Have you been wondering where the Irvings stack up on the list of “Who owns the most land in the world?” According to an article in Business Insider, topping the list is the Queen of England, followed by the King of Saudi Arabia and the Pope. Then it’s nine kings, sultans, and emirs from various regimes around the world. Then, lucky number 13, the Irving family.

Don Bowser, an international expert on transparency and anti-corruption, was recently interviewed by Charles Thériault. Bowser, who is originally from New Brunswick, has worked on corruption, particularly in natural resource extraction, in countries such as Russia, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. He is surprised by the lack of transparency and public consultation taking place in New Brunswick in regards to extractive industries and notes that in New Brunswick it is particularly troubling. He offers an analysis of our province, calling it a “captured province” in which the regulators have “Stockholm syndrome” and identify with their hostage takers.

People are expressing concerns about whether Crown land is being managed for the public good. Charles Thériault recently produced a video of a public meeting in the Miramichi which sheds light on the feelings in that community. On January 30, 2014, the Premier announced that the province would be increasing the amount of wood available to industry. It is anticipated that this will result in clearcutting in areas that currently have restrictions on the type of cutting in order to allow for other purposes such as water protection and wildlife habitat. Scientists have come out in opposition to this. As well, there is a lot of discussion about herbicide spraying, triggered by Rod Cumberland, a retired provincial deer biologist. Herbicide spraying and clear cutting are linked activities as, after a clear cut, softwoods are planted and herbicides are sprayed to prevent hardwoods from growing back.  

There is an online petition that you can sign. An herbicide fact sheet has been published encouraging people to write letters. There are two great new web tools that quickly download satellite images and analysis about what is happening in the forest anywhere in the globe, including the forest near you!

The World's 15 Biggest Landowners, Business Insider, March 18, 2011: http://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-biggest-landowners-2011-3?op=1

Interview with Don Bowser, March 2, 2014: http://isourforestreallyours.com/Isourforestreallyours/Ep_21.html

Crown forest access will impact flora, fauna, experts warn, CBC, February 19, 2014: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/crown-forest-access-will-impact-flora-fauna-experts-warn-1.2543625

Video of the public meeting in the Miramichi, November 27, 2013: http://vimeo.com/81147160#

Herbicide use in NB: Everything you need to know to write an effective letter to eliminate herbicide spraying of our forest: http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Herbicide-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Online forest satellite tools: http://www.nben.ca/en/collaborative-action/caucuses/crown-lands-network/crown-lands-network

Petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/government-of-new-brunswick-revamp-the-crown-forest-act-give-us-back-our-forest#share

Blog Archives


This blog is for news and opinion pieces by staff.
The views expressed in these articles are the author’s personal opinion and not those of the NBEN or its member or associate groups.

Upcoming Events

National Invasive Species Forum
Tue, Feb 28th, 2017

Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling in Ecology 1-day workshop presented by the Canadian Rivers Institute
Fri, Mar 3rd, 2017
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University of New Brunswick

Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.
Les terres de la Couronne et l’intérêt public