Stop Spraying New Brunswick group calls for human health study, wildlife health study and immediate moratorium.

New Brunswick’s acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Jennifer Russell has concluded that there is no need to stop glyphosate forest spraying at this time in NB. After review of the Glyphosate report released by the Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswick on July 26, 2016, Stop Spraying New Brunswick group calls for an immediate moratorium on forest spraying and the start of human and wildlife health studies.

“What I saw was a report that acknowledged that the use of Glyphosate is contentious,” says Peter Gilbert, co-organizer of Stop Spraying New Brunswick. ”Some say it’s okay and some say it’s not. There are provinces, states, countries and scientific authorities on both sides of this debate. That in itself is enough reason to press pause on the use of this controversial herbicide.“

“The extent of forest spraying in this province and the dramatic drop in the deer population are two compelling reasons to launch a major health study immediately in NB including humans and large forest animals”, says Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, co-organizer of stop Spraying New Brunswick.

New Brunswick is seeing an increase in forest spraying as a result of the 2014 Forest Management Strategy, which allows for more Crown forest clearcuts than before with resulting plantations that are managed by herbicide spraying. 40% of cut forest was sprayed in 2014, a much higher percentage than any other province in Canada.

“Canadian Environmental Protection Law recognizes that the protection of the environment is essential to the well-being of Canadians,” says Francine Levesque from Écovie, Kedgwick River. “It includes a precautionary principle that says that "lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation" and "The application of this principle is a legitimate and distinct decision-making approach within risk management". This principle should be used in NB at this moment with glyphosate since we have the second-highest cancer rate In Canada (Statistics 2015).” 

Clearly something is wrong as we are witnessing with large mammals (other than humans) living in our forests. One only has to look at the significant drop and change in distribution of New Brunswick’s deer population. Our deer population is now a quarter of what it was 30 years ago (New Brunswick’s deer population has plummeted from 270,000 to 74,000 over the past 3 decades). Data comparing New Brunswick, Maine and Québec show that the deer harvest numbers in New Brunswick have decreased to 15% of 1985 LEVELS, whereas numbers are up 300% in Québec and have remained stable in Maine. Québec has had a ban on forest spraying since 2001. 

It should be noted that it has been reported that deer will not eat sprayed vegetation and that they will migrate to find food in unsprayed areas, but their supply of food is diminishing due to increased clearcuts and herbicide spraying. Moose however, will eat sprayed vegetation so the health of these large mammals should be studied. If there is no risk this needs to be proven and not assumed. A study would help answer several important questions since a large percentage of our population hunts moose and fishes for food. Is their meat and organ tissue tested for the presence of this chemical? 

“New Brunswick’s wildlife such as deer and moose are our canaries in the coal mine with respect to forest spraying," says Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy. “Stop Spraying New Brunswick (SSNB) is asking for an immediate health study to be launched on humans and large mammals in New Brunswick as well as an immediate moratorium or outright ban on forest spraying. Our acting CMO should be applying the precautionary principle and not use the New Brunswick rural population as guinea pigs."

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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”.