•  

    OPEN LETTER TO NEW BRUNSWICK MPs
    by Jim Emberger

    I am writing on behalf of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, a collection of Anglophone and Francophone groups with members in every constituency of the province.

    I am writing to address two separate but closely related issues. The first is to voice our displeasure in the federal government’s actions in the matter of the recent RCMP assault on the checkpoints established by the traditional Wet’suwet’en Clan Leaders in British Columbia.

    Resorting to militarized action against peaceful protectors over an issue that involves basic unresolved issues, such as relationships between the government and indigenous people, is not only poor policy, but also anathema to our values, our stated intent for reconciliation, and our international obligation to honour the terms of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

    While the actions in question took place a continent away, they have resonated strongly with those of us in New Brunswick who experienced the similar action of the RCMP raid on Elsipogtog over five years ago.

    It too appeared to be a case of government employing the RCMP as an enforcement arm of fossil fuel interests; elevating commercial interests via an injunction over the larger and fundamental issues of civil rights, indigenous rights and international obligations at play.

    We have two requests to make of you.  The first is to make the federal government aware of our position and our support for the We’suwet’en Clan Leaders. The larger issues must be addressed and resolved before any further action to remove indigenous peoples from their unceded lands, and before any commercial activities continue.

    The second request is for you and the federal government to put pressure on the RCMP Commissioner to release the CRCC investigation report on the events at Elsipogtog to the public.  It has been over 5 years in preparation, and via our communications with the CRCC we know that it has been completed and is only awaiting a decision to be released.

    It is doubly important to release it now. First, it may contain lessons that would be applicable to the current situation in BC, and thus of immediate importance to all parties.

    Secondly, the Conservative government in New Brunswick (including those in power at the time of the Elsipogtog raid) are planning a repeat of the actions that led to the debacle in Elsipogtog by lifting the moratorium on shale gas and bypassing consultations with indigenous peoples.

    Our continual entreaties over the last 5 years have not hastened the release of the report, so we are asking for your assistance.

    Recently a scholarly book called, ‘Policing Indigenous Movements, was published, which concluded with a chapter on Elsipogtog.  Suffice it to say that the portrayal of the government and the RCMP was not flattering, but it is the image that Canada continues to show to the world.

    The citizens of New Brunswick and Canada, especially its indigenous people, need to see what actually transpired at Elsipogtog, so the actions taken there will not continue to haunt us and we can get along to the real business of reconciliation in all its forms.

    Thank you for assistance.  Please let us know what responses or news that you receive.
    Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

  • NEWS RELEASE -Council of Canadians, Fredericton, NB Chapter, 25 February 2013

    NewShale Gas Rules A Red Herring Diverting From Real Issue

    FREDERICTON – Rather than paving the way for the government plans, the new rules for the oil and gas industry released on Friday, February 15th 2013 by Ministers Leonard and Fitch are becoming the object of a growing controversy.Today, 17 community groups came to the same conclusion that the new rules are a red herring trying to deflect attention from the worrying fact that they have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims.

    “Moreover, the media have a duty to prevent government from deceiving the public. It is high time to set the record straight”

    In a statement made November 28th, 2012 in the Legislature about the future of the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick, Energy Minister Leonard claimed that both Dr. LaPierre’s and Dr. Cleary’s reports came to the same conclusion – a moratorium on shale gas exploration is neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick.

    “This claim is fraudulent”, affirms Dr. Castilla, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary. “The remarks about a moratorium appearing in the conclusion section of Dr. LaPierre's report do not stem from the content of his report or the input he received from the public. Rather, they are based on fallacious arguments such that a moratorium is incompatible with a science-based approach and would leave undefined the issues. But then how can a moratorium ever finish if the issues that prompted it are not defined?” asks Dr. Castilla.

    “The remarks about a moratorium appearing in the conclusion section of Dr. LaPierre's report do not stem from the content of his report…”

    “We also have to remember that Dr. LaPierre is a Director of NB Power, which has expressed interest in converting to natural gas some of its power generating stations. Hence it is possible that the flaws in his reasoning are intentional”, speculated Dr. Castilla. “In any case, when someone tells you that a report came to this or that conclusion, you expect something that follows from the report itself and not from a personal opinion which on top of that is biased”, explained Dr. Castilla.

    “Even more striking is the misrepresentation of the conclusions of Dr. Cleary’s report, which does not even contain the word moratorium. How can you reach a conclusion on something you don’t even mention?” Dr. Castilla asks.

    “The misrepresentation of Dr. Cleary’s report is clearly intentional”

    “The misrepresentation of Dr. Cleary’s report is clearly intentional”, argues Mark D’Arcy, a spokesperson for the Friends of the UNB Woodlot. “On November 30, 2012 I sent an email to Mr. Leonard bringing to his attention the falsehood of his claim and asking him to publicly retract from it, but he never got back to me. This is very relevant, because this claim is a center piece in the government’s rationale to move ahead with shale gas”, Mr. D’Arcy continued. “Moreover, the media have a duty to prevent government from deceiving the public. It is high time to set the record straight”, concluded Mr. D’Arcy.

    The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians and 16 organizations and community association across New Brunswick are demanding that the case for a moratorium be reopened and revised by an independent panel of scientists with no conflict of interest with industry.

  •  NEWS RELEASE - Council of Canadians, Fredericton N.B. Chapter, 21 February 2013

     

    New shale gas rules put the cart before the horse

    FREDERICTON– The new rules for the oil and gas industry released on Friday, February 15th 2013 by Ministers Leonard and Fitch are starting to backfire on the government.Today, 17 community groups all agreed that the Alward government is putting the cart before the horse by hastily moving the shale gas file ahead without having obtained or sought the consent of Aboriginal Peoples and the rest of the people in New Brunswick.

    "There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm”

    “Premier Alward’s claim that New Brunswickers had their say on the issue during the 2010 provincial election is stretching the truth”, commented Dr Jean Louis Deveau, a social scientist and chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in the PC Party platform. The PC’s statement was that they would support the responsible expansion of the natural gas sector in New Brunswick. This cannot be taken as a carte blanche for developing a shale gas industry”, asserts Dr Deveau. “The government has the responsibility of protecting the public from environmental harm. There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm. Ignoring this responsibility by moving ahead without having thoroughly assessed the risks and without a credible business case cannot possibly be called ‘responsible’; therefore their current plans cannot be reconciled with their 2010 platform statement”, concluded Dr. Deveau.

    “We maintain that proper duty to consult with Aboriginal Peoples has not been executed and so this development cannot proceed under Canada's own rule-of-law”

    “Our Government has never held public meetings to consult with their constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas, even though they have been requested to do so”, argues Jim Emberger of the Taymouth Community Association. “Oil& Gas companies like SWN Resources have been by with open houses, and Dr LaPierre toured the province asking for feedback about an earlier version of the new rules, but this marketing exercise and Dr LaPierre’s pro forma consultation, where no elected officials were present, are no substitutes for a meaningful two-way consultative process.”

    “Our Government has never held public meetings to consult with their constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas even though they have been requested to do so”

    Consent from Aboriginal Peoples could even be a harder nut to crack for the Alward government. “We maintain that proper duty to consult with Aboriginal Peoples has not been executed and so this development cannot proceed under Canada's own rule-of-law”, emphasized Brian Francis, spokesperson for the Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition.

    "The government of New Brunswick does not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the Maliseet People to explore, license or mine for shale gas"

    "The government of New Brunswick does not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the Maliseet People to explore, license or mine for shale gas", asserted Alma Brooks of the Maliseet Grand Council. Chief Candice Paul of the Saint Mary’s First Nation is even more stringent: “Under our Peace and Friendship Treaty, we have not ceded any land. We have not given up title to any land in this Treaty area. So, this is the basis from where we need to talk before anyone can move ahead with any type of resource development in the province of New Brunswick”, she said shortly after Minister Leonard’s and Fitch’s press conference.

  •  UNITY AND SOLIDARITY RALLY

    Poster and Feather Cut-out Worksheet

     

    Nov 05 at 07:30 AM - Nov 05 at 01:00 PM

     

     

    Vist the Facebook page: PEACE & FRIENDSHIP GATHERING:

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1416688618553850/

    http://www.nben.ca/en/get-involved/eco-event-calendar/viewevent/822-unity-a-solidarity-rally

    We encourage people and groups from throughout New Brunswick to share this link and download the attached Event Poster for prominent  display in your community.

     

    Also attached is a Feather Worksheetto create your own cut-out paper feathers which we encourage everyone to bring to the rally and gathering.  These sheets can be printed in a variety of coloured paper stock, as indicated in the instructions on the sheet.

     

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER HIGH RESOLUTION PDF

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER LOW RESOLUTION PDF

    NOVEMBER 5 POSTER JPEG

    FEATHER CUT-OUT WORKSHEET

  • (Letter available for download here. Ici en Francais)

    Fredericton, February 27 2013

    Honourable Craig Leonard
    Energy and Mines Minister

    CC:
    Honourable Bruce Fitch, Environment and Local Government Minister
    Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick
     
    Dear Minister Leonard,
     
    We are a group of 29 associations, organizations and unions representing [tens of] thousands of New Brunswickers, rural and urban; Anglophone, Francophone and Aboriginal.
     

     
    "Your release of new rules for the oil and gas industry on February 15 2013 presumes that you have a mandate from the public"
     
     
    Your release of new rules for the oil and gas industry on February 15 2013 presumes that you have a mandate from the public. We believe that you have no such mandate and are not entitled to release these rules or take any further steps to proceed with the extraction of shale gas in New Brunswick. We base our claim on the following REASONS:
     
     
    “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in your Party‘s 2010 electoral platform”

     
     
    (1) Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in your Party‘s 2010 electoral platform. You cannot claim that your voters were aware that you were using the term ‘natural gas’ as a synonym for the above.


    (2) You have a responsibility to protect the public from environmental harm. There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm. Therefore, you cannot allow such activity until the risks are fully assessed. Such assessment can be done without exposing the public to the actual risks, which is what you are in fact doing by allowing exploration and drilling. Ignoring your responsibility to protect the public cannot possibly be called ‘responsible’. Therefore, your current plans cannot be reconciled with the statement in your 2010 platform that you will “support the responsible expansion of the natural gas sector in New Brunswick”.
     

    “You have a responsibility to protect the public from environmental harm”
     
     
    (3) The two points above clearly show you do not have a mandate to renew existing licenses related to shale gas exploration or drilling, or to grant new ones. We believe doing so is undemocratic and irresponsible, for the aforementioned reasons.
     
     (4) You have never held public meetings to consult with your constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas, even though you have been requested to do so. Shale gas licensees have conducted open houses, and you hired Dr. LaPierre to solicit feedback on an earlier version of the new rules. However, industry marketing exercises and Dr. LaPierre’s pro forma consultation, where no elected officials were present, are no substitutes for a meaningful two-way consultative process.
     
     
    “You do not have a mandate to renew existing licenses related to shale gas exploration or drilling, or to grant new ones”
     
     
    (5) You do not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the First Nations in this province to explore, license or mine for shale gas, which is a requirement under Canada's own rule-of-law.
     
     
    “You have never held public meetings to consult with your constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas”
     
     
    (6) You have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims. Specifically, in your Statement to the Legislative Assembly on the future of the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick made on November 28th 2012, you claimed that both Dr. LaPierre’s and Dr. Cleary’s reports came to the same conclusion – a moratorium on shale gas exploration is neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick. This claim has no basis in fact, as shown in the next three points.
     
     
    "Consult on the question of whether the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples of New Brunswick want the shale gas industry to operate within provincial boundaries"
     
     
    (7) You did not give a mandate to Dr. LaPierre to make recommendations on a moratorium on shale gas. We understand this decision, since we perceive he may be in a conflict of interest on this subject, given he is a Director of NB Power. The latter has expressed interest in converting some power generation facilities to natural gas and hence has a vested interest in the development of a local shale gas industry.
     
     
    “You have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims”
     
     
    (8) Yet Dr. LaPierre created his own, ethically questionable, mandate and ruled out a moratorium on shale gas, and you made his conclusion yours. You seemingly did not pay attention to the fact that he did not derive such conclusion from the content of his report or the input he received from the public. Rather, he derived it from fallacious arguments such as that a moratorium is incompatible with a science-based approach and would leave the issues undefined. Therefore, you cannot claim that his report came to that conclusion, or that the conclusion is based on sound evidence or perceived public will. The conclusion is rather Dr. LaPierre’s biased and flawed personal opinion.
     
     
    “Any inferred comment on a moratorium was not the intention or the point of my report”

    - Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eilish Cleary

     
     
    (9) Dr. Cleary’s report drew no conclusions on a moratorium, and does not even contain the word ‘moratorium’. When asked about this, Dr. Cleary has stated that “any inferred comment on a moratorium was not the intention or the point of my report”. Furthermore, some of us brought to your attention the falsehood of your claim about Dr. Cleary’s report and asked you to retract it, a demand that you ignored. Therefore you cannot claim you were not aware of this misrepresentation.
     
     
    “You have not substantiated your claim that the benefits for the people of New Brunswick will outweigh the risks you intend to subject them to”

     
     
    (10) You have not substantiated your claim that the benefits for the people of New Brunswick will outweigh the risks you intend to subject them to. The experience of people living in various shale plays across North America is that the purported benefits do not trickle down to the society at large, while extensive environmental, health and social problems do.
     
     
    Considering the above, we DEMAND that your government:
     
    (1) Bring the following to an immediate stop: ongoing shale gas exploration, the granting of any new licenses for exploration or wells, and the renewal of existing ones.
     
    (2) Reopen the case for a moratorium and commission an independent panel of scientists with no conflict of interest with industry to review it.
     
    (3) Apologize to the public for the false claims ruling out a moratorium and publicly retract them.
     
    (4) Consult on the question of whether the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples of New Brunswick want the shale gas industry to operate within provincial boundaries. We believe the consultative process should not start until (i) the risks are fully assessed; and (ii) a credible scenario-based business case is developed to assess potential benefits.
     
    We kindly ask that you reply promptly and publicly to this letter.
     
    Respectfully,
     
    29 organizations, associations and unions of New Brunswick

    (please see alphabetical list below)

     
     
    Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick (CUPE NB)
    CCNB Action
    Citizens Coalition for Clean Air
    Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis
    Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter
    Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter
    Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk
    ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc.
    Fredericton & District Labour Council
    Friends of Mount Carleton
    Friends of the UNB Woodlot
    Hampton Water First
    Maliseet Grand Council
    Memramcook Action
    New Brunswickers Against Fracking
    New Brunswick Senior Citizens Federation
    National Farmers Union New Brunswick (NFU NB)
    Notre Environnement, Notre Choix
    Parents Against Everyday Poisons
    Penniac Anti-Shale Gas Organization
    Quality of Life Initiative
    Sierra Club Atlantic
    Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition
    Stanley Area Action Group
    Taymouth Community Association
    Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking
    Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance
    Upriver Environment Watch
    Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County
  • (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.

     

     

     

  • JIM EMBERGER   COMMENTARY
    Telegraph Journal  June 14, 2018

    Last winter the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance asked the provincial party leaders for their views on energy, climate change and the fracking moratorium. Each party, except the Progressive Conservatives, responded.

    Additional requests to PC leader Blaine Higgs for evidence to justify his plans to lift the moratorium, and to explain the process for lifting it, have gone unanswered.

    Fortunately, Mr. Higgs was the first speaker in the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s series featuring party leaders last week, so I went there seeking some answers.

    I began my question by noting that all of the other Maritime provinces, states like New York, and many European nations had passed moratoriums after conducting in-depth expert examinations.

    Additionally, over a thousand scientific studies and investigations have now validated fracking’s threats of water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and especially threats to public health, including serious harm to infants and children.

    I asked if he had evidence to contradict these scientific studies, and by what process would he publicly explain why we should lift our moratorium and accept serious risks?

    Echoing stale talking points from eight years ago, he first responded by saying that for every study saying fracking is bad, there is another study that says the opposite.

    This is simply, and provably, false.

    Ask yourself, if there were a thousand studies saying fracking posed no threat to public health, the environment or clean water, wouldn’t we have heard about them by now, with heavy promotion from the gas industry?

    Mr. Higgs then predictably moved to the classic misleading statement that there are many places that have been fracking“safely and responsibly”for 50 years.

    Anyone familiar with this topic knows that what we now call fracking is only roughly 15 years old. In the last few years, there has been a drastic increase in the amounts of water, sand, toxic chemicals and wastewater it involves.

    As for fracking“safely and responsibly,” what do those words mean when applied to those jurisdictions that unquestioningly welcomed fracking?

    The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission identified significant methane leaks from hundreds of gas wells, but withheld that information from politicians and citizens for four years.

    The B.C. government didn’t tell the public that frackers had built 92 illegal and uninspected dams to sequester water, threatening people living downstream and local ecosystems.

    So many sizeable earthquakes have been caused by fracking in B.C. that fracking can’t be done within five km of critical infrastructure.

    For 12 years, Pennsylvania regulatory officials hid 9,442 Citizen-Reported Fracking Complaints, 44 per cent of which concerned water contamination.

    Canada’s tens of thousands of abandoned gas and oil wells will eventually reach hundreds of thousands. Natural Resources Canada describes methane leakage from abandoned wells as risking “irreversible contamination of freshwater aquifers, accumulation of explosive gases within and around residences... and contribution to greenhouse gases.” 

    The former chief environmental scientist with the Alberta energy regulator stated, “The expertise to assess the health risk of abandoned wells really doesn’t exist in-house.”

    A life-threatening gas, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), often accompanies shale gas. A Saskatchewan investigation into incidents involving releases of H2S found “repeated and continuing serious infractions, a string of failed safety audits, and H2S readings that exceeded air quality standards on a daily basis.”

    These few examples illustrate that neither the government nor the industry has operated in a safe or responsible manner, even in these “best regulated”jurisdictions.

    As to the process for lifting the moratorium, Mr. Higgs offered to“talk”to municipalities that want shale gas.

    His earlier, opening remarks reflected his concern that the recent flood damage was becoming the “new normal.”

    Using this reference to climate change, we noted that New Brunswick and the world have experienced increasing numbers of very costly natural disasters, for which climate change is at least partially responsible.

    Natural gas, once considered a way to transition from other fossil fuels, is now known as one of the largest and fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases, due to methane leaking from gas infrastructure. Some analyses consider it worse than coal.

    “How then,” we asked, “does opening a new shale gas industry fit into plans to fight climate change?”

    After spending a great deal of time discussing the unrelated issue of carbon taxes, Mr. Higgs said there is a risk in everything, and that we have to strike a balance.

    Like editorial writers who worry about climate change damage, but then call for fossil-fuel projects, Mr. Higgs must believe we can bargain with the laws of physics to allow us to burn more fossil fuels, yet somehow not contribute to climate change.

    Alas, we still don’t know whether the PC’s actually have any cogent energy or climate policies, or even good reasons for lifting the fracking moratorium. They seem unaware of scientific risk analyses.

    That’s a problem for a party running on a platform of “responsible leadership.” Responsible leaders should not be so out of touch with the great issues of our time.

    Jim Emberger
    is a spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.
  • (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]

  • The following are the words of Passamaquoddy Elder Hugh Akagi. He presented at the 'Energy For Everyone' initiative, run recently in Saint John.

  • The following are the words of Passamaquoddy Elder Hugh Akagi. He presented at the 'Energy For Everyone' initiative, run recently in Saint John.

    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.
  • For Immediate Release

     

    LaPierre’s report is opinion, not science

    Dr. Louis LaPierre’s report on public feedback about the New Brunswick government’s shale gas industry proposals was released on October 15th, and is already attracting comments and criticisms. A retired biologist, LaPierre was commissioned by the provincial government to hold public meetings and gather public reaction concerning the government’s 116 recommendations for regulating a potential shale gas industry. In his report, Dr. Lapierre wrote that there were few comments about the government’s regulations at those meetings. Instead, the public spoke mostly about matters concerning the environment, health, water, and so on. In the concluding remarks of his report, Dr. LaPierre makes recommendations about a moratorium, a phased-approach to development, and outlines a structure for managing gas distribution.

    Today, 18 community groups supported a statement suggesting that LaPierre’s recommendations and conclusions were based on opinion, not science.

    Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, a social scientist with the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians, says that while LaPierre’s report appears to contain a fairly accurate representation of the concerns expressed at the public meetings, the report’s conclusions and recommendations are unfounded.

    “Dr. LaPierre was directed to report on people’s concerns about the government’s recommendations for regulating the industry,” Deveau explains.

    “People spoke and wrote to him. Those words and textual submissions were his data. In a proper scientific analysis, his conclusions should have been derived from the actual data he received and might have read something like this: ’New Brunswickers were faced with too many unknowns about the shale gas industry to be in a position to provide meaningful input on the government’s recommendations for regulating the industry. Therefore, they chose to voice their concerns about water, the environment, health, and so on.’ However, instead of linking his conclusions to those data, Dr. LaPierre chose to debate the pros and cons of a moratorium, a phased approach to industry development, and a management structure for a future shale gas industry in New Brunswick. In short, there is nothing in his data to support any of those concluding remarks.”

    Deveau suggests that LaPierre has actually failed to follow the science-based approach advocated in his own report and that his report amounts to little more than an opinion piece.

    Conservation Council of New Brunswick—Stephanie Merrill

    Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter—Jean Louis Deveau

    Council of Canadians, Saint John Chapter—Carol Ring

    Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk—Doug Foster

    Friends of UNB Woodlot—Mark D’Arcy

    Hampton Water First—Chris Rendell

    Harvey Environmental Action—Terry Wishart

    Memramcook Action—Patricia Leger

    Maliseet Grand Council—Alma Brooks

    New Brunswickers Against Fracking—Stan Donovan

    Our Environment, Our Choice—Mike McKinley

    Parents Against Everyday Poisons—Michael Stoneleigh

    Penniac Anti-Shale Gas Organization--Eric Hadley

    Quality of Life Initiative—Otty Forgrave

    Tantramar Alliance—Marilyn Lerch

    Upriver Environment Watch—Ann Pohl

    Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance—Brad Wood

    Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County—Deborah Carr

  • News Release

    Council of Canadians (CoC), Fredericton Chapter

    Fredericton, NB                                                                                   September 15, 2014

    Public health axed—Alward giving New Brunswickers a false sense of security

    The three New Brunswick chapters of the Council of Canadians—Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint-John—are accusing Premier Alward of luring New Brunswickers into a false sense of security. In last Tuesday night’s televised debate with the other party leaders, Mr. Alward said that his government had taken the opportunity to develop “the strongest regulations in North America” to oversee shale gas development.

    “We agree with Premier Alward’s statement on the need for tough regulations to protect public health from this industry. But what we are gravely concerned about is what he isn’t saying. Neither he nor anyone in his government have publicly explained why public health was removed from the 12 guiding principles used to develop those regulations,” argues Jean Louis Deveau, a social scientist, who recently completed an analysis of how these regulations were developed. “Using a recipe for developing shale gas regulations without public health as the key ingredient is like cooking a turkey dinner without the turkey,” adds Deveau.

    In December 2011, 12 principles used to develop the regulations appeared in a government press release. They included a mix of things like “taking steps to prevent potential contaminants from escaping the well bore,” “addressing the need for sustainable water use,” and “protecting public health.”

    Six months later, in May 2012, when a discussion paper containing the 116 recommendations for New Brunswick’s world-class regulations was released for public input, public health had been dropped from the mix. There was no mention of this to the public.

    “The failure of this government to include public health as an essential ingredient in the development of these regulations is another indication of this government’s total orientation to meeting the needs of industry as opposed to the wellbeing of the citizens of this province,” adds Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, co-chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

    -30-

    Media contacts: Jean Louis Deveau, (506) 459-2907 (h), (506) 238-5277 (c); Caroline Lubbe D’Arcy, (506) 454-5119; Angela Giles, (902) 422-7811
  •  La désobéissance civile prend racine lorsque les actions du parti gouvernemental sont influencés par un petit nombre et la puissance des citoyens en général et la capacité d'influence est enlevé... Est-ce que c’est là où le Nouveau-Brunswick et le Canada en est maintenant?

    Canada says oil, gas industry organized PR strategy for oilsands, The Gazette

    Shale gas protesters to end blockade, CBC News

    Un barrage contre le gaz de schiste près de Fredericton, Radio Canada

  • For Immediate Release             PRESS RELEASE                November 26, 2011

    Walk for a ban on fracking – stop ”fracking“ with our water and air

    FREDERICTON NB ---- A citizen march through downtown Fredericton, culminating with a rally at the Provincial Legislature, will take place on Tuesday November 27th to demand a stop to unconventional natural gas development in NB.

    On Legislature Opening Day, Tuesday November 27th, about 40 groups and hundreds of individuals will commemorate last year’s rally against shale gas, and show solidarity with the 20,000 people who signed the 2011 petition, with “a walk for a ban on fracking” through Fredericton.

    The peaceful walk will begin at 11am at the Old Burial grounds and will finish with a rally between noon and 1 pm in front of the Legislature Building with a number of brief speaker presentations.

    “The goal of Tuesday’s walk and rally is to demand an immediate stop to unconventional natural gas exploration and permitting”, says Julia Linke (PhD) of the Fredericton chapter of The Council of Canadians.

    The groups and organizations that have already joined or endorsed this event are a real cross-section of both rural and urban New Brunswick and include 24 community groups, 6 NGOs, 3 union organizations, 2 political parties, and 4 student groups.

    Jim Emberger of the Taymouth Community Association states “The opposition to shale gas fracking is only increasing in this province, as the government fails to produce any business case supporting their claims about jobs and royalties, while it continues to relax environmental protection of our wetlands, watersheds, and air to make way for this industry”. 

    See: Walk For A Ban On Fracking – Stop Fracking With Our Water and Air

    *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Pour publication immédiate      COMMUNIQUÉ                    26 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.

    À l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative, le mardi 27 novembre, environ 40 groupes et des centaines de personnes vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes qui ont signé la pétition, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation hydraulique. 

    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 législative.  De brèves discours seront présentés.

    « Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est d'exiger un arrêt immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke (PhD) du chapitre de Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.

    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, et ils incluent 24 groupes des collectivités, 6 ONG, 3 organisations professionnelles/syndicats, 2 partis politiques, et 4 groupes d’ étudiants.

    Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth dit « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que ce gouvernement 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. »

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

  • Frack Letter BY
    We need to speak up for the health and safety of New Brunswickers.

    Premier Blaine Higgs says his minority Progressive Conservative government will end the province-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and allow the controversial and risky process in the Sussex region. And Premier Higgs wants to do it fast — before the New Year.

    Use your voice to let the Premier know this is bad public policy. The Conservation Council has launched an easy-to-use letter-writing tool so you can have your say on fracking to your local Member of the Legislative Assembly, Premier Higgs, and all political party leaders.

    Click here to send our pre-written letter (which you can edit freely) today.

    Why should I send my #noshalegas letter?

    New Brunswickers know that climate change is here, now, and already impacting our communities. It is time to diversify our energy toward the huge potential of renewable sources and turn the page on the fossil fuels causing climate change and impacting our health.

    Fracking is not worth the risks it poses to our drinking water, our environment, or our health and safety.

    There are now more than 1,300 scientific studies, journalistic investigations and government regulatory reports on every aspect of shale gas extraction. The overwhelming majority of them substantiate the threats that the industry poses towards public health, water and the environment, and climate change.

    report6 e1369185759795
    *Picture: Families, farmers, and New Brunswickers of all walks of life rally to protect their health and water from the threat of shale gas development.

    Climate change

    Burning oil, coal and gas is not good for our health. These energy sources pollute the air we breathe, contaminate the water we drink, and unbalance the climate we depend on. Renewable energy using solar, wind, hydro or other technologies is a clean way to deliver the power we need. Renewing our energy system lowers air pollution, protects water, and helps slow climate change.  The good news is that we have what it takes to renew our energy system.

    This is where the good jobs are headed. Canadians know energy, and we have the can-do attitude and skills needed to build the renewable energy system almost all Canadians want. The most competitive economies are heavily investing in their clean energy sectors. Shifting to more energy-efficient and clean forms of renewable energy to power our economy is the surest way to maintain Canadian jobs and create new economic opportunities for New Brunswickers. Our province can accelerate the renewal of its energy system by developing its abundant renewable energy sources. And, in doing so, we join the growing group of forward-thinking jurisdictions creating opportunities for workers, businesses and communities.

    Water and air pollution

    Methane, fracking fluids and other drilling chemicals have been proven to enter waterways via leaking wells, spills, pipeline breaks, well blowouts, truck accidents and floods.  In addition to making water wells undrinkable and causing illnesses, contaminated waters have killed farm animals, wildlife, fish, vegetation and have left farmlands unusable. Many studies have linked airborne illnesses to density and nearness of gas wells, some documenting problems up to 4km from wells.  Because airborne pollution can be inhaled, swallowed, and also reach the skin, it has emerged as one of the primary public health concerns.  Other shale gas chemicals have created ground-level ozone over 300 km from the source, aggravating asthma, respiratory diseases and causing irreparable lung damage. These are just a few of the risks fracking poses to New Brunswickers. To learn more, check out these helpful resources:

    Recommended resources:

  • The power of networks is shown by these eleven groups who collaborated together on a media release as a way to voice a shared opinion - their release speaks for itself, enjoy.

     

    July 7, 2011

     

    Shale Gas Community Groups in New Brunswick Express Concern

     

    New Brunswick - The Citizens for Responsible Resource Development's (CRRD) media conference announcing support for the continued development of the shale gas industry in New Brunswick does not express nor represent the views of many of the community based groups that have been formed to address the issues of this relatively new and highly controversial industry in our Province.

     

    Many New Brunswicker's are still unaware and unfamiliar with this complex industry. We, the undersigned, are looking forward to continuing to work in our communities and with each other to educate and inform residents of the potential impacts of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

     

    Hampton Water First
    Harvey Environmental Action Team (HEAT)
    Maliseet Grand Council
    Our Environment, Our Choice
    Quality of Life Initiative
    Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis
    Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc.
    Corn Hill Area Residents Association
    Ban Fracking NB
    Council of Canadians
    Action Memramcook

  • PRESS RELEASE

    For Immediate Release        November 17, 2011

    Shale Gas Protest March and Rallies in Fredericton November 19th and 23rd

     

    FREDERICTON NB ---- A march and two rallies at the Provincial Legislature will take place on November 19th and November 23rd to protest unconventional shale gas development in New Brunswick.
    Citizens and community groups from throughout New Brunswick will converge on Fredericton on Saturday, November 19th and at the opening session of the New Brunswick Legislature on Wednesday, November 23rd with their message to the Alward Government that the exploration and extraction of natural gas from shale using horizontal drilling in combination with slick water hydraulic fracturing will not be tolerated.

    New Brunswickers from all over the province denounce the development of an unconventional shale gas industry. The process used to extract unconventional shale gas is less than 20 years old. It is the undisputed cause of ecological damage and long-term economic net debt, earthquakes, air and noise pollution, infrastructure degradation and the profligate use and irreversible poisoning of trillions of litres of fresh water. It leaves deleterious impacts on the lives and health of humans and other animals in its wake.

    “The civic duty of New Brunswick residents does not require that they be guinea pigs in anyone's science experiments”, states Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the Taymouth Community Association.

    The promise of large-scale job creation appears over-exaggerated. In a recent presentation at the University of New Brunswick on October 22, 2011, Mr. Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas mentioned that since this industry requires highly skilled workers, most will be imported from outside the province to enable the industry to be more competitive at a time when stock market prices for natural gas are low.

    Events on Saturday, November 19th will begin at 7:00 am with a Sunrise Ceremony at the Old Burial Grounds at 51 Woodstock Road. At 10:00 am there will be a benefit concert at the Old Burial Grounds for the people of Penobsquis. A march to the Provincial Legislature will begin after the concert, starting at 11:00 am.

    Sixty residents in Penobsquis have lost their well water and have experienced ground subsidence allegedly from the industrialization of their rural community. Some who want to move away have been unable to sell their homes. We ask, where is justice for the people of Penobsquis? Will regulations serve anyone when more things go wrong? A point made clear in the recent documentary by Rob Turgeon, ‘Be... Without Water’. (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Events on Wednesday, November 23rd are scheduled to begin at the Provincial Legislature at 12:00 noon. A program with music and speakers will begin at 1:00 pm.

     

    Media Contacts:

    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca     

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

    _________________________________________________

    COMMUNIQUÉ

    Pour publication immédiate                              17 novembre 2011

    Marche et rassemblements contre les gaz de schiste à Fredericton les 19 et 23 novembre

    FREDERICTON NB — Une marche et deux rassemblements devant l’Assemblée législative auront lieu les 19 et 23 novembre pour protester contre l’exploitation non traditionnelle des gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick.

    Des citoyens et des groupes communautaires de toutes les régions du Nouveau-Brunswick se réuniront à Fredericton le samedi 19 novembre et lors de la séance d’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative du Nouveau-Brunswick le mercredi 23 novembre pour livrer leur message à l’administration Alward que l’exploration et l’exploitation du gaz naturel des schistes en utilisant le forage horizontal avec des fluides de fracturation ne seront pas tolérées. Les Néobrunswickois de toute la province dénoncent l’exploitation non conventionnelle des gaz de schiste par l’industrie. Le processus utilisé pour extraire les gaz a moins de 20 ans. Et il est la cause non contestée de dégâts écologiques, de dettes économiques nettes à long terme, de tremblements de terre, de pollution atmosphérique et sonore, de dégradation des infrastructures et de l’utilisation immodérée d’eau et de l’empoisonnement irréversible de trillions de litres d’eau douce. Par ailleurs, cette industrie laisse dans son sillage des impacts nuisibles sur la vie et la santé des humains et des autres animaux.

    « Le devoir civique des résidents du Nouveau-Brunswick n’exige pas qu’ils servent de cobaye pour les expériences scientifiques, » affirme Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.

    Les promesses de créations d’emplois à grande échelle semblent très exagérées. Dans sa récente présentation à l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick le 22 octobre dernier, monsieur Calvin Tillman, ancien maire de Dish au Texas a mentionné qu’étant donné que cette industrie a besoin de travailleurs hautement qualifiés, la plupart d’entre eux proviendront de l’extérieur de la province afin de permettre aux opérations d’être plus compétitives au moment où les prix sur le marché du gaz naturel sont bas.

    Les évènements de samedi 19 novembre vont commencer à 7 heures avec une cérémonie du lever du soleil au vieux cimetière situé au 51 Woodstock Road. À 10 heures, il y aura un concert au bénéfice des citoyens de Penobsquis. La marche vers l’Assemblée législative commencera après le concert à 11 heures au même endroit.

    En effet, soixante résidents de Penobsquis ont perdu l’eau de leur puits et ont subi des affaissements de terrain après l’industrialisation de leur collectivité rurale. Certains qui ont voulu déménager ailleurs n’ont pas été capables de vendre leur maison. Nous demandons, où se trouve la justice pour les habitants de Penobsquis? Est-ce que des règlementations vont servir à qui que ce soit lorsque d’autres choses tourneront mal? Un récent documentaire par Rob Turgeon donne une réponse très claire :

    « Vivez...sans eau » (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Les évènements de mercredi 23 novembre débuteront à l’Assemblée législative à midi. Un
    ensemble d’évènements avec musique et conférenciers débutera à 13 heures.

     

    Personnes-ressources pour les médias :

    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

  • PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release November 22, 2011

    Shale Gas Protest Rally in Fredericton November 23rd

    FREDERICTON NB ---- A rally at the Provincial Legislature will take place on November 23rd to protest unconventional shale gas development in New Brunswick.

    Citizens and community groups from throughout New Brunswick will converge on Fredericton on Wednesday, November 23rd at the opening session of the New Brunswick Legislature with their message to the Alward Government that the exploration and extraction of natural gas from shale using horizontal drilling in combination with slick water hydraulic fracturing will not be tolerated.

    Members of CUPE locals from throughout the province will be joining industry opponents in solidarity on Wednesday. At their November 3rd 2011 National Convention, CUPE adopted Resolution No.96, which expressly states that all levels of government must put an end to shale gas development because the industry, “has failed to demonstrate that such development would not have serious consequences for the environment and the health of citizens”; and governments being “clearly unprepared for this issue, and have done a poor job of responding to public concerns”.

    New Brunswickers from all over the province denounce the development of an unconventional shale gas industry. The process used to extract unconventional shale gas is less than 20 years old. It is the undisputed cause of ecological damage and long-term economic net debt, earthquakes, air and noise pollution, infrastructure degradation and the profligate use and irreversible poisoning of trillions of litres of fresh water. It leaves deleterious impacts on the lives and health of humans and other animals in its wake.

    “The civic duty of New Brunswick residents does not require that they be guinea pigs in anyone's science experiments”, states Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the Taymouth Community Association.

    The promise of large-scale job creation appears over-exaggerated. In a recent presentation at the University of New Brunswick on October 22, 2011, Mr. Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas mentioned that since this industry requires highly skilled workers, most will be imported from outside the province to enable the industry to be more competitive at a time when stock market prices for natural gas are low.

    Sixty residents in Penobsquis have lost their well water and have experienced ground subsidence allegedly from potash mining and the added burden of shale gas drilling in their rural community. Some who want to move away have been unable to sell their homes. We ask, where is justice for the people of Penobsquis? Will regulations serve anyone when more things go wrong? A point made clear in the recent documentary by Rob Turgeon, ‘Be… Without Water’. (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Events on Wednesday, November 23rd are scheduled to begin with a gathering at the Provincial Legislature at 12:00 noon. A program with music and speakers will begin at 12:45 pm.

    Media Contacts:
    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Pour publication immédiate COMMUNIQUÉ 22 novembre 2011

    Rassemblement contre les gaz de schiste à Fredericton le 23 novembre

    FREDERICTON NB − Un rassemblement aura lieu à l’Assemblée législative demain le 23 novembre afin de protester contre l’exploitation des gaz de schiste au Nouveau-Brunswick.

    Des citoyennes et des citoyens ainsi que des groupes communautaires de l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick convergeront vers Fredericton à l’ouverture de la Législature du Nouveau-Brunswick demain mercredi le 23 novembre pour signifier à l’administration Alward que l’exploration et l’extraction des gaz naturels en utilisant le forage horizontal avec des fluides de fracturation sous pression ne seront pas tolérées.

    Les membres des sections locales de toute la province du SCFP se joindront en solidarité à ceux qui s’opposent à l’exploitation des gaz de schiste. Lors de leur Convention nationale le 3 novembre dernier, ils ont adopté la résolution 96, qui déclare expressément à tous les niveaux de gouvernement que l’on doit mettre fin à l’exploitation des gaz de schiste parce que cette industrie « a failli de démontrer que de telles entreprises n’auraient pas de conséquences graves sur l’environnement et sur la santé de la population, » et que les gouvernements « sont manifestement mal préparés devant cet enjeu et qu’ils n’ont pas réussi à répondre aux préoccupations de la population. »

    Les NéoBrunswickois de toute la province dénoncent le développement non conventionnel de l’industrie des gaz de schiste. Le processus utilisé pour extraire les gaz de schiste non conventionnels a moins de 20 ans. Et il est la cause non contestée de dégâts écologiques, de tremblements de terre, de pollution atmosphérique, de pollution par le bruit, de dégradation des infrastructures et de l’utilisation immodérée et de l’empoisonnement irréversible de trillions de litres d’eau douce. Elle laisse dans son sillage des impacts nuisibles pour la vie des humains et des autres animaux.

    « Le devoir civique des résidents du Nouveau-Brunswick n’exige pas qu’ils servent de cobaye pour les expériences scientifiques de qui que ce soit, » affirme Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.

    Les promesses de créations d’emplois à grande échelle semblent très exagérées. Dans sa récente présentation à l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick le 22 octobre dernier, monsieur Calvin Tillman, ancien maire de Dish au Texas a mentionné qu’étant donné que cette industrie a besoin de travailleurs hautement qualifiés, la plupart d’entre eux proviendront de l’extérieur de la province afin de permettre aux opérations d’être plus compétitives au moment où les prix en bourse du gaz naturel sont bas.

    En effet, la collectivité de Penobsquis a perdu (60) puits et sources depuis plusieurs années. Les plateformes de forage pour les gaz de schiste qui contribuent au fonctionnement des processus de la mine de potasse sont dispersées dans les pâturages et les coteaux à l’amont de la Kennebecasis. Nous demandons, où se trouve la justice pour les habitants de Penobsquis? Est-ce que des règlementations vont servir qui que ce soit lorsque d’autres choses tournent mal? Un récent documentaire par Rob Turgeon donne une réponse très claire : « Vivez…sans eau » (www.youtube.com/user/robfturgeon#p/a/u/1/aK0NMTMXHSw)

    Les évènements de demain mercredi 23 novembre débuteront à midi lors du rassemblement devant l’Assemblée législative provinciale. Un programme de musique et de conférenciers suivra à midi et 45.

    Contacts pour les médias:
    Jean Louis Deveau 506 442 1413 jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca

    Julia Linke 506 367 0987 linkejul@gmail.com

    Terry Wishart 506 238 4001 t.wishart@banfrackingnb.ca
  • This just in...
    Yesterday at the Rally, we began our Text Message Action. Now we all have the chance to do the same, wherever we are.

    With a very simple text-message procedure, a 'No Shale Gas" message is sent to all 55 MLAs and the Premier. This was setup in partnership with the Council of Canadians.

    Each cell phone can send the text message twice, once in English and again once in French.

    The procedure takes about 10-15 seconds, and is stated below in Blue (first in French, then in English). You simply dial 123411, then type in either "ngs" (French) or "nsg" (English). It's not case sensitive. You will then receive a text-message in reply, at which point you simply type your "firstname lastname".

    It's as easy as breathing deep. You will receive a final reply that states the message to the MLAs (it is a short text basically asking for a ban on shale gas in NB).

    We need to spread the word around, so that this goes viral. Stephanie Merrill is presenting over 12,000 signatures on the CCNB petition in a session of the Legislature next Tuesday Nov 29 in the morning. Imagine if we could get 12,000 + people using this text message action! Post it on your Facebook, Twitter, whatever.

    Here are the instructions -- have fun!

    For French,

    1. Vous allez écrire une texte au « 123411 »
    2. Dans le message, écrivez tout simplement « NGS » (‘G’ in French sounds like the English ‘J’) pour Non au Gaz de Schiste, et envoyez-le.
    3. Vous allez recevoir une réponse presqu’immédiatement; répondez avec votre nom
    4. (Puis le réponse que vous allez recevoir à ça : L'industrie du gaz de schiste doit cesser au N.-B. Signez ce msg pour l'envoyer à tous les députés du N.-B. Taux en vigueur s'appliquent) You don’t really need to say this one; you could just say #6. I was just thinking in case you get a question about the text on this one, as some words are blurred together in the actual response.
    5. Votre lettre à été envoyer à tous les 55 (cinquante-cinq) membres de l’Assemblée législative! Vous pouvez seulement le faire une fois en chaque langue par téléphone cellulaire.

    For English,
    1. We’re going to send a text to “123411”
    2. In the body of the message, type “NSG” for No Shale Gas, and click on send.
    3. You’ll get a response almost immediately; respond to that with your first and last name
    4. You’ll get a thank-you note, indicating your letter has been sent to all 55 MLAs. This action can only be performed once in each language, per cell phone.
    ***********
  • Jim Emberger - Commentary, Telegraph-Journal, Daily Gleaner August 24, 2018

    At a recent oil and gas industry conference, Terry Spencer, head of natural gas infrastructure company, ONEOK, told the audience: “One of these days, one of these big ol’ fracs will be operated with nobody there..... We are as an industry working towards where we can operate 24/7, unattended.”

    He wasn’t forecasting the distant future.

    In 2016, the Houston Chronicle was already reporting,“These new rigs, using sophisticated software and robotics, could reduce the number of people working in the oil patch by up to 40 per cent.”  The article continues: “The Holy Grail [is] to not have to touch the pipe and totally automate the process.”

    The 2014 fossil fuel crash forced companies to slash the number of drilling rigs and lay off 440,000 workers. Although the number of rigs is slowly growing back, analysts say that half the workers may never return.

    That’s because the fracking industry, despite its growth, has always been mired in debt – the Wall Street Journal calculates US$280 billion. To have any chance of reaching profitability, the industry must cut costs, meaning eliminating jobs and increasing automation.

    For example, SWN, the American company once exploring in New Brunswick, has announced it will layoff 200 workers to save on annual personnel costs of $65 million.

    Since the fracking industry has always sold itself as a source of high-paying, blue-collar jobs, it doesn’t publicize that many of those jobs are now disappearing.  Replacing workers with machines is masked as “efficiencies” and “cost-savings,” and, with no apparent sense of shame, as “worker safety measures.”

    Industry debt also leads to numerous bankruptcies and company closures, posing financial threats to taxpayers and landowners in the form of thousands of abandoned, often leaking, gas and oil wells.

    Governments should have demanded sufficient funds from the industry in advance to cover the costs of closing wells, but did not. Industry claimed it couldn’t afford the upfront cost.  Now, bankruptcy laws that give creditors first access to the assets of insolvent companies leave little money to remediate abandoned wells.

    Saskatchewan’s auditor general estimates the problem will cost the province $4 billion, while Alberta, with its hundreds-of-thousands of wells, faces a mind-numbing $47 billion in future costs.  Saskatchewan has already asked Ottawa for a few hundred million until they can figure out a long-term plan, so we can surmise that federal and provincial taxpayers will be on the hook for bailout money.

    Any taxpayer bailout will be a bitter pill, as the industry already receives billions from Canadian taxpayer subsidies, another fact not discussed. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Canada’s subsidies to the natural gas industry are 44-per cent greater than its foreign aid payments.

    The British Columbia government, for instance, offers exemptions from income, sales and climate taxes, provides lower electricity rates, and offers extremely generous “royalty credits for fracking operations.”  The Energy Ministry calculates that these “credits” equal nearly $5 billion in lost royalty revenue.

    Despite generous subsidies, Alberta (our largest gas producer) has seen royalties plummet 90 per cent since 2008: from $5 billion down to $500 million.This explains why the Petroleum Services Association of Canada just announced a decrease in Canadian natural gas drilling this year, citing low natural gas prices and reduced demand.It noted: “Many companies are sitting at near break-even points or are still in negative territory.... This is not sustainable from a business continuity and competitiveness perspective,” and explains the “lack of attractiveness for investment.”

    These subsidies, debts and job losses occur in tandem, with multiple economists warning that market forces may turn Canada’s billions of dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure into worthless “stranded assets” by 2030.

    All of this news comes from industry or government sources.

    So why would conservatives, economists and various chambers of commerce members who write newspaper commentaries promoting shale gas not address any of these issues? One would expect that, as businesspeople, they would be aware of the industry’s financial and trade news.

    What are we to think when they endlessly repeat the meaningless phrase “responsible resource development” while displaying no more detailed knowledge about shale gas economics than they do about its health and environmental threats?

    Should we pin our economic hopes on an industry built on subsidies, debt and potentially huge costs to taxpayers, one that provides fewer jobs with each passing year, while putting our health, environment and climate at risk?

    Or, should we instead keep the moratorium on fracking, and choose a business sector with an economic case that is booming with jobs and prospects. Clean Energy Canada’s recent study of a basic energy efficiency plan for New Brunswick shows that by 2030 we could increase GDP by $5 billion and create 25,879 jobs.

    Going beyond the basic plan, and adding renewable energy, makes those numbers skyrocket. These aren’t imaginary figures. Jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy far outnumber those in the fossil fuel industries, while ensuring a healthier, more sustainable, future.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB. ca)
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