Select Committee on Climate Change Report Could Set Stage for a Sustainable New Brunswick

Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions

October 24, 2016

The Final Report of the Select Committee on Climate Change is a testament to the value of making our voices heard. Members of the eight-member, all-party committee (http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/select-committee-engages-all-nbers-in-growing-the-green-economy/) listened to New Brunswickers and have delivered a report that could lay the foundation for long-term sustainability and stable jobs while meeting our climate protection goals.

The Conservation Council is calling on the Government to adopt the Committee’s recommendations and to tell New Brunswickers in its November 2 Speech from the Throne how it intends to convert the recommendations into action.

The Select Committee’s recommendations closely align with the recommendations the Conservation Council made it in its climate action plan. Our climate action plan proposals (http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/our-programs/climate-and-energy/) included calling on Government to phase coal out of electricity production by 2030 and to move toward a zero emitting system by expanding its commitment to renewable energy.  The Select Committee calls for fossil-fuel free electricity system by 2030 and an increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 60% from 40%. We called for a carbon pricing regime where revenue would be used to finance investments in deep retrofits of buildings, including social housing, and to create incentives to transform transportation so it relies more on clean electricity. The Select Committee recommends the creation of a Climate Fund to do just that.

With respect to governance, the Select Committee also listened, calling as the Conservation Council did, for introduction of a Climate Change Act to set in law a provincial greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.  The Committee also called on Government to strengthen building codes, planning legislation and guidelines, and procurement rules to require low-polluting choices. With respect to Government operations, the Select Committee calls on Government to establish a cabinet committee on climate change, chaired by the Premier, and to strengthen the capacity of the Climate Change Secretariat to get things done.

We want to thank the Committee for its hard work and for so respectfully listening to New Brunswickers. Now we wait to hear whether Government respects the Committee’s work as much as the Conservation Council does.

For more information, contact: Louise Comeau, louise.comeau@conservationcouncil.ca; 506 238 0355

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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”.