• All 15 New Brunswick First Nations come together over consultation concerns with Higgs government


    FREDERICTON – The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey Chiefs of all fifteen communities in New Brunswick have come together over their concerns with consultation under the Higgs government.

    “We officially put the Province of New Brunswick on notice that we will continue our efforts to protect the lands, water and resources of New Brunswick. This is our responsibility, and it is in the interest of all New Brunswickers,” said Fort Folly Chief Rebecca Knockwood.

The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey Nations both learned through media reports that in early May Premier Higgs and the Province of New Brunswick quietly passed an Order in Council exempting an area near Sussex from the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing without any consultation with, or notification to, the Nations.

“As signatories to the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey never gave up legal rights to our lands, waters or resources. Despite this, in the past century, our lands, waters and resources have been increasingly exploited to the point that they are in serious danger. We will not sit by and allow our Aboriginal and Treaty rights, including Aboriginal title, to be infringed on by the Crown and Industry” said Tobique Chief Ross Perley.

 The 2018 Throne Speech of the Higgs government committed to addressing unkept promises to First Nations and to defining a new relationship with First Nations that would include more control over lands and resources. The decision to secretly exempt the Sussex area from the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing without any Indigenous consultation does the very opposite and perpetuates the status quo in the New Brunswick government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

“We came together to tell government they cannot cause division among our Nations and communities. We want to make sure the Premier never has to question who he needs to consult if he plans to frack in this province,” said Elsipogtog Chief Arron Sock.

    The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey are committed to taking a strong and unified stand in protecting and taking back what is rightfully theirs and ensuring the Crown meets its consultation obligations.

    Media contacts:

    Jennifer Coleman, Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn, 506-292-1241 or at jennifer@migmawel.org

    Kenneth Francis, Kopit Lodge, 506-523-5823 or at imw.legalfund@gmail.com

    Gillian Paul, Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, 506-461-1187 or at gillian.paul@wolastoqey.ca

  • Alward government bungles first test of so-called world class shale gas regulations

    Alward government bungles first test of so-called world class shale gas regulations

    FREDERICTON--“Premier Alward’s world-class regulations on shale gas mining have failed their first major test,” says Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    On February 7th, Corridor Resources registered with the government’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) registry a proposal to propane frack four exisiting wells in Penobsquis sometime in July. This is Phase III of a three-phase project. Corridor’s short announcement was published in one small newspaper on February 11, but apparently nowhere else. The word fracking did not appear in the newspaper ad.

    Before 2010, shale gas companies were not required to register for an EIA until ready to drill and frack wells. “But public pressure forced the Alward government to change that, so they created a new category of EIA called a ‘phased EIA,’ which now requires companies to register each phase of a project for an EIA.”

    “The problem is this ‘phased EIA’ process is not designed to require a company to submit a formal environmental impact assessment which would trigger public hearings on their proposal,” says Deveau.

    Deveau points out that until February 21st, there was nothing in the government’s EIA registry to suggest that fracking would be taking place. Nor was Corridor's proposal initially available on-line. “We live in the information age,” says Stanley resident Lawrence Wuest, “but I had to physically drive to the Department of Environment to read about the details of Corridor's proposal.”

    In addition, according to a floodplain map of New Brunswick, two of the wellpads scheduled for fracking by Corridor lie on the 20 year floodplain of the Kennebecasis River. Corridor’s EIA registration document, now available on its own website does not appear to take this into consideration. This is problematic as the new rules for industry released in February 2013 place restrictions on shale gas mining in floodplains.

    Energy Minister Craig Leonard even said last September that shale gas mining in flood zone areas would have to go “through a full EIA." The phased EIA now underway will likely allow Corridor to frack without any of us ever knowing how the public and the waters of the Kennebecasis River are to be safeguarded in the event of flooding," said Deveau.

    “This is a far cry from what New Brunswickers should be expecting from so called ‘world-class’ shale gas regulations,” says Deveau. “I encourage New Brunswickers to demand that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment be conducted on this fracking project.”
  • An Open Letter to MLAs for the Immediate Release of the Complete Health Study on Shale Gas Sector

    IMPORTANT: Please E-mail Your MLA To Release Dr. Cleary's Health Study On Shale Gas

    It has been learned that the NB Chief Medical Officer's health report on shale gas has been ready for about a week. The government appears to be delaying its release.

    Please find below the draft text of an e-mail YOU can send to your MLA!


    MLA email addresses at this link: http://www1.gnb.ca/legis/bios1/index-e.asp

    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick 

    (listed by riding in numerical order and e-mail address)

    Please forward wide and far to your friends.


    Thank you for your action!



    Mark D'Arcy Email markandcaroline@gmail.com 


    Terry Wishart Email t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca







    Members of the 57th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick


    (listed by riding in numerical order + e-mail address)



    Dear _______________, MLA


    RE:  An Open Letter to MLAs for the Immediate Release of the Complete Health Study on Shale Gas Sector


    I just learned that the Health Study on Shale Gas has been completed by Dr. Eilish Cleary, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick.  It is my understanding that Dr. Cleary submitted her report to the Alward government about one week ago, and that the report was scheduled to be released in September 2012.


    The health implications of introducing shale gas development in this province is one of the most important issues facing New Brunswickers today.  I respectfully request the following:


    1.  The Alward government should take care to release the report immediately and to neither delay nor censor it.


    2.  The MLAs hold meaningful public consultation on whether to allow or disallow shale gas development in New Brunswick. This consultation should start with legislative hearings, and later include public meetings on the government's final recommendations.


    It will be very troubling to our democracy if either of these two steps is not forthcoming.




    All discussion and decisions on shale gas regulations are premature.  




    It is my understanding that the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, has developed recommendations on the shale gas industry "at preventing or mitigating potential adverse public health effects associated with the industry".

    In the CBC interview with Dr. Cleary (see reference below), she explained that the health study would document how the industry could impact human health, how to mitigate or prevent the risks, as well as how to measure the actual impact of the industry on the health of New Brunswickers if the shale gas industry was to proceed in this province.

    Dr. Cleary said she would make recommendations in each of the following 4 areas: (1) Physical risks; (2) Risks to the community and mental health; (3) Risks from exposure to environmental sources; and (4) Risks to the long-term health of the population.


    Furthermore, the public has not yet been consulted on whether or not the province should move forward with shale gas exploration and fracking. Dr. Louis LaPierre publicly admitted, at the shale gas regulations meeting in Norton, NB on July 04, 2012, that the mandate given to him by your government did not include the ability to recommend a moratorium or ban on shale gas development. 


    Lastly, during a speech delivered in Moncton last October, Premier David Alward advised that Members of the Legislative Assembly would be organizing town hall and information meetings later that month “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue."


    We have a right to know and to be properly consulted. 


    I look forward to an honest and open discussion of all the health, environmental, and economic implications of shale gas development in New Brunswick. 


    Sincerely yours,


    cc:  Premier David Alward


    Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement


    Province of New Brunswick


    E-mail: david.alward@gnb.ca







    Health study may examine impact of shale gas sector


    Chief medical officer will issue recommendations in the summer - CBC News May 22, 2012


    Premier David Alward, October 3, 2011 - Speech to Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton

  • COMMUNIQUÉ: Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

    Pour publication immédiate              COMMUNIQUÉ                           21 novembre 2012

    Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

    FREDERICTON NB ---- Une marche à Fredericton qui se terminera par un rassemblement à l’Assemblée législative aura lieu le mardi 27 novembre pour demander de mettre fin à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel au NB.

    Au mois de novembre l’an dernier, plus de 20 000 NéoBrunswickois ont demandé d’interdire l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste en présentant des pétitions à la Législature.  Par ailleurs, durant l’année dernière plusieurs différentes associations au Nouveau-Brunswick ont adopté des résolutions pour soit interdire ou soit imposer un moratoire à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel.  Celles-ci incluent :

    1)   L’Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 51 membres (octobre 2011);

    2)   Le Syndicat des infirmières et des infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick comprenant 6 900 membres (décembre 2011);

    3)   Le Syndicat national des agriculteurs NB regroupant 150 fermes (mars 2012);

    4)   Le synode des Maritimes de l’Église unie du Canada (mars 2012);

    5)   Le Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique regroupant 30 000 membres (avril 2012);

    6)   Le Collège des médecins de famille du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 700 membres (avril 2012);

    7)   Le personnel médical de l’hôpital Mémorial de Sackville (mai 2012);

    8)   Les médecins de l’Hôpital de Moncton (juin 2012);

    9)   La Fédération des NéoBrunswickois des zones rurales (FoR NB);

    10)   Les médecins de l’hôpital Georges Dumont Moncton (septembre 2012);

    11)  Un nombre de municipalités incluant (Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, Minto, Stanley, Bathurst, Sussex Corner, Quispamsis).

    Marilyn Lerch de l’Alliance de Tantramar contre la fracturation hydraulique constate que : « Le gouvernement du NB n’a donné aucune indication qu’il écoutait tous ces appels pour un moratoire ou une interdiction. »  « Au contraire, la toute première proposition à la deuxième session de l’Assemblée législative a ignoré les pétitions et confirmé que la politique de l’administration conservatrice était en faveur de l’exploitation « responsable » des réserves de gaz naturel au Nouveau-Brunswick. »

    « Les réserves de gaz naturel au NB ne sont pas traditionnelles, c’est-à-dire qu’elles doivent être extraites par une technologie relativement nouvelle appelée fracturation hydraulique massive fracking, » explique Stephanie Merrill d’Action CCNB.  « La fracturation hydraulique est essentiellement un processus industriel contaminant qui injecte des milliards de milliards de litres d’eau mélangés avec des produits chimiques toxiques à des pressions énormes pour faire éclater la pierre et laisser échapper les hydrocarbonés des formations souterraines comme les schistes ou les grès rouges. »

    « Des preuves provenant d’autres juridictions ne cessent de démontrer que les risques sanitaires, sociaux et environnementaux sont majeurs et que les avantages économiques sont exagérés, » souligne Guillermo Castilla, professeur adjoint de l’Université de Calgary.  « C’est pourquoi notre gouvernement a le devoir de prévenir les dommages et mettre fin à toute exploitation jusqu’à ce l’on puisse démontrer que cette technologie est sécuritaire et qu’un plan d’exploitation complet est présenté. »

    « Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est de se rappeler à la mémoire les pétitions des 20 000 NéoBrunswickois qui ont été ignorées, mais qui demandent la cessation immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke du chapitre Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.  « Cela veut dire l’arrêt immédiat des explorations pour les gaz de schiste, la fin des émissions de tous nouveaux permis et du renouvèlement des permis existants, » précise Dr. Linke. 

    « Les groupes et les organisations qui se sont déjà joints à cette manifestation ou qui l’ont endossée constituent un véritable échantillon des populations rurales et urbaines du Nouveau-Brunswick, » observe Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.  « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que l’administration ne réussit pas à présenter une analyse de rentabilité pour appuyer ses prétentions concernant les emplois et les redevances tout en continuant à affaiblir la protection environnementale de nos zones humides, de nos bassins versants et de notre atmosphère pour faire place à cette industrie. »

    Conseillère municipale à Sackville, Margaret Tusz-King prévoit : « L’exploration non traditionnelle du gaz naturel va affecter l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick, ses villes comme ses collectivités rurales »  « C’est pourquoi il est intéressant de noter le grand nombre de NéoBrunswickois qui manifestent leur solidarité en s’assemblant pour protester en solidarité lors de l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative.  Ces citoyens montrent clairement qu’ils sont en faveur de l’arrêt d’une entreprise qui pourrait modifier notre paysage à jamais. »

    Le mardi 27 novembre, des groupes et des citoyens vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes dont les signatures ont été ignorées, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation.  Cette marche pacifique va commencer à 11 h au vieux cimetière et se terminera avec un rassemblement entre midi et 13 heures devant l’édifice de l’Assemblée nationale.  De brèves discours seront présentées.

    Voici les noms des groupes/organisations qui se sont joints à la manifestation et/ou qui l’ont endossée :

    A) Groupes des collectivités :  1) Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, 2) Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis, 3) Friends of Mount Carleton, 4) Hampton Water First, 5) Harvey Environmental Action Team; 6) Memramcook Action, 7) New Brunswickers Against Fracking, 8) Parents Against Everyday Poisons, 9) Taymouth Community Association, 10) Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking, 11) Notre Environnement, Notre Choix, 12) Upriver Environment Watch, 13) Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance, 14) Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk, 15) Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 16) Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization, 17) Quality of Life Initiative, 18) Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, 19) Stanley Area Action Group, 20) Sustainable Energy Group, 21) Maliseet Grand Council, 22) Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, 23) Cornhill Area Residents Association and 24) The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (ForNB)

    B) ONG: 1) CCNB Action, 2) Association pulmonaire du NB 3) ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc., 4) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Saint-Jean, 5) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Fredericton et Sierra Club Atlantic

    C) Organisations professionnelles/Syndicats : 1) Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP), 2) Syndicat national des fermiers NB (SNF NB), 3) Conseil du travail de Fredericton & District

    D) Partis politiques :  Parti vert et NPD

    E) Jeunes et jeunes adultes : 1) 5e année, classe du chef Harold Sappier École élémentaire Memorial, Première nation St. Mary’s, Fredericton 2) Étudiants et étudiantes de l’université Saint Thomas & de l’UNB, 3) Éco-action groupe de l’université Mount Allison 4) Élèves du Collège des métiers du NB.

    F) Groupes Facebook : “New Brunswick is NOT for sale”, “SAY NO TO SHALE GAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK”, “NoShaleGasNB”, “Upriver Environment Watch” et “Ban Hydraulic Fracturing (hydro-fracking) In New Brunswick

  • Communities, groups and organizations call on Alward Government to start listening to people

     For Immediate Release                PRESS RELEASE                November 4, 2013

    Communities, groups and organizations call on Alward Government to start listening to people


    FREDERICTON– This Tuesday, November 5th at lunch hour, the Council of Canadians will be joined by citizens, community groups, Church organizations, unions and professional associations from throughout the Maritimes and other regions at the provincial legislature for the Unity and Solidarity Rally. Rally goers will be delivering a message to Premier Alward that all shale gas exploration and development must be halted and that the New Brunswick government must begin listening to all people about the future they want, based on his government’s duty to consult and in the spirit of true democracy. 



    “The Alward Government must reopen dialogue and have a genuine conversation around issues surrounding our natural resources”, says Terry Wishart, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “Part of this discussion has to be about the unsustainable projects they continue to pursue while many countries and jurisdictions have firmly stated their opposition to extreme resource development like shale gas and oil. Others are realizing significant increases in jobs by laying the groundwork for the resource development of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, biogas and their forests”, Wishart points out.



    One of David Alward's promises during the 2010 provincial election was citizen engagement, yet the Premier– who is also the Minister of Citizen Engagement and Aboriginal Affairs – has demonstrated his contempt for public consultation, consent, and aboriginal treaty rights. Premier Alward has refused to meet with the Wabanaki people in a traditional place of North American democracy, the Longhouse, which now rests on the banks of the Saint John River, across the street from the Provincial legislature, and was constructed for such a meeting.



    As Leader of the Opposition on April 6th 2010, David Alward spoke frankly about the consequences of shale gas development on water contamination, saying, "Many problems have been reported because of [fracking] companies. Significant contamination of people's drinking water is taking place. We know that, in the United States, companies are not required to provide the information.”  Government, health and academic studies document additional environmental hazards of the industry, like severe air contamination and impacts on human health, including accelerated rates of cancer and childhood asthma.



    “Today Premier Alward claims he was elected with a mandate to develop shale gas. His minister of energy, Craig Leonard, says that shale gas opponents are ‘ridiculous’ or he resorts to calling us names. They discount the real facts and ignore citizens who are petitioning for public meetings and asking some very important questions”, states Council of Canadians member, Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.  “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in their platform. In fact they avoided any mention of it in the platform’s ‘Energy Plan’, yet renewable energy and efficiency are included”, adds Lubbe-D’Arcy.



    Critics charge that in the wake of Mr. Louis Lapierre’s fraud, the Alward government is also lying in order to justify moving ahead with their plans for a shale gas industry. They point out that the Alward government is following suit with the Harper Government by diluting or changing laws based on industry requirements, and are thwarting the efforts of citizen groups that work to shine a light on their failure to adequately consult with the public on shale gas.



    “We hope David Alward will respect democracy and renew constructive dialogue with the Wabanaki and all peoples on the direction and future of New Brunswick” says Wishart.

  • Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    Press Release

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter

    Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

    FREDERICTON – The Mi’kmaq Chief and council of Elsipogtog First Nations issued a statement on Tuesday vowing to protect our land, water, and air from mining companies like SWN Resources Canada. SWN Resources was also told by Chief and council to leave the province. The Maliseet Chief of Saint Mary’s First Nations concurred.

    “We proudly stand by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters on this issue,” says Julia Linke, member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    “It is difficult to imagine how this could come as a surprise to anybody,” says Alma Brooks, Traditional Clan Mother Wolastoqiyik of the Wabanaki Confederacy.

    Next Monday, October 7th marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 states that lands not ceded to, by treaty or purchased by, the Crown, are reserved for First Nations.
    “The elected and hereditary leaders of Elsipogtog and the Signigtog district,” says Andrea Bear Nicholas, Retired Chair of Native Studies, St.Thomas University, “are therefore re-asserting their obligations as rightful stewards over Crown lands which they believe are continuously being mis-managed by Canada, the province, and corporations.”
    - 30 -
  • Déclaration de l’AAGSNB concernant le discours du Trône de M. Higgs

    Pour diffusion immédiate
    Le 21 novembre 2018

    FREDERICTON — Après avoir pris connaissance du discours du Trône du premier ministre Blaine Higgs, M. Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAGSNB), a déclaré que son organisation fait preuve d’un « optimisme prudent concernant la volonté et la capacité du gouvernement minoritaire d’agir judicieusement dans son approche vis-à-vis de nos mandats d’empêcher la production de pétrole et de gaz non classiques dans notre province et de ralentir le changement climatique par l’instauration d’une économie verte.»

    Dans son discours, M. Higgs s’est fortement prononcé en défaveur d’un « vol intergénérationnel », qui reviendrait à voler l’avenir de nos enfants. M. Emberger relève, cependant, que « l’exemple le plus flagrant de cet enjeu n’est pas le lègue d’un fardeau fiscal, mais le laisser-aller face au changement climatique, l’utilisation de ressources non renouvelables et d’autres problèmes liés à la dégradation de l’environnement qui priveraient nos enfants et nos petits-enfants de la moindre chance de bénéficier d’une vie de qualité ». À cet égard, il a cité de nombreuses poursuites judiciaires intentées dans le monde entier concernant le changement climatique par, et pour, des enfants en vue de défendre le droit des prochaines générations de jouir d’une vie décente.

    Dans son discours, M. Higgs reconnaît que le changement climatique est un problème causé par les humains, et que nous devons travailler à y remédier, notamment en passant à une économie « verte » viable et susceptible de créer des emplois; des positions que l’AAGSNB soutient depuis longtemps.

    Il réclame, en outre, la désignation d’« un fonctionnaire de l’Assemblée législative responsable de la science et du changement climatique, qui serait également chargé de rétablir l’indépendance du système de santé public récemment démantelé ». M. Emberger, qui partage ces positions, a déclaré que « l’examen des données scientifiques et des connaissances sur la santé public liées au climat et au gaz de schiste va pleinement dans le sens de nos positions concernant ces enjeux ».

    Finalement, M. Emberger a affirmé que les membres de son organisation étaient heureux de constater l’attention accordée à notre relation avec les peuples autochtones, ainsi que la mise en place de la Commission de vérité et de réconciliation, mais a toutefois relevé que « comme toujours, il est difficile de savoir dans quelle mesure le gouvernement est sérieux, ou jusqu’où il est prêt à aller ».  

    Le ton conciliant du discours ainsi que la volonté affirmée de travailler avec les législateurs de tous les partis politiques pourraient constituer un bon moyen de gouverner, mais seulement si l’on permet la liberté des votes.

    En conclusion, M. Emberger a estimé que le ton du discours et les valeurs présentées étaient positifs, mais que les mesures qui en découleraient devaient être à la hauteur des balises établies; à cet égard, il a rappelé que « nous avons poursuivi en justice le gouvernement Alward sortant pour n’avoir pas tenu compte des données scientifiques, ni de la santé et de l’avenir de nos enfants, et que nous pouvons également poursuivre un autre gouvernement, y compris celui de M. Higgs. Nous espérons sincèrement que ce ne sera nécessaire ».

    Jim Emberger, porte-parole : cellulaire : 506 440-4255; courriel :shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com
    Denise Melanson, porte-parole (francophone) : cellulaire : 506-523-9467 ; courriel : inrexton2013@yahoo.ca



    Le 27 novembre 2012


    Le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick a accordé, gratuitement et sans consultation publique,et avant d’en avoir obtenu le consentement des Premières Nations, des licences permettant l’exploration du gaz de schiste sur 1,5 millions d’hectares de terres de la province, contrevenant ainsi à la Déclaration de 2007 des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones; et

    Le taux de rupture de tubage des puits, au cours de deux décennies, s’est situé entre 2 et 8 %, atteignant même 50 %, l’extraction du gaz de schiste par la méthode de la fracturation hydraulique constitue un risque inacceptable pour les puits d’eau potable, la couche aquifère, les lacs et cours d’eau, sans compter que cette industrie consomme des millions de gallons d’eau douce transformée en un produit résiduaire devant être traité avant d’être rejeté dans le milieu naturel; et

    Le processus de fracturation utilisé par l’industrie du gaz de schiste libère des fluides toxiques tels que du benzène, du carburant diésel, du kérosène, de la naphtalène et de l’antigel qui s’infiltrent dans l’eau par des fuites et des déversements et dans l’air par des émissions fugitives et la ventilation, mettant ainsi en péril les résidents de la province,les animaux d’élevage et les espèces sauvages, ainsi qu’une agriculture et des bassins hydrologiques essentiels; et

    Les collectivités où des activités de fracturation hydraulique ont eu lieu ont eu à faire face à des explosions, des incendies, des déversements, de la contamination de cours d’eau et de puits, ce qui a causé un risque accru pour les services d’incendie composés de bénévoles, les fournisseurs de soins de santé et de services de mesures d’urgence; et

    L’extraction du gaz de schiste à grande échelle et la mise en place des infrastructuresnécessaires à son activité -routes, plateformes de forage, canalisations, stations de compression - de même que la circulation d’équipement lourd, entraînant bruit, poussière et émissions, affectera la valeur des propriétés et augmentera le fardeau fiscal des Néo-Brunswickois, eux qui n’auront pourtant pas consenti aux activités de cette industrie;


    En 2011, environ 20 000 Néo-Brunswickois ont signé une pétition demandant de bannir l’octroi de permis pour l’extraction du gaz de schiste et l’extraction du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick;

    En novembre 2011, un sondage de CBC auprès de 1 800 Néo-Brunswickois indiquait que pour 80 % des répondants, les questions environnementales étaient plus importantes que les revenus que pourrait générer la fracturation hydraulique,que 74 % souhaitaient qu’on mette fin à l’exploration par fracturation hydraulique et que 61 % désiraient que la fracturation hydraulique soit interdite;

    Le rapport de M. Louis LaPierre (Ph.D.) publié en octobre 2012, La voie de l’avenir, ne reflète pas la volonté des gens telle qu’ils l’ont exprimée lors des assemblées publiques tenues en 2012 et que de plus, ces assemblées publiques n’ont pas fourni à M. LaPierre de preuves pour appuyer une opinion, à savoir si un moratoire sur le développement du gaz de schiste était justifié ou non;

    Le rapport de la DreEilishCleary publié en septembre 2012 et intitulé Recommandations du médecin-hygiéniste en chef sur l’exploitation du gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswickmentionne les paramètres nombreux et coûteux qui doivent être mis en place pour évaluer les impacts de la fracturation hydraulique sur la santé humaine avant que toute activité de fracturation n’ait lieu;

    Le Nouveau-Brunswick ne s’est pas doté d’une Charte des droits environnementaux qui reconnaîtrait l’eau comme un droit fondamental et garantirait à ses citoyens et à ceux des Premières Nations le droit à un environnement sain, comprenant de l’eau propre, de l’air pur et des sols non contaminés.

    Les prévisions de l’industrie du gaz de schiste par rapport aux emplois susceptibles d’être créés se sont avérées en général exagérées ailleurs, par exemple au Texas et que, de plus, les Néo-Brunswickois en général ne possèdent pas les habiletés et compétences recherchées par cette industrie, ce qui les confine à des emplois non spécialisés sur les sites de gaz de schiste;


    Qu’à la suite des objections émises par les populations, surtout par celles les plus directement touchées, la fracturation hydraulique a été bannie ou interdite dans plusieurs endroits dans le monde, avant tout à cause des son impact sur l’eau; et

    Que pour mettre en place les infrastructures nécessaires à cette industrie, il faudra procéder à des coupes à blanc, s’accommoder de la pollution par le bruit, incessant, et la lumière, qu’il y aura une augmentation de la circulation de camions et que des changements modifieront notre paysage à tout jamais, et que tout cela est incompatible avec des industries existantes comme la foresterie, la pêche, l’embauche de guides, l’agriculture, le tourisme, les activités récréatives qui toutes contribuent à l’économie du Nouveau-Brunswick; et

    Que des ressources qui pourraient être affectées au développement d’énergiesnon polluantes et renouvelables,comme l’énergie solaire, éolienne, géothermique, microcentrale hydrauliqueet autres ressources non destructives, seront utilisées pour se lancer dans l’extraction du gaz naturel – un combustible fossile qui contribue au réchauffement climatique –pour le libérer du shale dans lequel il est emprisonné; et

    Que des rencontres privées entre le gouvernement et des groupes de l’industrie, défrayées par les contribuables, telles que la Conférence Exploration et exploitation minière et pétrolière au Nouveau-Brunswick 2012 qui a eu lieu à Fredericton du 4 au 6 novembre 2012, ont pour effet de décourager les Néo-Brunswickoisde s’exprimer contre le développement du combustible fossile et d’empêcher d’autres solutions de se développer et de se réaliser.


    Que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick entreprenne dès aujourd’hui un programme de réorientation destiné à réduire la consommation totale d’énergie, à promouvoir l’efficacité énergétique et à choisir des sources d’énergie renouvelables de préférence à des sources épuisables, et ce, en transférant toutes les subventions du charbon aux ressources durables et renouvelables, et en les augmentant; et

    Que la production et la livraison de l’énergie soient repensées de manière à répondre aux besoins de la population du Nouveau-Brunswick, et non pour que notre énergie soit exportée ou gérée par des intérêts transnationaux ou contrôlée par la consommation industrielle, et

    Que l’on favorise des solutions de rechange durables, à plus petite échelle et provenant d’ici. Ce revirement exige d’interdire immédiatement tout forage de schiste et en général d’interdire l’extraction des hydrocarbures par des méthodes non éprouvées qui présentent trop de risques pour l’environnement et la santé; et

    Que le gouvernement engage un dialogue sérieux et constructif avec les intervenants sociaux et environnementaux afin de dresser une liste de toutes les possibilités à exploiter, en tenant compte de la dette et du déficit de la province, afin d’éliminer une fois pour toutes le gaz de schiste comme unique solution; et

    Que le gouvernement accepte que la population du Nouveau-Brunswick exerce son droit à la désobéissance civile pour s’opposer à la destruction de son environnement, et pour protéger ses moyens de survie, sa qualité de vie et sa santé; et

    Que le gouvernement donne la priorité à l’adoption d’une déclaration des droits environnementaux, enchâssant ainsi les droits des citoyens à de l’air pur, à de l’eau propre et à des terres non contaminées, pour le bien des générations actuelles et futures.

    Signéeen ce 27e jour de novembre 2012
  • Economic fear mongering is alive and well

    Economic fear mongering is alive and well

    The Daily Gleaner - Letters to the editor, 23 January 2013



    Re: Shale gas development


    Curiously, Minister of Health Ted Flemming, Dr. LaPierre, geologist Adrian Park and some letter-to–the-editor writers use identical language to claim that opponents of shale gas rely on inaccurate data from the film Gasland, and indulge in hysterical fear mongering.


    How dishonest, hypocritical and desperate! Unable to convince the public about the wonders of shale gas, they attempt to discredit the opposition.


    Gasland served as a wake-up call several years ago, but has been superseded by much history and science. I can’t remember any public forum in two years where it was cited as a reference.


    Shale opponents cite Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, international expert in rock fracturing, peer-reviewed scientific studies in prestigious journals, the US EPA, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, government records of violations, and the industry’s own reports of failure.


    We cite the only long-term public health study by the University of Colorado, and The Endocrine Disruption Exchange on the toxicity of fracking chemicals. We point to the scholarly report done by New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Eilesh Cleary, which notes that we know almost nothing about shale’s public health threats.


    Recent peer-reviewed studies from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado are cited showing that shale worsens climate-change.


    Economists, financial analysts, science-based non-profit organizations, and the testimonies of people affected by shale gas from across North America are our sources. We’ve brought many expert speakers to the New Brunswick public.


    Where are the voices for the pro side? We hear only from gas-producing interests. Where are the independent studies proving that wells don’t leak, that water doesn’t get contaminated and air isn’t polluted, that there are no health problems, that methane isn’t leaking, that fracking chemicals aren’t toxic/carcinogenic, that roads aren’t destroyed, that quality of life doesn’t suffer, that shale gas’s boom and bust economic shell game doesn’t leave a place worse off? The silence is deafening.


    We offered to debate publicly, but government and industry were no-shows.


    The government merely repeats the totally false and unsupported idea that shale gas is our only economic hope. Talk about fear mongering propaganda.

    Jim Emberger
    Taymouth, N.B. 
  • First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

    First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

    [In response to Shale Study Finds Opportunities for NB and report comissioned by the New Brunswick Business Council: nbbc-cenb.ca/en/blog/shale-study-finds-opportunities-for-nb]

    Fredericton NB - The communications committee for the alliance of community groups opposed to shale gas asked Jim Emberger for a first response to the NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas.

    Jim Emberger, a resident of Taymouth NB and a retired software developer says: “The most striking point is that this report proves that if you pay a consulting firm they will produce a positive report for you regardless of how weak and conditional the conclusions are. “

    "Below are my first comments to the questionnaire that was used, the supporting data they used, the conclusions that were drawn, and their review of current regulations and their lack of assessment of costs incurred by road damage” Mr. Emberger continues.

    On the questionnaire and subsequent conclusions:

    Right off the bat, there was a response rate on their questionnaire of 16% and they calculate the report has an 11% margin of error on those few points where the report can even make a comment, because of the small response rate. I’m not a pollster or statistician, but I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on that foundation.

    On the supporting data:

    The report uses some outdated data to support some of its statements. On the outlook of unproven technically recoverable gas, it cites a 2010 EIA report showing 1,931 trillion cubic feet in North America – the source of the famous 100 years of natural gas comment. However, the EIA recently revised that figure downward by 42% in the US, meaning at best a 24-year supply.

    I don’t have figures on Canada itself, but it is undoubtedly similar. The revisions mirror the actual production figures recently calculated for 65,000 shale wells by Canadian energy analyst David Hughes (Drill, Baby, Drill Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance – David Hughes, 2/13)

    The real life accounting of wells by David Hughes, (also Deborah Rogers and Art Berman and others) show that existing shale plays peak in about 4 years on average, with individual wells depleting by 79% to 95% in three years. Entire plays deplete at an annual average of 30% to 50%. So despite drilling thousands of new wells, terminal decline starts rather quickly and it is inconceivable that shale plays will last anywhere near the 6-25 years mentioned in the report. Remember that shale gas is barely a decade old, and that the figures used for longevity are based on conventional gas wells. Virtually all plays older than 5 years are in decline.

    The report also cites consulting firm IHS CERA for predictions about how much royalty money will flow by the year 2030. Unfortunately, IHS CERA has one of the worst records of long term predictions anywhere. It’s long term predictions for oil from their reports of the early 2000’s stated that oil production would soar to millions of more barrels a day, and that we would now be paying between $30 and $40 a barrel. Instead, the price has been $100 a barrel or more for many years, and supply has not increased since 2005.

    The use of GDP as a measure of benefits is flawed as things like road repair, environmental clean-up and legal action would all increase GDP, while actually illustrating negative consequences for NB citizens.

    The Conclusions:

    The figures for Full time equivalent jobs (FTE) per well based on a One Well model can be misinterpreted. One cannot simply take the figure of 21.5 FTE jobs per well and multiply it by the number of wells to get how many people will be employed. Most jobs are portable, meaning that a few drilling crews go from well to well, thus not increasing the number of employees, only the FTE statistics.

    Since they did not explain the one-well model in the paper, I may have misinterpreted it, but it is something that the press should question.

    The report also supports our contention that except for a few geologist type jobs, most jobs for NB’ers would be truck driving and security type jobs.

    The conclusions note that gas companies have many existing relationships with existing suppliers and trained employees. This confirms what we have been saying about the benefits to NB.

    Regulatory review:

    They compared NB to BC, Alberta, Colorado and Arkansas. First, BC and Alberta’s gas plays are in the boondocks generally – many miles from anywhere. Alberta, as noted by the report, is new to shale and is only now addressing new regulations for it. For example, they do not currently require testing of water wells for a frack.

    Arkansas, one of the first shale plays, has been playing catch-up, as production started with few regs. Correspondents from there have told us to stop shale before it starts, because regulations always lag damages.

    Colorado – the only long-term health study from the Univ. of Colorado showed the states regs to be inadequate to protecting public health. As extraction moves into populated areas, friction between local governments and state government is increasing.

    Geologically, none of these areas resemble NB. Pennsylvania is probably the closest analogue, but was not considered. The main point continues to be that all those areas continue to have widespread problems despite a variety of regs.

    Road repair paid for by companies?

    It is interesting to note that the report claims the cost estimate for road damage cannot be determined yet, but that the government regulations “contemplate” that companies will be responsible for these costs. We haven’t found any direct reference to this in the new government rules. Furthermore, shale oil and gas income from royalties have been shown in other jurisdictions to be way less than the costs incurred by accompanying road damage.

    For example, since 2009, Arkansas has taken in approximately $182M in royalties but estimates its road damage from drilling to be $450M. This is not surprising, as it takes over 1,000 loaded trucks to bring one gas well into production, plus 350 loaded trucks per year formaintenance, and another 1,000 loaded trucks for each additional frack.

  • Fredericton No Shale Gas Parade Launches Municipal Blue Ribbon Campaign

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        PRESS RELEASE                        APRIL 3, 2012


    Fredericton, N.B., Canada - The movement against shale gas development is moving into the municipalities. Citizens in Fredericton are asking their municipal candidates for Mayor and Councilors to take a stand on protecting the city’s air and water.  To launch this election initiative, a parade of cars and trucks, followed by bicycles and pedestrians, will travel through downtown Fredericton this Thursday, April 5th at 12 noon.

    People will gather at the parking lot beside the Old Burial Grounds at 51 Woodstock Road. The action will begin at 12 noon. The route will proceed down King Street, around the New Brunswick Legislature, and then up Queen Street to Fredericton City Hall. Vehicles and people will be decked out in blue balloons, blue ribbons, blue streamers, blue water jugs, and lots of signs. This parade will be the official launch of the Blue Ribbon Campaign here in Fredericton.

    The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a grassroots action that is spreading to villages, towns, and cities across New Brunswick. With the growing enthusiasm of this campaign, organizers foresee similar actions throughout New Brunswick during the lead-up to municipal elections. The colour blue symbolizes that citizens will be voting for the Mayor and Councilor candidates who include in their platform a Ban or Moratorium on shale gas development.  On May 14th we will be voting for change.  Elected representatives and candidates will be invited to join the parade and publicly demonstrate that they will stand up to protect our air and water.

    “The cost to human health, our air and water, our global climate, and our local economy are simply too great to remain quiet. Regulations are unable to protect us from the certainty of air pollution in the low-lying valley of Fredericton. And the aquifer from which we draw our drinking water extends far outside the Fredericton city limits into large tracts of shale gas exploration areas”, says Fredericton resident Sarah Boucher. “It is time for health and business organizations, churches, and politicians to speak up and join the largest grassroots movement that New Brunswick has ever seen.”

    “Politics has no place in human health and safety. Almost all municipalities in New Brunswick have not taken an official stand on shale gas.  Pressure from citizens has caused Minto, Hampton, Sackville, and Sussex Corner to hold Council votes and all four now have a moratorium or ban in place. It is time for Fredericton to do the same”, says Fredericton resident Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.

    Low turnout in most municipal elections means that seats can be won or lost by only a few hundred votes or less. Many seats are won by acclamation.  In the last Quadrennial Municipal Elections on May 12, 2008, the average voter turnout was forty-eight percent for contested municipal and rural community elections (a low of twenty-eight percent and a high of seventy-seven percent).  One hundred and seventy candidates (170) ran for one hundred and four mayoral (104) positions; Eight hundred and eighty-nine (889) candidates ran for five hundred and thirty-seven (537) council positions; Fifty-three (53) mayors and one hundred and ten (110) councilors were elected by acclamation.

    “Let's put our local councilors on notice that they need to speak up and protect our air and water,” says organizer Mark D’Arcy. “Election date is May 14, 2012.”

    Media Contacts:


    Mark D’Arcy
    Tel. 506 454 5119


    Terry Wishart
    Tel. 506 238 4001

  • How low is the Alward Government prepared to stoop?

    How low is the Alward Government prepared to stoop?

    Non-violent civil disobedience is no match for thumper trucks. Twelve New Brunswick activists found this out the hard way, after being arrested Friday morning. This brings to 20 the number arrested in the past two weeks.

    While partaking in a sunrise ceremony in a roadside field at the intersection of highways 116 and 126 in rural New Brunswick, many ran onto the road to prevent thumper trucks from passing by the area where a sacred fire had been burning since Wednesday.

    Thumper trucks are being used by SWN Resources Canada to detect the presence of shale gas deep beneath the Earth’s surface.

    According to scientific evidence, shale gas extraction leads to degradation of land, water, and air.

    Among those arrested was pipe-carrying St. Mary’s Maliseet Ron Tremblay, a respected elder and spiritual leader in his community. The pipe carries the same meaning as the rosary in the Catholic faith.

    Although disappointing, these new arrests should come as no surprise to any who have been following the Alward government’s handling of this file. With not a single word mentioned about shale gas in the Progressive Conservative’s 2010 party platform, the Alward government has no clear mandate to pursue shale gas exploration and mining.

    Yet, this government has refused (with the exception of one riding) to consult with Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals on this issue.

    It has ignored petitions sent to its members in the Legislative Assembly asking for it to cease and desist.

    It even tried to suppress a report produced on the health effects of this industry by its own public health officer.

    And now, it is being complicit in the arrest of an Aboriginal spiritual leader whose only crime was having to resort to non-violent civil disobedience in order to protect what is sacred for all of us—our land, water, and air.

    New Brunswickers deserve far better than this. An information session on shale gas mining is being organized Wednesday, June 19th at the Club 50 Plus, Route 535 in Cocagne starting at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.
  • INFORMATION PRIMER-Walk For A Ban On Fracking

    Public Release

    Q. Why this protest?

    A. Over the last year, the NB government has not given any indication that it is willing to ban or impose a moratorium on hydrofracking, despite mounting evidence on the threats it poses. We want to remind our government in the opening of the Legislature that the people of NB have not given their consent to go ahead with this industry, and that we still demand an immediate stop to any further exploration or development.

    Q. What is the big deal about hydro-fracking?

    A. Fracking is an inherently contaminating industrial process that injects trillions of liters of water laced with toxic chemicals at enormous pressure to break apart rock and release hydrocarbons from underground formations such as shale and sandstone. Part of this toxic water, which may afterwards contain heavy metals and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) from the rock it opened, flows back to the well head and has to be tracked out and treated for safe disposal. NB lacks any such treatment facility, and even if it existed, there is no way to treat NORMs.

    Q. Are there other concerns?

    A. Yes. We are talking about unconventional gas (and possibly oil) reserves than can only be exploited through a massive network of wellpads spaced every mile or so and that will require clear-cutting, 24-hour noise and light pollution, huge amounts of truck traffic (and thus accidents and road damage) and permanent alterations of the landscape of rural NB. Furthermore, many of these wells are statistically bound to fail and leak methane and other compounds through the well casing, thus contaminating groundwater. The air quality of the entire area is also bound to decrease through toxic emissions from the well operations, which include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause cancer.

    Q. How can you tell that the people have not given their consent?

    A. In the first place, there is no explicit mention of shale gas in the PC 2010 electoral platform. There is a just a call for ’responsible‘ development of NB Natural Gas reserves. Given the available evidence, ‘responsible’ would be to apply the precautionary principle and call for a moratorium as the government of Quebec has done. So they are not even honouring the call in their platform.

    Second: In November last year a petition for a ban on shale gas that nearly 20,000 people signed was tabled at the Legislature, which, by the way, were completely ignored. This is the largest collection of signatures that has ever taken place in NB on an environmental issue.

    And third, a year ago, a CBC poll of 1,800 New Brunswickers indicated that 80 percent thought environmental concerns outweigh the desire for revenue from hydro-fracking; 74 percent thought hydro-fracking should not continue, and 61 percent called for a total ban on fracking. So it is clear they cannot get the people’s consent, that’s probably why they haven’t asked for it yet.

    Q. But Dr. Louis LaPierre ruled out a moratorium in his report and calls for a phased approach, what do you have to say about this?

    A. Dr. LaPierre based his recommendation on a false assumption, namely that evidence from other jurisdictions cannot be extrapolated to New Brunswick and therefore we need to allow the industry to experiment here. What we see through the facts is that different shale plays behave very similarly both in the economics, which are systematically hyped, and in the environment, where problems are continuously surfacing. It is absurd to think that the NB case will not follow this pattern.

    Q. But couldn’t this pattern be reversed by the tough regulations the Government has promised?

    A. Unfortunately, regulations have no effect on human error or the laws of physics and chemistry. In other words, no regulations can prevent a blowout, a spill or a truck crash, or, accidents apart, the cement casing of a well to deteriorate with time and leak, or the VOCs emitted from a wellsite to travel for tens of kilometers around. In any case, rather than strengthening existing regulations, the government is dismantling them through the introduction of loopholes in environmental legislation that in fact make way for the shale gas industry.

    Q. This gutting of legislation is a serious accusation, can you please elaborate?

    A. On March 16, 2011, then Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney introduced a Natural Resources wetland map that does not show more than 60% of the wetlands in NB, breaking the province's own regulations on wetlands protection and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).

    On July 13, 2011, Minister Blaney notified a network of 19 watershed groups that their 10-year project work to develop a Water Classification Program was dropped because the regulations would be too difficult to enforce. This would have provided the regulatory framework for watershed protection. On November 13, 2012, Minister Bruce Fitch received final public input on their plans to exempt shale gas operations from the provincial Clean Air Act.

    Q. Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has recently pointed to the shale gas industry as an area the province could tap into for additional revenue to tackle the debt. Also, Premier Alward said on November 7th at the Minerals and Petroleum Conference in Fredericton that "Shale gas is our only path to prosperity". Do you agree with them?

    Absolutely not. Government bases these prospects on hyped industry estimates. Data from the US now show that the frenzy of drilling for shale gas in many states has not been the economic boom that industry claimed. In a study that Deborah Rogers, a renowned financial analyst, showed in her recent talk in Fredericton on the 40 counties that have been heavily drilled in the three major shale gas plays in the US, almost all of these counties had a median income, retail sales and employment rates below their State average.

    She also showed that shale plays are not as consistent and uniform as assumed. Only 2 out of 10 wells are profitable in the average shale play, and the rate of production decline is much steeper than what industry claims (on average, 60 to 80% of the total production of a well occurs in the 1st year, and by the 5th year, most wells are unproductive). Can this really be a stable source of jobs and revenues?

    Q. But don’t you think some readers may question whether your information is also biased, against industry?

    A. There is already a wealth of scientific information and journalistic investigations that support our claim that fracking is neither safe nor economic. Interested readers can weigh by themselves for example the thousands of pages of documents gathered by the New York Times under the heading 'federal officials quietly question shale gas'. What is incredible is that we are still fighting this, given the appalling evidence against the practice that is already available.

    Q. How many people do you expect will join the protest?

    Hundreds have already committed to attend through social media, and the list is growing by the day. In addition, we have over 20 community groups, 4 student groups, 6 NGOs such as the NB Lung Association and the Council of Canadians, 3 unions (CUPE, national farmers union, and Distric Labour Council), and two political parties (NDP and Greens) that are joining. These represent tens of thousands of New Brunswickers and are a real cross-section of both rural and urban NB.

    Q. What would you say to someone considering joining the walk?

    A. If you are considering joining, then you probably already understand that the shale gas industry threatens our future. Our government has been co-opted by this industry and trumpets that it can be made safe with tough regulations, while in fact gutting existing ones and that it will bring jobs and prosperity.

    To top it off, they are not listening to New Brunswickers by ignoring our petitions and calls. This is a slap in the face to Democracy that we have to make loudly visible in the streets, so that others may become aware of it.

    And if they already are, then there are hundreds of fellow citizens that feel the same way. Knowing that someone else has the same views you do and is experiencing the same outrage as you is an extremely empowering experience. Come and walk with us!
  • Keep fracking ban to slow climate change


    July 24, 2018  Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript

    It was gratifying to see a recent article acknowledging that climate change has already changed our weather, and that weather-related problems will become ever more frequent and severe (“Not... our grandparents’ weather, July 14, A2).

    In the piece, a senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, David Phillips, laid out in no-nonsense terms that New Brunswickers will be challenged to adapt to our increasingly confused climate.

    Warnings and good advice about adapting are a necessary discussion, but the real conversation we need to be having on climate change is about preventing the growing threats from a changed climate.

    It’s not as if there is some mysterious force wrecking the climate, with nothing we can do besides learning to live with it. Rather, it is undeniable that the climate-change culprit is our burning of fossil fuels, and the way to slow climate damage is to simply burn fewer of them.

    This elementary and obvious policy solution, however, seems impossible for some to publicly acknowledge. Perhaps, that’s because once you acknowledge a fact, then you must act on that knowledge even if it is uncomfortable.

    Mr. Phillips could have painted an even darker picture. Numerous studies show the climate is changing faster than originally thought and will result in an even hotter world. This past month’s global heat wave shattered temperature records worldwide, often by double digits. Fifty-four people died in Quebec as a result of the heat wave.

    It’s a foreshadowing that should focus our minds, much like the record-breaking floods in New Brunswick. Adaptation to such catastrophes will certainly be necessary, but there are limits to adaptation, especially if conditions continually get worse.

    How many times can you raise the height of a dike, seawall or house on stilts? For trees destroyed by tropical storms, ice storms, warmer temperatures and an ever-growing list of invasive species, it’s too late to adapt.

    And when it’s too hot to work (or even exist) outdoors, adaptation has reached its end, as it is already has in some places. The only long-term solution is to keep conditions from getting worse, and that means reducing our use of fossil fuels.

    Recently, I asked Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs how his plans to lift the moratorium on fracking and promote a shale gas industry fit into plans to combat climate change. It was actually a trick question, because there is only one answer: To slow climate change we cannot exploit any new fossil fuels, and we must leave much of what we have already discovered in the ground.

    This reality now drives global economic trends, which cast doubt on the wisdom of any new fossil fuel investments.

    New studies predict that the plunging cost of renewable energy, advances in battery storage, electric vehicles and energy-efficiency measures will reduce the demand for fossil fuels so significantly that $1 trillion dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure will become worthless by 2035.

    If governments act to reduce emissions as well, the losses grow to $4 trillion dollars and the timetable is shortened by years.

    The U.S. and Canada would be the biggest losers in this scenario because they produce the most expensive fossil fuels – fracked oil and gas, and oil sands. New Brunswick is fortunate to not have much existing unconventional fossil fuel infrastructure at risk.

    But the Atlantica Centre for Energy and Encana claim that now is the time to build a shale gas infrastructure, because current supplies from Nova Scotia will soon run out, leaving 8,600 buildings without gas.

    The obvious rebuttal to this argument is to simply buy gas from elsewhere. But an even better answer is that most gas customers can switch to cleaner sources of energy, which they will eventually have to do anyway. The government and NB Power could even assist in their transition, as part of climate, innovation and energy-efficiency programs.

    In any case, New Brunswick has 319,773 private dwellings and 30,164 businesses. Simple math shows that 8,600 gas-using buildings make up only two per cent of the total. This hardly makes a case for undertaking the huge financial, health and environmental risks of building a new shale gas industry.

    Ireland and Scotland also have fracking moratoriums. Ireland just decided to disinvest all government funds from fossil fuel projects, and Scotland is debating whether to even accept fracked gas from other countries.

    Canada, however, remains among the world’s top three contributors to climate change on a per person basis, due to the high greenhouse gas emissions of our unconventional fossil fuel industries.

    Surely, our New Brunswick moratorium makes the moral statement that “we” at least won’t make things worse for our children, the world and ourselves.

    Keeping the moratorium not only protects us from fracking’s many threats to our health and the environment. It also helps slow climate change, and keeps us from making an unnecessary and seriously self-destructive fiscal decision.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB.ca).
  • LaPierre Report More Opinion Than Science

    [Letter to Editor, The Daily Gleaner October 26 2012]

    LaPierre Report Is More Opinion Than Science


    I take issue with the recent Gleaner editorial – In our view: Shale gas report is a welcome dose of rationality, science.


    First, I don’t see the report itself as any kind of science. There are no references included and the main content of the report does not even accurately reflect the conclusions.


    Even a high school science report must include references and have a conclusion that consolidates the information in the body of the report. All one has to do is compare the Cleary health report, with Dr. LaPierre’s, to see how a credible science based government report should be written.


    Second, just like our government, the conclusion does not propose any alternatives to not going down the boom bust fossil fuel path. These alternatives were briefly mentioned in the body of the report and talked about by many at the public sessions.


    Some of the most successful countries in the world are well on the way to a successful carbon free sustainable economy. It is only a matter of time before every jurisdiction will need to go down this path as fossil fuels – by definition – will not last forever. Early adopters will be in the advantaged position of being world leaders that others will come to as they try to catch up.


    Third, we still have no proof that there are any financial benefits to New Brunswickers (or anyone for that matter) for going down this path. The government has no business plan for this industry that considers all the costs including regulation, health and social costs. We have no clue if the revenue potential will cover all of the costs. This is remarkable considering the business approach that is being used to rationalize continual government cost cutting.  


    Until this costing is done do we want to spend any more public dollars on something that may very well cost us big? A credible report would task the government with first costing this industry before any more development dollars are spent.


    I therefore do not consider Dr. LaPierre’s report to be either rational or scientific.

    Garth Hood

  • Let’s close the door on shale gas development once and for all

    New Post from New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

    Let’s close the door on shale gas development once and for all

    Commentary by Jim Emberger (Fredericton Gleaner, Nov 23, 2016) We applaud the Gallant government’s decision to amend the Clean Environment Act to ban the disposal of fracking wastewater in municipal and provincial sewage treatment systems.    The scientific studies behind the decision have long noted that municipal wastewater systems were not…

    Read more …

  • Letter of Support: Notice of Eviction to SWN Resources Canada from the Signigtog Territory

    August 2, 2013

    Noel Augustine, Geptin

    Mi’kmaq Grand Council

    Signigtog District,

    New Brunswick

    Dear Geptin Augustine:

    We the undersigned community groups stand with you in serving this Notice of Eviction to SWN Resources Canada and any subsidiary company or contractor engaged in shale gas exploration or development in the Territory of Signigtog.

    The government of New Brunswick has acted all along in a unilateral, undemocratic manner. It has made no attempt to consult with your people. It has ignored your declarations, your rights and titles.

    It has refused to listen to the grassroots movement which gains ground every day. It has refused to make a health risk assessment even though its Chief Medical Officer has strongly suggested one. It ignores the compelling evidence that unconventional shale gas mining threatens our health, our environment and the well being of future generations.

    But though the government of New Brunswick acts as if we do not exist, it works hand in glove with Southwestern Energy Company (SWN). Its latest gesture of goodwill gave this company permission to test across our wetlands and watercourse buffers in eight counties.

    Under these circumstances when democratic processes are cast aside, when we are being forced to choose between hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and health, it is an honour to stand with you and your people.

    In Solidarity we are:

    Conservation Council of NB

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton

    Council of Canadians, Saint John

    Darlings Island Nauwigewauk Fracking Intervention

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking

    Friends of Mt. Carelton

    Friends of the UNB Woodlot

    Memramcook Action

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking

    Tantramar Alliance Against Hydro-Fracking

    Upriver Environment Watch

    Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County

  • Letter to Premier from Ecumenical Justice Group: Shale gas is not a solution

    Hon. David Alward

    Premier of New Brunswick

    PO Box 6000

    Fredericton, NB

    E3B 5H1

    September 19, 2013

    Dear Premier Alward:

     The Saint John and Area KAIROS is a local group affiliated with KAIROS Canada: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, linking, Anglicans, Lutherans, Mennonites, Presbyterians, Quakers, Roman Catholics and United Church members from across Canada in “Faithful Action for Justice and Peace”. 

     Since this is a Christian organization, we hold before us the life and work of Jesus when grappling with present day peace and social justice issues.  “What would Jesus do?” is a question easily tossed about, but when taken seriously, demands honest, critical study, thought, and prayer.   It is only after such work that our local KAIROS group writes to you concerning the exploration for, and extraction of, shale gas in New Brunswick.  

     God’s gift of creation is rooted in the interdependence of all living things.  When decisions are being made that place the economy above the integrity of creation, it is time to speak and to act. 

    "We are proud to join with New Brunswickers: Aboriginal, English, French, all concerned citizens alike who are calling to account the practices of the gas industry before God’s creation suffers further wounding, under the guise of progressive economic advancement"

    We appreciate the seriousness of New Brunswick’s financial situation; however, we do not feel the exploration and extraction of shale gas is a supportable solution.  An industry that threatens our water, both ground water and municipal water supplies for future generations, an industry that does not disclose the chemicals injected into the ground nor its plan for dealing with the millions of liters of polluted water when brought back to the surface, an industry that evokes high carbon dioxide emissions, an industry that is driven by corporations from away that will go away, leaving communities devastated, soil contaminated, air and water polluted is not an industry that New Brunswickers want or deserve.    

     Experience has shown that multinational corporations, when called to account, wield their power and wealth to silence or suppress local citizens in their attempts to obtain justice.  The hydraulic fracturing method of gas extraction takes place in rural areas where rallying significant opposition and launching  costly law suits against big business is difficult, if not impossible . The Kingdom of God that Jesus announced is a shared way of life in which powerless people are given preferential attention. 

    We are proud to join with New Brunswickers:  Aboriginal, English, French, all concerned citizens alike who are calling to account the practices of the gas industry before God’s creation suffers further wounding, under the guise of progressive economic advancement.           



    Rev. Mary Wanamaker

    For Saint John and Area KAIROS

  • Letter to the New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission from the Maliseet Grand Council

    Attention: The New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission

    Ancient Voices

    We are totally dependent on the Earth for life, and because of the arrogance of a superiority attitude, western society is headed in the wrong direction. As a consequence, climate change is here and people are in a panic. Grandchildren are asking, “What will happen to me?”

    What 200 year old prophesies said has now come to pass. People have disobeyed the natural laws of the universe, and are stubbornly determined to ignore the voices of reason and truth. The Earth governs all life here, and she will have no mercy.

    The Wolastokewinobk (Maliseet Grand Council) is the traditional decision-making structure of the Wolastokewiyik - the people of the beautiful river. We are the river people, indigenous to the entire St. John River watershed. Our Grand Council is made up of our clans, from the oldest to the youngest. We send these words to your commission on behalf of our extended families, as well as the deer, the moose, birds, fishes, and all other living things within our traditional territories. Our lands and waters have never been ceded or surrendered, therefore we are still the title holders.

    Canada, New Brunswick and big business have and continue to exploit and expropriate our traditional lands and resources amounting to categorical infringement on our right to use our land and hunt, fish, and gather. Currently the following industries are infringing on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights:
    • All attempts to further the industry of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in our territory must stop immediately.
    First of all our people have not been adequately consulted, and in fact we have been abused and punished for taking a stand to protect our sacred lands and waters. Secondly, traditional stories in our language tell us of a time when there was great flooding on the river and the reversing falls was caused by an ancient earthquake. There is also historical evidence of major fault lines through the centre of our territory from earlier earth quakes which is what caused salt water lakes to form all the way up to central parts of the Province of New Brunswick. It is well known that ‘fracking’ causes earthquakes to happen, because of the lubricated, chemically laced cocktail that is pumped into the ground under extremely high pressure. There is too much of a risk to allow fracturing to take place here and we do not support this destructive industry. We request that you to put a stop to this detrimental activity in our homeland.
    • The Irving Forestry Companies have not only clear cut our forests, they are also spraying poisonous carcinogenic herbicides such as glyphosate all over ‘our land,’ to kill hardwood trees, and other green vegetation. Both human and animal health is at serious risk, not to mention leaving no food for the animals.
    Streams, brooks and creeks are drying up, causing the dwindling of Atlantic salmon and trout. Places where our people gather medicines, hunt deer and moose are being contaminated with poison. We were not warned about the use of these dangerous herbicides, but then cancer rates have been on the rise in Maliseet communities, especially breast cancers in women and younger people are dying from cancer.
    • Open Pit Mining for tungsten and molybdenum is another infringement on the rights of our people – archeology shows that our people have been there around 7000 years – the oldest period found in the heart of New Brunswick.
    This is Maliseet traditional territory and we have not been consulted. Open pit mines require tailing ponds, this one designated to be the largest in the world. It is well known that all tailing ponds have a high probability to breach their bounds, and definitely will seep out into the environment. A spill or leak from the Sisson Brook open pit mine will permanently contaminate the Nashwaak River, which is a tributary of the Wolastok (St. John River) and surrounding waterways. This is the only place left clean enough for the survival of the Atlantic salmon.
    • Oil pipelines and refineries are also among the current abominable schemes, bent on contaminating and destroying the very last inch of (Wblastokok) Maliseet territory.
    The above mentioned industries are just another layer of infringements on the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Wolastokewiyik. Rivers, lakes, streams, and lands have been contaminated already to the point that we are unable to gather our annual supply of fiddleheads, and medicines. This territory has never been ceded or surrendered by our people – yet not an inch of our land has been spared for our traditional use. Government and industry blindly and carelessly proceed to exploit and misappropriate Indigenous lands and resources to the point of extreme damage and destruction, and continue to ignored the concerns and protests of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick.

    The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that all levels of government have a “duty to consult with aboriginal people” prior to the beginning of any project, or any other kind of land use, that would cause an infringement on the Indigenous rights of our people.

    The Wolastokewiyik (Maliseet People) - the Title Holders - have not been consulted on any of the above projects. Therefore governments and/or companies do not have our consent to proceed with hydro-fracturing, open pit mining, or the building of pipelines for gas and oil bitumen, on or across our traditional lands and waters.

    The duty to consult has become a meaningless process. Companies meet with INAC Chiefs, who’s jurisdiction is limited to within each of their respective reserves. Individuals are given a power point presentation, and then told the next step is accommodation. Question: then to the chief - What do you want?

    The majority of the people do not go to these meetings due to the manipulation of the process, and the lack of regard for collective rights. Collective rights require collective discussion and collective decision-making. The closest interpretation of our treaty and aboriginal right to consultation is written in international law: Free, Prior and informed consent.

    In conclusion, humans are supposed to be responsible and intelligent beings, who were given instruction on how to live on the earth.

    One of the oldest teachings about how to live on the land – “ wihkwelan tehpo eli powalbkw wblam keti sepowsowipbn” itbm Kelowbskap.” Take only what you need in order to live. Maintaining the balance of nature is the way to live on the earth. Arrogance is why we are going in the wrong direction. If we do not follow the spiritual laws of the universe, nature will take over. There will be no mercy in nature, only law.

    It is the Earth that governs life here – all life comes from the earth. You can have no value for resources that have been stolen. Greed, selfishness, and foolishness have taken over, and they have no value at all for life. Why else have become the enemy of the earth?

    Business as usual is over. Oil and Carbon is over. We will pay for damages by what is coming. Economies will be wrecked. If we continue to disregard the laws of nature the Earth will bring about the balance herself, through diseases, crisis events – etc. We have to change the way of living.


    Alma H. Brooks
    Grandmother, The Maliseet Grand Council

    October 15, 2015
  • Lettre d'appui: Présentation d’un avis d’expulsion à SWN Resources Canada à partir le territoire Signigtog

    2 Août 2013

    Noel Augustine, Geptin

    Grand conseil des Mi’kmaq

    District de Signigtog,



    Cher Geptin Augustine,

    Nous, les groupes communautaires soussignés, appuyons votre présentation d’un avis d’expulsion à SWN Resources Canada et à toutes ses compagnies subsidiaires ou entrepreneurs impliqués dans l’exploration ou l’extraction des gaz de schiste dans le territoire Signigtog.

    Le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick a agi d’une façon unilatérale et antidémocratique. Il n’a fait aucun effort pour consulter votre peuple. Il n’a pas tenu compte de vos déclarations, de vos droits et de vos titres fonciers.

    Il a refusé d’écouter le mouvement populaire qui prend de l’ampleur chaque jour. Il a refusé d’entreprendre une évaluation des risques pour la santé même si le médecin hygiéniste en chef l’avait fortement suggéré. Il ignore les preuves accablantes que l’extraction non conventionnelle des gaz de schiste menace notre santé, notre environnement et le bienêtre des futures générations.

    Mais, bien que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick agisse comme si nous n’existions pas, il travaille main dans la main avec la Southwestern Energy Company (SWN). Son dernier geste de bonne volonté a consisté à accorder la permission de forer dans nos terres humides et dans les zones tampons de nos cours d’eau dans huit comtés.

    Compte tenu de ces circonstances où les processus démocratiques sont carrément mis à l’écart et que nous nous voyons forcés de choisir entre l’extraction des gaz et du pétrole par fracturation hydraulique ou notre santé, c’est pour nous un honneur de vous appuyer personnellement et soutenir les revendications de votre peuple.

    Solidaires avec vous :

    Conservation Council of NB

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton

    Council of Canadians, Saint John

    Darlings Island Nauwigewauk Fracking Intervention

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking

    Friends of Mt. Carelton

    Friends of the UNB Woodlot

    Memramcook Action

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking

    Tantramar Alliance Against Hydro-Fracking

    Upriver Environment Watch

    Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County

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