The Conservation Council of New Brunswick held its 45th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Fredericton.

Upwards of 40 people gathered at Conserver House for the meeting, drawing members of the board of directors, funders, staff and other interested individuals from across the province.
 
Attendees tackled the usual business of amending bylaws and composing the board for the year ahead, and were treated to a presentation on Crown Forests from University of New Brunswick professor Tom Beckley.

No doubt, though, the highlight of the affair was celebrating the dedicated service of outgoing president Stephanie Coburn with a scrumptious gluten-free cake baked by the council’s own Stephanie Merrill.

Coburn got a little teary-eyed during a lengthy and warm standing ovation from attendees who wished to show their appreciation for the expertise and guidance Coburn provided over three years as president of New Brunswick’s environmental advocate.

Coburn and her family operate a farm in Millstream, outside Sussex, where they produce grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pigs, and vegetables. She was also the owner and operator of Winterwood Natural Food Store in downtown Sussex.

Attendees gave a warm welcome to Liane Thibodeau, who stepped up to fill the role of president of the board. A retired human resources consultant, Thibodeau is a co-founder of the Miramichi Environmental Society and served on the Conservation Council’s board in the 90s. Recently, she was active in the movement to protect our land, air and water from the risks posed by shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Close to 50 people were present in the afternoon for forestry professor Tom Beckley’s presentation on the forest strategy brought about by Premier David Alward’s Progressive Conservative government.

Beckley noted the new plan, announced in March 2014, effectively flipped Crown Forest management on its head, putting timber allocation above conservation goals, a reversal of a long-held, conservation-first focus. Beckley argued the debate around the forestry strategy should be framed as a moral and ethical issue, not simply a scientific or economic matter. Above all else, Beckley said the plan is morally and ethically wrong, and should be opposed on those terms.

The meeting also saw new faces added to the Conservation Council’s board of directors. Rob Moir, an associate professor of economics at UNBSJ, and John Bird, who will be called to the New Brunswick Bar this fall, were welcomed to serve three-year terms on the board.

Moir has run for federal office three times on campaigns based on social and environmental justice. Over the years, he has provided advice, reports, and expert testimony on pipeline locations, hydrocarbon security, suburban development in environmentally-sensitive zones, shale gas extraction, mining, and Crown Forest management.

Bird completed his Master of Laws, Environmental and Maritime Law, at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Throughout his academic career, Bird has investigated safety concerns associated with nuclear- and coal-sourced energy, sustainable development, state and corporate responsibility, climate policies, and the diversity, speciation and decimation of reef ecology.

Staff and board members at the Conservation Council welcomed the newest members and are eager to draw from their experience and expertise.

Two board members, Frank Johnson and John Crompton, agreed to serve another three-year term with the council. Carla Gunn stepped down from the board this fall. Gunn, a psychology professor and author of a fantastic environmental fiction novel (Amphibian), was thanked for her three years of service, during which she provided solid guidance to the executive committee and excellent advice to staff at Conserver House.
 
Head to the post on our website to download the powerpoint presentation that ran at the AGM, giving a visual rundown of what staff and members of the Conservation Council were up to in 2013-14.

News from Groups Archives

Upcoming Events


Pre-Budget Government Public Consultation
Mon, Oct 16th, 2017
Miramichi

Intact Foundation Climate Change Adaptation Grant: Deadline
Tue, Oct 17th, 2017


Government Pre-Budget Public Consultation
Tue, Oct 17th, 2017
Edmundston

Action Alerts

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

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

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

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

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

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

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


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

Additional Information

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

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


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

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