• (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 1 of 11)

    Forward
    We wish to make it clear at the start that we do not believe any regulation or current technology can make shale gas and oil extraction safe enough to justify its presence in New Brunswick, or elsewhere. Public consultation on the issue of shale gas extraction is critical, as the risks to health and economic and political well being touch every New Brunswicker.
    "We ask you to recognize us as the serious
    and intelligent citizens we are"
    Rural New Brunswickers who are careful observers of their surroundings provide useful perspectives on environmental health.Our proximity to Fredericton’s universities, government offices and scientific businesses means that we count among our residents highly qualified researchers in all the areas relevant to the issue of shale gas, including geologists, ecologists, hydrologists and more. Many, of course, have labored for us in anonymity, because of their fear that their jobs or businesses may suffer retribution.
    Our views have sometimes been characterized as mere ‘emotional’ responses. It is not the word ‘emotional’ that offends us, since one would be a fool not to have an emotional response to threats to one’s health, family, and way of life. It is the ‘mere’ part that is troubling our multigenerational experience with local land and water issues and the countless hours spent researching this issue by those of us with academic training. We ask you to recognize us as the serious and intelligent citizens we are. [...]

     
  • What an exciting two weeks! Two lawsuits been filed in New Brunswick courts against shale gas development, one by the New Brunswick Anti-shale Gas Alliance and a second one by eighteen New Brunswickers, but the Supreme Court has handed down a decision on a land claim by the Tsilhqot'in First Nation in BC that could have wide-ranging implications for New Brunswick, where territory was never ceded to the Crown by aboriginal peoples. Could this mean more cautious, transparent, accountable development of our natural resources on Crown land (forests, shale gas, oil pipelines) that would have to include aboriginal peoples in NB fully?
  • Conservation Council announces 2013 eco-heroes

     

    For Immediate Release

    April 22, 2013

    http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/conservation-council-announces-2013-eco-heroes/

     

    Fredericton – The Conservation Council of New Brunswick will present its annual Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards in Fredericton on Saturday, April 27th.

     

    The award for lifetime achievement will be presented to Alma Brooks, a Maliseet grandmother and long-time activist for the Wulustuk River, also known as the Saint John River.

     

    Charles Theriault who uses the power of film to engage New Brunswickers on the threats facing our forest and people will receive the award for environmental activism.

    The Taymouth Community Association will be recognized for their organization's work over 10 years since they purchased the community school and transformed it into a centre of community capacity building, local economic initiatives and social cohesiveness.

     

    The recipients will be honoured on the evening of Saturday, April 27th at the Conservation Council's annual fundraiser and awards nights. This year, CCNB is excited to announce an Eco-Soirée with popular Acadian indie-folk trio, Les Hay Babies. The special event will be held at Memorial Hall, UNB, Fredericton, beginning at 7:30pm.

     

    The Gregg Conservation Award winners are selected by CCNB's Board of Directors from nominations submitted by their membership. The Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards have been presented annually by the Conservation Council since 1981.

     

    Tickets to the event are available for purchase online, at Conserver House (180 Saint John St, Fredericton), Westminster Books, True Food Organics or by emailing forest@conservationcouncil.ca.

     

    -30-

     

    Contact: Celine Delacroix, Executive Director, 506 458-8747

  • CCNB: Cancer classification warrants ban on widely-used herbicide


    FREDERICTON — A herbicide sprayed yearly and in large quantities on New Brunswick forests was recently classified as a probable cancer-causing chemical by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization. The decision was published in the journal, Lancet Oncology. Glyphosate, sold under various trade names including Roundup, Vision, and Vision Max, is a broad-spectrum weedkiller used in agriculture, silviculture, recreational areas and on lawns. Globally, it is the highest-volume herbicide in use.

    The IARC panel of 17 experts from 11 countries classified glyphosateas a probable carcinogen based on evidence in human and animal studies. Several studies, including one in Canada, have found a link between occupational exposure to glyphosate and increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    "Glyphosate can be absorbed into the body and has been detected in the blood and urine of workers handling the chemical,” says Inka Milewski, science advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. "Glyphosate causes cancer by damaging chromosomes (DNA) which can result in mutations that lead to cancer. But it is not only workers that are affected. The IARC experts cite a 2009 study that found chromosomal damage in residents of several communities after aerial glyphosate spraying."

    Herbicides have been used on New Brunswick forests since the 1970s when pulp and paper companies were first permitted to clearcut natural forest and replace it with plantations. About 13,000 hectares of Crown forest are sprayed each year in the province. Spraying is done by helicopter for about 40 days between August and September, covering roughly 25 per cent of the softwood land cut each year.

    The Conservation Council is calling for a ban on glyphosate use in New Brunswick’s Crown forest. "Health policy and regulations lag way behind the known science of many of the pollutants in our environment. There are plenty of examples where regulators have waited too long before acting to protect public health. Lead, DDT, radon, dioxin and cigarette smoke come to mind," says Milewski.

    Tracy Glynn, forest campaign director for the Conservation Council, says it's time for New Brunswick to ban aerial herbicide spraying in forests. "Quebec banned the use of glyphosate in forestry in 2001 and replaced herbicide use with thinning crews.Nova Scotia recently abandoned the public funding of herbicide spraying of their forest and is moving toward FSC certification of their forest, which would mean no more herbicides in their woods. But here in New Brunswick, we continue to fund silviculture on Crown land that includes spraying, which according to data from Natural Resources Canada, can cost the province about $1,000/ha," says Glynn.

    Three petitions, signed by thousands of New Brunswickers, against herbicide spraying in the forest have been tabled in the New Brunswick Legislature in just over a decade, the most recent in 2011. Kent County residents have recently risked arrest and are facing hefty fines for trying to stop the herbicide spraying of their woods.

    “Creating good jobs and protecting our health and the health of our forest is very important to New Brunswickers,” says Glynn. “Following in our neighbour’s footsteps by using thinning crews instead of chemicals that have been connected to cancer is just good common sense.”
  • A recent UNB study found that, given climate predictions, we can expect lots of changes across the New Brunswick landscape. The researchers interviewed more than 40 New Brunswick climatologists, biologists and other scientists on ecological changes they expect to see in the province by 2050 and 2100. “Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will be vastly affected as climate change influences, both directly and indirectly, the ecological parameters that present limitations or favourable conditions for specific organisms.” states the report. Expected changes include decline of balsam fir and white spruce and increased red oak and red spruce. Similarly, lynx will be out-competed by bobcat but deer will be happy campers. Atlantic salmon and brook trout are both likely to decline. Study authors are Tom Beckley, Arielle DeMerchant and Shawn Dalton.

    And is climate change happening? This month the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at their Mauna Loa Observatory has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). For comparison, before the industrial revolutions levels were 280 ppm. On their website, check out the animated graphic showing disaster on the rise.

    In the Arctic, ice cracks are increasing and according to Paul Beckwith of the Sierra Club, the ice cap will be gone in 6 to 30 months.

    On the “trying-to-do-something-about-it” front, there is a report from the Trottier Energy Futures Project reviewing low-carbon energy research from 8 countries that shows that Canada can achieve 80% reduction in fossil fuel use by 2050 through a boom in clean energy technologies. And then, there are the interesting letters in the Globe and Mail. Dan Harvey of the University of Toronto published an article with a title that says it all, “Forget pipelines– Canada must prepare for a post-carbon world”. Twelve climate scientists sent a letter to Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, alerting him to the dangers of increasing Canada’s fossil fuel infrastructure.  And Joe wrote them back.

    Seems like this issue is getting hotter all the time. Stay posted.

  • Do you buy local? Wish there were more options for local food and beverages?

    The provincial government is developing a local food and beverage strategy and they are looking for input from New Brunswickers about their local food buying habits. The survey includes questions about the importance of supporting local producers, where local food is purchased and what can be done to improve accessibility of local food and beverages for consumers.

    Check out the survey here and background information about the government’s buy local initiative can be found here.

  • Falls Brook Centre as you know is a registered charity and demonstration centre, committed to finding and promoting practical solutions to today's sustainability challenges. We are dedicated to the goals of inspiring people to work together using environmentally sound practices to create thriving local communities. What does this look like? Highlighting local economies, renewable energy options, and economically and ecologically sound land management techniques that work on the quarter-acre to 5,000 acre scales. On the ground, this is all about education aimed at all ages and addresses. If this sounds like something you could be a part of, I encourage you to visit our website and social media pages and consider becoming a Board member to make a real difference in the lives of New Brunswickers.

    http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/

  • Paddle for Facebook 2.0

    The Conservation Council’s Fundy Baykeeper invites you to participate in a 10-km canoe or kayak paddle down the beautiful Musquash Estuary on Saturday, July 13th.

    This fun event allows you to meander down the river and see the vast salt marshes, wildlife and historic shipwrecks in this treasured coastal area.

    In 2006, the Musquash Estuary was designated a Marine Protected Area, the first in New Brunswick under the Canada Oceans Act. It was an accomplishment nearly a decade in the making for the Conservation Council and our many partners.

    Our Musquash Paddle started as an event to bring paddlers to this gem as part of our campaign for protection. We now paddle the Musquash every year to enjoy it and to celebrate its protection.

    Paddle for Facebook 2.0

    Event details

    • Registration is $25 for individuals and $35 for families. Register below, call 506-529-8838 or email Matt Abbott at matt.abbott@conservationcouncil.ca. You can pay online or on site with cash or cheque (made payable to Conservation Council of New Brunswick) the day of the paddle.
    • Boat rentals can be obtained through Osprey Adventures.
    • The paddle starts just above the Highway #1 Bridge crossing at Musquash and goes to Black Beach. A map indicating the launch site can be found here, or on //www.google.ca/maps/@45.1784395,-66.2980495,13.75z/data=!4m2!6m1!1s1L52Quibdx6UOONYpKFZqhdIGIWg">this Google Map.
    • Our goal is to be on the water paddling at 9:30 a.m. rain or shine!
    • For those who may not wish to complete the full paddle, there will be a stop-off at Five Fathom Hole Wharf approximately 6 km along the route. We will continue through Musquash Harbour to Black Beach weather permitting.
    • There will be shuttles from both Five Fathom Hole and Black Beach to take people back to their cars.
    • All paddlers must wear life jackets. Please bring your own.
    • No motorized boats allowed.
    • Dress for changing weather and bring sunscreen, a hat, water and an en-route snack.
    • We will be holding a BBQ and celebration reception at Black Beach after the paddle.
    Buy a ticket button
  • June 4, 2015
    For immediate release

    NB Green Pages Launched for World Environment Day

    Button Greenpages
    Moncton – In celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) is launching Green Pages, a searchable on-line directory of more than 80 non-profit environmental groups in New Brunswick.

    “Green Pages is the who’s who for New Brunswick environmental issues. It will help people across the province connect with community environmental groups in their region,” said Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the NBEN. “We are launching this on World Environment Day as an invitation to all New Brunswickers to step forward and join with groups in their region.”

    Community-based environmental groups are found in every corner of the province. These groups work hard to protect and restore the environment and educate the public, but also have fun enjoying nature with one another. “Nature NB has eight affiliated clubs in the province,” said Vanessa Roy MacDougall, Nature NB, a member group of the NBEN, “and Green Pages will help the public get involved with us.”

    “Green Pages is going to be very helpful to young people like myself who are interested in environmental issues,” said Chloé Mélanson, of Vertige, the student environmental group at Mathieu-Martin High School. “It will now be so easy to find a group to volunteer with or to join.”

    “Green Pages will help people become more involved in environmental issues, and in their local communities,” said Amanda Marlin, of EOS Eco-Energy in the Tantramar area. “Whatever their environmental interests, and wherever they are in the province, New Brunswickers will be able to find a group with which to connect.”

    “It’s surprising to find over 80 community-based environmental groups in a small province. From my perspective, this is because we are a rural province and people have deep connections to the land and their communities. They want to preserve and protect them. For the NBEN, supporting this drive to preserve and protect is key to our mission,” stated Marks. “Green Pages will provide an important link. What issue is close to your heart? Use Green Pages to find others who are like-minded.”

    Green Pages is searchable by organization name or acronym, environmental issues addressed, location and geographical scope, and language of service. For each group, contact information is provided, as well as its purpose, activities, and services available to the public. Green Pages can be accessed at http://db.nben.ca/.

    The New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), established in 1991, is a communication network that links together non-profit environmental organizations. Its mission is to encourage and facilitate networking and communication among member groups in order to advance their work to protect the Earth and to promote ecologically sound ways of life, and to strengthen the environmental movement in New Brunswick.

    — 30 —

    Contact:
    Raissa Marks, New Brunswick Environmental Network, office: 506-855-4144, cell: 506-588-2980
  • unnamed


    MEDIA RELEASE


    FREDERICTON — A new poll shows New Brunswickers want their government leaders to act now to protect the climate.

    Polling determined an overwhelming majority of New Brunswickers — a margin of nearly 8 to 1 — believe we should be global leaders in protecting the climate by reducing our energy consumption.

    The national telephone poll was conducted in the last half of March, just weeks before several Canadian premiers, including New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, are gathering in Quebec City for a special meeting on climate change.

    The poll also shows New Brunswickers don’t buy into the idea that just because a jurisdiction is small it doesn’t have to take as much action to curb climate change. A majority of New Brunswickers rejected the notion that Canada’s efforts on climate change should be minimal given our country’s total emissions as compared to other polluters such as the U.S. or China.

    Instead, New Brunswickers want swift action on climate protection from their leaders. Polling shows 73.3 per cent of people from the province want to see a plan for creating jobs in the renewable energy sector, with 70.2 per cent calling for a promise to legally enforce a cap or limits to carbon pollution. Nearly 70 per cent of New Brunswickers want a commitment to phase out coal, oil and gas and replace them with renewable energy sources.

    The national random sample telephone poll involved participation from 3,040 Canadians and was conducted for Climate Action Network Canada by Oracle Research Limited between March 12 to 30. The margin of error for the total 3040-person survey is +/- 1.78%, 19/20 times. See full results here.

    Other results related to New Brunswick:

    • 78.7 per cent of New Brunswickers see curbing climate change as a moral issue, saying they believe they are morally obligated to reduce carbon pollution in their daily lives;

    • 63.5 per cent of New Brunswickers disagree with the notion that cheap and accessible energy are more important than the negative impacts they have on the environment;

    • 80 per cent of New Brunswickers want a say in decision-making around energy projects.
  • The forecast is dire — but the solutions we need to slow climate change will make us happier and healthier

    Flood 2019

    The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

    A thick layer of ozone ripples above the pavement. No matter how much water you drink, you know you’re losing more through your pores whether you’re moving or not.

    And for a lot of New Brunswickers, a province with more folks over 65 years of age than any other province, activity is out of the question.

    It’s the fourth 30+ degree day in a row. You’re restless. Exhausted, despite having been shuttered inside, blinds drawn, melting in your chair, since the heat wave hit.

    You’ve weathered these days before, over the years. But never in such succession. Never so persistent.

    You feel depressed as you realize that there are fewer and fewer of those beautiful, tepid, liberating New Brunswick summer days, and it’s not going to get any better. 

    This is just life now.

    An (un)real scenario 

    But it doesn’t have to be this way. The scenario described above is a science-based snapshot of where life is headed in New Brunswick if governments, businesses and industries don’t take serious action to limit carbon pollution causing the climate crisis we’re already experiencing.

    How bad will it get? What will it mean for everyday life in New Brunswick? Who will suffer the most? Can we do anything about it?

    Healthy Climate Healthy New Brunswickers 1 1These questions are tackled in the Conservation Council’s new report from Dr. Louise Comeau,
    Healthy Climate, Healthy New Brunswickers: A proposal for New Brunswick that cuts pollution and protects health, released today (June 25).

    A spoiler for you: there is hope. There are concrete actions we can take to change the stark forecast described above and in the report. 

    But first, a look at what scientific research and health data in New Brunswick predicts about life in the picture province between 2021-2050.

    The bad news

    You may not think climate change is a public health issue. With the overwhelming focus on environmental degradation, species loss, and damage to public and private infrastructure, you could be forgiven. But when we combine existing research from sources such as the Canada Climate Atlas and New Brunswick Health Council’s community health profiles, among others, we get a sobering story indeed.

    This is what Dr. Comeau does in our report, the first comprehensive look at how climate change will affect the physical and mental health of all New Brunswickers, but particularly the very young, seniors, the isolated, and those living on low incomes.

    In the report, Dr, Comeau combines climate projections and existing community health profiles for 16 New Brunswick communities, including the Edmundston, Campbellton, Dalhousie, Bathurst, Caraquet, Miramichi, Moncton, Sackville, Sussex, Oromocto, Fredericton, Minto, Woodstock, Grand Falls, St. Stephen, and Saint John areas. 

    CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF NB FREDERICTON FLOODING 19 of 34 720x480
    How’s the weather out there?

    New Brunswickers aren’t used to hot, 30+ degree days, let alone long stretches of them. But that’s what the data says is coming in the immediate- to medium-term.

    Comeau’s analysis shows that each of the communities listed above will experience between 122 to 300 per cent more 30+ degree days in the summer over the next 30 years if we don’t come together to eliminate the heat-trapping pollution causing global heating.

    Fredericton, for example, can expect at least 20 of these scorching days a summer, compared to the 1976-2005 average of eight — up 150 per cent. 

    Bathurst could experience at least 14 hot days by 2021 to 2050, up from an average of six. The Miramichi and Minto regions will have 20 scorchers, Oromocto will have 21 (up from 9), Woodstock will have 15 (up from six), St. Stephen will have 11 (up from 4) and the Sussex area will have 12 (up from 4), to name a few.

    This is a big departure from what is normal. Temperature influences natural cycles, our lifestyles and our physical and mental health. 

    We know heat waves, for example, can cause death in the elderly or sick as seen in recent years inEurope, theUnited States andQuébec. And then there’s the reality of hotter conditions exacerbating existing health conditions, or helping to cause them.

    Health researchers from around the world find that climatic changes affect and contribute to cardiovascular disease and respiratory conditions (more air pollution, greater frequency of and more extreme forest fires, droughts and dust storms), allergic reactions (especially ragweed), cancer, traumatic injuries, vector-borne illnesses (from disease-carrying insects; think black-legged ticks), food and water-borne illnesses (contaminated water, prime conditions for bacterial growth), malnutrition, and mental health (being displaced from your home, grief from losing cherished possessions and property, and extreme weather-induced stress, anxiety and depression). 

    More frost-free days — but don’t get excited yet

    Comeau’s analysis shows higher average temperatures, especially in spring and winter, increase the number of frost-free days per year. In New Brunswick, that means between 19-22 more frost-free days a year between 2021-2050, compared to the 1976-2005 average.

    But don’t get excited yet.

    Ice storm report shareable 2 1 718x480

    Warmer temperatures increase the risk of exposure to ticks carrying Lyme disease and pave the road for the expansion and establishment of othertick species and diseases. We’re seeing this already, especially in southern New Brunswick.  In 2017, there were 29 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the province, up from eight cases reported the year before. 

    More intense rainfall events, more extreme floods

    Increases in temperature means more precipitation is forecast for New Brunswick in the coming decades. That’s because warmer air holds more moisture. Scientists calculate that for every one degree Celsius increase in temperature, the atmosphere can hold seven per cent more water. 

    What does this mean? Comeau’s analysis shows we are likely to experience less frequent but much more intense precipitation events, increasing the annual total volume of precipitation across the entire province.

    This will mean more intense rainfall, more snow, and increases tosnow depth — adding to spring freshet worries and flood risk.  It also means more freezing rain causing winter flooding and ice jams, and ice-on-snow cover making walking dangerous, especially for seniors.

    ArmyFlood4 737x480

    New Brunswick experienced record-breaking floods along the Wolastoq (St. John) River in 2018 and 2019, partly caused by above average snowpack and rain (at least partly due to our changing climate). There are, of course, other factors, such as land-and-forest use, and poor development planning in flood plains that, combined with natural variability and super-charging by climate change, increases the probability of extreme events, including flooding.

    Projections show we’re likely to see the amount of rain falling in spring increase seven to nine per cent in the immediate to medium-term, with the amount of snow, rain and freezing rain in winter increasing eight to 11 per cent (with the higher amounts in northern communities).

    Recently, University of Moncton hydrologistNassir El-Jabi told CBC he estimates frequent but minor floods could see water levels increase 30 to 55 per cent by 2100 in New Brunswick, and extreme floods like those in 2018 and 2019 could be 21 per cent bigger by 2100. 

    As Comeau writes in our report, “It is getting hotter, wetter, extreme, and less safe because greenhouse gas levels are not where they need to be and we are not changing the way we do things.”

    Feeling down and out

    We know young children and adults are increasingly anxious about climate change, as demonstrated by the global School Strike for Climate movement started by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden. This winter and spring students in Fredericton, Moncton, Campbellton, Edmundston, Saint John and Sackvillejoined the movement, walking out of school to protest government and industry inaction on climate change.

    Mental health professionals are increasingly worried about the psychological effects of climate change. Research shows climate change effects such as flooding and extended power outages can undermine well-being and cause ecoanxiety, a “chronic fear of environmental doom.” 

    Beyond the immediate stress and anxiety of disasters fueled by climate change, the chronic mental health affects these events bring about is even more frightening.

    According to the American Psychology Association, these effects include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicide, substance misuse, strained social relationships, aggression, violence, and feelings of helplessness, fear and fatalism — just to name a few.

    CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF NB FREDERICTON FLOODING 1 of 34 720x480

    What’s this all mean?

    If you are a senior or single parent living on low income, in an under-insulated home with no air conditioning, you are more at risk from extreme heat and extreme weather events. You might not have a vehicle to leave home, or you may have fewer social contacts to reach out to if the power goes out.  

    A senior woman living alone on a low income, with one or more chronic health issues, and who has few social contacts is especially vulnerable to the mental and physical health effects of extreme events made worse by climate change. 

    A person with asthma is more at risk from hotter days and more smog (heart and lung-damaging ground-level ozone).

    New Brunswick generally has low levels of smog-related pollution. Communities like Saint John, Belledune and Edmundston, however, that house industrial operations (pulp and paper, coal-fired power, lead smelting, and oil refining), experience close to maximum levels for fine particulate matter and higher levels of smog.

    Katie Hayes, a leading researcher focused on the mental health effects of climate change, points out in herrecent paper that the mental health effects of climate change are accelerating, “resulting in a number of direct, indirect and overarching effects that disproportionately affect those who are most marginalized.”

    The good news — a better scenario 

    The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

    The mercury has breached 30 degrees, and you remember, 20-odd years ago, reading about the dire forecast that these days would become more and more the norm. You’re grateful that action, from communities to the highest levels of government and industry, didn’t let things get that bad.

    All the same, on this day, you’re choosing to stay inside. You just can’t handle the heat like you could in your younger years.

    But it’s beautiful. Specialized doors and windows, combined with a super-insulated attic, basement and walls, means you are comfortable no matter how hot or cold it gets outside.

    You catch the glint of sunshine from the windshield of your electric car parked in the driveway. It’s charging from your rooftop solar panels and sleek battery bank on the wall, hidden by a painting from your favourite local artist.

    EcoTour2019 solar farm 2 Liane 768x409
    Even if you need more power than your panels and bank provide, you rest easy knowing it’s coming from a public utility powered entirely by renewable energy sources.

    The coal-and-gas-fired power plants of yesteryear have long been shuttered, their workers enjoying a new gig in booming cleaner energy and technology sectors.

    You hardly even think about air quality, not like you used to, then living next to Canada’s largest oil refinery in Saint John. 

    Cancer rates are down across the board, including places like the Port City, Edmundston and Belledune, once dogged by heavy, polluting industries.

    You get up, head to the kitchen, and make a sandwich for lunch from vegetables grown just one block away, at one of several community gardens dotting the landscape.

    You smile. This is just life now.

    A new way on

    There is no way around it — our lives depend on energy and always will. But we can control whether this energy comes from sources that pollute our climate and negatively affect our health, like coal, oil and gas, or sources that offer a much better balance with what our planet can sustain. This is a choice we can make. 

    Today, it’s a choice we must demand.

    IMG 20190315 133914 768x576
    The Conservation Council’s climate change and health report, along with our climate action plan released in 2016, provide a blueprint for achieving the healthier, happier scenario described in the section above. 

    Slowing climate change will in turn fix so many social, environmental, health and labour problems that we can’t just look at it as a crisis — but as a tremendous opportunity to get things right. 

    Yes, the science-based projections are dire. 

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we’ve got about 10 years to get serious about solving the problems of climate change. And, even then, we’ll still be dealing with some of the effects.

    But we can get it right, we can limit the suffering. We must not despair, and we must not be discouraged. 

    So what can you do right now?

    Talk about climate change. Read the recommendations in Dr. Comeau’s report and share them with everyone you know. 

    IMG 9078 600x800

    By all means, do what you can in your home, life and workspace to limit the carbon pollution you add to the atmosphere. But the changes we have to make are bigger than better insulation and energy efficient appliances. 

    Dr. Comeau’s report encourages everyone interested in protecting public health from the immediate and looming effects of climate change to speak out and demand action from politicians, businesses, and industry. 

    There is a better way forward. It’s going to be hard work, but together, we can get there. 

    ClimateLetterWideBanner.sml 768x402
    Click here to send your #climateaction letter

    Recommended links:

  • Do you know an individual or organization that has demonstrated excellence in land conservation in our province? Nominations for the 2018 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation are open until Monday, October 1, 2018.

    Successful nominees will have a significant impact on land conservation in New Brunswick through leadership, direct action, and long-term involvement as well as other significant contributions. Eligible nominees may include any individuals or organizations involved in stewardship, volunteerism, donation of lands, or building effective partnerships and must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • An individual or entity who has contributed in a sustained manner over a significant period of time;
    • An individual or entity who has contributed significantly in a relatively short amount of time;
    • A donor of funds or property;
    • A volunteer, steward and/or member of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick;
    • A corporate or community partner of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick;
    • An individual who contributed significantly in the past and should be recognized posthumously.

    Click here to download the nomination form!

     

    For more information, visit: www.naturetrust.nb.ca/wp/blog/2018-lg-award-nominations or contact Danielle Andrus, Communications Manager, at danielle.andrus@ntnb.org or (506) 457-2398.

    2018 LG
     
  • (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.

     

     

     

  • Address by Chief of the Passamaquoddy Nation, Hugh Akagi at 'Energy For Everyone'Saint John October 3, 2013

    Once again I wish to thank the wolastoqiyik for the honour to walk in your territory.

    When first asked to speak at this event I recommended someone I knew who would deliver a better message in a more powerful way than I possibly could, yet I was gently reminded through the following message that I have an obligation to be here: “I thought - and you can correct me - that the pipeline marine terminal and marine traffic, poses a risk to the waters of the Passamaquoddy. This may be an issue that you are interested in.”

    Needless to say, I was humbled and she was right.

    “I see signs all through Passamaquoddy territory, including the waters, that we can no longer entrust the safety and well being of this planet to those compromised by their addiction to money”

    I am interested and more than concerned that our energy bubble is about to burst. I see signs all through Passamaquoddy territory including the waters that we can no longer entrust the safety and well being of this planet to those compromised by their addiction to money. Money is not real, it is a paper substitute for land, for water, for creatures that share this planet with us and even for the lives of those often described as collateral damage for the comfort of others.


    “Don’t forget our earliest dependence on oil put the largest creatures to ever inhabit this planet on a list of endangered species just to keep the lamps burning in Europe”

    Do you require proof of each of these? In sequence: comprehensive claims for Indians (money for land, well yes we are supposed to be grateful that they no longer bribe us with alcohol, but come on, paper? Let’s use the currency of the day- - land!), water is threatened every day by our addiction to energy. . .Irving Whale, Valdez, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Ranger, Grand Banks Newfoundland . . . Don’t forget our earliest dependence on oil put the largest creatures to ever inhabit this planet on a list of endangered species just to keep the lamps burning in Europe.

    When asked to attend a meeting on the destruction of science, I gave simple advice, help us help you. Natives have rights you need to access if we are to counter the behaviour of governments willing to sacrifice anything so that corporations will fill their pockets come election time when campaign contributions determine who will be the elite in the world they create for us.



    Read the Paper. Why did Chief Sock feel the need to evict a corporation? Why did he assure that “Private property owners have nothing to worry about . . . But companies exploiting Crown lands for fish, wood, minerals or gas are being told to get out now”?


    “…Governments willing to sacrifice anything so that corporations will fill their pockets come election time when campaign contributions determine who will be the elite in the world they create for us”

    Could it be because one represents a non-human entity empowered with human rights and the other is a human entity deprived of human rights, and he knows the difference! Perhaps because governments have reneged on their promise to protect human rights, not sell out to the highest bidder at the first opportunity.

    As Canadians aren’t we tired of being the brunt of jokes such as: If you hit an American he will hit you back, but if you hit a Canadian, he’ll apologize?

    Why do we accept Government behaviour as normal when it is often immoral in character?

    “…Wake up New Brunswick, it’s time to stop the tail from wagging the Dog. It is time to take control of our lives and we can start by standing in solidarity with those who are willing to do the right thing”


    Wake up Canada, Wake up New Brunswick, it’s time to stop the tail from wagging the Dog. It is time to take control of our lives and we can start by standing in solidarity with those who are willing to do the right thing. We can stop believing the constant diet of lies we are being fed by those attempting to convince us to give them what they do not have and that is our consent. A portion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples protects the will of the People using “free, prior, and informed consent”. No wonder Canada likes to refer to this as an “aspirational” document.

    Let’s see are there any other documents that might be considered aspirational, I believe the series of omnibus bills would indicate that the Oceans Act is simply an aspiratinal document, as is the fisheries act, and if you follow the trail of behaviour I might suggest the province is willing to take a page from the Feds by treating the Human Rights Act and Rights to clean Water as aspiratinal as well.


    “No written law may be forced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principals of fairness, morality, and justice that transcends human legal systems. Perhaps our Mother and her creatures have more rights than we realize”


    Oh by-the-way, I cannot find the word aspirational in Wikipedia, Websters or Oxford, so it would appear our Federal leadership has created a word which is not real to describe a document as not being real!

    Something I did find in the dictionary was the “legal” definition of “LAW”: No written law may be forced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principals of fairness, morality, and justice that transcends human legal systems. Perhaps our Mother and her creatures have more rights than we realize.

    So, if we cannot believe the Feds, and we cannot trust the Province, who can we trust, the Indians?

    “We honoured the treaties of peace and friendship which means we were the only party to respect the covenant between our Nations. You need to understand us, you need to understand that our connection to the land is real”

    This won’t be easy folks because I believe most of you are still afraid of us. We are not the enemy. We are not friends because we are the enemy of your enemy. We honoured the treaties of peace and friendship which means we were the only party to respect the covenant between our Nations. You need to understand us, you need to understand that our connection to the land is real. Our need to protect comes not from acts or legislations but from the Earth herself. Now I have come full circle, this is a Native thing. The reminder was not that this is about an issue but about existence. It is about respecting the Earth as our Mother and protecting her while she nourishes us and our children.


    “The reminder was not that this is about an issue but about existence. It is about respecting the Earth as our Mother and protecting her while she nourishes us and our children”


    If we keep behaving like spoiled children demanding more than she can give, then we will destroy her. If we do not protect her lifeblood, what you refer to as the waters then she will suffer as well. No amount of pipelines and black oil could replace her incredible circulatory system scientists call the world’s air conditioner. If you keep clear-cutting her hair, which you refer to as forests, she will burn from exposure to the sun. If you poison her blood, your oceans, all the life giving contents will die as well.

    “No amount of pipelines and black oil could replace her incredible circulatory system scientists call the world’s air conditioner. If you keep clear-cutting her hair, which you refer to as forests, she will burn from exposure to the sun”

    Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the task ahead but we always have a choice, and that is to do what is right or do what is easy and like I said, this won’t be easy. But we have friends in-the-room. We need to believe that there are good lawyers who will not charge an arm and a leg to help, we need to believe there are police authorities that understand the need to protect the People above corporate profits, we need to believe there are politicians willing to give instead of take from their communities, and we need to believe that we can all work together for the common good.

    Often this world seems upside down when I hear that Julian Assange is being punished (seeking asylum) for telling the truth and Bradley Manning was condemned for having a conscience while the murderers remain unpunished and free. What country hunts Eric Snowden for exposing the “spy story” of the century while protecting the criminals who were entrusted with a Nation’s security? And how can a Nation with Nuclear weapons attack another country because they are “suspected” of having weapons of mass destruction? The United States Government is shut down because parties cannot agree on a health plan to serve their citizens. People who have lied about their credentials are used to justify Fraking, when confronted they too are protected by those in authority who should be embarrassed but never are.

    Yet giving up is not an option and we now know that energy is not all it’s fraked up to be.
  • (Personal Submission to Dr. Louis LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group, June 19 2012 Hillsborough, New Brunswick by Margo Sheppard)

     (Page 1 of 4)

    Dr. LaPierre and members of the Shale Gas Group, I would like to express my concern with shale gas development as informed by my experience assessing the environmental impacts of major infrastructure projects from both the proponent’s and regulator’s perspectives

     

    After twelve years in environmental assessment and policy in the Ontario government, I moved here and since 1996 have worked for the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, fourteen of which as Executive Director. I currently chair the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, an umbrella group for conservation trusts across this country. I am on the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Protected Natural Areas in New Brunswick because I care about the future of this province’s wild spaces and species. I speak as an individual, not as a representative of any group.

     

    “The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home”

     

    As a fresh-faced environmental planner back in the early 1980s, I studied and consulted the public on new highways. Walking pastoral landscapes I made lists of flora and fauna, knowing that a four-lane expressway would soon flatten it all. I assured people that the effects would be small; the forests and farms soon to be bisected would heal or just cease to be. The need for the highway, the sustainability of the highway or the urban sprawl and loss of countryside it caused I never questioned.

     

    How blithely my ministry paved over Class I agricultural land in the interest of cars and development; how irreverently we dismissed the public’s concerns-- about homes lost, villages split in two—mostly, as facilitators of this upheaval, in order to be able to sleep at night. To address the true impacts would have meant to listen to people and actually prevent the destruction before it started. From the perspective of today, how I wish I had questioned authority and challenged all we did. Alas I did not. I was a few years into an environmental planning career when I discovered my role was to simply minimize, or downplay the damage in the public’s eyes, not actually prevent it.

     

    That was in 1984; global population was 4.8 billion and C02 levels in the atmosphere were 340ppm. Environmental concern worldwide was growing, but there was not the vast store of scientific fact, understanding of the threats or their causes that we have today.

     

    “…but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly”

     

    Fast forward to 2012, global population is 7 billion according to the United Nations and the C02 concentration in the atmosphere is close to 400ppm. The cumulative effects of 160 years of industrial activity supercharged by fossil fuels and unconstrained consumption have caught up with us in the form of climatic changes that are going to eclipse any remediation that could, but likely won’t, be administered. At least we now know how to avoid causing further harm, don’t we?

     

    Yet here we are tonight, discussing the merits of still another emissions-intensive fossil-fuel development: shale gas. Clearly we have learned nothing from our current predicament and past failures. Or perhaps we have learned, but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly.

    I do not criticize the shale gas group. I criticize its political masters who, encouraged by industry representatives and growth advocates, are willing, no, eager, to sacrifice the clean environment and landscapes of New Brunswick to further their careers and twisted ideas of what it is to have true prosperity. The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home, is so huge it makes my head spin and my heart break. […]

     [Please Note: Download attachment Hillsborough Shale Gas Presentation]

  • October 15, 2015



    PRESS RELEASE



    TransCanada blocking local residents from attending their Energy East Pipeline Community Liaison Committee meeting



    SAINT JOHN – This week, nine local residents and landowners requested to sit in as observers at TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Community Liaison Committee meeting held at the Hampton Inn, Saint John, on Wednesday, October 14.  Blocking their entrance, a security guard informed them that only members of the Committee were permitted at the meeting.



    Residents then asked to speak with a TransCanada representative. A short discussion took place with Pamela McKay, Trans Canada’s community consultant, which was videotaped. Ms. McKay informed the residents that TransCanada did not have a policy to allow observers at their Energy East community liaison meetings and that the residents would not be permitted to enter the meeting room.



    https://youtu.be/a4hdSWxq1Pw

    TransCanada blocking local residents from Community Liaison Committee in Saint John, Oct 14, 2015 (12:26)



    “Unlike other local industrial committees, TransCanada denies entry to local citizens,“ said Saint John resident David Thompson who was part of the group kept out of the meeting.  Mr Thompson has a long history of participating in industrial liaison meetings, and presently sits on two other industrial community liaison committees in Saint John.  “We simply wanted to sit quietly and listen to tonight’s committee meeting.”



    “Open, transparent, and democratic public participation should be the operating principles of each and every community liaison committee,” added Thompson. “The National Energy Board should be required to practice this.”



     “It’s a straw horse; it’s dishonest that TransCanada will go to National Energy Board and use this Community Liaison Committee as fulfilling part of their community outreach and consultation,” remarked Colin Seeley after being refused entry.  “As a person with a proposed pipeline running across my property, I have not been contacted since it was announced that the project was being delayed for 2 years.  Meanwhile, TransCanada has been pushing ahead with work on the project such as the recent borehole testing in Red Head.”



    Leslie Hillman, Red Head resident and member of Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association (RHACPA), was also disappointed to be refused entry, “TransCanada should respect the interests, the health, and the well-being of the residents and make the meeting open to the citizen observers.”



    Teresa Debly, a Red Head resident whose family property has already been impacted by industrial development in the area, says, “Several residents who have considerable experience with other industrial community committees, including myself, have repeatedly requested to be accepted as Committee members, but have been denied each time by TransCanada.  Back in February, I was utterly shocked when TransCanada hired a retired police officer to prevent landowners from attending these meetings.  We are calling upon TransCanada to immediately open up their Community Liaison Committee meeting.”



    A copy of this News Release and the web link to the video is also being sent to the National Energy Board. 



    Media contacts: David Thompson, Saint John, 506-635-1297 and Leanne Sutton, Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, 506-654-7857
  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR:
    Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Woodstock, March 25 2014
    - 45 citizens (approx.) in attendance


    1) Shale gas moratorium

    2) Consult with First Nations before entering into resource agreements.

    3) Change Forest Act as BC, Quebec and Ontario have done

    4) (tie)
    -Discontinue subsidies to BIG corporations
    -People before profi

    5) (tie)
    - Government needs NEW thinking esp. jobs, value added, renewables
    - Windmills and small local energy generation
    - Energy efficiency

    6) Tour going to First Nation communities

    7) (tie)
    - Community bill of rights
    - Contact influential people in your community.
    - Education: Spread the word

    8) Proportional representation

    9) “ Land Caution” on Crown land

  • VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR:  RED DOT POLL SUMMARY
    FOR FREDERICTON NORTH, March 24 2014
    - 140 citizens (approx.) in attendance

    1) Stop subsidies to large profitable corporations



    2) A shale gas moratorium or ban in NB



    3) Investment tools of citizens, communities and co-ops:

    - Feed-in tariffs

    - Community Economic Dev't Investment Funds

    - Investment tax credits for co-ops

    - Long-term payback loans for solar/wind



    4) Proportional Representation



    5) (tie):    

    - Local manufacturing of energy-efficiency solutions

    - Elected leaders must offer viable CLEAN ENERGY solutions as a way to create jobs and create a sustainable civilization



    6) Lessen the control and monopoly of media in NB



    7) Solar energy development and investments



    8) Take back our democratic process



    9) Protect the water resources in NB

    10) (tie):

         -Town hall meetings

         - Cooperation between NDP and Green Party to prevent vote splitting

         - Government MUST listen to citizens

         - Journalists must be asking questions about gov’t decisions ( e.g. why forestry is creating so few jobs)

    11) (tie):

         -Tidal power

         - Promote cooperative enterprises

         - Invest in public education



    12) Create a local, regional food policy for NB



    13) (tie):

         - Mandatory for new homes/buildings to use solar energy

        - Aquifer mapping in NB

    14) (tie):

         - Encourage information technology: get young people into mobile media/film technology AND gov’t should use software created in NB.

           - Citizens must become more engaged and come out to rallies

    15) (tie)

         - Bring back energy efficiency

         - Better guidelines for building all new homes/buildings


  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a private, non-profit organization that prides itself on its entrepreneurial, science-based approach to achieving conservation success through direct action. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have protected more than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) of ecologically significant land across Canada. NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success for the sake of nature and Canadians. With a national office in Toronto and seven regional offices across the country, NCC delivers results you can walk on.

    Purpose and General Description:

    Inspire others to take part in hands-on conservation work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) by joining the Conservation Volunteers (CV) team in Atlantic Canada. As the Conservation Volunteers Assistant, you will assist with the coordination and delivery of volunteer events designed to engage individuals of all ages in priority stewardship work on NCC’s conservation properties. Additionally, you will help with recruiting and training longer term volunteers and property stewards. You will assist with all aspects of events in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and assist remotely with recruitment and data management for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, as needed. You will also aid in ongoing NCC conservation communications and partner and community relations.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Coordinate the planning, logistics and running of volunteer events held between August and April in NB and PE and preparing for events in 2020, and assist with the logistics of other outreach activities;
    • Work with the NB & PEI Stewardship Coordinator and the Communications Manager to develop communications materials to promote volunteer events and the volunteer program in both official languages;
    • Undertake volunteer recruitment through group partnerships, print, radio and TV media, with follow-up stories after events with media;
    • Follow-up with interested volunteers to become property stewards, provide training and volunteer materials, and manage volunteer assignments;
    • Compile and track volunteer data and event metrics (event summaries, evaluations, participant follow-up) for events throughout the region;
    • Synthesize volunteer event and field data for year-end reporting and newsletter;
    • Manage volunteer program database and ensure necessary correspondence and metrics are uploaded to data management platforms;
    • Ensure regular staff correspondence with volunteers is tracked;
    • Update message board of volunteer portal regularly and post educational content related to areas of interest;
    • Work with Communications to enhance volunteer section of NCC website, and information about accessing NCC properties;
    • Assist with funding proposals as needed;
    • Assist NB & PEI Stewardship Coordinator as needed;

    Required Skills and Attributes:

    This posting is targeted to someone possessing the following skills and abilities:

    • Attention to detail with excellent time management and organizational abilities;
    • Self-starting, proactive and capable of working independently;
    • Work well in a dynamic setting, including office and outdoor environments, under various weather conditions (e.g. temperature and precipitation extremes) and in variable terrain;
    • Outgoing and enjoy working with people/volunteers of all ages in outdoor settings, interest in public engagement and communicating environmental topics;
    • Demonstrated interest in natural history and land conservation, basic plant and wildlife identification skills and an understanding of conservation issues;
    • Highly motivated with creative thinking abilities in both office and field settings;
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including ability to interact with the public to convey a conservation message, and comfortable speaking to groups as well as the media, familiarity with social media (Twitter, Facebook);
    • Fluency in English; fluency in French a strong asset;
    • Wilderness or Standard First Aid training;
    • Photography skills a strong asset;
    • Familiarity with common computer software (Microsoft Office Suite, graphics programs);
    • Valid Driver’s License, and able to rent a car (must be at least 21 years of age to rent).

    Terms of Employment:

    • This is a full-time, 8-month, 35-week (August 19 – April 17) position. Salary is $17/hour ($637.50/week). Start and end dates may be flexible.
    • Position will be based in Fredericton, NB, with travel throughout NB & PEI to prep for and attend events and meet partners. Most events take place on weekends and some will require overnight travel. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and time off granted for weekend work.
    • Interested applicants should forward their cover letter and resume to: Email: atlantic@natureconservancy.ca In your submission email, please include the following: Attention: Jennifer White, NB & PEI Stewardship Coordinator

    To Apply:

    • Cover letter and resume in English and as one pdf document
    • Reference position title “NB Volunteer Program Assistant” in subject line

    Application Deadline:JULY 26, 2019

    No telephone calls please. Late applications will not be considered.

    We thank everyone who applies for their interest in the Nature Conservancy of Canada; however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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