Select Committee engages all New Brunswickers in growing the green economy

FREDERICTON —
 Establishing a Select Committee on Climate Change is an excellent step toward engaging all New Brunswickers in the important work of growing our economy and protecting our communities from extreme weather and sea level rise.

The Legislative Assembly voted unanimously in support of a motion to establish the all-party committee on Friday, April 9. The Conservation Council applauds the members of the House and looks forward to participating in this public process.

“This is an opportunity to let all New Brunswickers get involved in the plan to move us smoothly and successfully toward a low-carbon economy,” says Executive Director Lois Corbett.

Select committees are a way for government to include all New Brunswickers in the investigation of important subjects. Select committees report to all members of the legislative assembly and typically hold public hearings where citizens, government officials and expert witnesses are invited to appear.

The motion, introduced by Environment Minister Brian Kenny, states: “The government recognizes that investing in clean technology solutions, especially in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner energy production and use, holds great promise for sustainable economic development and long-term job creation.”

It also recognizes climate change as the single most significant challenge of our generation, stating: “New Brunswick is already experiencing impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, extreme rainfall events, coastal and inland flooding, more coastal erosion, heat waves, some migration of invasive species, and diseases.”

The motion asks the Select Committee to hold public consultations and gives it the power to meet, hold hearings, and release a report whether the House is sitting or not.

While commending government for introducing the motion, Corbett urges legislators and committee members to move quickly on this important work. “The committee should focus on putting New Brunswick’s best foot forward as the federal government continues work on the national climate plan,” she says.

“As Minister Kenny says in his motion, acting on the challenge of climate change won’t just protect us from the impacts communities are already experiencing — it’s the best course of action to create jobs in our province,” Corbett concludes.

The Select Committee on Climate Change is composed of: Andrew Harvey (Lib), the Member for Carleton-Victoria; Bernard LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Memramcook-Tantramar; Monique LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Moncton East, John Ames (Lib), the Member for Charlotte-Campobello; Wilfred Roussel (Lib), the Member for Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou, Jody Carr (PC), the Member for Oromocto- Lincoln, Brian Keirstead (PC), the Member for Albert; and David Coon (Green), the Member for Fredericton South.

Read the motion here.
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To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications. Officer: 458-8747; Cell: 261-1353; Email: jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

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Action Alerts

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

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.