Right Not To Be Poisoned)

CONTACTS:
(English) Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy (Chair, SSNB Inc.): 506-292-7503 email: caroline@stopsprayingnb.ca www.stopsprayingnb.ca
(English) Morris Shannon (Right not to be Poisoned): (506) 455-4232 email: 245tmo@gmail.com
(French)  Francine Levesque (Écovie): 506-284-2769  email: canot@explornet.ca

Spotlight

Blog

National Spotlight on Moncton

Monday, 27 November 2017
by Raissa Marks
The NBEN is pleased to be the local host partner for EconoUs 2018, the annual conference of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, which is coming to Moncton in September 2018.
ECONOUS LOGOS 2018 w tag

With a focus on green community economic development, EconoUs 2018 will feature leading speakers, engaging sessions, and tailored networking opportunities about People (inclusive communities), Planet (sustainable environments), and Economy (local prosperity) and how these things, together, create an economy that works for all.Who or what should be included in the agenda?  Let the planning committee know here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V2QXMY2

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.

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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