• 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.”
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  • Oil, Water, Land and Air

    For the small community of Stoney Creek, oil drilling has been part of rural life for over 100 years. When water tests revealed methane, diesel and barium in a resident’s well water, local community members were not surprised. Many residents get their drinking water from uncontaminated springs or bottled water. However, interest is rising around the contamination, especially after NDP leader Dominic Cardy called for a moratorium on drilling in Stoney Creek, in response to the test results. The findings of laboratory technicians, who were able to light the water on fire, is consistent with community members’ stories about lighting matches at the faucet.

    The story of Stoney Creek is emerging just before New Brunswick Day celebrations around the importance of clean air, land and water. Citizens are coming together in Fredericton on August 6 for a series of events. Click here for more information and to see the full schedule.

  • Open Letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy

    August 9 2023


    Mike Holland
    Minister Natural Resources and Energy Development

    Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre
    Floor: 3
    P. O. Box 6000
    Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

    Subject: An open letter

    Dear Mr. Holland,

    On behalf of Green Light NB Enviro Club Feu Vert and as a rural resident of the Upper Saint John River Valley, I am writing to you because of my concern about forest conservation in New Brunswick.  I am writing to you as you are the minister responsible for the protection of the NB environment – which includes forest lands, waterways such as rivers and their tributaries, and farm lands.  These three seemingly separate types of environments are interconnected and are integral parts of the Saint John River Valley ecological system.  All three are under attack due to over-exploitation; a direct consequence of clear cutting of woodlands (private and public), and intensive industrial crop management systems which favor large expanses of land in monoculture crops- specifically -- potatoes.  

    One obvious result of clear-cutting of forests is the accelerated snow melt which endangers communities along the Saint John River every spring.  The over-use of farmland increases erosion resulting in tons of top soil being washed down waterways and into rivers and streams.  Along with the topsoil, chemicals and fertilizers used in potato production also find their way to the Saint John River and into the water sources of the communities along the river.

    It surprises me that the provincial government is not talking more about flooding.  I searched the internet to see what the New Brunswick Government is doing to address climate change – to move this province in the direction of responsible stewardship of the environment. 

    I found the infographic below on the government of New Brunswick’s website.  Though on the surface, it may look like the province is doing its share to address conservation, it falls very short of Canada’s target for conservation- which is the conservation of 30% of the nations’ land and water by 2030.  This target, in part to address climate change,  was set and agreed by 55 countries who are part of the United Nations.  This target was set to ensure that natural areas that provide essential benefits to humanity such as food, clean water, clean air and a stable climate are protected. 

     The general public is finally accepting that climate change is a reality.  Temperatures are rising, and our forests are suffering. Some tree species will not survive rising temperatures and drier conditions, and we need a variety of tree species to ensure that at least some will survive climate change.  We need a program to re-establish natural forests throughout the province where people live; not only in isolated parks, or along highways to camouflage the clearcutting of forestlands.

    10As illustrated by the map above, the Government of New Brunswick has decided that only 10% of the province’s environment needs protection.  The small squiggly lines on this map represent narrow strips along roadways and touristy places that the government deems worthy of protection. However, climate change is everywhere… not just a narrow strip along the Renous – Plaster Rock highway, not just 10% of the province. 

    If our legacy is to protect 10% of the province’s environment, it means that 90% is unprotected.  It is startling to see that the map which illustrates the chosen protected area has a huge gap of unprotected region – that is the entire Saint John River Valley system which stretches from Edmundston to Saint John.  It is important to protect the areas where people actually live. 

    The following is a list of actions that needs to be taken immediately in order to mitigate climate change:

    1. Increase the target for conservation to 30% of New Brunswick’s land, in line with Canada’s and the United Nations conservation target.   
    2. An immediate focus on the health of forests, specifically - identifying tree species that are dying because of climate change. 
    3. Re-planting of forest must include a variety of native trees – both conifer and deciduous.
    4. To slow down the spring melt, and prevent erosion, laws that protect waterways must be enforced.   This includes enforcing the prohibition of tree harvesting within the buffer zone on either side of waterways. 
    5. Financial incentives to private land owners to preserve existing woodlots, especially woodlots that have a 20% or greater slope and/or are adjacent to streams and rivers.
    6. Waterways on crown land must also be protected from harvesting. 

    We cannot treat climate change as an exercise in window dressing along highways for the benefit of the tourist industry while 90% of New Brunswick – where NB citizens live is left unprotected in toxic industrial farm regions, such as in the upper Saint John River area.

    I would like to learn what the New Brunswick government will do to protect New Brunswick’s biodiversity and the well being of our citizens.   The current targets are simply not enough. 


    Floranne McLaughlin
    Member of Green Light NB Enviro Club Feu Vert
    Grand Falls, NB

  • Our Remaining Important Questions: A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations to Govern the Development of Shale Gas from the Taymouth Community Association

    (Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

    A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations

    To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association


    (Page 11 of 11)

    Our Remaining Important Questions


    The government’s position has been that it is okay to continue exploration, because if we find shale gas development to be unsafe for either the people or the environment, we can simply stop it at that point. SWN had a three-year license to explore during which it pledged to spend $47 million dollars. The government recently passed a new regulation to grant them extensions of that license.
    "If a large portion of the medical profession in
    the province… says it is not safe to continue…
    can they be overridden by a political decision?"
    It is hard for us to conceive that after allowing the company to explore for 5 years and spend $47 million dollars that the government would say, ‘Sorry SWN, we don’t think it’s safe, you’ll have to go.’ Even if the government did say that, we suspect the action would be followed by costly lawsuits and extreme damage to the province’s reputation.
    The only sane approach is for a moratorium or ban to be started immediately before industry invests millions more. However, if the government wants to persist in what many consider a reckless policy, we want to know several things:


    - First, what will be the legal instrument used to deny leases to companies who have lawfully fulfilled their license agreements?

    - Secondly, who will decide on what is safe, what will be the decision-making process and who will provide the criteria to decide the standard of ‘safeness’?

    - Will the entire decision making process by open to public comment?

    - If a large portion of the medical profession in the province, backed by other medical societies around the world and supported by studies, says it is not safe to continue, given their commitment to the ethic of “first do no harm”, can they be overridden by a political decision?

    - What percentage of leaking gas wells or water well contaminations will our ‘safety standards’ allow as ‘acceptable’? How will that be decided?

    - If local communities have different conceptions of what is safe, what can they do?

    We need answers to these basic questions before we can give any serious consideration to the government’s current position.




  • Wolastoq Grand Council Addresses the Energy East Pipeline / Le Grand conseil Wolastoq aborde le project Oléoduc Énergie Est

    Wolastoq Grand Council Addresses the Energy East Pipeline
    Ottawa January 29, 2016

    The Wolastoq Grand Council represents the non-ceded homeland of the Wolastoqewiyik who occupy the homeland and waterways as follows: North - Wolastoq River (aka St.John River which flows from Maine to the Bay of Fundy), South - KenepekRiver (aka Kennebec), East - Supeq (aka Atlantic Ocean), and West – Wahsipekuk(aka St. Lawrence River).

    As members of the Wolastoq Grand Council we unanimously oppose the Energy East Pipeline Project in order to protect our non-ceded homeland and waterways, our traditional and cultural connection to our lands, waterways, and air. The Wolastoq Grand Council has serious concerns for the safety and protection of the animals, fish, birds, insects, plants and tree life that sustains our Wolastoq Nation.

    The Wolastoq Grand Council recognizes and values the statements made by the Federal Government on January 27, 2016 to consult with Indigenous Nations with respect to the project of our Ancestral Homeland. The Wolastoq Grand Council is willing to meet with the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and other senior personnel in critical discussions that are consistent with our Peace and Friendship Treaties in a Nation-to-Nation relationship. There is a legal duty of the Crown to address and support our concerns due to the inadequacy of the National Energy Board process.

    The Wolastoq Grand Council will expect from the appropriate Crown delegate and provincial representative, a written acceptance of our traditional philosophy, and our rejection of the Energy East tar sands pipeline as soon as possible.


    Ottawa, le 29 janvier 2016

    Le Grand conseil de la communauté Wolastoq représente la patrie non cédée des Wolastoqewiyik. Ces derniers occupent les terres et les cours d’eau suivant : Nord – Wolastoq River (maintenant connu sous le nom de fleuve Saint-Jean et qui coule de l’état du Maine à la Baie de Fundy), Sud – Kenepek River (aussi connu sous le nom de la Kennebec), Est – Supeq (également appelé l’Océan Atlantique) et Ouest – Wahsipekuk (appelé également le fleuve Saint-Laurent).

    En tant que membres du Grand conseil Wolastoq, nous sommes unanimement contre le projet de l’Oléoduc Énergie Est afin de protéger notre patrie non cédée et nos cours d’eau, nos rapports traditionnels et culturels avec nos terres, nos cours d’eau et nos espaces aériens. Le Grand conseil Wolastoq entretient de vives inquiétudes à l’égard de la santé et la sécurité des animaux, des poissons, des oiseaux, des insectes, des plantes et de la vie des arbres qui soutiennent notre peuple Wolastoq. 

    Le Grand conseil Wolastoq reconnait et valorise les déclarations faites par le gouvernement fédéral le 27 janvier 2016. Ce dernier avait dit qu’il consultera les peuples autochtones par rapport au projet de notre territoire ancestral. Le Grand conseil Wolastoq est disposé à rencontrer le ministre des Ressources naturelles, Jim Carr, et d’autres fonctionnaires de rang supérieur, pour entamer des discussions critiques qui sont conformes à nos traités de paix et d’amitié dans une relation de nation à nation. La Couronne a une obligation légale d’adresser et de soutenir nos préoccupations en raison de l’inefficacité du processus de l’Office national de l’énergie.

    Le Grand conseil Wolastoq attend du délégué approprié de la Couronne une confirmation écrite de notre philosophie traditionnelle et de notre rejet du projet de l’Oléoduc Énergie Est, de la pipeline et de ses sables bitumineux, et ce, le plus rapidement possible.

    Ron Tremblay,
    Wolastoq Grand Chief / Grand chef de la nation Wolastoq
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB