December 5, 2016
SSNB has the largest petition that has EVER happened in New Brunswick: Another 13,439 signatures to make a grand total of 27,225 to Stop Herbicide Spraying in New Brunswick Public Forests and NB Power right-of-ways.
FREDERICTON - On Tuesday December 6, 2016 13,404 WRITTEN signatures will be tabled at the Provincial Legislature which demands that New Brunswick stops spraying of public forests and NB Power right of ways. This third petition presentations represents again communities from every part of the province including francophone, anglophone and Indigenous communities. The petition drive is continuing to gain momentum and SSNB will continue with future petition signature submissions.
A delegation of community organizers representing “Stop Spraying in New Brunswick” (SSNB) will be travelling to Fredericton from communities across New Brunswick to gather for a photo in front of the Legislature at noon on Tuesday, December 6 2016. During this time supportive MLAs have been invited to join us in this photo.
SSNB has received word, that in addition to Fredericton MLA David Coon, MLA Jake Stewart (South-West Miramichi) will sign the petition and stand with us in the photo. MLA Jake Stewart has spoken out against forest spraying in the past year, and we are pleased that he is joining us.
Petition Presentation schedule:
Tuesday December 6, 2016
12:00 noon photo with supporting MLAs
1:00 pm: peaceful entry into the Legislature building to witness Fredericton MLA David Coon as he tables the signatures, and to hear supportive words from MLAs who are supportive of our demands.
Provincial Legislature Buildings
706 Queen Street
Fredericton, New Brunswick
As you know, the Stop Spraying in New Brunswick movement has been growing rapidly since the 2015 hunting season when hunters found that there were almost no deer in our public forests. A catastrophic deer collapse continues, with the deer population now one-quarter of what it was 30 years ago. A petition campaign which was started on December 16 2015, with an initial submission of almost 1200 signatures from Kedgwick, was followed by the submission of 12,686 signatures on May 18, 2016. This petition to Stop Herbicide Spraying in New Brunswick Public Forests and NB Power right-of-ways is now the LARGEST petition collection on record in New Brunswick history. Our government has a duty to listen to the 27,225 voters. This number will continue to grow, as more community members are becoming active in this movement. Every week we have new people coming forward to collect signatures in their communities.
In September 2016, a retired New Brunswicker, Amédée Boucher became actively involved in this issue, and collected over 7,000 signatures on the Acadian Peninsula in a period of just 2 months together with a few other residents. Therefore, an event was held by organizers in Tracadie, supported by SSNB, to discuss the spraying issue with great attendance. That evening Fredericton MLA David Coon, who had taken time out of his busy schedule to travel up to Tracadie on that Friday evening, received a total of 12,877 signatures that included the signatures collected by Amédée Boucher and another batch received by SSNB from all over the province. On December 2, 2016 another 566 signatures arrived in the mail to SSNB. The local Liberal MLAs refused to attend.
"The people of the Acadian Peninsula refuse to be poisoned," said Amédée Boucher, responsible for having collected a bulk of signatures in that area, "but signing the petition is only the first step. It'll take your presence on December 6, 2016 to leave a clear message to our politicians: enough is enough."
Recent data from Maine Inland F&W, Quebec Chasse et peche, NSDNR and NBDNR shows that hunting numbers in NB are now 15% of what they were in 1985, whereas in Quebec the numbers have increased threefold and in Maine they have stayed relatively stable over the same period of time. The combination of increased clearcutting and glyphosate spraying of monoculture softwood plantations are eliminating a very large amount of deer food, removing enough browse to feed 32,000 deer each and every year. People who live near or in the woods have noticed the effects on the deer population in New Brunswick themselves.
Wildlife guide and woodlot owner Leo Goguen from Rogersville is out in the woods all the time and has stated this before, "Our livelihood depends on hunting wildlife and fowl. Irving not only poisoned the meat we eat but destroyed multiple game habitat that this game depends on to reproduce and strive. We are losing revenue on recreational activities and our families are being robbed of healthy food.” Leo has also felt the detrimental effects on his livelihood as a private woodlot owner.
Northern New Brunswick is feeling the pain: “We at ÉCOVIE are very much preoccupied by what is being done in our forests”, says Clément Arpin, retired businessman from a value-added wood industry. “28% of all the forests sprayed in Canada are in NB and NB represents 0.7% of the surface of our country. This is a lot of pesticides sprayed all around us! Our beautiful mixed forests are being transformed into plantations....A monoculture is not a forest. We have to realize that a forest with diversity will bring diversity in jobs and a stability in our economy. We cannot extract maple syrup from a spruce tree. So why do we have to kill hardwood when those trees provided us a revenue increase of 1000% in the last decade as stated by our Prime Minister, Brian Gallant, on one of his visits in Kedgwick? We should work with the forest, put our people to work instead of working with pesticides and destroying our beautiful diversity.”
MLA David Coon has been a long-standing champion for the cause to stop herbicide spraying of NB forests and hydro-power lines . On December 2, 2016, David Coon released this powerful statement: “ Stop the Runaway Clearcutting and Say Goodbye to Herbicide Spraying” http://greenpartynb.ca/en/8-news/1007-stop-the-runaway-clearcutting-and-say-goodbye-to-herbicide-spraying. This quote from his statement says enough: “Ours is one of only three Canadian provinces clinging to the practice, despite numerous petitions similar to the present one, and long-standing, vocal objections from our rural residents. They have a right to a safe environment, to live free of fear for their well-being and that of the wildlife inhabiting our forests.”
“The fact that taxpayers are paying to spray our forests at a cost of $2.4M a year is just ludicrous”, says SSNB organizer Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy. “On top of that, our forestry is creating less jobs than EVER before, which makes no sense. We need to bring thinning crews back to work. We have trained workers sitting at home so that an unsustainable forest management practice can exist. People could be working and contributing to our economy instead of being underemployed.”
Please arrange to meet members of Stop Spraying New Brunswick and other New Brunswickers who are alarmed about the continued use of these sprays outside the legislature buildings on Tuesday December 6, 2016 at noon. All political leaders and MLA's are invited to attend and show support.
Media contacts: (will be present at the event in Fredericton)
Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, SSNB, Fredericton cell 506-292-7503 (English media contact)
André Arpin, Écovie, Kedgwick cell: 506-284-0593 (French media contact)
Amédée Boucher, Acadie Peninsula, cell: 709-792-4033