• PROPOSAL: Community-organized 'All Candidates Meetings'

    in ridings around the province prior to the election


    Proposal from: Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter


    To: All NBEN member and associate groups and all interested individuals

    We are asking groups and individuals to host all-candidates meetings in their ridings. This is easy to do!

    Citizen engagement is the key to these meetings, where the citizens in the audience ask the questions. The public meetings provide constituents with an opportunity to publicly ask questions of their MLA candidates on issues which concern them. These meetings will be citizen-led and non-partisan.

    These meetings are extremely easy to organize. We simply need an individual, a community group, or a union to book a venue in their riding for the first week of September.  Invitations would then be delivered or e-mailed to all the candidates [see sample letter below that was used in Fredericton South] at least two to three [2-3] months in advance of the meeting.

    For the meeting, only one moderator is necessary to introduce the candidates, and also to keep track of the time limit that candidates have to answer each question from the audience. A donation jar can be circulated at the meeting to pay for the cost of the venue plus advertising posters.

    Here is the simple outline of the meeting:

    • At the start of the meeting each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce himself/herself to the audience.

    • Following these introductions, the main portion of the meeting will give an opportunity for constituents to ask questions directly from the floor.

    • After each question, each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond.

    • At the end of the meeting, each candidate will have 2 minutes to address the public with closing remarks.


    The best time for the meeting in each riding would be the 1st week in September, after people return from vacation, and before the advance polling starts. According to the Elections New Brunswick website - FAQ Information, it says that "The first advance polling day is 9 days prior to the election. The second advance polling day is the Monday, 7 days prior to the election." This means that the advance polling for the Sept. 22nd election will start sometime in the 2nd week of September.


    Where possible, we would like to have All Candidates meetings broadcast live [live streamed] on the Internet. Each meeting would be saved and archived on YouTube for future viewing, to allow as many people as possible an opportunity to view proceedings and hear the candidates’ positions on the issues.


    SAMPLE INVITATION ONLY


    April 30, 2014 

                                                                               

    To [MLA Candidates in Fredericton South]:



    RE:  INVITATION TO ‘MEET THE CANDIDATES Q&A’, THURSDAY, SEPT. 04, 2014


    As citizen organizers of the Voice Of The People tour, we are pleased to offer a valuable opportunity for all candidates in the upcoming provincial election to engage and interact with their constituents.  Meet the Candidates Q&A town hall meetings will be organized for a number of ridings around New Brunswick, where candidates from each political party will have the opportunity to present their positions prior to the elections.  These citizen-led meetings will be non-partisan and described as a “Meet the Candidates Q&A – A Town Hall Meeting”.


    For Fredericton South, the Meet the Candidates Q&A will be held on September 4, 2014 at Christ Church Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm.  This event will be well advertised in advance as a chance for the public to clarify each candidate’s perspective on a variety of issues, to better inform their decision later that month in the provincial election.


    This is a formal invitation for you, as the announced candidates for Fredericton South, to attend and participate in this debate.  Invitations will go out to all other candidates for Fredericton South when they are announced.


    At the start of the meeting each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce himself/herself to the audience.  Following these introductions, the main portion of the meeting will give an opportunity for constituents to ask questions directly from the floor.  After each question, each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond.  At the end of the meeting, each candidate will have 2 minutes to address the public with closing remarks.


    All candidates are asked to confirm attendance at this event by May 15, 2014 by sending a reply to[Email Address].  We trust that you will appreciate the generous lead time to prepare for this event.



    Respectfully,

    ____________

    Fredericton NB
    Member Council of Canadians-Fredericton Chapter
    Constituent Fredericton South


    Print friendly version - English
    http://nben.ca/en/get-involved/action-alerts/item/download/122_f8d61ef9633b7f24ad5518d665827564


    Print friendly version - French

    http://nben.ca/en/get-involved/action-alerts/item/download/123_d89eb9485acb1b42501e2d9b3eceebd6

  • Have you checked out the changes to the provincial election ridings? The CBC has a link to a great mapwhich will show you any riding in the province – as it is now and as it is proposed to be. The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission is currently holding public meetings and accepting comments on its proposal. There has been back-lash from some small communities across New Brunswick who feel that the new boundaries do not respect their community ties.

    From my point of view, it seems that our democratic institutions are being steadily eroded. Alex Himelfarb,a former Clerk of the Privy Council, has written a great commentaryon how we are moving from a democratic society to a market society and “bargain basement citizenship.”

    The Canadian Labour Congress has just published its report, “What Did Corporate Tax Cuts Deliver?” In 2011, January 20th was “Corporate Tax Freedom Day.” By that date, corporations had already had enough income to cover their share of provincial and federal taxes for the rest of the year. Corporations also managed to hoard $72 billion more in 2011 than the previous year.

    And the proof of all of this is in the pudding. In October 2012, “How are Canadians Really Doing?” was published by the Canadian Index of Well Being Network out of the University of Waterloo. The index measures eight factors of well-being such as environment, education, leisure and living standards. The findings in this report show that “from 1994 to 2010, while Canada’s GDP grew by a robust 28.9%, improvements in Canadians’ well-being grew by a considerably smaller 5.7%. Despite years of prosperity, our economic growth has not translated into similarly significant gains in our overall quality of life. Even more concerning is the considerable backslide Canadians have experienced since 2008. Following the recession of 2008, Canada’s GDP dropped by 8.3%, but shows signs of slow recovery in 2010. In contrast, the impact of the recession on the CIW was a stunning 24% declineand shows no such sign of recovery to even the modest gains made up to 2008.”

    If you are interested in ongoing discussions about democracy in Canada, the Samara Institute has just released a report on the House of Commons and how well they are doing in addressing the priorities of Canadians. This month they are also hosting a blog series “Redesigning Parliament”.

     
  • FREDERICTON – A citizens’ group in Fredericton is asking why Mayor Brad Woodside and City Council sent a Letter of Support for the proposed TransCanada Energy East Pipeline Project to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and kept it secret from the citizens of Fredericton.

    Fredericton’s drinking water would be at risk from an Energy East pipeline spill as identified in the Drinking Water Report released on April 6th. A detailed analysis of the proposed Energy East pipeline route shows that across Canada the project could lead to the contamination of crucial sources of drinking water not identified in TransCanada’s application.

    “Our City Councillors have a duty of care to ask about the risks and impacts of this export tar sands pipeline proposed to cross over or beside our rivers, bays, and drinking water supplies,” says Garry Guild, a member from the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    “We are disappointed to learn that our City Council approved and sent this Letter of Support for this very controversial issue in the absence of an open and transparent debate during a regular Council meeting in which Frederictonians are allowed to attend,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians. “This is more than just about a pipeline. It’s about public trust and the integrity of our elected officers. Decisions affecting the public being made secretly behind closed doors have no place in 2016.”

    The decision also contradicts the position of the Wolastoq Grand Council which recently announced on February 8th their opposition to the Energy East pipeline. The pipeline would traverse their unceded traditional homeland through the Saint John River watershed, including the headwaters of the Nashwaak River which is north of Fredericton.

    To date, the following one-sentence statement is the only response that members of the local chapter have received from the City Clerk’s Office of the City of Fredericton:

    “The City of Fredericton was approached by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a letter of support in relation to Trans Canada’s Energy East Project; and a letter was sent by Mayor Woodside, on behalf of City Council, to the Prime Minister of Canada confirming support.” (City Clerk’s Office, e-mail received April 05, 2016)

    “With impending municipal elections (Monday, May 9th), the citizens of Fredericton need to vote for a Mayor and Councillors who are both accountable and transparent. This is how they gain our trust”, says Joan Green, a member of the Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians.The Fredericton chapter of the Council of Canadians has launched a ‘Publicly Take Back The Letter’ campaign asking Fredericton City Council to publicly withdraw the letter before or at their Monday, April 25th meeting @ 7:30pm, the final Regular Meeting of City Council prior to the May 9th municipal election.
  • The following letter was sent to the Minister today....

    Hon. Denis Landry 
    Minister of Natural Resources


    As a resident of the Province of New Brunswick, I am deeply concerned that the spraying of our forests is a very dangerous practice that is irresponsible, reckless and potentially affecting the health of its residents. 


    As the President of the Moncton Fish & Game Association, I am also concerned that spraying is also killing our wildlife. Animals in the forest and fish in our waterways are allegedly suffering the negative effects of the spraying of our woodlands. We know that the practice is legal and permissible in our province however we need to ask ourselves should it continue? Should companies be allowed to spray to prevent hardwood growth? Should they be allowed to spray to prevent the spread of berries and other nutrients that wildlife eat? 


    As a province that relies very heavily on its natural resources, (which by the way include generations of hunters and fishermen all of which bring in tens of millions to our NB economy), we all should be deeply concerned. There is a fine line that we have to respect when dealing with Mother Nature. She is not very forgiving at times and it may take many many years to correct the wrongs of previous generations. While current forestry practices permit vast clear cuts and the related spraying of these chemicals, all of these activities must be analysed. 


    Potentially, a moratorium on spraying could be put into place until more scientific information is available. We know that this government is not opposed to moratoriums as is evident by the current one on fracking. Rather than point fingers at companies which will garner the whole cause no credibility at all, we as residents and people who enjoy the outdoors, people concerned for our own health and the health of our children, we all need to band together and question the government in a relentless, credible yet organized public campaign to end this practice once and for all. 


    Forestry activities will continue and as a manageable resource they rightfully should continue; however, neighbouring Provinces of Nova Scotia and Quebec are doing very well with their forestry practices, both enjoying great revenues which belong to the taxpayers and they are NOT spraying. If they can do it then why are we not able to continue forestry operations without spraying and potentially harming people, wildlife and fish? 


    The Moncton Fish & Game Association has taken an official stance that we do not support the spraying of our woodlands. 


    Thank you and I look forward to a response.


    Robert Snider, 

    President

    Moncton Fish & Game Association

  • Voice of the People Tour kick-off

    Delta Hotel Fredericton - March 20 2014

    Who are we?Firstly, the Voice of the People Tour is being organized by concerned citizens through various community organizations: the Council of Canadians, the New Brunswick Anti Shale Gas Alliance, the Fredericton District Labour Council and Unifor. We are working together to bring these important issues to the people in our communities.

    The Voice of the People Tour will be coming to communities in every corner of the province. We want to hear your voice!

    The purpose of our tour is to provide public education about shale gas and clean energy.


    We will be asking the people in our communities:


    • • Do we know everything we need to about shale gas?
    • • Is shale gas the only way to create jobs?
    • • What do you want in your backyard?
    The town hall meetings will provide an overview of scientific evidence of the effects of shale gas development, specifically hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. We also want to discuss possible alternatives to shale gas development, namely clean energy and clean jobs.

    Our concerns are broadly shared. We are here today in solidarity with many other organizations who have given their endorsement to the Voice of the People Tour.Why? Because they too are concerned with the dangers of shale gas and the lack of consultation with the people.  


    These organizations are:

    CUPE
    Unifor
    Fredericton and District Labour Council
    The New Brunswick Federation of Labour
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance
    Council of Canadians
    Conservation Council of New Brunswick
    The National Farmers Union
    And more...

    The tour will highlight why so many organizations and people are against shale gas, including 130 New Brunswick municipalities, community organizations, and professional associations. Most recently, many labour unions have called for a Provincial/national moratorium on shale gas development.

    Why have the citizens organized this tour? Because we believe that the peoples' voice is vital in democracy. Over the past 4 years there has been little to no consultation or public meetings initiated by the government, nor by industry. So, people are organizing themselves. Also, there has been no consultation with the First Peoples of this land.

    In addition, the Government of New Brunswick has failed to provide the public with peer reviewed scientific evidence of the harmful effects of shale gas fracking, and shale gas development. The people are not getting the information they need.

    The Premier would have us believe that shale gas is the only way to create jobs in this Province. We know this is not true. In fact, according to Blue-Green Canada, for the same investment there are seven times more jobs created with clean energy and building efficiency than with the oil and gas industry.

    For example, The 2013 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry report showed that there were double the number of clean energy workers compared with the number of natural gas workers in neighbouring shale gas state of Pennsylvania. 80,000 jobs were created in the clean energy versus 40,000 jobs in the natural gas sector.

    Clean jobs and green energy are possible and more financially viable and long term. Shale gas jobs disappear once the wells are drilled.

    It makes more sense for New Brunswick to invest in clean energy alternatives instead of shale gas. It's safer and creates more jobs. To do otherwise would be a lost opportunity for our Province.

    We believe the people will be the problem solvers in this tour.

    The people have this responsibility.
     

    Signed - 
    The Voice of the People Coalition

    voiceofthepeopletour@gmail.com


     

  •  
    The Voice of the People Tour town hall meeting for Fredericton South is being held this Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014, at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm. The Voice of the People Tour is in 30+ communities across the province, giving citizens their say in building a better energy future for New Brunswick.

    The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will announce to the public at tonight's meeting that it is organizing a ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ for the riding of Fredericton South.
     

    This ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ meeting will be held Thursday, September 4, 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm.

    Invitations have just gone out to the known candidates David Coon (Green Party), Kelly Lamrock (NDP), and Craig Leonard (PC and the incumbent MLA). The purpose of this meeting is to provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions of their MLA candidates and to hear their positions on issues which concern constituents.

    The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will be encouraging communities across the province to organize their own ‘Meet the Candidates’ Q&A meetings. All of these meetings will be citizen-led and non-partisan.


    DATE:Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014
     

    TIME: 7:00PM-9:00PM
     

    LOCATION: Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church St. Fredericton NB


  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Perth Andover NB May 21 2014

    1. Government should represent people not the Irvings (18)

    2. Create local jobs that stay in the community (10)

    3. (tie)
    - Stop media control by Irving (9)

    - Kick the Alward government out (9)

    - Pressure government to kick-start renewable energy (9)

    4. (tie)
    - Give back control of our forests to NBers. Remove control by Irving (8)

    - No pipeline (8)

    - Elect politicians who don't want shale gas (8)

    5. (tie)
    - Create your own job - more opportunity for small business, self sufficiency (7)

    - Cultivate Hemp (7)

    6. Promote food products from our forests, ecotourism, native medicines (6)

    7. (tie)
    - Keep big logs and trees and process them here, add value (4)

    - Community owned and run forestry (4)

    - Policies to replace imports with domestic goods (4)

    Study successful plans in Vermont, Nova Scotia, etc and implement here in NB (4)

    8. (tie)
    - Community gardens (3)

    - Maintain good jobs, education and health care (3)

    - People need to get informed (3)
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Rexton NB and area May 14 2014

    Two hundred and more enthusiastic and engaged people from the Rexton and Kent County areas attended a standing room-only Voice of the People Tour stop at the Bonar Law High School Wednesday evening.

    Aboriginal, Acadian, English and other friends and neighbours spoke their minds on the issue of fracking and how they choose to take a stand in rejecting the shale gas industry while pursuing viable and locally-based solutions and alternatives to our 'Dig it Up, Cut it Down, Ship it Out'economy.


    Below are the results of the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR Red Dot Poll for Rexton NB

    1. People of NB will not stand by and allow this (fracking) to happen (112 dots)

    2. Boycott Irving (83 dots)

    3. More emphasis on food security for Kent County (64 dots)

    4. On election day make a statement by voting for a party opposed to fracking (59 dots)

    5. SLAPP suits by SWN (South Western Energy) are unacceptable and will be challenged by individuals and by class action (53 dots)

    6. Honour Aboriginal land and rights (51 dots)

    7. Exploration test wells need to be opposed/stopped. "We have to stop before they drill" (36 dots)

    8. We need to get behind local & provincial politicians who have opposed shale gas (33 dots)

    9. Tools and incentives (e.g. community economic development investment funds) need to be made more available to assist communities to develop renewable energy programs (29 dots)

    10. Greater transparency from government regarding costs incurred from shale gas industry (impacts to air quality, water quality, public health, road maintenance, etc.) (18 dots)

    11. Organized tours of Penobsquis are available. It is important that we see and smell what the industry creates (17 dots)

    12. Speak out not only for yourself but for your wider community (11 dots)

    13. Phased environmental impact assessments (EIA) will be ineffective tools of a regulatory process (9 dots)

    14. Make personal submissions or complaints if medical conditions are potentially at risk by operations that may be planned to happen near or around your community (4 dots)

    15. Challenge the establishment and their use of words to obscure the truth & take away our rights (2 dots)
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Stanley NB May 27 2014


    70 people attended the  Stanley Voice of the People Town Hall Wednesday evening. Here are the Red Dot Poll results:

    1) Need community meetings to generate ideas about creating our own industries, just like at this town hall meeting

    2) Our water must be protected!

    3) Stop the centralization of power and industry in NB ( lack of democracy)

    4) Moratorium on shale gas

    5) We want long term jobs for our children and a clean future

    6) Bring back sustainable forestry not plantations

    7) Business opportunities for wind energy in NB

    8) Need more tools to create small, local economies

    9) Keep our children here by rural development 

    10) Home owners need incentives to generate own power i.e. Solar, biogas, windmill
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Sussex NB and area May 8 2014


    1)  NB's democratic deficit is stifling our ability to have an effective public voice to counter government and industry control

    2)  Something needs to be done about corporate media control in NB

    3)  We need better transparency about what has been happening in Penobsquis

    4)  (Tie)
         - Stop subsidizing large corporations
         - Regulations will not protect us

    5)  NB needs more emphasis on sustainable industry incentives

    6)  Proportional representation is needed for electoral reform

    7)  (Tie)
        - Community economic development investment funds and other investment tools are needed to support local community development
        - Concern for lack of accurate information and industry truth

    8) Reduce toxins - Take NB out of a sacrifice zone 
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Belledune, April 9, 2014

    Belledune April 9, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:


    1) We need to protect our water above all else.


    2) Belledune should pass a 10 year moratorium on shale. 


    3) Map aquifers


    4) (tie)

    - Ask politicians the hard questions

    - Government must classify our waterways

  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Edmundston, April 9, 2014

    - 35 citizens (approx.) in attendance

    Edmundston April 10, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:

    1(tie) 

    -First nations: "You will not be bringing this(shale gas) to our territories" 

    -Don't forget about the Pipelines


    2(tie) 

    - Don't vote Red or Blue- any colour but that.

    - Take our province back, take our government back.

    - Take corporations out of politics

    - Look to areas that have succeeded in transitioning to a new way of thinking


    3 - Treaties protect us all


    4(tie)

    - True consultation with First Nations

    - Let's focus on what we want versus what we don't want.


    5 - Demand a moratorium on fracking 

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