• “Strengthen, not weaken, the protection of our rivers, bays and drinking water”, says New Brunswick groups questioning the government’s Water Strategy

    “Strengthen, not weaken, the protection of our rivers, bays and drinking water”, says New Brunswick groups questioning the government’s Water Strategy

    FREDERICTON, N.B. –  On World Water Day, March 22nd,  several citizen groups joined the Wolastoq Grand Council and held a Press Conference today in Fredericton to call on the Gallant government for the immediate halt to the hastily-planned review process for the New Brunswick’s new Water Strategy.  

    “The process is a sham.”, says Mark D’Arcy, New Brunswick Energy East Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.  “The Gallant Government is proposing a new strategy to manage our drinking water and waterways with industry and to replace our current water classification regulation.  The process is not democratic.  The process would weaken, not strengthen, our protection of water.  And the process ignores the reality of climate change, that peoples’ lives and communities are at stake.” 

    The process is not democratic. 

    Brian Kenny, NB Minister of Environment and Local Government, released the Discussion Paper entitled ‘Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick” on March 6th.  Less than two weeks later, six Open Houses in rapid succession have been scheduled to gather people’s input with written feedback welcome until April 29th (see link below to government website).

    “Why has there been limited advertising for these Open House consultations and why is the lead time for this input so rushed?,” asks Mark D’Arcy. “Why is the government conducting secret stakeholder meetings with watershed groups and municipalities that excludes the public? And why is there a third tier of secret stakeholder meetings only with industry. You can’t have a democracy with secret meetings. Is this to pave the way for large-scale projects such as Energy East, Sisson Brook, and shale gas fracking? Premier Brian Gallant needs to halt this process now and start an open and meaningful public process.” 

    Ann Pohl, Chair of the Council of Canadians – Kent County Chapter says, “We endorse this call for an open, transparent, engaged and valid process to determine water protection policy and regulations.”

    Sharlene Paul, Clanmother speaking on behalf of the Wolastoq Grand Council, says, “It is wrong of Premier Brian Gallant to release any Water Strategy without first initiating discussions with our people.  Our recent declarations here in our non-ceded Wolastoq Homeland – the ‘Water Declaration’ last May 2015 in Red Head, and our ‘Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth’ in February 2016 - are very clear about the importance of water:  The inherent right to water as a source of life.”

    The process is going to weaken, not strengthen, our protection of water.

    Lawrence Wuest, a retired scientist who lives in the Nashwaak River watershed, asked, “Why is the government disempowering and dismantling at least six (6) current volunteer watershed organizations along the Saint John River?  The new water strategy proposes to exclude from provincial legislation almost all the individual watersheds directly impacted by the Energy East Pipeline, the Sisson Tungsten Mine, the Minco PLC Woodstock Manganese Project, and shale gas development in the great swath of New Brunswick currently under gas and oil exploration license and lease."

    Mr. Wuest emphasizes, "This would remove local community control, monitoring and advocacy in the Nashwaak Watershed, the Meduxnekeag Watershed, the Cannan River/Washademoak Lake Watershed, the Belleisle Bay Watershed, the Kennebecasis Watershed, the Hammond River Watershed, and all other existing sub-watersheds of the Saint John River.”

    “Why won’t they implement the Watershed Classification System? “, asks Bill Ayer. “This is the same system successfully used by the State of Maine, which would allow NB and ME to easily exchange data on their shared Transboundary watersheds in the St. Croix and St. John River Basins.”

    “We must listen to our Ombudsman,” says Margo Sheppard, member of Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. “Ombudsman Charles Murray ruled in 2014 that the province’s Water Classification Regulation was legal and that it was reckless not to put it into practice. Ombudsman Murray stressed that this Water Classification was made a strong legal tool by an amendment of the Clean Water Act on December 19, 2008.”

     “The language in the discussion paper with respect to the management and control of water by industry, including ‘water management partnerships’, is too vague and is also very troubling”, says Susan Linkletter, Vice President of the Organic Crop improvement Association, and former Executive Director of the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, “The Water Strategy is proposing a triple bottom line, that is, of managing water for people, nature, and business.  Why, when we know the value of clean drinking water, is the Province laying a foundation that would allow for the bulk transport of water between watersheds in New Brunswick, as well as the export of water out of New Brunswick?”, says Jean Louis Deveau, Chair of the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. 

    The process ignores the reality of climate change.

    “The new Water Strategy ignores the focus on water in the recent NB report of the Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing”, says Maggie Connell, past Co-chair Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter.  “The Commissioner detailed steps to protect surface water and groundwater, including the “comprehensive mapping and monitoring of New Brunswick’s groundwater aquifers” and “to mitigate the impacts of climate change-related effects, such as extreme weather, on New Brunswick’s watersheds, coasts and land base”.

    Our group has consistently warned Premier Gallant and his Ministers of the need to stop the unsustainable forest clear cutting and the destruction of our wetlands,” says Connell. “The environmental protection of our forests and watersheds must be an urgent priority in order to protect downstream communities.”

    Marilyn Merritt-Gray a resident of Kars, one of the Belleisle Bay communities hardest hit by the Fall 2015 rain storm, says “We know all about bad roads down here, spring flooding and washouts, but the September storm was overwhelming. The government says they have already spent $15 million on bridge and road reconstruction, but even with that in our roads in places remain barely passable and other roads remain closed. For weeks the river in front of my house ran brown.”

    Halt the current Water Strategy process and start over.  

    “It’s important that we halt this current process and start over with a more evidence-based document and with an open and transparent process, a process which includes all Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in New Brunswick and the Chief Medical Officer of Health,” says Russ Letica, First Nation Consultation Coordinator from the Wolastoqiyik Nation.

    The last planned meeting for ‘invitation-only stakeholders’ is in Fredericton on Wednesday, March 23rd from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the Fredericton Inn.  The Open House follows at 4:30pm-6:30pm, also at the Fredericton Inn.  We encourage the general public to attend these meetings, ask these important questions and your local concerns about the protection of our water, and ask the Gallant government to halt the current Water Strategy process.  The process should start only after Premier Gallant properly answers these questions.  


                                                           - 30 -

    References: 



    Managing Water Resources, 3pp - Released March 1, 2016

    http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/Water-Eau/ManagingWaterResources.pdf



    Working Towards a Water Strategy for New Brunswick, 24pp – Released March 6, 2016

    http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/elg/environment/content/water/content/water_strategy.html
  • A Tribute to Stephanie Merrill

    From the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

    The struggle to keep unconventional gas and oil development (UNGOD) out of New Brunswick is a story filled with many actors, heroes and organizations, each playing important and vital roles.

    However, for many of us involved in that struggle, the seeds for our victory were largely sown by a single person – Stephanie Merrill, the Water Specialist at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.  What follows is our special tribute to Stephanie, who is now heading out to share her expertise with the Global Water Futures program at the University of Saskatchewan.

    http://www.noshalegasnb.ca/tribute-to-stephanie-merrill/
  • Alward government bungles first test of so-called world class shale gas regulations

    Alward government bungles first test of so-called world class shale gas regulations

    FREDERICTON--“Premier Alward’s world-class regulations on shale gas mining have failed their first major test,” says Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    On February 7th, Corridor Resources registered with the government’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) registry a proposal to propane frack four exisiting wells in Penobsquis sometime in July. This is Phase III of a three-phase project. Corridor’s short announcement was published in one small newspaper on February 11, but apparently nowhere else. The word fracking did not appear in the newspaper ad.

    Before 2010, shale gas companies were not required to register for an EIA until ready to drill and frack wells. “But public pressure forced the Alward government to change that, so they created a new category of EIA called a ‘phased EIA,’ which now requires companies to register each phase of a project for an EIA.”

    “The problem is this ‘phased EIA’ process is not designed to require a company to submit a formal environmental impact assessment which would trigger public hearings on their proposal,” says Deveau.

    Deveau points out that until February 21st, there was nothing in the government’s EIA registry to suggest that fracking would be taking place. Nor was Corridor's proposal initially available on-line. “We live in the information age,” says Stanley resident Lawrence Wuest, “but I had to physically drive to the Department of Environment to read about the details of Corridor's proposal.”

    In addition, according to a floodplain map of New Brunswick, two of the wellpads scheduled for fracking by Corridor lie on the 20 year floodplain of the Kennebecasis River. Corridor’s EIA registration document, now available on its own website does not appear to take this into consideration. This is problematic as the new rules for industry released in February 2013 place restrictions on shale gas mining in floodplains.

    Energy Minister Craig Leonard even said last September that shale gas mining in flood zone areas would have to go “through a full EIA." The phased EIA now underway will likely allow Corridor to frack without any of us ever knowing how the public and the waters of the Kennebecasis River are to be safeguarded in the event of flooding," said Deveau.

    “This is a far cry from what New Brunswickers should be expecting from so called ‘world-class’ shale gas regulations,” says Deveau. “I encourage New Brunswickers to demand that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment be conducted on this fracking project.”
  • An Open Letter to MLAs for the Immediate Release of the Complete Health Study on Shale Gas Sector

    IMPORTANT: Please E-mail Your MLA To Release Dr. Cleary's Health Study On Shale Gas

    It has been learned that the NB Chief Medical Officer's health report on shale gas has been ready for about a week. The government appears to be delaying its release.

    Please find below the draft text of an e-mail YOU can send to your MLA!

     

    MLA email addresses at this link: http://www1.gnb.ca/legis/bios1/index-e.asp

    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick 

    (listed by riding in numerical order and e-mail address)

    Please forward wide and far to your friends.

     

    Thank you for your action!

     

    Contacts

    Mark D'Arcy Email markandcaroline@gmail.com 

     

    Terry Wishart Email t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

      

    ******************************************************************************************

    E-MAIL ADDRESSES OF YOUR MLA CAN BE FOUND HERE:

     

    http://www1.gnb.ca/legis/bios1/index-e.asp

     

    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick

     

    (listed by riding in numerical order + e-mail address)

     

     

    Dear _______________, MLA

      

    RE:  An Open Letter to MLAs for the Immediate Release of the Complete Health Study on Shale Gas Sector

      

    I just learned that the Health Study on Shale Gas has been completed by Dr. Eilish Cleary, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick.  It is my understanding that Dr. Cleary submitted her report to the Alward government about one week ago, and that the report was scheduled to be released in September 2012.

     

    The health implications of introducing shale gas development in this province is one of the most important issues facing New Brunswickers today.  I respectfully request the following:

     

    1.  The Alward government should take care to release the report immediately and to neither delay nor censor it.

     

    2.  The MLAs hold meaningful public consultation on whether to allow or disallow shale gas development in New Brunswick. This consultation should start with legislative hearings, and later include public meetings on the government's final recommendations.

     

    It will be very troubling to our democracy if either of these two steps is not forthcoming.

     

     

     

    All discussion and decisions on shale gas regulations are premature.  

     

     

    It is my understanding that the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, has developed recommendations on the shale gas industry "at preventing or mitigating potential adverse public health effects associated with the industry".

    In the CBC interview with Dr. Cleary (see reference below), she explained that the health study would document how the industry could impact human health, how to mitigate or prevent the risks, as well as how to measure the actual impact of the industry on the health of New Brunswickers if the shale gas industry was to proceed in this province.

    Dr. Cleary said she would make recommendations in each of the following 4 areas: (1) Physical risks; (2) Risks to the community and mental health; (3) Risks from exposure to environmental sources; and (4) Risks to the long-term health of the population.

     

    Furthermore, the public has not yet been consulted on whether or not the province should move forward with shale gas exploration and fracking. Dr. Louis LaPierre publicly admitted, at the shale gas regulations meeting in Norton, NB on July 04, 2012, that the mandate given to him by your government did not include the ability to recommend a moratorium or ban on shale gas development. 

     

    Lastly, during a speech delivered in Moncton last October, Premier David Alward advised that Members of the Legislative Assembly would be organizing town hall and information meetings later that month “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue."

     

    We have a right to know and to be properly consulted. 

     

    I look forward to an honest and open discussion of all the health, environmental, and economic implications of shale gas development in New Brunswick. 

     

    Sincerely yours,

    [YOUR NAME OR ORGANIZATION HERE]

    cc:  Premier David Alward

     

    Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement

     

    Province of New Brunswick

     

    E-mail: david.alward@gnb.ca

     

     

    References:

     

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/05/21/nb-shale-gas-health-study-445.html

     

    Health study may examine impact of shale gas sector

     

    Chief medical officer will issue recommendations in the summer - CBC News May 22, 2012

     

    http://charlesotherpersonality.blogspot.ca/2011/10/premier-david-alward-speech-in-moncton.html

     

    Premier David Alward, October 3, 2011 - Speech to Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton

  • Call for Gulf-wide moratorium and arms-length review panel

    Groups and First Nations in five provinces demand a stop oil and gas activities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

    Oceans’ Week starts with call for Gulf-wide moratorium and arms-length review panel

    Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, June 9, 2014
    – Fishermen, environmentalists, First Nations, and others kicked off International Oceans’ Week with a demand to the federal, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick and Quebec governments to immediately place a moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the entire Gulf of St. Lawrence. They followed up with a call for an independent Gulf-wide review panel with thorough public consultations on whether offshore oil and gas activities should ever be allowed to proceed in the Gulf.

    “Since time immemorial, the waters and shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence have been used and occupied by the Innu to the north and the Mi'gmaq to the south, for purposes including fishing, hunting, and travel. Because of these facts, we have rights that are recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and that the federal and provincial governments are obliged to consult and accommodate us in order to avoid any irreparable harm to the exercise of our rights” declared Troy Jerome on behalf of the Innu-Mi'gmaq Alliance for the Protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    “Today, the St. Lawrence Coalition is publishing a report on the issue of oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which highlights the fact that the conditions are not in place to allow such activities in this precious and fragile ecosystem. Consequently, a Gulf-wide moratorium seems essential” added Jean-Patrick Toussaint from the St. Lawrence Coalition. “The Gulf is one of the last standing places on earth where no offshore oil/gas activities are underway. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to protect this beautiful ecosystem and try to restore its ecological integrity” concluded Toussaint.

    The Gulf of St. Lawrence shores draw millions of visitors a year to the pristine beaches of Prince Edward Island National Park and that of the Magdalen Islands; the majestic vistas of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail; iconic symbols like Rocher Percé in Gaspé, and the spectacular fjords of western Newfoundland. Fisheries like lobster, eel, and snow crab support thousands of families in all five provinces. Endangered blue whales, bluefin tuna, belugas, the remaining northern cod and many other valued species feed, spawn, mate, and rear young in the waters of the Gulf. All could be at risk from oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

    “As recently reported in the May issue of National Geographic, the Gulf is still a bountiful, diverse ecosystem, teeming with life. It could remain so if only we took the time and effort to better understand its complexities, and see it as a whole instead of artificially dividing it into provincial jurisdictions” said Ellie Reddin from the PEI Chapter of Save Our Seas and Shores. “The offshore oil industry already has access to 85% of Canada’s east coast waters. Enough is enough. We must declare a Gulf-wide moratorium on oil and gas activities" concluded Reddin.

    “Marine resources have been under various pressures, such as industrial pollution, acidification, hypoxia and climate change over the past decades. Our fishing efforts have been greatly affected and we have been forced to adapt to this reality. Fishermen and fishing associations have made tremendous efforts to sustain this renewable resource and therefore we are saying no to opening the gulf to the oil/gas industry, which would undoubtedly add yet another pressure to this sensitive ecosystem” said Greg Egilsson, Chairman of the Gulf Nova Scotia Herring Federation.

    The groups also insist that a review panel and thorough public consultations on this important issue be held across the five provinces to consult with the communities and First Nations about the future of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    “Every year, thousands of residents and visitors to the surrounding communities spend over one billion dollars on recreational and tourism activities focused on the natural and cultural heritage of the Gulf and its scenic shores. Are we willing to risk such national treasures for unproven revenues that aren’t sustainable? That is why it is of utmost importance to us that all communities around the Gulf be consulted on what is a stake here…their future” said John Jacobs from Nature Newfoundland and Labrador.

    “We must keep in mind that the proposed oil exploration in the Gulf is not happening in a vacuum” commented Matthew Abbott, Marine Program Coordinator with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “Canada’s Atlantic coastal waters already face significant stress from climate change, especially due to temperature increases and ocean acidification not to mention existing tanker traffic, offshore drilling in other areas, and a host of other threats. In order to foster resilient ecosystems and maintain critical habitats it is essential that relatively intact regions like the Gulf be left to flourish” concluded Abbott.

    The groups are also calling into action communities and citizens from all around the Gulf Provinces and across Canada to ask the federal and provincial governments to establish a Gulf-wide moratorium on oil and gas activities, as well as an independent, arms-length review panel on this issue.

    Sign up onto the call to action at:http://action2.davidsuzuki.org/gulf

    Download the St. Lawrence Coalition report at: http://bit.ly/1nT5eMT

  • COMMUNIQUÉ: Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

    Pour publication immédiate              COMMUNIQUÉ                           21 novembre 2012

    Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

    FREDERICTON NB ---- Une marche à Fredericton qui se terminera par un rassemblement à l’Assemblée législative aura lieu le mardi 27 novembre pour demander de mettre fin à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel au NB.

    Au mois de novembre l’an dernier, plus de 20 000 NéoBrunswickois ont demandé d’interdire l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste en présentant des pétitions à la Législature.  Par ailleurs, durant l’année dernière plusieurs différentes associations au Nouveau-Brunswick ont adopté des résolutions pour soit interdire ou soit imposer un moratoire à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel.  Celles-ci incluent :

    1)   L’Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 51 membres (octobre 2011);

    2)   Le Syndicat des infirmières et des infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick comprenant 6 900 membres (décembre 2011);

    3)   Le Syndicat national des agriculteurs NB regroupant 150 fermes (mars 2012);

    4)   Le synode des Maritimes de l’Église unie du Canada (mars 2012);

    5)   Le Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique regroupant 30 000 membres (avril 2012);

    6)   Le Collège des médecins de famille du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 700 membres (avril 2012);

    7)   Le personnel médical de l’hôpital Mémorial de Sackville (mai 2012);

    8)   Les médecins de l’Hôpital de Moncton (juin 2012);

    9)   La Fédération des NéoBrunswickois des zones rurales (FoR NB);

    10)   Les médecins de l’hôpital Georges Dumont Moncton (septembre 2012);

    11)  Un nombre de municipalités incluant (Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, Minto, Stanley, Bathurst, Sussex Corner, Quispamsis).

    Marilyn Lerch de l’Alliance de Tantramar contre la fracturation hydraulique constate que : « Le gouvernement du NB n’a donné aucune indication qu’il écoutait tous ces appels pour un moratoire ou une interdiction. »  « Au contraire, la toute première proposition à la deuxième session de l’Assemblée législative a ignoré les pétitions et confirmé que la politique de l’administration conservatrice était en faveur de l’exploitation « responsable » des réserves de gaz naturel au Nouveau-Brunswick. »

    « Les réserves de gaz naturel au NB ne sont pas traditionnelles, c’est-à-dire qu’elles doivent être extraites par une technologie relativement nouvelle appelée fracturation hydraulique massive fracking, » explique Stephanie Merrill d’Action CCNB.  « La fracturation hydraulique est essentiellement un processus industriel contaminant qui injecte des milliards de milliards de litres d’eau mélangés avec des produits chimiques toxiques à des pressions énormes pour faire éclater la pierre et laisser échapper les hydrocarbonés des formations souterraines comme les schistes ou les grès rouges. »

    « Des preuves provenant d’autres juridictions ne cessent de démontrer que les risques sanitaires, sociaux et environnementaux sont majeurs et que les avantages économiques sont exagérés, » souligne Guillermo Castilla, professeur adjoint de l’Université de Calgary.  « C’est pourquoi notre gouvernement a le devoir de prévenir les dommages et mettre fin à toute exploitation jusqu’à ce l’on puisse démontrer que cette technologie est sécuritaire et qu’un plan d’exploitation complet est présenté. »

    « Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est de se rappeler à la mémoire les pétitions des 20 000 NéoBrunswickois qui ont été ignorées, mais qui demandent la cessation immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke du chapitre Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.  « Cela veut dire l’arrêt immédiat des explorations pour les gaz de schiste, la fin des émissions de tous nouveaux permis et du renouvèlement des permis existants, » précise Dr. Linke. 

    « Les groupes et les organisations qui se sont déjà joints à cette manifestation ou qui l’ont endossée constituent un véritable échantillon des populations rurales et urbaines du Nouveau-Brunswick, » observe Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.  « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que l’administration ne réussit pas à présenter une analyse de rentabilité pour appuyer ses prétentions concernant les emplois et les redevances tout en continuant à affaiblir la protection environnementale de nos zones humides, de nos bassins versants et de notre atmosphère pour faire place à cette industrie. »

    Conseillère municipale à Sackville, Margaret Tusz-King prévoit : « L’exploration non traditionnelle du gaz naturel va affecter l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick, ses villes comme ses collectivités rurales »  « C’est pourquoi il est intéressant de noter le grand nombre de NéoBrunswickois qui manifestent leur solidarité en s’assemblant pour protester en solidarité lors de l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative.  Ces citoyens montrent clairement qu’ils sont en faveur de l’arrêt d’une entreprise qui pourrait modifier notre paysage à jamais. »

    Le mardi 27 novembre, des groupes et des citoyens vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes dont les signatures ont été ignorées, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation.  Cette marche pacifique va commencer à 11 h au vieux cimetière et se terminera avec un rassemblement entre midi et 13 heures devant l’édifice de l’Assemblée nationale.  De brèves discours seront présentées.

    Voici les noms des groupes/organisations qui se sont joints à la manifestation et/ou qui l’ont endossée :

    A) Groupes des collectivités :  1) Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, 2) Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis, 3) Friends of Mount Carleton, 4) Hampton Water First, 5) Harvey Environmental Action Team; 6) Memramcook Action, 7) New Brunswickers Against Fracking, 8) Parents Against Everyday Poisons, 9) Taymouth Community Association, 10) Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking, 11) Notre Environnement, Notre Choix, 12) Upriver Environment Watch, 13) Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance, 14) Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk, 15) Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 16) Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization, 17) Quality of Life Initiative, 18) Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, 19) Stanley Area Action Group, 20) Sustainable Energy Group, 21) Maliseet Grand Council, 22) Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, 23) Cornhill Area Residents Association and 24) The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (ForNB)

    B) ONG: 1) CCNB Action, 2) Association pulmonaire du NB 3) ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc., 4) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Saint-Jean, 5) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Fredericton et Sierra Club Atlantic

    C) Organisations professionnelles/Syndicats : 1) Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP), 2) Syndicat national des fermiers NB (SNF NB), 3) Conseil du travail de Fredericton & District

    D) Partis politiques :  Parti vert et NPD

    E) Jeunes et jeunes adultes : 1) 5e année, classe du chef Harold Sappier École élémentaire Memorial, Première nation St. Mary’s, Fredericton 2) Étudiants et étudiantes de l’université Saint Thomas & de l’UNB, 3) Éco-action groupe de l’université Mount Allison 4) Élèves du Collège des métiers du NB.

    F) Groupes Facebook : “New Brunswick is NOT for sale”, “SAY NO TO SHALE GAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK”, “NoShaleGasNB”, “Upriver Environment Watch” et “Ban Hydraulic Fracturing (hydro-fracking) In New Brunswick

  • Communities, groups and organizations call on Alward Government to start listening to people

     For Immediate Release                PRESS RELEASE                November 4, 2013

    Communities, groups and organizations call on Alward Government to start listening to people

     

    FREDERICTON– This Tuesday, November 5th at lunch hour, the Council of Canadians will be joined by citizens, community groups, Church organizations, unions and professional associations from throughout the Maritimes and other regions at the provincial legislature for the Unity and Solidarity Rally. Rally goers will be delivering a message to Premier Alward that all shale gas exploration and development must be halted and that the New Brunswick government must begin listening to all people about the future they want, based on his government’s duty to consult and in the spirit of true democracy. 

     

     

    “The Alward Government must reopen dialogue and have a genuine conversation around issues surrounding our natural resources”, says Terry Wishart, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “Part of this discussion has to be about the unsustainable projects they continue to pursue while many countries and jurisdictions have firmly stated their opposition to extreme resource development like shale gas and oil. Others are realizing significant increases in jobs by laying the groundwork for the resource development of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, biogas and their forests”, Wishart points out.

     

     

    One of David Alward's promises during the 2010 provincial election was citizen engagement, yet the Premier– who is also the Minister of Citizen Engagement and Aboriginal Affairs – has demonstrated his contempt for public consultation, consent, and aboriginal treaty rights. Premier Alward has refused to meet with the Wabanaki people in a traditional place of North American democracy, the Longhouse, which now rests on the banks of the Saint John River, across the street from the Provincial legislature, and was constructed for such a meeting.

     

     

    As Leader of the Opposition on April 6th 2010, David Alward spoke frankly about the consequences of shale gas development on water contamination, saying, "Many problems have been reported because of [fracking] companies. Significant contamination of people's drinking water is taking place. We know that, in the United States, companies are not required to provide the information.”  Government, health and academic studies document additional environmental hazards of the industry, like severe air contamination and impacts on human health, including accelerated rates of cancer and childhood asthma.

     

     

    “Today Premier Alward claims he was elected with a mandate to develop shale gas. His minister of energy, Craig Leonard, says that shale gas opponents are ‘ridiculous’ or he resorts to calling us names. They discount the real facts and ignore citizens who are petitioning for public meetings and asking some very important questions”, states Council of Canadians member, Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.  “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in their platform. In fact they avoided any mention of it in the platform’s ‘Energy Plan’, yet renewable energy and efficiency are included”, adds Lubbe-D’Arcy.

     

     

    Critics charge that in the wake of Mr. Louis Lapierre’s fraud, the Alward government is also lying in order to justify moving ahead with their plans for a shale gas industry. They point out that the Alward government is following suit with the Harper Government by diluting or changing laws based on industry requirements, and are thwarting the efforts of citizen groups that work to shine a light on their failure to adequately consult with the public on shale gas.

     

     

    “We hope David Alward will respect democracy and renew constructive dialogue with the Wabanaki and all peoples on the direction and future of New Brunswick” says Wishart.

  • Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    Press Release

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter

                                                                    

    Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    FREDERICTON – The Mi’kmaq Chief and council of Elsipogtog First Nations issued a statement on Tuesday vowing to protect our land, water, and air from mining companies like SWN Resources Canada. SWN Resources was also told by Chief and council to leave the province. The Maliseet Chief of Saint Mary’s First Nations concurred.

    “We proudly stand by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters on this issue,” says Julia Linke, member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    “It is difficult to imagine how this could come as a surprise to anybody,” says Alma Brooks,Traditional Clan Mother Wolastoqiyik of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

    Next Monday, October 7th marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763.The Royal Proclamation of 1763 states that lands not ceded to, by treaty or purchased by, the Crown, are reserved for First Nations.

    “The elected and hereditary leaders of Elsipogtog and the Signigtog district,” says Andrea Bear Nicholas, Retired Chair of Native Studies, St.Thomas University, “are therefore re-asserting their obligations as rightful stewards over Crown lands which they believe are continuously being mis-managed by Canada, the province, and corporations.”
    - 30 -
  • Dr. Anthony Ingraffea To Speak In Moncton On November 30th and In Hampton December 1st

    DR. ANTHONY INGRAFFEA TO SPEAK IN MONCTON ON NOV.  30 AND IN HAMPTON ON DEC. 1.

    The following includes an excerpt from the Nov. 2011 issue of Scientific American, in The Truth About Fracking.

     

    Dr. Anthony Ingraffea will be presenting  in Moncton, November 30th at the Capitol Theatre and at Hampton High School on Thursday, Dec.  1st at 7:00 p.m.. He will explore myths and realities of large-scale development of unconventional natural gas resources.

     

    On a local scale, these concern geological aspects and the resulting use of directional drilling, high-volume, slickwater,hydraulic fracturing, multi-well pad arrangements and the impacts of these technologies on waste production and disposal.  On a global scale,  he will explore  the cumulative impact on greenhouse gas loading of the atmosphere.   Dr. Ingraffea is known for his clear and straight-forward explanations of these rather complex processes using visual displays and down to earth language.

     

    Dr. Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering and a Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University.  He participated in research and development for the oil and gas industry for 25 years, specializing in hydraulic fracture simulation and pipeline safety and twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics.

     

    Dr. Ingraffea became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991;  he became Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005;  he won ASTM’s George Irwin Award for outstanding research in fracture mechanics in 2006;  and in 2009,  he was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture.  Recently,  he has been deeply engaged in informal education regarding the topic of this lecture with over 50 public presentations over the last year.

     

    This event is part of the Shale Gas Speaker Series and is sponsored by CCNB Action and New Brunswick Shale Gas Alliance Member Groups throughout the Province.

    This is a unique opportunity to become well informed about the most controversial issue facing New Brunswickers today.

     

    Contact info: 

    Carl Wolpin:  crwolpin@xplornet.com  832-7827

    Chris Rendell:  appsolca@yahoo.ca 832-4660

  • For Immediate Release: N.B. Shale Gas Opposition Alliance Announces Text Message Action

    PRESS RELEASE

    For Immediate Release                  December 8, 2011

    N.B. Shale Gas Opposition Alliance Announces Text Message Action

     

    New Brunswick’s opposition to shale gas alliance consisting of twenty-eight community organizations is using social media to enable New Brunswickers to send a text message to our fifty-five MLAs denouncing shale gas mining and exploration in our province. Organizers say that with this Text Message Action Campaign,additional public scrutiny will be focused on the Alward Government’s push for oil and gas corporations to explore and extract shale gas using hydraulic fracturing.
     

    The texting initiative was planned and conceived in partnership with the Council of Canadians. With its ease of use and quick result, text messaging will allow New Brunswickers to express their opinion directly to our elected members from the comfort of their own homes.

    The letter contained in the text message sent to New Brunswick legislators includes arguments championed by economists, geologists, engineers and former industry insiders which contradict industry and government speaking points centred around job creation, royalty revenues and public benefits. They include the following:

    • The need for industry to import skilled workers from outside New Brunswick as has been happening in the US and western Canada

    • Inflated royalty payments which do not take into consideration increased health care costs due to the migration of carcinogenic materials into our air, water and the land on which we live

    • Reduced tax revenues from decreased property assessments and reductions in new home construction in areas ear-marked for shale gas development

    • Reduced tax revenues as a result of citizens and visitors to the province seeking to escape an ever-increasing level of industrialization and the resulting pollution

    • Increased road and bridge repair expenditures in counties where existing infrastructure was not engineered to withstand tens of thousands of truckloads of water, waste water, and methane gas

     

    The Text Message Action Campaign is scheduled to go on indefinitely. Organizers invite New Brunswickers to take this opportunity to make their voice heard, especially in light of the Alward Government’s decision to not engage in consultations with the public and its intention to continue on a path towards shale gas production.

    Media Contacts:

     

    Jean Louis Deveau 
    506 442 1413
     
    Terry Wishart
    506 238 4001
     
    *********************
     

     

    COMMUNIQUÉ

    Pour publication immédiate            8 décembre 2011

    L’Alliance contre les gaz de schiste annonce une Action Texto

     

    L’Alliance contre les gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick est formée de vingt-huit organisations de collectivités qui utilisent les médias sociaux afin de permettre aux NéoBrunswickois de faire parvenir des textos à nos cinquante-cinq députés provinciaux pour dénoncer l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste dans notre province.  Les organisateurs sont d’avis qu’avec cette Campagne Action Texto, un examen public plus minutieux portera sur les tentatives de l’administration Alward d’accélérer l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste par fracturation hydraulique de nos sous-sols par les sociétés à capital des pétrolières et des gazières.

    Cette initiative texto a été planifiée et conçue en collaboration avec le Conseil des Canadiens.  Avec sa facilité et ses résultats rapides, les textos vont permettre aux Néobrunswickois d’exprimer directement du confort de leur maison aux députés qu’ils ont élus leur opinion sur les gaz de schiste.

    La lettre contenue avec le texto envoyé aux députés du Nouveau-Brunswick inclut les arguments avancés par les économistes, les géologues et d’anciens initiés de cette industrie qui contredisent les points de vue de l’industrie et du gouvernement qui se bornent à la création d’emploi, aux revenus des redevances et aux bénéfices pour la population.  Ces arguments soulignent que :

    • L’industrie aura besoin de faire venir ses travailleurs spécialisés de l’extérieur du Nouveau-Brunswick tout comme c’est arrivé aux États-Unis et à l'ouest du Canada;

    • Les paiements de redevances gonflés ne prennent pas en considération l’augmentation des couts de soin de santé causés par la migration de matériaux carcinogènes dans l’air, l’eau et la terre où nous vivons;

    • La réduction des revenus de taxation provenant de la diminution de la valeur des propriétés et de la réduction de la construction de nouvelles résidences dans les régions réquisitionnées pour l’exploitation des gaz de schiste;

    • La réduction des revenus de taxation suite à la fuite des citoyens et des visiteurs pour échapper aux niveaux toujours croissant de pollution causée par l’industrialisation;

    L’accroissement des dépenses de réparation des routes et des ponts dans les régions où les infrastructures en place n’ont pas été prévues pour supporter des dizaines de milliers de camions chargés d’eau, d’eau usée et de méthane.

    On prévoit que la Campagne Action Texto continuera pour une durée indéterminée.  Les organisateurs invitent tous les NéoBrunswickois de saisir cette occasion pour faire entendre leur voix, spécialement que l’administration Alward a décidé de ne pas consulter la population et de persister à favoriser l’exploitation des gaz de schiste.

    Personnes-ressources pour les médias :

     

    Jean Louis Deveau 
    506 442 1413
     
    Terry Wishart
    506 238 4001
  • Fredericton No Shale Gas Parade Launches Municipal Blue Ribbon Campaign

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        PRESS RELEASE                        APRIL 3, 2012

    FREDERICTON SHALE GAS PARADE LAUNCHES MUNICIPAL BLUE RIBBON CAMPAIGN

    Fredericton, N.B., Canada - The movement against shale gas development is moving into the municipalities. Citizens in Fredericton are asking their municipal candidates for Mayor and Councilors to take a stand on protecting the city’s air and water.  To launch this election initiative, a parade of cars and trucks, followed by bicycles and pedestrians, will travel through downtown Fredericton this Thursday, April 5th at 12 noon.

    People will gather at the parking lot beside the Old Burial Grounds at 51 Woodstock Road. The action will begin at 12 noon. The route will proceed down King Street, around the New Brunswick Legislature, and then up Queen Street to Fredericton City Hall. Vehicles and people will be decked out in blue balloons, blue ribbons, blue streamers, blue water jugs, and lots of signs. This parade will be the official launch of the Blue Ribbon Campaign here in Fredericton.

    The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a grassroots action that is spreading to villages, towns, and cities across New Brunswick. With the growing enthusiasm of this campaign, organizers foresee similar actions throughout New Brunswick during the lead-up to municipal elections. The colour blue symbolizes that citizens will be voting for the Mayor and Councilor candidates who include in their platform a Ban or Moratorium on shale gas development.  On May 14th we will be voting for change.  Elected representatives and candidates will be invited to join the parade and publicly demonstrate that they will stand up to protect our air and water.

    “The cost to human health, our air and water, our global climate, and our local economy are simply too great to remain quiet. Regulations are unable to protect us from the certainty of air pollution in the low-lying valley of Fredericton. And the aquifer from which we draw our drinking water extends far outside the Fredericton city limits into large tracts of shale gas exploration areas”, says Fredericton resident Sarah Boucher. “It is time for health and business organizations, churches, and politicians to speak up and join the largest grassroots movement that New Brunswick has ever seen.”

    “Politics has no place in human health and safety. Almost all municipalities in New Brunswick have not taken an official stand on shale gas.  Pressure from citizens has caused Minto, Hampton, Sackville, and Sussex Corner to hold Council votes and all four now have a moratorium or ban in place. It is time for Fredericton to do the same”, says Fredericton resident Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.

    Low turnout in most municipal elections means that seats can be won or lost by only a few hundred votes or less. Many seats are won by acclamation.  In the last Quadrennial Municipal Elections on May 12, 2008, the average voter turnout was forty-eight percent for contested municipal and rural community elections (a low of twenty-eight percent and a high of seventy-seven percent).  One hundred and seventy candidates (170) ran for one hundred and four mayoral (104) positions; Eight hundred and eighty-nine (889) candidates ran for five hundred and thirty-seven (537) council positions; Fifty-three (53) mayors and one hundred and ten (110) councilors were elected by acclamation.

    “Let's put our local councilors on notice that they need to speak up and protect our air and water,” says organizer Mark D’Arcy. “Election date is May 14, 2012.”

    Media Contacts:

     

    Mark D’Arcy
    Tel. 506 454 5119
    markandcaroline@gmail.com

     

    Terry Wishart
    Tel. 506 238 4001
    t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

  • Gallant government watering down the protection of our rivers, streams and lakes

    Gallant government watering down the protection of our rivers, streams and lakes
    by Jean Louis Deveau

    At the Peace and Friendship Alliance (PAFA) meeting of March 19th, Lawrence Wuest introduced us to the Gallant government’s proposed new water strategy which is meant to replace our current Water Classification Regulation, NB Regulation 2002-13.

    The following is an attempt to explain the differences between the two.

    The proposed new water strategy may be found on all of two pages, that is, on pages 17 and 18 of a discussion paper called Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick. It consists of four main goals.

    Goal no. 2 of this new water strategy, as quoted from page 17, is: “to manage and use water responsibly by protecting drinking water and eco-system [sic] health while allowing economic opportunities (my emphasis).”

    Of concern is that, compared to our current water policy, water will be used for economic development, “now and in the future.” An example of this would be to use water for fracking. In short, the use of water for economic development is now entrenched in the draft water strategy and so on equal footing with the traditional use of water which is to maintain the health of our environments. These two objectives are diametrically opposed. Plus, there is no indication on how water allocations would be made and who would be making those decisions other than that it would be a shared responsibility amongst the consumers, be it corporations or people, large or small.

    On page 6 of the new water strategy, the Government stated that it is committed to engage First Nations communities in the discussion and that information will be sent to those communities. According to discussions held at the PAFA meeting, on March 19th, First Nations were not involved in drafting this new water strategy before it was released to the public. And since the provisions of the Government’s own policy on the Duty to Consult Indigenous Peoples requires that First Nations be consulted at the outset, as opposed to after such a policy has been drafted, the government is already in contravention of its own rules and regulations, not to mention Supreme Court of Canada rulings from which their consultation policy is a derivation of.

    Our current water classification system as specified in A Guide to New Brunswick’s Water Classification Regulation, and albeit never implemented, has been in existence since 2002. It is designed to protect aquatic life. This is accomplished by way of engaging with community members to collect data on the quality of water in the streams, rivers, and lakes of their respective communities. This data is then used to classify these bodies of water according to three different classes of water: A, B, or C, where class A consists of the highest quality water. Each body of water would then be managed according to its classification. Nobody is permitted to do anything to change a body of water’s classification without receiving permission from members of the local community, thereby making local communities responsible and accountable for the care and use of their water. This is by far one of the most progressive policies in North America yet risks being dismantled by the Gallant government in exchange for their watered-down policy which is the subject of this notification.

    There has been a great deal of interest demonstrated from New Brunswick’s communities in classifying bodies of water. Since 2000, more than a million dollars has been dispensed by the Environmental Trust Fund to non-governmental organizations, such as the Nashwaak Watershed Association and the Groupe du bassin versant de la region du Cap Pele, to collect data needed for the classification of some 19 rivers in New Brunswick.

    table


    Whereas our current water classification system is focused on a single bottom line of ensuring that the conditions necessary to maintain aquatic life are being met, as illustrated in Table 1 above, the triple bottom line of the new water strategy, that is, of managing water for people, nature, and industry is problematic for at least three reasons. First, the incorporation of water as a means for economic growth ultimately leads to the commodification of water.

    The commodification of water means that water could be traded on the free market like oil, gas, and other commodities. Should our water become entangled in free trade agreements, this would undoubtedly lead to conflicts on who should have priority over its use: people, nature, or industry. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, corporations trump all else. Second, the transferring of the responsibility for the care of our water from communities into the hands of consumers, be it people or corporations, means that not only have local communities lost control over their water but that whoever has the most power and influence, in terms of corporations and or other consumers, gets to decide who uses our water. Third, this way of managing our water is not in keeping with the government’s obligations of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples who view water as sacred and who would never accept water being used for economic development.

    My second point is about the lack of transparency over this issue. Despite the importance and gravity of this major policy change in water use, public consultations on this new water strategy have been occurring with little to no advertisement, thus making it nearly impossible for interested citizens to become engaged. Appearing in the Gallant Government’s last throne speech, and in a press release which was not picked up by the media, public notifications have not been widely distributed. To date, four open houses have occurred, with only two left to happen this week: Monday in Saint John and Wednesday in Fredericton. The meetings are also happening during supper time, that is, between 4:30 pm and 6:30, making it difficult for many people to attend, particularly those who finish work at 5:00 pm and those with young children in daycare. By way of comparison, the 2012 Citizen Engagement tour for the new oil and natural gas standards were well advertised and took place between 6:30 and 8:30 pm.

    And finally, I wish to refer to a comment on page 13 of the new water strategy made in reference to the deficiencies of the current water classification system.

    [Department of Environment and Local Government] was advised that deficiencies within this regulation prevented its use to classify surface waters and the program was put on hold. Furthermore DELG received legal advice that suggested attempting to fix this regulation would equate to an entire rewrite of that part of the legislation.

    Charles Murray, our Ombudsman did not agree with the concerns expressed above by the Department of Environment and Local Government as stated on pages 5-6 of his report:

    At this point, it should be noted that no court has ruled upon the Regulation. Accordingly, the suggestions that the Regulation is void or unenforceable are thus far opinion— perhaps correct, but not having the force of law...The suggestion that there continues to be unaddressed issues about the legality of Regulation 2002-13 12 years after its coming into force strains credulity.

    To conclude, the Government is now developing policy that would transform water into a vehicle for economic development. Consultations with Indigenous peoples have not yet occurred and public open houses will have been completed by the time most New Brunswickers will have heard anything about this, leaving the majority of us with few options to make our voices heard on what is undoubtedly our most important and precious resource—water. The closing date for comments on the new water strategy is April 29th and so the time to act is now.

     
  • La Parade Des Gaz De Schiste Lance La Campagne Municipale Des Rubans Bleus

    POUR PUBLICATION IMMÉDIATE                COMMUNIQUÉ                       3 avril 2012

    La parade des gaz de schiste lance la campagne municipale des Rubans bleus

    Fredericton, N.B., Canada – Le mouvement contre les gaz de schiste se déplace vers les municipalités. Les citoyens de Fredericton demandent aux candidats aux postes de conseillers et de maires de prendre position pour la protection de l’air et de l’eau dans leur municipalité. Pour lancer cette initiative électorale, une parade de voitures et de camions, suivie par des bicyclettes et des piétons, va se rendre au centre de Fredericton ce jeudi 5 avril à midi.

    Le point de rencontre sera le stationnement à côté du vieux cimetière au 51, chemin Woodstock. Le départ sera à midi. La parade suivra la rue King, contournera la législature et puis prendra la rue Queen jusqu’à l’hôtel de ville de Fredericton. Les véhicules et leurs passagers seront décorés de ballons bleus, de rubans bleus, de banderoles bleues, de bidons d’eau bleus et de beaucoup de pancartes. Cette parade lancera officiellement la Campagne des rubans bleus ici à Fredericton.

    La campagne des rubans bleus est une action populaire qui va s’étendre dans les villages et les villes du Nouveau-Brunswick. Avec l’enthousiasme soulevé par cette campagne, les organisateurs prévoient, à l’approche des élections municipales, des manifestations semblables dans tout le Nouveau-Brunswick. La couleur bleue symbolise que les citoyennes et les citoyens vont voter pour les maires et les conseillers qui incluent dans leur plateforme l’interdiction ou un moratoire de l’exploration et de l’extraction des gaz de schiste. Le 14 mai, la population va voter pour le changement. Les représentants élus et les candidats seront invités à se joindre à cette parade pour démontrer publiquement qu’ils sont prêts à prendre position pour protéger l’air et l’eau de leur municipalité.

    « Les couts pour notre santé, pour l’air et l’eau, notre climat et notre économie locale sont simplement trop élevés pour que nous restions silencieux. Les règlements sont incapables de nous protéger de la pollution atmosphérique inévitable de la vallée de Fredericton. Et les nappes aquifères où l’on puise nos eaux potables s’étendent loin à l’extérieur de Fredericton où l’on explore pour trouver des gaz de schiste, » ajoute une résidente de Fredericton, Sarah Boucher. « Il est temps pour les organisations de la santé ainsi que les entreprises, les églises et les politiciens de s’exprimer et de se joindre au plus grand mouvement populaire que le Nouveau-Brunswick n’a jamais connu jusqu’ici.

    « La politicaillerie n’a pas sa place en santé humaine ni en matière de sécurité. Presque toutes les municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick ne se sont pas encore prononcées concernant les gaz de schiste. Les pressions des citoyens ont forcé les conseils municipaux de Minto, Hampton, Sackville et Sussex Corner à voter et ces quatre municipalités sont maintenant protégées par un moratoire ou bien une interdiction. Il est temps que Fredericton fasse la même chose, » selon une autre résidente de Fredericton, Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.

    Le faible taux de participation aux élections municipales signifie que les sièges peuvent être gagnés ou perdus par seulement quelques centaines de votes et souvent moins. Plusieurs sièges sont gagnés par acclamation. Durant les dernières élections municipales le 12 mai 2008, le taux moyen de participation a été de quarante-huit pour cent dans les élections municipales contestées et dans les élections des collectivités rurales (le taux le moins élevé était de vingt-huit pour cent et le plus élevé soixante-dix-sept pour cent). Cent-soixante-dix candidats se sont présentés pour les cent-quatre postes de maire; et huit-cent-quatre-vingt-neuf candidats se sont présentés aux cinq-cent-trente-sept postes de candidats; cinquante-trois maires et cent-dix conseillers ont été élus par acclamation.

    « Faisons savoir à nos conseillers qu’ils ont besoin de se prononcer et qu’ils doivent protéger notre air et notre eau, » propose l’organisateur de la marche bleu, Mark D’Arcy. « Les élections municipales auront lieu de 14 mai prochain. »

     

    Personnes-ressources pour les médias :

     

    Mark D’Arcy 

    Tel. 506 454 5119

    markandcaroline@gmail.com

     

    Terry Wishart

    Tel. 506 238 4001

     t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca


  • Letter to the New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission from the Maliseet Grand Council

    Attention: The New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission

    Ancient Voices

    We are totally dependent on the Earth for life, and because of the arrogance of a superiority attitude, western society is headed in the wrong direction.  As a consequence, climate change is here and people are in a panic. Grandchildren are asking, “What will happen to me?”

    What 200 year old prophesies said has now come to pass.  People have disobeyed the natural laws of the universe, and are stubbornly determined to ignore the voices of reason and truth. The Earth governs all life here, and she will have no mercy.  

    The Wolastokewinobk (Maliseet Grand Council) is the traditional decision-making structure of the Wolastokewiyik - the people of the beautiful river. We are the river people, indigenous to the entire St. John River watershed. Our Grand Council is made up of our clans, from the oldest to the youngest.  We send these words to your commission on behalf of our extended families, as well as the deer, the moose, birds, fishes, and all other living things within our traditional territories.   Our lands and waters have never been ceded or surrendered, therefore we are still the title holders. 

    Canada, New Brunswick and big business have and continue to exploit and expropriate our traditional lands and resources amounting to categorical infringement on our right to use our land and hunt, fish, and gather. Currently the following industries are infringing on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights:

    • All attempts to further the industry of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in our territory must stop immediately. 

    First of all our people have not been adequately consulted, and in fact we have been abused and punished for taking a stand to protect our sacred lands and waters.   Secondly, traditional stories in our language tell us of a time when there was great flooding on the river and the reversing falls was caused by an ancient earthquake.  There is also historical evidence of major fault lines through the centre of our territory from earlier earth quakes which is what caused salt water lakes to form all the way up to central parts of the Province of New Brunswick. It is well known that ‘fracking’ causes earthquakes to happen, because of the lubricated, chemically laced cocktail that is pumped into the ground under extremely high pressure.  There is too much of a risk to allow fracturing to take place here and we do not support this destructive industry.  We request that you to put a stop to this detrimental activity in our homeland.

    • The Irving Forestry Companies have not only clear cut our forests, they are also spraying poisonous carcinogenic herbicides such as glyphosate all over ‘our land,’ to kill hardwood trees, and other green vegetation. Both human and animal health is at serious risk, not to mention leaving no food for the animals.  

    Streams, brooks and creeks are drying up, causing the dwindling of Atlantic salmon and trout.  Places where our people gather medicines, hunt deer and moose are being contaminated with poison. We were not warned about the use of these dangerous herbicides, but then cancer rates have been on the rise in Maliseet communities, especially breast cancers in women and younger people are dying from cancer. 

    • Open Pit Mining for tungsten and molybdenum is another infringement on the rights of our people – archeology shows that our people have been there around 7000 years – the oldest period found in the heart of New Brunswick. 

    This is Maliseet traditional territory and we have not been consulted. Open pit mines require tailing ponds, this one designated to be the largest in the world.  It is well known that all tailing ponds have a high probability to breach their bounds, and definitely will seep out into the environment. A spill or leak from the Sisson Brook open pit mine will permanently contaminate the Nashwaak River, which is a tributary of the Wolastok (St. John River) and surrounding waterways.   This is the only place left clean enough for the survival of the Atlantic salmon.

    • Oil pipelines and refineries are also among the current abominable schemes, bent on contaminating and destroying the very last inch of (Wblastokok) Maliseet territory.  

    The above mentioned industries are just another layer of infringements on the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Wolastokewiyik. Rivers, lakes, streams, and lands have been contaminated already to the point that we are unable to gather our annual supply of fiddleheads, and medicines.  This territory has never been ceded or surrendered by our people – yet not an inch of our land has been spared for our traditional use.  Government and industry blindly and carelessly proceed to exploit and misappropriate Indigenous lands and resources to the point of extreme damage and destruction, and continue to ignored the concerns and protests of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick.   

    The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that all levels of government have a “duty to consult with aboriginal people” prior to the beginning of any project, or any other kind of land use, that would cause an infringement on the Indigenous rights of our people.  

    The Wolastokewiyik (Maliseet People) - the Title Holders - have not been consulted on any of the above projects. Therefore governments and/or companies do not have our consent to proceed with hydro-fracturing,  open pit mining, or the building of pipelines for gas and oil bitumen, on or across our traditional lands and waters.     

    The duty to consult has become a meaningless process. Companies meet with INAC Chiefs, who’s jurisdiction is limited to within each of their respective reserves. Individuals are given a power point presentation, and then told the next step is accommodation.  Question: then to the chief  - What do you want?

    The majority of the people do not go to these meetings due to the manipulation of the process, and the lack of regard for collective rights. Collective rights require collective discussion and collective decision-making. The closest interpretation of our treaty and aboriginal right to consultation is written in international law: Free, Prior and informed consent.  

    In conclusion, humans are supposed to be responsible and intelligent beings, who were given instruction on how to live on the earth.

    One of the oldest teachings about how to live on the land – “ wihkwelan tehpo eli powalbkw wblam keti sepowsowipbn”  itbm Kelowbskap.”  Take only what you need in order to live. Maintaining the balance of nature is the way to live on the earth. Arrogance is why we are going in the wrong direction.   If we do not follow the spiritual laws of the universe, nature will take over. There will be no mercy in nature, only law.  

    It is the Earth that governs life here – all life comes from the earth. You can have no value for resources that have been stolen.   Greed, selfishness, and foolishness have taken over, and they have no value at all for life.  Why else have become the enemy of the earth?  

    Business as usual is over.  Oil and Carbon is over.   We will pay for damages by what is coming.  Economies will be wrecked. If we continue to disregard the laws of nature the Earth will bring about the balance herself, through diseases, crisis events – etc. We have to change the way of living. 

    Sincerely, 

    Alma H. Brooks
    Grandmother, The Maliseet Grand Council

    October 15, 2015





  • NB Groups Want The Provincial Government To Heed Their Message

    NB Groups Want The Provincial Government To Heed Their Message
    For Immediate Release
    September 16, 2011

    Moncton -- On Saturday, September 17, the anti-shale gas network of citizens have planned
    another march for New Brunswickers to say “NO!” to shale gas in the downtown core of
    Moncton.

    More than 2 dozen groups from around the province, from places like Cornhill, Sackville,
    Taymouth and Hampton, recently announced the network they’ve formed to stop shale gas
    development in New Brunswick, and their next step is to hold another rally to continue sending
    their message to the provincial government that the shale gas industry is not welcome here.

    This grassroots movement has committed itself to informing their fellow New Brunswickers of
    the dangers of shale gas. “It’s shameful that our government has not honestly engaged and
    informed its citizens of the dangers of this industry,” says Debra Hopper, a spokesperson for Our
    Environment, Our Choice, Notre Environnement, Notre Choix. “We have an intelligent group
    here. We have done our homework; now the government needs to do the same. It has been
    reading off of cheat sheets provided by industry. The same tired lines that we’re all sick of
    hearing. The people of New Brunswick have a right to know what we are really facing.”

    “We ask that our government do its job in protecting our life sustaining resources against an
    industry that is advancing at an accelerated rate and that threatens our quality of life for
    generations to come. Once the damages are done, there is no return,” says Patricia Léger,
    spokesperson for Memramcook Action. “We cannot expect industry to warn us of the dangers of
    this toxic method of extracting natural gas and our government seems to only be listening to
    industry.”

    In our ongoing effort to get the facts about the dangers of shale gas drilling out into the open, a
    second march is being held this time in Moncton.  It will begin at 12:00 noon at the Hal Betts
    Ball Fields – Moncton SportPlex, located at 250 Assomption Blvd at the corner of Vaughn
    Harvey. Protesters will march along Vaughn Harvey Blvd, and down Main Street before
    congregating at Moncton City Hall, next to SWN Offices.  We invite all water drinkers and air
    breathers to join us in our PEACEFUL display of democracy in action. 

    At City Hall, there will be speakers from various groups and communities from across the
    province, including the Youth Environmental Action Network, Elsipogtog First Nation, Friends
    of Mount Carleton, the Maliseet Grand Council, and Ban Fracking NB. 

    Media Contacts:
    Our Environment, Our Choice, Notre Envrionnement, Notre Choix, Denise Melanson: 523-9467
    Quality of Life Initiative, Otty Forgrave: 839-2326
    CCNB Action, Stephanie Merrill: 261-8317
    Ban Fracking NB, Terri Telasco: 866-7658
    New Brunswickers Against Fracking, Mary de La Valette: 369-1995
    Council of Canadians, St. John Chapter, Carol Ring: 847-0953
    Grand Lake Watershed Guardians, Amy Sullivan: 339-1980 or 339-5324
    Sierra Club Atlantic, Hazel Richardson: 452-8915

  • NB shale gas commission report underscores need for moratorium, says Council of Canadians

    KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Council of Canadians and its four New Brunswick chapters are calling on the Gallant government to recognize it has no choice but to extend the fracking moratorium, after the report it commissioned demonstrated that its five conditions for lifting the moratorium have not been met.

    “Based on the Commission’s report, the government of New Brunswick must commit to a legislated moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province. All five conditions, including social licence, have not been met and will require a lot of work,” says Denise Melanson, Council of Canadians’ Kent County chapter media spokesperson. “To give the people of this province some peace of mind and some security, the government should close the book on this industry.”

    “We stand with our Indigenous allies including Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council. This report clearly recognizes the constitutional duty to consult Indigenous peoples, highlighting a critical reason a legislated moratorium is needed,” says Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton chapter.

    Angela Giles, the Council’s Atlantic Regional Organizer based in Halifax, added “The Commission report highlights the need for a transition to clean energy for New Brunswick’s future energy mix. Given the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, shale gas cannot be part of the future. We need to focus on real solutions to the climate crisis in New Brunswick and beyond.”

    Representatives from the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton and Kent County chapters attended the private briefing as well as the public release of the Commission’s report this morning in Fredericton.

    -30-

    The report is available on the NB Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing website.
  • NOVEMBER 5 - UNITY & SOLIDARITY RALLY POSTER AND FEATHER CUT-OUT WORKSHEET

     UNITY AND SOLIDARITY RALLY

    Poster and Feather Cut-out Worksheet

     

    Nov 05 at 07:30 AM - Nov 05 at 01:00 PM

     

     

    Vist the Facebook page: PEACE & FRIENDSHIP GATHERING:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1416688618553850/

    http://www.nben.ca/en/get-involved/eco-event-calendar/viewevent/822-unity-a-solidarity-rally

    We encourage people and groups from throughout New Brunswick to share this link and download the attached Event Poster for prominent  display in your community.

     

    Also attached is a Feather Worksheetto create your own cut-out paper feathers which we encourage everyone to bring to the rally and gathering.  These sheets can be printed in a variety of coloured paper stock, as indicated in the instructions on the sheet.

     

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER HIGH RESOLUTION PDF

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER LOW RESOLUTION PDF

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER JPEG

    FEATHER CUT-OUT WORKSHEET

  • Ombudsman vindicates Nashwaak Watershed Association’s claims of government inaction on Water Classification program

    Nashwaak Watershed Association Press Release For Immediate Release August 19, 2014

    Ombudsman vindicates Nashwaak Watershed Association’s claims of government inaction on Water Classification program

    Ombudsman concludes the Water Classification Regulation 2002-13, of the Clean Water Act “exists primarily as a mirage”

    Fredericton -Today, the Nashwaak Watershed Association (NWAI) responded to the“Report of the Ombudsman into the Department of Environment’s Management of the Provincial Water Classification Program”,released on Friday, August 15thby Ombudsman Charles Murray.

    “We are both saddened and encouraged by the Ombudsman’s findings,” says Paul McLaughlin, President of the Nashwaak Watershed Association.

    “Saddened because for more than ten years now, we have been working, largely as volunteers and in good faith with the Department of Environment, to see enacted the protections afforded under theClean Water Act, and we have been stalled in our efforts by the inaction, indecision and neglect by our provincial government.”

    McLaughlin, speaking on behalf of the community-based watershed association, said “we are however, also heartened by the fact that the Ombudsman’s report is an unequivocal validation of our concerns and attempts to move the program forward over the intervening years”.

    The Report makes strong statements about the inaction of successive governments in proceeding with water classification and about their assertions that the legislation is unenforceable: “The suggestion that there continues to be unaddressed issues about the legality of Regulation 2002-13 12 years after its coming into force strains credulity.”

    The NWAI has long asserted that the delays in implementing the program have left New Brunswick’s water effectively without protection. This point too is clearly reflected in the report, “… Regulation 2002-13’s complete ineffectiveness is in some respects worse than having no regulation at all. Like a smoke detector without batteries, it provides no protection …”

    The Association has also charged that the Department of the Environment’s claim they are working to amend the legislation is simply foot dragging, and this point has not escaped comment by the Ombudsman: “… the Department indicated that it planned to have a new Regulation in place by 2016. With respect, we considered that timeline to be so distant as to amount to little more than aspirational thinking.”

    Stephanie Merrill, Freshwater Program Director for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, who supported NWAI’s complaint to the Ombudsman, echoes McLaughlin.

    “We have been trying to highlight the rollbacks and facade of water protections in New Brunswick in recent years and this report helps big-time,” said Merrill “it feels like a victory after years of frustration.”

    “We are proud to work with and support NWAI in this effort. NWAI has stepped up to defend their river and their years of work”, says Merrill. “We hope that the Report has rippling affects across all watersheds and rivers in New Brunswick with outstanding applications to be classified such as the Meduxnekeag, the Kennebacasis, the Richibucto, the Miramichi, and 14 others,” she continued.

    McLaughlin and Merrill are both looking forward to meeting with the Department to hear their detailed plan to address the ineffectiveness of this program, as recommended by the Ombudsman.

    The NWAI will continue to work with government and other stakeholders towards the implementation of an effective water classification system. NWAI sees the upcoming provincial election as an opportunity to press political candidates for their positions on this issue and hopes to encourage all who plan to vote to do the same.

    Background: Water classification timeline

    2002 – Water Classification Regulations are introduced and water classification efforts, supported by the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, begin.

    2002-2012 – Non‐governmental groups continue to work in good faith with the Department of the Environment, waiting for perceived issues with the legislation to be addressed in order to proceed with classification.

    June 2012 ‐ A coalition of five community organizations file an official request to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government to classify the Nashwaak River and its tributaries under Section 8.2 of Classification Regulation 2002‐13 of the Clean Water Act 2002‐56, as largely pristine “A” class waters.

    July 2012 ‐ The NWAI receives a non‐response from the provincial government, indicating neither acceptance nor denial of the application.

    February 2013 ‐ NWAI submits a complaint to the New Brunswick Ombudsman, requesting an investigation into the government’s inaction on regulation 2002‐13 the Water Classification Regulation of theClean Water Act.

    August 15, 2014 ‐ New Brunswick Ombudsman, Charles Murray, tables his report on the pursuant investigation to the New Brunswick Legislature.

    ‐ 30‐

    Links:
    Ombudsman’s Report:http://www.gnb.ca/0073/PDF/EnglishWaterClassificationReport.pdf
    http://www.nashwaakwatershed.ca
    http://www.conservationcouncil.ca

    Resources:
    http://www.nashwaakwatershed.ca/resources/water‐classification‐fact‐sheet/
    Conservation Council summary of Ombudsman’s report ‐http://www.conservationcouncil.ca http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.201090.html

    Contacts:
    Paul McLaughlin,
    President Nashwaak Watershed Association
    Tel: (506) 450-4943 Cell: (506) 440-3625
    E-mail:blindfaithstudio@gmail.com

    Stephanie Merrill,
    Freshwater Program Director Conservation Council of New Brunswick
    Tel: (506) 458.8747 Cell: (506) 261.8317
    E-mail:water@conservationcouncil.ca

  • Our Remaining Important Questions: A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations to Govern the Development of Shale Gas from the Taymouth Community Association

    (Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

    A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations

    To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association

     

    (Page 11 of 11)

    Our Remaining Important Questions

     

    The government’s position has been that it is okay to continue exploration, because if we find shale gas development to be unsafe for either the people or the environment, we can simply stop it at that point. SWN had a three-year license to explore during which it pledged to spend $47 million dollars. The government recently passed a new regulation to grant them extensions of that license.
    "If a large portion of the medical profession in
    the province… says it is not safe to continue…
    can they be overridden by a political decision?"
    It is hard for us to conceive that after allowing the company to explore for 5 years and spend $47 million dollars that the government would say, ‘Sorry SWN, we don’t think it’s safe, you’ll have to go.’ Even if the government did say that, we suspect the action would be followed by costly lawsuits and extreme damage to the province’s reputation.
    The only sane approach is for a moratorium or ban to be started immediately before industry invests millions more. However, if the government wants to persist in what many consider a reckless policy, we want to know several things:

     

    - First, what will be the legal instrument used to deny leases to companies who have lawfully fulfilled their license agreements?

    - Secondly, who will decide on what is safe, what will be the decision-making process and who will provide the criteria to decide the standard of ‘safeness’?

    - Will the entire decision making process by open to public comment?

    - If a large portion of the medical profession in the province, backed by other medical societies around the world and supported by studies, says it is not safe to continue, given their commitment to the ethic of “first do no harm”, can they be overridden by a political decision?

    - What percentage of leaking gas wells or water well contaminations will our ‘safety standards’ allow as ‘acceptable’? How will that be decided?

    - If local communities have different conceptions of what is safe, what can they do?

    We need answers to these basic questions before we can give any serious consideration to the government’s current position.

     

     

     

  • Passamaquoddy Chief Hugh Akagi: Natives have rights to counter governments willing to sacrifice anything

    Address by Chief of the Passamaquoddy Nation, Hugh Akagi at 'Energy For Everyone'

    Saint John October 3, 2013

    Once again I wish to thank the wolastoqiyik for the honour to walk in your territory.

    When first asked to speak at this event I recommended someone I knew who would deliver a better message in a more powerful way than I possibly could, yet I was gently reminded through the following message that I have an obligation to be here: I thought - and you can correct me - that the pipeline marine terminal and marine traffic, poses a risk to the waters of the Passamaquoddy. This may be an issue that you are interested in.”

    Needless to say, I was humbled and she was right. 

     

    “I see signs all through Passamaquoddy territory, including the waters, that we can no longer entrust the safety and well being of this planet to those compromised by their addiction to money”

     

     

    I am interested and more than concerned that our energy bubble is about to burst. I see signs all through Passamaquoddy territory including the waters that we can no longer entrust the safety and well being of this planet to those compromised by their addiction to money. Money is not real, it is a paper substitute for land, for water, for creatures that share this planet with us and even for the lives of those often described as collateral damage for the comfort of others.

     

     

    “Don’t forget our earliest dependence on oil put the largest creatures to ever inhabit this planet on a list of endangered species just to keep the lamps burning in Europe”

     

     

    Do you require proof of each of these? In sequence: comprehensive claims for Indians (money for land, well yes we are supposed to be grateful that they no longer bribe us with alcohol, but come on, paper? Let’s use the currency of the day- - land!), water is threatened every day by our addiction to energy. . .Irving Whale, Valdez, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Ranger, Grand Banks Newfoundland . . . Don’t forget our earliest dependence on oil put the largest creatures to ever inhabit this planet on a list of endangered species just to keep the lamps burning in Europe.

    When asked to attend a meeting on the destruction of science, I gave simple advice, help us help you. Natives have rights you need to access if we are to counter the behaviour of governments willing to sacrifice anything so that corporations will fill their pockets come election time when campaign contributions determine who will be the elite in the world they create for us.

     

    Read the Paper. Why did Chief Sock feel the need to evict a corporation? Why did he assure that “Private property owners have nothing to worry about . . . But companies exploiting Crown lands for fish, wood, minerals or gas are being told to get out now”?

     

     

    “…Governments willing to sacrifice anything so that corporations will fill their pockets come election time when campaign contributions determine who will be the elite in the world they create for us”

     

     

    Could it be because one represents a non-human entity empowered with human rights and the other is a human entity deprived of human rights, and he knows the difference! Perhaps because governments have reneged on their promise to protect human rights, not sell out to the highest bidder at the first opportunity.

    As Canadians aren’t we tired of being the brunt of jokes such as: If you hit an American he will hit you back, but if you hit a Canadian, he’ll apologize?

    Why do we accept Government behaviour as normal when it is often immoral in character?

     

    “…Wake up New Brunswick, it’s time to stop the tail from wagging the Dog. It is time to take control of our lives and we can start by standing in solidarity with those who are willing to do the right thing”

     

    Wake up Canada, Wake up New Brunswick, it’s time to stop the tail from wagging the Dog. It is time to take control of our lives and we can start by standing in solidarity with those who are willing to do the right thing. We can stop believing the constant diet of lies we are being fed by those attempting to convince us to give them what they do not have and that is our consent. A portion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples protects the will of the People using “free, prior, and informed consent”. No wonder Canada likes to refer to this as an “aspirational” document.

    Let’s see are there any other documents that might be considered aspirational, I believe the series of omnibus bills would indicate that the Oceans Act is simply an aspiratinal document, as is the fisheries act, and if you follow the trail of behaviour I might suggest the province is willing to take a page from the Feds by treating the Human Rights Act and Rights to clean Water as aspiratinal as well.

     

    “No written law may be forced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principals of fairness, morality, and justice that transcends human legal systems. Perhaps our Mother and her creatures have more rights than we realize” 

     

    Oh by-the-way, I cannot find the word aspirational in Wikipedia, Websters or Oxford, so it would appear our Federal leadership has created a word which is not real to describe a document as not being real!

     

    Something I did find in the dictionary was the “legal” definition of “LAW”: No written law may be forced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principals of fairness, morality, and justice that transcends human legal systems. Perhaps our Mother and her creatures have more rights than we realize.

     

    So, if we cannot believe the Feds, and we cannot trust the Province, who can we trust, the Indians?

     

    “We honoured the treaties of peace and friendship which means we were the only party to respect the covenant between our Nations. You need to understand us, you need to understand that our connection to the land is real”

     

    This won’t be easy folks because I believe most of you are still afraid of us. We are not the enemy. We are not friends because we are the enemy of your enemy. We honoured the treaties of peace and friendship which means we were the only party to respect the covenant between our Nations. You need to understand us, you need to understand that our connection to the land is real. Our need to protect comes not from acts or legislations but from the Earth herself. Now I have come full circle, this is a Native thing. The reminder was not that this is about an issue but about existence. It is about respecting the Earth as our Mother and protecting her while she nourishes us and our children.

     

     

    “The reminder was not that this is about an issue but about existence. It is about respecting the Earth as our Mother and protecting her while she nourishes us and our children” 

     

    If we keep behaving like spoiled children demanding more than she can give, then we will destroy her. If we do not protect her lifeblood, what you refer to as the waters then she will suffer as well. No amount of pipelines and black oil could replace her incredible circulatory system scientists call the world’s air conditioner. If you keep clear-cutting her hair, which you refer to as forests, she will burn from exposure to the sun. If you poison her blood, your oceans, all the life giving contents will die as well.

     

    “No amount of pipelines and black oil could replace her incredible circulatory system scientists call the world’s air conditioner. If you keep clear-cutting her hair, which you refer to as forests, she will burn from exposure to the sun”

     

     

    Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the task ahead but we always have a choice, and that is to do what is right or do what is easy and like I said, this won’t be easy. But we have friends in-the-room. We need to believe that there are good lawyers who will not charge an arm and a leg to help, we need to believe there are police authorities that understand the need to protect the People above corporate profits, we need to believe there are politicians willing to give instead of take from their communities, and we need to believe that we can all work together for the common good.

     

    Often this world seems upside down when I hear that Julian Assange is being punished (seeking asylum) for telling the truth and Bradley Manning was condemned for having a conscience while the murderers remain unpunished and free. What country hunts Eric Snowden for exposing the “spy story” of the century while protecting the criminals who were entrusted with a Nation’s security? And how can a Nation with Nuclear weapons attack another country because they are “suspected” of having weapons of mass destruction? The United States Government is shut down because parties cannot agree on a health plan to serve their citizens. People who have lied about their credentials are used to justify Fraking, when confronted they too are protected by those in authority who should be embarrassed but never are.

     

    Yet giving up is not an option and we now know that energy is not all it’s fraked up to be.