• 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.”
  • October 16, 2012

    (Fredericton)  The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) is urging New Brunswickers to have their say on what New Brunswick’s protected areas future should look like.  Government recently released a map of proposed protected natural areas and is seeking public input until November 15.

    Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB, said, “New Brunswick citizens have a chance right now to show their support for permanent protection of wilderness areas that the New Brunswick government has identified for potential protection.  While this is a good step towards a protected areas network, much more is needed to truly protect New Brunswick’s wilderness heritage.”

    “Near Fredericton, candidates include natural areas in the Nashwaak River watershed, which has recently faced an increase in pressure for industrialization.  Candidates in southeastern New Brunswick include forests that protect the Turtle Creek drinking water supply for Moncton.  Natural areas along the Magaguadavic River and the Piskahegan Stream are the largest candidates in the southwest.  In northern New Brunswick, large forested areas along the Dungarvon River, the Tabusintac River, the Portage River and the Restigouche River have been included in the list.  The candidate protected areas are important old forests, headwaters of significant fish streams, or sensitive wildlife habitats.

    “Unfortunately, not all of the proposed areas will make the actual protection list, so it is important that people who have on-the-ground knowledge of any of the candidate protected areas provide that information to government.   Government will choose which areas will go forward for full protection as a result of these public consultations.”

    Clowater said, “These potential protected areas will move us from having 3% of the province protected, to having about 4.7% protected.  New Brunswick would still be 2nd to last in Canada in the proportion of our land that is permanently protected from development, with only half the proportion that is, on average, protected in the other provinces and territories.  We’ll need to protect all of these areas, and many more, if we’re going to do our fair share to protect the wilderness and wildlife that is so important to our culture, tourism and regional economies.”

    Five open houses are planned over the next two weeks, starting with one in Fredericton on Oct.16, 6:00 pm, Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre.  CPAWS NB is providing links to the maps, background information, the schedule of open houses, and more at www.cpawsnb.org.Restigouche canoeing small2

  • The public has until October 3, 2011 to comment on the Sisson Brook Mine Draft Terms of Reference. Review the linked documents and then vocalize your opinion!!

  • There are so many government consultations going on that it’s hard to keep track! We’re making it a bit easier by compiling a list of those of interest to environmental groups and their deadlines:

    Pre-budget Provincial
    New Brunswickers are invited to attend upcoming public meetings focused on priorities for the 2017-18 budget. November 16-December 5

    Electoral Reform Provincial
    The Commission on Electoral Reform is looking at alternative voting systems, voting age, and other election rules. Deadline: November 30

    Navigable Waters Federal
    Review of the previous government’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Deadline: December 7

    Environmental Protection Act Federal
    Comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of theCanadian Environmental Protection Act. Deadline: December 1

    Charities Federal
    Modernization of the rules governing charities and their political activities. Deadline: December 9

    Environmental Assessment Federal
    Comprehensive review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes. Deadline: December 18

    Fisheries Federal
    Review of the 2012-13 changes to the Fisheries Act made by the previous government. Comments welcome on restoring habitat protections that were lost and also on incorporating modern safeguards. No deadline mentioned but the committee responsible is submitting its report in “early 2017”.

    National Energy Board Federal
    A targeted review of the NEB’s structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act. Deadline: January 17

    Clean Air Act Operating Approval – Irving Provincial
    Renewal of the Approval to Operate for the Irving Pulp and Paper Limited Reversing Falls Complex in Saint John. Deadline: March 7
  •     VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for St. Stephen and area, May 1, 2014


    1)  Stop (moratorium or ban) shale gas in NB to protect our water and 7 generations

    2)  Protect our aquifers

    3)  Take corporations out of politics

    4)  (Tie)

    -      We need value-added here in NB, e.g. wood products

    -      Allow hemp industry in NB

    5)  (Tie)

    -      NB must provide a complete set of tools to allow citizens, communities and co-ops, farmers, etc. to invest in local energy projects

    -      Community economic development investment funds

    -      Good feed-in tariff rate

    -      Investment tax credits for co-ops

    -      Begin community discussions on creating renewable energy opportunities

    6)  (Tie)

    -      Stop forest agreement with Irving. We need to get our crown forests back

    -      Change the way we vote: Kick out the Liberals and PC’s and vote in other party candidates

    -      Focus on renewable energy and our own communities. We need to take care of ourselves and do it sustainably. e.g. local food and local forestry


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