FREDERICTON — Tracy Glynn, the forest program director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement about the report released today by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) on glyphosate.

The report confirms what we have long feared — that the forest industry uses more glyphosate in NB operations than any other province in Canada.

The report found that 40% of the forest land cut in NB in 2014 was sprayed with glyphosate compared to 28% in Ontario, 21% in Alberta, 18% in Manitoba and only 11% in Nova Scotia.

While 205,859 hectares were cut in Québec in the same year, no forest lands there were sprayed with glyphosate.

The analysis puts the key public policy question squarely back into the government’s hands. Namely, why, of all places in Canada, is NB spending so much taxpayer money on our companies’ spray programs when other jurisdictions, like Vermont and Québec, get on fine without it.

The report did discuss the human health risk associated with glyphosate. While it recognizes that there are many outstanding questions that need to be examined by Health Canada and its Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in its long overdue re-evaluation of the chemical, the report says human health risks can be reduced if its label restrictions are properly followed.

The OCMOH points out that public health agencies in Canada and elsewhere have adopted a “wait and see” approach. The PMRA is currently reassessing glyphosate. The review of glyphosate, not expected until 2017, was delayed due to what the OCMOH called “rapidly-evolving new information.”

Beyond the scope of the OCMOH’s report are other concerns related to glyphosate use in forestry that weigh heavily on the minds of New Brunswickers. These concerns need to be addressed by our provincial government and include the environmental impacts of the use of glyphosate on deer, moose and aquatic species, and on water quality.

The report points out the uncertainty surrounding glyphosate use world-wide. Some European countries, like France, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, are arguing for a complete ban of its use in both agriculture and forestry. We believe that this supports our recommendation that a prudent action would be to stop using it in forestry operations, especially since more responsible alternatives are available and their use, in fact, would create more jobs.

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Additional Information

  • NB farmers use less glyphosate than those in other provinces, primarily due to the fact that NB grows fewer bushels of genetically modified corn and soybeans.
  • Québec banned herbicide use in its forests in 2001 due to public concern over human health impacts of spraying. Vermont, which has a similar forest type to New Brunswick, also stopped using herbicides in their forests, almost two decades ago, in 1997.
  • NB’s Auditor General recommended in her 2015 report that public forests should be managed for economic, environmental and social values, and highlighted that the province has lost money from the management of public forests for at least the last five years.
  • To see where NB forest will be sprayed this summer, click here.

News from Groups Archives

Upcoming Events

Smart Shift Summit
Mon, Mar 27th, 2017
Delta Beauséjour Hotel

Understanding Environmental Management and Policymaking to Better Engage and Contribute Policy course
Wed, Mar 29th, 2017
University of New Brunswick

Deadline for nominations for the Gulf of Maine Council 2017 Awards
Fri, Mar 31st, 2017

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.