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CCNB: Cancer classification warrants ban on widely-used herbicide


FREDERICTON —  A herbicide sprayed yearly and in large quantities on New Brunswick forests was recently classified as a probable cancer-causing chemical by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization. The decision was published in the journal, Lancet Oncology. Glyphosate, sold under various trade names including Roundup, Vision, and Vision Max, is a broad-spectrum weedkiller used in agriculture, silviculture, recreational areas and on lawns. Globally, it is the highest-volume herbicide in use.

The IARC panel of 17 experts from 11 countries classified glyphosateas a probable carcinogen based on evidence in human and animal studies. Several studies, including one in Canada, have found a link between occupational exposure to glyphosate and increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Glyphosate can be absorbed into the body and has been detected in the blood and urine of workers handling the chemical,” says Inka Milewski, science advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. "Glyphosate causes cancer by damaging chromosomes (DNA) which can result in mutations that lead to cancer. But it is not only workers that are affected. The IARC experts cite a 2009 study that found chromosomal damage in residents of several communities after aerial glyphosate spraying."

Herbicides have been used on New Brunswick forests since the 1970s when pulp and paper companies were first permitted to clearcut natural forest and replace it with plantations. About 13,000 hectares of Crown forest are sprayed each year in the province. Spraying is done by helicopter for about 40 days between August and September, covering roughly 25 per cent of the softwood land cut each year.

The Conservation Council is calling for a ban on glyphosate use in New Brunswick’s Crown forest. "Health policy and regulations lag way behind the known science of many of the pollutants in our environment. There are plenty of examples where regulators have waited too long before acting to protect public health. Lead, DDT, radon, dioxin and cigarette smoke come to mind," says Milewski.

Tracy Glynn, forest campaign director for the Conservation Council, says it's time for New Brunswick to ban aerial herbicide spraying in forests. "Quebec banned the use of glyphosate in forestry in 2001 and replaced herbicide use with thinning crews.Nova Scotia recently abandoned the public funding of herbicide spraying of their forest and is moving toward FSC certification of their forest, which would mean no more herbicides in their woods. But here in New Brunswick, we continue to fund silviculture on Crown land that includes spraying, which according to data from Natural Resources Canada, can cost the province about $1,000/ha," says Glynn.

Three petitions, signed by thousands of New Brunswickers, against herbicide spraying in the forest have been tabled in the New Brunswick Legislature in just over a decade, the most recent in 2011. Kent County residents have recently risked arrest and are facing hefty fines for trying to stop the herbicide spraying of their woods.

“Creating good jobs and protecting our health and the health of our forest is very important to New Brunswickers,” says Glynn. “Following in our neighbour’s footsteps by using thinning crews instead of chemicals that have been connected to cancer is just good common sense.”

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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”.
CCNB : L'herbicide glyphosate lié au cancer doit être interdit