Action Alerts (35)
Dear NB ENGOs: URGENT NEED TO CONTACT MINISTER FITCH AND YOUR MLA
Minister of Environment and Local Government Bruce Fitch has indicated on CBC radio this morning that he is under pressure to release Environmental Trust Fund monies which have accumulated over the years to create the new Energy Institute (which Louis Lapierre will lead).
This may be a trial balloon to gauge public response. So NGOs need to respond!
The ETF contains funds intended to enable environmental needs to be addressed, NOT institutes which study the shale gas industry. Please contact Minister Fitch TODAY to indicate your disapproval of this idea: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also your MLA!
If groups who have received ETF funds in the past fail to object to this proposal it will likely proceed.
Please let your Minister and MLA know that ETF Funds are to be spent on worthwhile community environmental initiatives which generate employment in rural areas and contribute to the quality of life in New Brunswick.
Céline Délacroix, Executive Director
All are asked to call or email both the Prime Minister and the Governor General to ask them to meet together with Chief Spence who's health is declining.
From a press release we know that today in Ottawa at 11 am, Ellen Gabriel, Kanien'kehá:ka Nation of Kanehsatà:ke, her elder and other “Indigenous Women of Turtle Island” in solidarity with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office, at 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON to respectfully request the Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnson, together to meet with Chief Theresa Spence as soon as possible. Members of the Indigenous Women of Turtle Island will address the media on the women’s commitment to see the meeting Chief Spence is seeking.
BACKGROUND ARTICLE BELOW
Hunger Strike – Day 38
Pleas to Top Canadian Officials Urged on Chief Spence's Behalf
Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges.
VICTORIA ISLAND, OTTAWA, CANADA – In what may be the beginning to a tragic end of life for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, information coming from an unnamed source tells Native News Network that Chief Spence is experiencing low blood sugar, dizziness, a slow heart beat and chest pains.
Chief Spence has been on a sacrificial hunger strike since December 11, 2012. Today marks Day 38 of her hunger strike.
People across Canada – and elsewhere – are being asked to send prayers for Chief Spence and to write or call Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston's offices to plea with these two top Canadian officials to grant Chief Spence her wishes for a meeting with both of them and First Nations chiefs.
“Since the beginning of my journey in this hunger strike, I've remained consistent in my request for a meeting between all parties to Treaty. This would include Chiefs, the Governor General and the Prime Minister,” commented Chief Spence in a news release earlier this week issued by the Attawapiskat First Nation.
“Chief Spence is physically not doing too well so we must united as First Nations people and keep the momentum of the movement going strong… Time is precious. We CANNOT let her die,” stated Angela Bercier, Ojibwe.
“Chief Theresa Spence is getting weaker every day and time is running out,” said Claudia Julien, Metis-Wabanaki Confederacy.
“Please take a moment to send a letter to the prime minister and governor general. This is the future of our children and grandchildren.”
Office of Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OA2
Contact information for Governor General David Johnston is:
Governor General David Johnston
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1
Communiqué de public
DÉCLARATION DES GENS DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK SUR LE GAZ DE SCHISTE ET L’ÉNERGIE RENOUVELABLE
Le 27 novembre 2012
Le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick a accordé, gratuitement et sans consultation publique,et avant d’en avoir obtenu le consentement des Premières Nations, des licences permettant l’exploration du gaz de schiste sur 1,5 millions d’hectares de terres de la province, contrevenant ainsi à la Déclaration de 2007 des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones; et
Le taux de rupture de tubage des puits, au cours de deux décennies, s’est situé entre 2 et 8 %, atteignant même 50 %, l’extraction du gaz de schiste par la méthode de la fracturation hydraulique constitue un risque inacceptable pour les puits d’eau potable, la couche aquifère, les lacs et cours d’eau, sans compter que cette industrie consomme des millions de gallons d’eau douce transformée en un produit résiduaire devant être traité avant d’être rejeté dans le milieu naturel; et
Le processus de fracturation utilisé par l’industrie du gaz de schiste libère des fluides toxiques tels que du benzène, du carburant diésel, du kérosène, de la naphtalène et de l’antigel qui s’infiltrent dans l’eau par des fuites et des déversements et dans l’air par des émissions fugitives et la ventilation, mettant ainsi en péril les résidents de la province,les animaux d’élevage et les espèces sauvages, ainsi qu’une agriculture et des bassins hydrologiques essentiels; et
Les collectivités où des activités de fracturation hydraulique ont eu lieu ont eu à faire face à des explosions, des incendies, des déversements, de la contamination de cours d’eau et de puits, ce qui a causé un risque accru pour les services d’incendie composés de bénévoles, les fournisseurs de soins de santé et de services de mesures d’urgence; et
L’extraction du gaz de schiste à grande échelle et la mise en place des infrastructuresnécessaires à son activité -routes, plateformes de forage, canalisations, stations de compression - de même que la circulation d’équipement lourd, entraînant bruit, poussière et émissions, affectera la valeur des propriétés et augmentera le fardeau fiscal des Néo-Brunswickois, eux qui n’auront pourtant pas consenti aux activités de cette industrie;
ET ATTENDU QUE
En 2011, environ 20 000 Néo-Brunswickois ont signé une pétition demandant de bannir l’octroi de permis pour l’extraction du gaz de schiste et l’extraction du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick;
En novembre 2011, un sondage de CBC auprès de 1 800 Néo-Brunswickois indiquait que pour 80 % des répondants, les questions environnementales étaient plus importantes que les revenus que pourrait générer la fracturation hydraulique,que 74 % souhaitaient qu’on mette fin à l’exploration par fracturation hydraulique et que 61 % désiraient que la fracturation hydraulique soit interdite;
Le rapport de M. Louis LaPierre (Ph.D.) publié en octobre 2012, La voie de l’avenir, ne reflète pas la volonté des gens telle qu’ils l’ont exprimée lors des assemblées publiques tenues en 2012 et que de plus, ces assemblées publiques n’ont pas fourni à M. LaPierre de preuves pour appuyer une opinion, à savoir si un moratoire sur le développement du gaz de schiste était justifié ou non;
Le rapport de la DreEilishCleary publié en septembre 2012 et intitulé Recommandations du médecin-hygiéniste en chef sur l’exploitation du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswickmentionne les paramètres nombreux et coûteux qui doivent être mis en place pour évaluer les impacts de la fracturation hydraulique sur la santé humaine avant que toute activité de fracturation n’ait lieu;
Le Nouveau-Brunswick ne s’est pas doté d’une Charte des droits environnementaux qui reconnaîtrait l’eau comme un droit fondamental et garantirait à ses citoyens et à ceux des Premières Nations le droit à un environnement sain, comprenant de l’eau propre, de l’air pur et des sols non contaminés.
Les prévisions de l’industrie du gaz de schiste par rapport aux emplois susceptibles d’être créés se sont avérées en général exagérées ailleurs, par exemple au Texas et que, de plus, les Néo-Brunswickois en général ne possèdent pas les habiletés et compétences recherchées par cette industrie, ce qui les confine à des emplois non spécialisés sur les sites de gaz de schiste;
Qu’à la suite des objections émises par les populations, surtout par celles les plus directement touchées, la fracturation hydraulique a été bannie ou interdite dans plusieurs endroits dans le monde, avant tout à cause des son impact sur l’eau; et
Que pour mettre en place les infrastructures nécessaires à cette industrie, il faudra procéder à des coupes à blanc, s’accommoder de la pollution par le bruit, incessant, et la lumière, qu’il y aura une augmentation de la circulation de camions et que des changements modifieront notre paysage à tout jamais, et que tout cela est incompatible avec des industries existantes comme la foresterie, la pêche, l’embauche de guides, l’agriculture, le tourisme, les activités récréatives qui toutes contribuent à l’économie du Nouveau-Brunswick; et
Que des ressources qui pourraient être affectées au développement d’énergiesnon polluantes et renouvelables,comme l’énergie solaire, éolienne, géothermique, microcentrale hydrauliqueet autres ressources non destructives, seront utilisées pour se lancer dans l’extraction du gaz naturel – un combustible fossile qui contribue au réchauffement climatique –pour le libérer du shale dans lequel il est emprisonné; et
Que des rencontres privées entre le gouvernement et des groupes de l’industrie, défrayées par les contribuables, telles que la Conférence Exploration et exploitation minière et pétrolière au Nouveau-Brunswick 2012 qui a eu lieu à Fredericton du 4 au 6 novembre 2012, ont pour effet de décourager les Néo-Brunswickoisde s’exprimer contre le développement du combustible fossile et d’empêcher d’autres solutions de se développer et de se réaliser.
NOUS, LES SOUSSIGNÉS, DEMANDONS RESPECTUEUSEMENT
Que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick entreprenne dès aujourd’hui un programme de réorientation destiné à réduire la consommation totale d’énergie, à promouvoir l’efficacité énergétique et à choisir des sources d’énergie renouvelables de préférence à des sources épuisables, et ce, en transférant toutes les subventions du charbon aux ressources durables et renouvelables, et en les augmentant; et
Que la production et la livraison de l’énergie soient repensées de manière à répondre aux besoins de la population du Nouveau-Brunswick, et non pour que notre énergie soit exportée ou gérée par des intérêts transnationaux ou contrôlée par la consommation industrielle, et
Que l’on favorise des solutions de rechange durables, à plus petite échelle et provenant d’ici. Ce revirement exige d’interdire immédiatement tout forage de schiste et en général d’interdire l’extraction des hydrocarbures par des méthodes non éprouvées qui présentent trop de risques pour l’environnement et la santé; et
Que le gouvernement engage un dialogue sérieux et constructif avec les intervenants sociaux et environnementaux afin de dresser une liste de toutes les possibilités à exploiter, en tenant compte de la dette et du déficit de la province, afin d’éliminer une fois pour toutes le gaz de schiste comme unique solution; et
Que le gouvernement accepte que la population du Nouveau-Brunswick exerce son droit à la désobéissance civile pour s’opposer à la destruction de son environnement, et pour protéger ses moyens de survie, sa qualité de vie et sa santé; et
Que le gouvernement donne la priorité à l’adoption d’une déclaration des droits environnementaux, enchâssant ainsi les droits des citoyens à de l’air pur, à de l’eau propre et à des terres non contaminées, pour le bien des générations actuelles et futures.
Signéeen ce 27e jour de novembre 2012 par
S'il vous plaît signer la pétition électronique ici
NEW BRUNSWICK PEOPLES’ DECLARATION ON SHALE GAS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
November 27, 2012
Licences have been granted by the New Brunswick Government on 1.5 million hectares of New Brunswick enabling exploration for shale gas without public consultation or free, prior and informed consent of First Nations as informed by the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and
With a well casing failure rate of between 2 and 8 percent, and as high as 50 percent over two decades, shale gas extraction using hydro-fracking poses an unacceptable risk to drinking water wells, groundwater aquifers, lakes and streams, as well as consumes millions of gallons of fresh water, rending it a waste product requiring treatment; and
The shale gas industry will introduce substances such as benzene, diesel fuel, kerosene, naphthalene and antifreeze into our water through spills/leakage of toxic fracking flow-back fluids, and into our air, through fugitive emissions and venting, placing local residents, livestock, wildlife, and critical agriculture and watershed areas at risk; and
Communities where hydro-fracking has occurred have experienced explosions, fires, spills, stream contamination and well pollution, which have placed volunteer fire departments, EMS units and healthcare providers at risk; and
Extensive shale gas extraction, and its required infrastructure of roads, drill pads, pipelines, compressor stations, heavy truck traffic, and impacts of noise, emissions and dust will undermine property values and increase tax burdens on New Brunswickers who have not given their consent to this industry;
Approximately 20,000 New Brunswickers in 2011 signed a petition calling for a ban on shale gas licensing and extraction in New Brunswick; and
In November, 2011 a CBC survey of 1,800 New Brunswickers indicated that 80 percent thought environmental concerns outweigh the desire for revenue from hydro-fracking; 74 percent thought hydro-fracking should not continue, and 61 percent called for a total ban on hydro-fracking; and
The October 2012 report by Dr. Louis LaPierre (The Path Forward) did not reflect the will of the people as expressed at public meetings held in 2012, and Dr. LaPierre did not gather evidence over the course of the public meetings to support his opinion finding that a moratorium on shale gas development was or was not warranted; and
The September 2012 report of Dr. Eilish Cleary (Chief Medical Officer’s Recommendations Concerning the Development of Shale Gas in New Brunswick) establishes the extensive and costly parameters required to be put in place to assess basic human health impacts before any exploratory hydro-fracking takes place; and
New Brunswick does not have an Environmental Bill of Rights guaranteeing its citizens and First Nations a clean environment including air, water and land and recognizing water as a fundamental Human Right; and
Employment claims of the industry have been largely overstated elsewhere, for example, in Texas. Furthermore, the work requires skills not generally held by New Brunswickers, rendering them ineligible for all but unskilled employment on shale gas sites;
That, responding to objections from people, especially from those most directly affected, hydro-fracking has been forbidden or banned in many jurisdictions in the world primarily due to concerns over water; and
That industry infrastructure development will require clear-cutting of trees, 24-hour noise and light pollution, increases in truck traffic and permanent alterations of the landscape which are incompatible with forestry, fishing, guiding, agriculture, tourism, recreation and other pursuits which contribute to the New Brunswick economy; and
That resources which otherwise could be directed towards clean, renewable energy alternatives such as solar, wind, geothermal, micro-hydro and other non-consumptive energy resources are currently going into the pursuit of natural gas in shale, an un-sustainable fossil fuel that contributes to global climate change; and
That the private interaction of government and industry groups as occurred in Fredericton from November 4-6, 2012 at the taxpayer-supported 2012 Exploration, Mining and Petroleum New Brunswick Conference has the effect of inhibiting New Brunswickers’ expression against fossil fuel development and prevents alternative energy propositions from gaining recognition or reaching fruition;
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, RESPECTFULLY DEMAND THAT
The New Brunswick Government begin, TODAY, an energy transition program based on reducing overall energy consumption, energy efficiency and giving priority to renewable energy over sources that are finite, while transferring all subsidies from carbon to renewables/sustainables and increasing them in scale; and
That the production and delivery of energy be re-oriented to satisfy the needs of the people of New Brunswick, and not for export or to be managed by transnational interests or driven by industrial consumption; and
That local, alternative and sustainable solutions be prioritized, decentralizing generation. This transition requires an immediate ban on drilling for shale and in general prohibiting unconventional hydrocarbon extraction using methods too dangerous for the environment and health; and
That Government invite meaningful, constructive dialogue with social and environmental movements to determine all the economic possibilities and opportunities for New Brunswick that will address our debt and deficit and eliminate shale gas from consideration in this regard; and
That Government accept that the people reserve the right to enact civil disobedience to confront destruction of the New Brunswick environment, methods of subsistence, of quality of life and of health; and
That Government prioritize the adoption of a New Brunswick Environmental Bill of Rights, entrenching every citizen’s right to clean air, land and water in legislation, for the benefit of current and future generations.
Signed this day, the 27th of November, by
Q. Why this protest?
A. Over the last year, the NB government has not given any indication that it is willing to ban or impose a moratorium on hydrofracking, despite mounting evidence on the threats it poses. We want to remind our government in the opening of the Legislature that the people of NB have not given their consent to go ahead with this industry, and that we still demand an immediate stop to any further exploration or development.
Q. What is the big deal about hydro-fracking?
A. Fracking is an inherently contaminating industrial process that injects trillions of liters of water laced with toxic chemicals at enormous pressure to break apart rock and release hydrocarbons from underground formations such as shale and sandstone. Part of this toxic water, which may afterwards contain heavy metals and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) from the rock it opened, flows back to the well head and has to be tracked out and treated for safe disposal. NB lacks any such treatment facility, and even if it existed, there is no way to treat NORMs.
Q. Are there other concerns?
A. Yes. We are talking about unconventional gas (and possibly oil) reserves than can only be exploited through a massive network of wellpads spaced every mile or so and that will require clear-cutting, 24-hour noise and light pollution, huge amounts of truck traffic (and thus accidents and road damage) and permanent alterations of the landscape of rural NB. Furthermore, many of these wells are statistically bound to fail and leak methane and other compounds through the well casing, thus contaminating groundwater. The air quality of the entire area is also bound to decrease through toxic emissions from the well operations, which include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause cancer.
Q. How can you tell that the people have not given their consent?
A. In the first place, there is no explicit mention of shale gas in the PC 2010 electoral platform. There is a just a call for ’responsible‘ development of NB Natural Gas reserves. Given the available evidence, ‘responsible’ would be to apply the precautionary principle and call for a moratorium as the government of Quebec has done. So they are not even honouring the call in their platform.
Second: In November last year a petition for a ban on shale gas that nearly 20,000 people signed was tabled at the Legislature, which, by the way, were completely ignored. This is the largest collection of signatures that has ever taken place in NB on an environmental issue.
And third, a year ago, a CBC poll of 1,800 New Brunswickers indicated that 80 percent thought environmental concerns outweigh the desire for revenue from hydro-fracking; 74 percent thought hydro-fracking should not continue, and 61 percent called for a total ban on fracking. So it is clear they cannot get the people’s consent, that’s probably why they haven’t asked for it yet.
Q. But Dr. Louis LaPierre ruled out a moratorium in his report and calls for a phased approach, what do you have to say about this?
A. Dr. LaPierre based his recommendation on a false assumption, namely that evidence from other jurisdictions cannot be extrapolated to New Brunswick and therefore we need to allow the industry to experiment here. What we see through the facts is that different shale plays behave very similarly both in the economics, which are systematically hyped, and in the environment, where problems are continuously surfacing. It is absurd to think that the NB case will not follow this pattern.
Q. But couldn’t this pattern be reversed by the tough regulations the Government has promised?
A. Unfortunately, regulations have no effect on human error or the laws of physics and chemistry. In other words, no regulations can prevent a blowout, a spill or a truck crash, or, accidents apart, the cement casing of a well to deteriorate with time and leak, or the VOCs emitted from a wellsite to travel for tens of kilometers around. In any case, rather than strengthening existing regulations, the government is dismantling them through the introduction of loopholes in environmental legislation that in fact make way for the shale gas industry.
Q. This gutting of legislation is a serious accusation, can you please elaborate?
A. On March 16, 2011, then Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney introduced a Natural Resources wetland map that does not show more than 60% of the wetlands in NB, breaking the province's own regulations on wetlands protection and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).
On July 13, 2011, Minister Blaney notified a network of 19 watershed groups that their 10-year project work to develop a Water Classification Program was dropped because the regulations would be too difficult to enforce. This would have provided the regulatory framework for watershed protection. On November 13, 2012, Minister Bruce Fitch received final public input on their plans to exempt shale gas operations from the provincial Clean Air Act.
Q. Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has recently pointed to the shale gas industry as an area the province could tap into for additional revenue to tackle the debt. Also, Premier Alward said on November 7th at the Minerals and Petroleum Conference in Fredericton that "Shale gas is our only path to prosperity". Do you agree with them?
Absolutely not. Government bases these prospects on hyped industry estimates. Data from the US now show that the frenzy of drilling for shale gas in many states has not been the economic boom that industry claimed. In a study that Deborah Rogers, a renowned financial analyst, showed in her recent talk in Fredericton on the 40 counties that have been heavily drilled in the three major shale gas plays in the US, almost all of these counties had a median income, retail sales and employment rates below their State average.
She also showed that shale plays are not as consistent and uniform as assumed. Only 2 out of 10 wells are profitable in the average shale play, and the rate of production decline is much steeper than what industry claims (on average, 60 to 80% of the total production of a well occurs in the 1st year, and by the 5th year, most wells are unproductive). Can this really be a stable source of jobs and revenues?
Q. But don’t you think some readers may question whether your information is also biased, against industry?
A. There is already a wealth of scientific information and journalistic investigations that support our claim that fracking is neither safe nor economic. Interested readers can weigh by themselves for example the thousands of pages of documents gathered by the New York Times under the heading 'federal officials quietly question shale gas'. What is incredible is that we are still fighting this, given the appalling evidence against the practice that is already available.
Q. How many people do you expect will join the protest?
Hundreds have already committed to attend through social media, and the list is growing by the day. In addition, we have over 20 community groups, 4 student groups, 6 NGOs such as the NB Lung Association and the Council of Canadians, 3 unions (CUPE, national farmers union, and Distric Labour Council), and two political parties (NDP and Greens) that are joining. These represent tens of thousands of New Brunswickers and are a real cross-section of both rural and urban NB.
Q. What would you say to someone considering joining the walk?
A. If you are considering joining, then you probably already understand that the shale gas industry threatens our future. Our government has been co-opted by this industry and trumpets that it can be made safe with tough regulations, while in fact gutting existing ones and that it will bring jobs and prosperity.
To top it off, they are not listening to New Brunswickers by ignoring our petitions and calls. This is a slap in the face to Democracy that we have to make loudly visible in the streets, so that others may become aware of it.
And if they already are, then there are hundreds of fellow citizens that feel the same way. Knowing that someone else has the same views you do and is experiencing the same outrage as you is an extremely empowering experience. Come and walk with us!
Walk for a ban on fracking – stop ”fracking“ with our water and air
FREDERICTON NB ---- A citizen march through downtown Fredericton, culminating with a rally at the Provincial Legislature, will take place on Tuesday November 27th to demand a stop to unconventional natural gas development in NB.
On Legislature Opening Day, Tuesday November 27th, about 40 groups and hundreds of individuals will commemorate last year’s rally against shale gas, and show solidarity with the 20,000 people who signed the 2011 petition, with “a walk for a ban on fracking” through Fredericton.
The peaceful walk will begin at 11am at the Old Burial grounds and will finish with a rally between noon and 1 pm in front of the Legislature Building with a number of brief speaker presentations.
“The goal of Tuesday’s walk and rally is to demand an immediate stop to unconventional natural gas exploration and permitting”, says Julia Linke (PhD) of the Fredericton chapter of The Council of Canadians.
The groups and organizations that have already joined or endorsed this event are a real cross-section of both rural and urban New Brunswick and include 24 community groups, 6 NGOs, 3 union organizations, 2 political parties, and 4 student groups.
Jim Emberger of the Taymouth Community Association states “The opposition to shale gas fracking is only increasing in this province, as the government fails to produce any business case supporting their claims about jobs and royalties, while it continues to relax environmental protection of our wetlands, watersheds, and air to make way for this industry”.
Pour publication immédiate COMMUNIQUÉ 26 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.
À l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative, le mardi 27 novembre, environ 40 groupes et des centaines de personnes vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes qui ont signé la pétition, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation hydraulique.
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 législative. De brèves discours seront présentés.
« Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est d'exiger un arrêt immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke (PhD) du chapitre de Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.
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, et ils incluent 24 groupes des collectivités, 6 ONG, 3 organisations professionnelles/syndicats, 2 partis politiques, et 4 groupes d’ étudiants.
Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth dit « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que ce gouvernement 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. »
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
Please forward wide and far to your friends.
Thank you for your action!
Mark D'Arcy Email email@example.com
E-MAIL ADDRESSES OF YOUR MLA CAN BE FOUND HERE:
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.
[YOUR NAME OR ORGANIZATION HERE]
Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement
Province of New Brunswick
Health study may examine impact of shale gas sector
Chief medical officer will issue recommendations in the summer - CBC News May 22, 2012
Premier David Alward, October 3, 2011 - Speech to Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton
The Nashwaak Watershed Assocation has recently submitted the formal application to classifiy the Nashwaak River and tributaries under the Water Classifciation Regulation of the Clean Water Act. This program has not moved forward from provisionally classifying NB's rivers and streams to legal implementation that would provide standards for maintaining the quality of our waters.
We are seeking your sign on in support of the submission by the Nashawaak Watershed and the Water Classification program in New Brunswick. Please see the official submission and the press release issued by the Naswaak Watershed Assocation and others on June 19th.
Sign ons to this letter will be accepted until Monday July 23rd at 12 noon. Please send your name, organization and contact to Stephanie Merrill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Environment and Local Government
PO Box 6000
Dear Minister Fitch,
We, the undersigned community groups, are writing to you to show our support for the 5 community-based organizations in the Nashwaak River Watershed in their co-request to finalize the water classification of the Nashwaak River and its tributaries. We applaud their efforts to secure their right to due process by filing this official request under Section 8.2 of Classification Regulation 2002-13 of the Clean Water Act 2002-56.
As you are well aware, the Water Classifications program has been an ongoing and currently funded program, of the Department of Environment and Local Government. Over the past 12 years, the waters of 22 watersheds have been comprehensively assessed, and all 21 have been given provisional classification status from the Department. We are now in limbo, with no clear indication of if, when, or how these classifications will be implemented into the Clean Water Act as intended.
The Water Classification program and subsequent Regulation has been, in theory, the 'gold standard' piece of policy for watershed management and protection across Canada. However, it is progressive only in theory because its full intent has never been realized as promised. It's follow through is key to establishing water quality standards for our surface waters which will help us to protect our most precious resource in the face of new developments slated for our watersheds.
We, the signatories to this letter represent organizations who understand the value of the Water Classification program and the urgency to legislatively protect the quality and quantity of the rivers, lakes and streams that we have all worked so diligently to enhance, protect and restore. We thank the watershed organizations for their efforts across the province who have collectively spent millions of Environmental Trust Fund dollars over the past 10 years building a program which we were all lead to believe would provide legal protection for our water.
All of us live and work and play in these watersheds and want to preserve their integrity and the clean clear water that underpins our daily lives, our economy and our heritage as New Brunswickers.
We the undersigned are awaiting your approval to classify the Nashwaak River.
Yours in water stewardship,
Save the Sunset Strawberry U-Pick & Forest!
The City of Fredericton will be voting soon on a citizen-led proposal to rezone the Sunset Strawberry U-Pick and adjacent forest area as open space soon. Forest paths and trails are used by residents for hiking, biking, dog walking, cross-country skiing and enjoyment of nature. Contact your city councillor and Mayor Brad Woodside and tell them you want the area rezoned to open space. Find your city councillor's contact information here:
You can sign/pick up petitions at Conserver House, 180 Saint John St. during the week's office hours. About 2,000 people have already signed this petition. Be part of another drive to get more petition signatures before the matter is brought before council, which is expected to occur in September. For more info, contact email@example.com
June 7, 2012
Dear Minister Northrup,
It was reported on Monday that your department has decided to halt the closing of illegal deer farms in this province. I hope you will understand how surprising and frustrating this is to many of us who work in fields related to wildlife.
As you are aware, we established the Atlantic Wildlife Institute in New Brunswick in 1995, at a time when the province was in the early stages of reviewing and adjusting many of its policies and protocols for handling wildlife. At the time there was a concerted effort by the wildlife staff of the then Department of Natural Resources and Energy to bring the province into harmony with other North American jurisdictions. A series of incidents, both within and outside the province, motivated the department to take action.
Primary concerns focused on:
· the mixing of indigenous wildlife with captive exotic populations;
· the lack of a standardized methodology for handling nuisance wildlife;
· the lack of a regulated system for the handling of distressed wildlife; and
· the illegal raising of native species in farming environments.
At the same time, a series of incidents across North America involving the epizootic movement of new diseases such as West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, Rabies and Chronic Wasting Disease, instilled concern about regional wildlife and general public health and safety.
The end results of this review were:
· closure of provincial zoos and nature parks and/or adoption of new standards of operations which included not taking in animals from indigenous wildlife populations;
· establishment of privatized, fee-for-service, wildlife control agents to handle nuisance wildlife concerns;
· establishment of AWI under appropriate rehabilitation standards, to deal with injured, sick or orphaned wildlife; and
· elimination of wildlife farms that were operating illegally and without provincial regulatory guidelines.
All these actions were taken with the supposed intent of minimizing human/wildlife conflict and protecting both human and animal welfare.
As years passed and administrations changed, decision makers in government seem to have lost their focus on these important initiatives and forgotten the lessons learned from the years past.
Over the last five years, your department has imposed a policy restriction on the Atlantic Wildlife Institute that has prohibited us from rehabilitating deer and moose in New Brunswick. It specifically states that, "Due to federal regulations restricting the movement of ungulates as a means to minimize the spread of disease, New Brunswick will not allow wildlife rehabilitators to rehabilitate moose and white-tailed deer in the province." Ever since it was imposed, AWI has adhered scrupulously to this restriction, despite the urgings of dozens of New Brunswickers, including officers of the RCMP and of your own department, who have implored us to ignore the ban. Sadly, when confronted with injured and orphaned deer and moose in their communities these people have been left to fend for themselves, with no humane option to turn to.
Federal and provincial regulators justify this policy because of concerns over the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease and Tuberculosis from captive animals to wild ones and vice-versa. It is interesting to note that the origins of this policy do not reflect a local concern, but rather are linked directly to the practice of commercial deer farming in Western Canada and the United States.
Surely you see the disconnect here. Why does your department, on the one hand, prohibit AWI from acting as the sole safe buffer against members of our communities interacting with these wild species while, on the other hand, turning a blind eye to the very activity - namely deer farming - that is considered one of the primary vectors for bringing new diseases into regional wildlife populations?
We implore you and your department to act swiftly in enforcing the existing law to keep these farms illegal. At the same time we urge you to reconsider the restriction on our wildlife rehabilitation permit so we may once again offer a safe and effective alternative to reckless public interactions with our wild deer and moose population.
Atlantic Wildlife Institute
9 June 2012
Hon. Bruce Northrup
Natural Resources & Energy
PO Box 6000
Dear Minister Northrup:
I was dismayed to learn that you "flip-flopped" on your previously wise decision to close down the 15+ illegal white-tail deer pens in New Brunswick. My "gut" reaction was that you are indeed supportive of closing these operations, but have been pressured to reverse this decision by your Caucus and/or colleagues. This is an unfortunate "turn of events" for wildlife management in this Province.
Mr. Northrup, as a representative of the Crown and Minister of Natural Resources, you took an oath to uphold the laws of New Brunswick. No citizen [or legislator] can "cherry-pick" the laws that he or she wishes to follow or uphold. If you and your colleagues feel that private ownership of native wildlife is an acceptable and desirable practice and should be permitted then you should announce publicly of your government's intent and begin the process of drafting amendments to the Fish & Wildlife Act and Regulations. If this is your chosen course of action then you should include a consultative process for public comment and discussion as part of the process and decision. If you are not prepared to change the legislation then you should immediately instruct your Conservation Officers to seize the 200+ white-tailed deer illegally held in private ownership and arrange either euthanization or export/sale to a jurisdiction that permits this practice.
I urge you to reconsider your decision for the following reasons:
1. By allowing private ownership of "native" wildlife you open up a "Pandora's Box" of problems with respect to wildlife management, conservation enforcement, human health, and public safety. I am sure you have not forgotten the unfortunate goring death a few months ago of one of the illegal owners of white-tailed deer. No matter how long they have been confined behind fences, these animals are wild and unpredictable. Since these white-tails are being confined as "so-called pets", what happens next time if a child or visitor gets injured or killed while inside one of the poorly fabricated pens? The origin of these deer are unknown, but supposedly they were imported [illegally?] from Quebec. Who validated the status of their health for inter-provincial movement? Where are the Agriculture-Canada export permits for inter-provincial transport? If they were issued, then who authorized this paperwork?
My sources tell me that some of the deer in confinement came from the wilds of New Brunswick; a number of them donated by Department of Natural Resources staff when they encountered injured/orphaned white-tail fawns during their regular duties. This is a serious situation, but somewhat understandable, since DNR does not have a coherent policy and program for handling injured/orphaned wildlife that are regularly encountered by field staff. If DNR field staff had a "legal" and feasible option [other than euthanization] to provide rehabilitation for these animals, then they wouldn't be tempted to hand them over to illegal deer owners. The largest wildlife rehabilitation centre in the Province, Atlantic Wildlife Institute, in Sackville has been specifically ordered as part of their permitting by your Department to never accept or treat or handle deer or moose because of wildlife disease concerns. This is a hypocritical position by your Department, given that illegal deer owners have no such restrictions or training in handling wildlife.
If you allow white-tailed deer to be kept as pets, what stops a resident from having a raccoon, skunk, crow, wood turtle, garter snake, moose, or bear cub as a pet? Can you imagine the human health and safety issues that this will promote? Wildlife are vectors for parasites and diseases that cause human sickness and death. How will your wildlife and conservation staff be able to monitor these individuals and ensure that these animals are not taken from the wild for private pet ownership? Your staff are hard-pressed enough now to ensure compliance with current [legal] regulations under the Fish & Wildlife Act, let alone attempting to monitor and regulate private pet ownership of wildlife. This would be a disaster!
2, In spite of what the illegal deer owners have stated, you and I both know that these 200+ deer are not being confined behind fences solely as pets. The owners have created markets for trophy shooting within pens, and sale of venison, antlers, antler velvet and urine; all currently illegal activities under the Act and Regulations. Are you planning on amending laws to permit these activities? How is the venison being processed and inspected for human consumption when it is sold? Has the Canadian Food Inspection Agency been consulted to allow sale of venison? The reason why most jurisdictions in North America do not allow personal ownership or farming of native wildlife is because of the significant problems and threats that affect conservation efforts, human health and human safety. New Brunswick would be wise to avoid going down this path.
3. If you investigate the issues and problems surrounding the deer farming industry in North America [or Canada, alone] since the early 1990's, you will find that animal and human health concerns and their impact on domestic animal production have resulted in billions of dollars in compensation having to be paid to deer farmers when disease has been detected and herds quarantined and destroyed. Deer, and other wildlife farming initiatives are not growing industries, but have resulted in significant threats to our domestic animal production industries. Wild boar farming, in particular, poses significant threats to native wildlife populations and the forest resource industry. You should be concerned that New Brunswick has allowed these operations with limited or no monitoring or regulations. I would like to discuss this with you, once the white-tail deer issue is resolved.
4. Allowing private ownership and creating markets for native wildlife disrupts the key pillars of our North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. Both the Northeast Deer Technical Committee [of which NB is a member] and The Wildlife Society of Canada and the United States do not condone or support private ownership or markets for wildlife. The wildlife resources of New Brunswick are significant to our history and culture, and a sacred trust that you and your Government have been given to manage for the benefit of all New Brunswicker's, not a special interest group of 15+ illegal deer owners. The path you are taking will jeopardize wildlife management and our precious wildlife resources that the naturalists, hunters, and outfitters of this Province enjoy today. Please reconsider and reverse your decision to allow white-tail deer ownership in NB.
I would be happy to further elaborate and discuss with you and your colleagues, the concerns that I have raised in this rather lengthy correspondence.
Please carefully consider the points above and do the right thing: Keep the "wild" in wildlife?
Certified Wildlife Biologist
60 Colwell Drive, Unit 8
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