Running with the current:

A workshop for watershed groups in NB

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, Killarney Lodge, Fredericton, 9 am – 4 pm
(Please note: The storm date for this workshop will be February 12, 2015)


Over the years, watershed groups in NB have worked hard to build a foundation and to advance watershed protection, restoration, and management. At this time, the political, economic, and environmental realities have created an opportunity for groups to increase their role in creating a sustainable New Brunswick. Let’s get together and create momentum to move watershed work forward across the province!

This workshop will provide an opportunity to share information about watershed issues in our province and the important work happening here in New Brunswick.

Interested? Come to the workshop and:

Share information on watershed restoration
Learn about watershed issues and success stories in NB
Learn about enforcement, watershed management, and governance
Collaborate and network with other groups in the province
Determine how to move forward

Click here to see the draft agenda and to register!
Running with the current
A workshop for watershed groups in NB

January 21, Killarney Lodge, Fredericton, 9:00 - 4:00
(Please note: The storm date for this workshop will be February 12, 2015.)

Register today!

Over the years, watershed groups in NB have worked hard to build a foundation and to advance watershed protection, restoration, and management. At this time, the political, economic, and environmental realities have created an opportunity for groups to increase their role in creating a sustainable New Brunswick. Let’s get together and create momentum to move watershed work forward across the province!

This workshop will provide an opportunity to share information about watershed issues in our province and the important work happening here in New Brunswick.

Learn about what other groups are doing, enforcement, and management and governance of watersheds in our province. Discover how you can help by collaborating with other groups in the province on issues of common interest, and help determine how to move forward with watershed work in New Brunswick.

The day will be filled with interesting presentations, brainstorming sessions, and plenty of opportunity for discussion and networking!
MEDIA RELEASE
60+ Groups Call for a Climate Review of Energy East
Leading environmental organizations & community groups call for the National Energy Board to consider the upstream climate impacts of the pipeline


Montreal, QC – Today, more than 60 environmental and community groups from across Canada sent a letter to Peter Watson, head of the National Energy Board, demanding that the NEB include climate change in its review of the Energy East project. This letter comes in addition to 60,000 messages sent from people all across Canada to the NEB calling for a climate review.

“By failing to consider climate change, the National Energy Board is overlooking what should be Question One for a review of the pipeline — does it even make sense in a world trying to reduce its dependence on oil and make deep cuts in carbon pollution?” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

The Energy East project would release 30 to 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the same as adding seven million cars to Canada’s roads. This is more than any single Atlantic province, and bigger than the emissions saved in Ontario’s entire coal phase out. In comparison, the Keystone XL pipeline, which now faces a climate test from U.S. President Barack Obama, would increase emissions by 22 million tonnes.

“The best scientific minds on the planet are telling us that we need to rapidly transition off of fossil fuels to address climate change, and Energy East would be a step in the exact opposite direction,” says Patrick Bonin, Climate & Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. “Without considering the upstream climate impacts of Energy East, the NEB’s review will be incomplete and illegitimate.”

“If we can’t talk about tar sands expansion and climate change at the NEB, where can we?” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner. “Pipeline infrastructure is nearing capacity in Alberta. Adding 1.1 million barrels every day, Energy East will absolutely spur tar sands expansion and significant carbon pollution.”

In late November, the NEB’s refusal to consider the climate change impacts of tar sands pipelines came under even more intense criticism as over 100 people were arrested on Burnaby Mountain. Many of those arrested protesting the proposed Trans-Mountain project cited climate change, and that the NEB had refused to hear climate concerns, as the reason for their actions.

“The tar sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of emissions, and building projects like Energy East will only make that worse,” says Catherine Abreu, Energy Coordinator with the Ecology Action Center. “If Canada is going to be a part of the solution when it comes to climate change, we need to apply a climate test to projects like Energy East, and reject them if they will make climate change worse.”


Groups signed on: 350.org, Alerte Pétrole Rive Sud, Alternatives, Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Center for Sustainble Economy, Centre de recherche en éducation et formation relatives à l’environnement et à l’écocitoyenneté de l’UQAM, Citizens Climate Lobby Montreal, Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada, ClimateFast, Coalition québécoise pour une gestion responsable de l’eau Eau Secours, Coalition vigilance oléoducs, Collectif scientifique sur la question du gaz de schiste au Québec, Comité de vigilance environnementale de l’Est de Montréal, Concerned Citizen's Coalition - North Bay, Conseil Central du Montréal Méopolitain-CSN, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Council of Canadians, Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter, Council of Canadians - Halifax Chapter, Council of Canadians - Montreal Chapter, Council of Canadians - Moose Jaw Chapter, Council of Canadians - Ottawa Chapter, Council of Canadians - Regina Chapter, Council of Canadians - Saint John Chapter, Council of Canadians - Thunder Bay Chapter, Council of Canadians-Winnipeg Chapter, Ecology Action Center, Ecology Ottawa, Environnement Jeunesse, Equiterre, Fondation David Suzuki / David Suzuki Foundation, For Our Grandchildren, ForestEthics Advocacy, Fossil Free Lakehead, Friends of the Earth Canada, Green 13, Green Neighbours 21, Greenpeace Canada, Greenspiration, JustEarth- a Coalition for Environmental Justice, Lakehead University Environmental Law Students' Association, Leadnow.ca, Making Peace Vigil - Regina, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Brunswick Anti Shale Gas Alliance, Non à une marée noire dans le Saint-Laurent, Polaris Institute, Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l’environnement du Québec, Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, Sacred Heart School of Halifax Environment Committee, Saskatchewan Eco Network, Saskatoon350.org, SaveCanada, Sierra Club BC, Sierra Club of Québec, Stop the Energy East Pipeline Halifax, Toronto350 org, Transition Initiative Kenora, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change

More info:

- 350.org/EnergyEast

- http://canadians.org/energyeast

- http://bit.ly/MOOWmP

Media contacts:


Jon MacNeill – Conservation Council of New Brunswick, jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca, 506-458-8747

Cameron Fenton - 350.org - cam@350.org, 604-369-2155

Andrea Harden-Donahue - Council of Canadians, aharden@canadians.org, 613-793-5488

Ben Powless - Ecology Ottawa - ben.powless@ecologyottawa.ca - 613-601-4219

Patrick Bonin - Greenpeace Canada, 514-594-1221

Geneviève Puskas - Equiterre, gpuskas@equiterre.org 514-792-5222
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 :: www.conservationcouncil.ca


                                                               MEDIA RELEASE

Conservation Council pleased to see government raising bar on accountability and transparency around public forests

(Fredericton, N.B.) — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is commending the provincial government for releasing the details of the forestry agreements signed last year by the previous government.

“We’re pleased this government has cast some transparency and light on deals New Brunswickers should know about,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council.

“The documents that came out today are a good first step toward fulfilling the new government's promise to review both the unfair contracts and the unsustainable forest management plan released in March.”

The Forest Management Agreements, signed by industry and the former provincial government last July, drew widespread criticism from biologists, conservationists, hunters and fishers who said the deals give industry an unsustainable amount of public forest and allow companies to clearcut in areas that were previously off-limits.

The Conservation Council is confident Minister Landry will soon release another series of forestry planning documents that will clearly show where the increased logging will occur.

“We’re certain that with that information in hand, and in the public domain, the provincial government will revise the plan to ensure the new strategy will never put the environment or the sustainability of the public forests at risks,” Corbett says.

CCNB says a revised plan would protect sensitive areas like along riverbanks and streams, preserve old growth stands, protect areas that are important for deer, lynx and other woodland creatures, and discontinue herbicide spraying like governments in Nova Scotia and Quebec have done for years.

                                                                                                                                             -30-

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 ::  www.conservationcouncil.ca
For immediate release

November 19, 2014



FREDERICTON, NB: In celebration of National Child Day November 20, 2014, groups in New Brunswick announced their intention to take a new Bill of Rights to government for enactment. The Bill would protect children’s health from environmental hazards such as pervasive toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and consumer products, as well as the impacts of climate change.



So far, Canadian icons Raffi and David Suzuki, as well as respected researchers, physicians, twenty-four organizations and over 200 individuals in Canada and beyond have signed on to support this historic Bill of Rights.



The David Suzuki Foundation recently featured the proposed Bill at an event in Saint John in September, as part of its cross-Canada Blue Dot Tour to promote the right to a healthy environment for all Canadians. Suzuki said, “It is time for Canada to join more than 110 nations that recognize their citizens' right to live in a healthy environment. The proposed Bill of Rights to protect Children's Health from Environmental Hazards is a powerful and positive step towards recognizing our environmental rights at all levels of government in Canada."



Raffi Cavoukian, singer, author, founder of the Centre for Child Honouring and New Brunswick’s Champion for Children’s Environmental Health, helped to launch the proposed Bill to the public in June at the Fredericton Regional Family Resource Centre.



“Taking the Bill to government for enactment is the logical next step,” Raffi said. “This proposed Bill of Rights affirms our duty to nourish and nurture the young to the best of our ability as a society. The Bill emboldens our efforts to create caring communities that support the healthy development of children. And it strengthens our efforts to provide safe environments—both indoors and outdoors—wherever children live, learn, play and grow. That's why we need this Bill of Rights.”



Sharon Murphy of PEACE NB said that there is now sufficient evidence that exposure to air and water pollution, food contamination and exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products are causes of chronic childhood diseases including asthma, leukemia, birth defects, childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, brain cancer and brain injuries which are expressed in developmental delays, learning disabilities, lower IQ scores and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.



Murphy continued, “By protecting the health of our children, we protect ourselves. Children are far more vulnerable to toxins and to the effects of climate change than adults. We have a duty as adults to protect our children, as they are unable to protect themselves. And, protecting children's environmental health will save countless health care dollars. In many ways, healthy ecosystems benefit both present and future generations”.



The Bill was initiated by the New Brunswick Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative in 2009. It was drafted in consultation with the New Brunswick Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, Ecojustice and East Coast Environmental Law, with input and support from the Centre for Child Honouring, the Learning Disabilities Association of New Brunswick, the Fredericton Regional Family Resource Centre, PEACE-NB and the New Brunswick Lung Association.

- 30 -

Contact:



Bonnie Hamilton Bogart

bonniehb@nb.sympatico.ca

(506) 488-1888 landline

(506) 478-1818 mobile
Thanks to everyone that came out to the Environmental Leaders Think Tank 2014 in New Maryland, we had a great time! We would also like to congratulate Joan Green and Garry Guild who won the award for the dish with the most local ingredients! Check out the pictures of the day.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --- PRESS RELEASE

Fredericton NB - The three New Brunswick chapters of the Council of Canadians—Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John—remain baffled as to why Premier Gallant has given credence to the science on shale gas but has denied the science on the Energy-East pipeline.

“While we applaud his decision to use science as the basis for a moratorium on shale gas,” says Maggie Connell, Co-Chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians “we are puzzled as to why he seems to have dodged scientists’ warnings about tarsands expansion.”

In a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in September 2013, the world’s leading climate scientists called for drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. These reductions are needed to avoid what scientists are saying will be irreversible climate change if we don’t drastically reduce our emissions now.

It is estimated that the Energy-East pipeline would increase our carbon dioxide emissions annually by 32 million tonnes.

But instead of paying heed to this body of science and working towards the reduction of our carbon dioxide emissions, Premier Gallant went to Alberta to champion the pipeline.

“Ironic,” says Leticia Adair from the Saint John Chapter, “We just voted out Premier Alward who wanted to champion global warming through unconventional (shale) gas development. Now we’ve elected Premier Gallant who wants to do the same thing but with unconventional (tarsands) oil.”

“Premier Gallant should have stayed home to beef up the New Brunswick climate action plan to match New Brunswick’s greenhouse emission reduction targets with what scientists are saying is necessary—80% reductions by 2050. After that, we fully expect that he will plan a trip to European countries that are on the cutting edge of replacing their dependencies on fossil fuels with renewable energy,” adds Pamela Ross from the Moncton Chapter.  - 30 -

******

POUR PUBLICATION ---- IMMÉDIATE COMMUNIQUÉ

Gallant tient compte des données scientifiques sur le gaz de schiste mais fait la sourde oreille quand il s’agit d’oléoduc

Fredericton NB - Les trois sections du Conseil des Canadiens du N.-B. - celle de Fredericton, Moncton et Saint John - sont déroutées par ce qui pousse le premier ministre Gallant à tenir compte des données scientifiques en ce qui concerne le gaz de schiste mais à n’y accorder aucune attention quand il s’agit de l’oléoduc Énergie Est.

«Autant nous pensons qu’il a fait la bonne chose en se servant des données scientifiques pour justifier un moratoire dans le cas du gaz de schiste, autant nous nous demandons pourquoi il a choisi de ne pas tenir compte des avertissements des scientifiques au sujet de l’exploitation des sables bitumineux», de commenter Maggie Connell, vice-présidente de la section de Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.

Dans un rapport publié par le Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat (GIEC) en mars 2013, les spécialistes de premier rang en matière de climat entrevoyaient comme seule solution la diminution radicale des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Ces diminutions sont nécessaires pour éviter ce que les scientifiques qualifient de changements climatiques irréversibles si nous ne réduisons pas nos émissions dès maintenant.

L’augmentation des émissions de gaz carbonique attribuée à l’oléoduc Énergie Est est évaluée à 32 millions de tonnes par année.
Mais au lieu d’écouter ce que disent les scientifiques et de s’atteler à la tâche de réduire nos émissions de gaz à effet de serre, voilà que notre premier ministre, M. Gallant est rendu en Alberta pour se faire le champion du projet d’oléoduc.

«C’est ironique, fait remarquer Leticia Adair de la section de Saint John, que nous ayons remplacé le premier ministre M. Alward,- dont la position sur l’exploitation du gaz (de schiste) par des méthodes non conventionnelles contribuait au réchauffement climatique - par un autre premier ministre, M. Gallant, dont l’appui à l’exploitation du pétrole de sables bitumineux extrait également par des méthodes non conventionnelles contribue aussi au réchauffement climatique.»

Pour sa part, Pamela Ross de la section de Moncton croit que «la place de M. Gallant en ce moment est au Nouveau-Brunswick à travailler au plan d’action climatique de la province pour réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 80 % d’ici 2050. Nous nous attendons à ce qu’il va sans trop tarder se rendre dans les pays européens qui sont des chefs de file dans le domaine du remplacement des combustibles fossiles par des énergies renouvelables.»  -30-
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OCTOBER 15, 2014

EASTERN CHARLOTTE WATERWAYS TO HOST INTERNATIONAL CYANOBACTERIA SYMPOSIUM IN SAINT ANDREWS-BY-THE-SEA

BLACKS HARBOUR–Eastern Charlotte Waterways (ECW) is pleased to announce an international symposium on cyanobacteria to be held October 25th, 2014 at the Algonquin Resort in Saint Andrews By-The -Sea. The symposium is being organized in partnership with the New Brunswick Alliance of Lake Associations and the Chamcook Watershed Landowners’ Association.

The visiting speakers include Dr. Ken Wagner, the owner of Water Resource Services, a consulting company focused on water supply protection and lake management. Dr. Wagner has a Ph. D. in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University. He is a former President of the North American Lake Management Society and the current Editor in Chief of Lake and Reservoir Management.
Also scheduled to speak is Dr. Holly Ewing, a professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College in Maine. She has co-authored a collection of academic papers that concern cyanobacteria blooms throughout New England, with a focus on the same species and environmental conditions found in Chamcook Lake.

In addition, water resource managers from Maine and New Brunswick will present their methodology, challenges, and successes while managing cyanobacteria. The Canadian Rivers Institute will provide an overview of cyanobacteria research in New Brunswick.
“In each of the past three years, we have organized a full day lake conference on general topics. We believe that this year it will be more effective to build capacity around one issue, and look forward to providing a rewarding agenda for those concerned with the ongoing issue of cyanobacteria in New Brunswick lakes.” says Donald Killorn ECW’s executive director.

All are welcome to attend the event, which begins at 9:30am. Lunch will be provided to those that RSVP to info@ecwinc.org. Interested parties can see the full itinerary at www.ecwinc.org/symposium.

For more information or to schedule an interview contact:
Donald Killorn
Executive Director
Eastern Charlotte Waterways
Phone: (506) 456-6001
Fax: (506)-456-6187
Email: dkillorn@ecwinc.org
The Conservation Council of New Brunswick held its 45th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Fredericton.

Upwards of 40 people gathered at Conserver House for the meeting, drawing members of the board of directors, funders, staff and other interested individuals from across the province.
 
Attendees tackled the usual business of amending bylaws and composing the board for the year ahead, and were treated to a presentation on Crown Forests from University of New Brunswick professor Tom Beckley.

No doubt, though, the highlight of the affair was celebrating the dedicated service of outgoing president Stephanie Coburn with a scrumptious gluten-free cake baked by the council’s own Stephanie Merrill.

Coburn got a little teary-eyed during a lengthy and warm standing ovation from attendees who wished to show their appreciation for the expertise and guidance Coburn provided over three years as president of New Brunswick’s environmental advocate.

Coburn and her family operate a farm in Millstream, outside Sussex, where they produce grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pigs, and vegetables. She was also the owner and operator of Winterwood Natural Food Store in downtown Sussex.

Attendees gave a warm welcome to Liane Thibodeau, who stepped up to fill the role of president of the board. A retired human resources consultant, Thibodeau is a co-founder of the Miramichi Environmental Society and served on the Conservation Council’s board in the 90s. Recently, she was active in the movement to protect our land, air and water from the risks posed by shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Close to 50 people were present in the afternoon for forestry professor Tom Beckley’s presentation on the forest strategy brought about by Premier David Alward’s Progressive Conservative government.

Beckley noted the new plan, announced in March 2014, effectively flipped Crown Forest management on its head, putting timber allocation above conservation goals, a reversal of a long-held, conservation-first focus. Beckley argued the debate around the forestry strategy should be framed as a moral and ethical issue, not simply a scientific or economic matter. Above all else, Beckley said the plan is morally and ethically wrong, and should be opposed on those terms.

The meeting also saw new faces added to the Conservation Council’s board of directors. Rob Moir, an associate professor of economics at UNBSJ, and John Bird, who will be called to the New Brunswick Bar this fall, were welcomed to serve three-year terms on the board.

Moir has run for federal office three times on campaigns based on social and environmental justice. Over the years, he has provided advice, reports, and expert testimony on pipeline locations, hydrocarbon security, suburban development in environmentally-sensitive zones, shale gas extraction, mining, and Crown Forest management.

Bird completed his Master of Laws, Environmental and Maritime Law, at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Throughout his academic career, Bird has investigated safety concerns associated with nuclear- and coal-sourced energy, sustainable development, state and corporate responsibility, climate policies, and the diversity, speciation and decimation of reef ecology.

Staff and board members at the Conservation Council welcomed the newest members and are eager to draw from their experience and expertise.

Two board members, Frank Johnson and John Crompton, agreed to serve another three-year term with the council. Carla Gunn stepped down from the board this fall. Gunn, a psychology professor and author of a fantastic environmental fiction novel (Amphibian), was thanked for her three years of service, during which she provided solid guidance to the executive committee and excellent advice to staff at Conserver House.
 
Head to the post on our website to download the powerpoint presentation that ran at the AGM, giving a visual rundown of what staff and members of the Conservation Council were up to in 2013-14.
New Brunswick biodiversity cards free to download to your smart device.

There are over 80 species to be found on the web site in French and English. This new technology brings New Brunswick’s nature on to your portable device. These cards provide a new way to reach out and to educate people about our natural biodiversity.

Here is how to download cards.

  • Go to http://speciesinfonb.ca.
  • Quickly create your own user name and password.
  • You must login to be able to download cards.
  • Find your species by searching habitats or species groups or by the species’s name.
  • Click on the species’ image you want to view.
  • Click on “download PDF” for a single cards or click on “Download custom PDF » to download several at a time.
  • Follow the instructions on the download pdf web page.
We encourage you to download them to your favorite Pdf program on your mobile instead of printing.

We encourage you to donate images for cards and to write texts for new species.

We will then provide you with a username and password that we allow you to edit existing cards and to create new ones. Please contact Roland Chiasson to become a biodiversity card creator


MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Conservation Council of New Brunswick applauds Premier-designate Brian Gallant for recent announcement on job creation

FREDERICTON – Premier-designate Brian Gallant has pledged to grow the provincial economy by focusing on innovation-based entrepreneurship and making it easier to get the research currently underway at our universities and tech incubators out into the world.

“We applaud this approach and support Mr. Gallant in his drive toward creating new jobs and supporting innovation. Innovation-based job creation strategies open the door to green technology, and our province and its citizens will benefit,” said Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“We agree with Mr. Gallant’s priorities, and we’re eager to see what our universities and research centres can accomplish when we together focus in on our opportunities to grow a clean economy,” said Corbett. “And what’s more innovative than pursuing one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global market — renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean jobs.”

“Projects like retrofitting old building stock and encouraging renewable energy projects would have a meaningful - and lasting - effect on our economy. We know the members of the New Brunswick Jobs Board will seize these opportunities and position our province as a leader.”

New Brunswick has some of the oldest housing in the country — a retrofit, rebuild and renew program focused on this sector has the possibility to create thousands of construction and trades jobs, said Corbett. 

Media contact:
Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer
jon.macneilll@conservationcouncil.ca; 506-458-8747

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 ::  www.conservationcouncil.ca


MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Fredericton joins largest climate march in world history

FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Fredericton residents will join hundreds of thousands of people from across the world this weekend in a historic mass action to stop climate change and build an economy for the future.

A People’s Climate March will happen in Fredericton at the same time that an estimated quarter of a million people from around the globe are expected to descend on the streets of New York City and elsewhere for the largest climate mobilization in history on Sunday, Sept. 21.

“It’s important for all of us to join this historic march for climate justice. We want action for the people who will be most impacted by climate change. Too much is at stake,” says Julia Hansen, an organizer of the Fredericton march and one of dozens of youth expected to participate.

“Students, parents, grandparents, scientists, environmentalists, labour organizers and social justice activists are organizing for change and providing examples of ways to move to a fossil-free future. Our march on Sunday will be a colourful expression of that hope for the future,” adds Hansen, a third year UNB nursing student.

The People’s Climate March coincides with the UN Climate Summit of world leaders in New York City on Sept. 23.

“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he will not join the 125 heads of state attending the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit. Maybe that’s a good thing. The Summit is about quick action to reduce carbon pollution. Harper is all about fast-tracking pipelines of bitumen and fracking for shale gas,” says Tracy Glynn with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Fracking for shale gas and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline are some of the projects in New Brunswick that people marching in Fredericton will highlight since both contribute to climate change and entail environmental and health impacts for people who live in the area.

“The climate mobilization this weekend promises to be unprecedented in its size, beauty and impact. Our future is on the line and it’s up to all of us to build a just, safe and more humane world. Join us,” encourages Glynn.

Details on People’s Climate March in Fredericton:
When: Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Fredericton City Hall (corner of York and Queen), march down Queen Street to NB Legislature.
What: People will gather with banners and signs outside Fredericton City Hall at 11:30 a.m. and march down Queen Street to the NB Legislature where they’ll hear from organizers working toward a just climate future.

Visit People’s Climate March for more details: peoplesclimatemarch.org

- 30 -


Media Contacts:
Tracy Glynn, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, forest@conservationcouncil.ca, 506 458-8747, 506 440-5592 (cell)
Julia Hansen, climate youth organizer, 506 261-0186
 
 

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 ::  www.conservationcouncil.ca
Worldwide Climate Action Now

Sam Arnold and Keith Helmuth

The good news is this weekend will see the largest worldwide demonstration ever for political
action on climate change.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens in cities around the world will be joining the People’s Climate
March for climate action now. They will be calling on their political leaders to act together in
global cooperation to stem the flow of fossil fuel pollution that is wrecking climate balance.
New York City will be the epicentre of this uprising because world leaders are meeting next week
at the UN to talk about action on climate change. The People’s Climate March has been organized
worldwide to help these leaders understand that global action must be taken now to drastically
reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gases that are being dumped into the
atmosphere.
For all the research, and all the negotiations that have been going on for the last several decades,
fossil fuel pollution of the atmosphere is continuing to climb. And climate disruption is no longer a
vague possibility: It is manifestly clear that the damage and the costs of extreme weather events
are escalating.
Several years before hurricane Sandy hit New York City, leading meteorologists said it was only a
matter of time until a super-storm hit the area that would flood lower Manhattan and fill the
subway tunnels with water. Then it happened, and the cost of the damage for that storm has been
pegged at $68 billion. And that doesn’t even count the cost of economic disruption of businesses.
Canadian meteorologists have since pointed out that if Sandy had come up the Bay of Fundy the
storm surge would have gone right across the Isthmus of Chignecto connecting New Brunswick
and Nova Scotia. It would have taken out all of its infrastructure and disconnected the two
provinces. And think of all the other surrounding shoreline damage that would have occurred. Is
this reality just a matter of time for us?
The reality of continued fossil fuel pollution of the atmosphere is not just global warming, but
increasingly chaotic, disruptive, and damaging climate instability. More than just discomfort,
inconvenience, or even loss of life and infrastructure, the costs of dealing with and trying to
recover from blow after blow will increasingly cripple our economy. Climate disruption is now a
looming economic disaster. How will NB, already deeply in debt, deal with such a future?
In 2011 the Canadian National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy (NRT) published
a major research report titled, Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for
Canada, which laid out the costs likely to be incurred if nothing is done to stem the direction of
climate disruption. They estimate that by mid-century costs could average up to $1800 per home
per year in New Brunswick. Householders in some regions, of course, will suffer much greater
damage than others.
By 2020 the costs nationally will be $5 billion annually. By 2050 they will rise to between $21 and
$43 billion per year. These are conservative projections. If climate damage accelerates, they
estimate the figure could go as high as $91 billion every year.
If political leaders, including Canada’s, are not persuaded to take effective global action to move
swiftly from reliance on fossil fuel energy to renewable energy, these costs will become a reality.
The People’s Climate March on Sunday is a worldwide demand for political and business leaders
to wise-up to what’s happening. As the March organizers say, “Do the math!” The quantity of
fossil fuels still in ground, if extracted and burned, will destabilize the climate to such an extent
that the damage will far outstrip any possible benefit. We’ve got to minimize the use of fossil fuels
and switch to renewable energy as fast as possible simply to save our economy.
Even the US military has done the research and has warned that destabilizing the climate is the
biggest threat to national and global security that we face. If the Pentagon is worried about this,
it’s pretty dumb for the rest of us not be worried as well.
So what’s the response of political leaders in Canada and, for us, in New Brunswick? The Harper
government has responded by “shooting the messenger.” In addition to telling the economic truth
about climate change, the NRT had the audacity to issue a major study in 2012 titled, Framing the
Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy. The Harper government yanked the NRT’s funding
out of the 2012 budget, which forced it to close down in 2013.
A “low-carbon economy” is the last thing the Harper government wants to hear about when its got
the Alberta tar sands going full tilt. And in New Brunswick, the Alward government wants the
west-east pipeline to bring Alberta crude to the Bay of Fundy, and to see the shale gas fracking
boom set up shop in the province.
This is the opposite of “embracing the low-carbon economy.” It’s the opposite of a positive,
progressive response to both the challenge and the opportunities of climate change. The NRT’s
study lays out the road map to a low-carbon economy that helps stabilize the climate, and creates a
renaissance of new businesses, investment, and employment opportunities in renewable energy
technology.
Why aren’t governments listening? Why aren’t they doing their best to minimize the economic
costs of climate disruption? How can we think of them as “leaders” when they are walking
backward into climate chaos and economic ruin?
The organizers of the worldwide People’s Climate March on Sunday hope that a massive uprising
of citizen power can be a turning point, even at this late date, which gives birth to a new politics of
global cooperation on climate change action. “If the people lead, the leaders will follow.”
Sam Arnold and Keith Helmuth are members of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group. For
further information on SEG go to www.ttwnb.ca
How does a province move from intractable inertia on environmental issues that threaten citizens’ health to a proactive approach that protects citizens’ health from environmental hazards?

In New Brunswick, that transformation is taking shape in the NB Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative.

In the 1990s, worrisome environmental health issues included decades of spraying forests with insecticides and herbicides; leaking gas tanks and contaminated groundwater; air pollution from power plants and the largest oil refinery in Canada (coupled with high rates of asthma); and lead contamination from a smelter polluting people’s gardens and causing illnesses in surrounding communities. Public health officials had not stepped forward to warn citizens regarding these hazards. Public discourse on environmental health issues was polarized, divided and not even on government radar. And there was certainly no unified voice calling for government action.

Some groups were interested in looking at the overarching problem of health impacts, particularly on children. But there were many hurdles:
• No one in the province was working directly on them
• No single government department “owned” them
• There was little communication within sectors on these issues, and no communication across sectors
Too complex a problem for any one organization or sector to address on its own, the only possible solution was to move many sectors forward together.

Gaining government confidence started with one person: the Department of Health director of public health, who initially avoided meeting requests because of history between his department and environmental groups. A small group of health and environmental NGOs met with him only through sheer persistence. He ultimately became a key ally.

In 2005, a first province-wide meeting was held, bringing together many sectors. Once in the same room, it was easy for representatives of disparate groups to align with the goal of protecting children’s health.

Conferences were held and speakers were brought in to shed light on research and experience in other jurisdictions. Over time, participants made connections between children’s exposures to contaminants and their issues. Gradually, unlikely allies came together to focus on solutions and create a province-wide strategy to reduce children’s exposure to environmental hazards.

Today the Collaborative Effort is a diverse group linking more than 300 people from more than 100 agencies representing more than 20 sectors. Participants come from health, environment and children’s and family groups, First Nations, academics, researchers, health professionals, people working with mothers and children, and government at all levels — a “web of action”.

Our official champion is Raffi Cavoukian (Raffi, the children`s singer), who founded the Center for Chil Honouring. Supporters include the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, the East Coast Environmental Law Association, Canadian researchers Donald Spady and Colin Soskolne, Canadian pediatrician Robin Walker, and American pediatrician and champion of children’s environmental health, Philip Landrigan.

Since 2008, New Brunswick’s policy landscape on children’s environmental health issues has changed — something not possible without the ethic that emerged among NBCEHC stakeholders.
• The Healthy Environments Branch was established in 2010 with a dedicated staff person; professional development in environmental health is now a “given”, with more than 150 public health professionals, trainers and front-line workers educated on reducing children’s exposures to contaminants and providing information to clients
• NBCEHC participants, who made inroads with government departments through meetings and presentations, were invited back to help develop a provincial, multi-sectoral work plan on children’s environmental health
• Nurses, who used to provide parent and teacher education on children’s environmental health “under the radar”, are now often recognized by management as change agents — some have become management!
• A team of NBCEHC researchers hosted a two-day workshop resulting in a proposal to map provincial environmental hotspots
• NBCEHC participants contributed to the new early childhood education curriculum, adding focus on healthy environments, getting children outside and reducing exposures to contaminants
But there is more to do!

With the help of the provincial Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, Ecojustice and East Coast Environmental Law Association, a draft of a New Brunswick Bill of Rights to Protect Children’s Health from Environmental Hazards has been completed for all provincial political parties’ consideration. After the September 22 election, it will be submitted to the ruling party in preparation for enactment. To date, two political parties have included children’s environmental health in their election platforms.

We’re optimistic that child honouring will become a generally accepted approach to policymaking in New Brunswick. Much has been accomplished, but the well-being and healthy development of our children will require constant vigilance and action. With the help of NBCEHC and its many participants, the future looks bright.

This blog was also published on David's Suzuki Blue Dot Tour website, click here to see it!
MEDIA RELEASE



Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.


Parties reveal position on environment and conservation



FREDERICTON - Three of New Brunswick’s political parties are saying ‘yes’ to clean air and water by indicating they would halt fracking activity and take steps to protect our Crown Forest should they form the next provincial government.
Earlier this month, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick asked the province’s five political parties to share their conservation goals and environmental priorities in the lead up to the 2014 general election on Sept. 22.
The questionnaire asked party leaders to reveal their commitment on a number of actions related to air and climate protection, forest management, clean water, and the development of energy projects in New Brunswick.
The Liberal Party, Green Party and New Democratic Party participated in the survey. The Progressive Conservatives and People’s Alliance did not respond.
“We were pleased to see that of the parties who participated, by and large they took positions in favour of protecting the land, air and water in New Brunswick,” said Lois Corbett, executive director of CCNB. “Some parties could have taken a harder line, but it’s fantastic to see conservation and environmental issues have not been overshadowed this time around by staple election issues like the economy or healthcare budget.”
Some highlights from the survey include:
1. The Liberals would consider an open consultation to review the effectiveness of the Crown Lands and Forest Act; The NDP would enforce existing regulations, add new ones, and launch a judicial review to determine if the latest forestry strategy is legal; The Green Party would create a new Crown Land Forest Sustainability Act, protect diversity and cease logging in the Acadian forest, and create Community Forest licenses.
2. The NDP and Green Party would ban shale gas development in the province, while the Liberals would impose a moratorium on fracking.
3. The Green Party would prioritize river classification under the Clean Water Act and enhance watershed protection; The Liberals would centralize conservation, inspection and enforcement functions in one department; The NDP would classify rivers under the Clean Water Act and enforce existing watershed regulations.
4. The Liberal party would not commit to reviewing greenhouse gas reduction targets, but pledged a greater focus on renewable energy sources; The Green Party would set more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets; The NDP would establish a new Chief Provincial Scientist office to ensure air quality legislation is evidence-based and enforced.

See the complete survey results from respondents here.


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MEDIA CONTACTS: Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer; 458-8747
Lois Corbett, Executive Director; 458-8747




Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 :: www.conservationcouncil.ca








Moncton, NB (17 Sept 2014)

New Brunswickers who are looking for the facts about shale gas are not getting them from the current political debate. They are often being deliberately misled or else are confused by politicians who don’t understand the issues, themselves. And they are definitely missing out on critical information.

First, the economics.

The numbers cited by our government appear to be picked from thin air, are baseless and are designed just for the election. Economists don’t see how they can work and the government will supply no supporting data.

We have all heard David Alward claim that, by drilling a modest 50 wells per year, the province will earn $200 million in annual royalties. He does not say how he arrived at this figure. His math even baffles our province’s top economists.

In British Columbia, they drilled thousands of wells to earn $200 million in royalties.

New Brunswick currently has about 50 producing gas and oil wells. The total royalties average roughly $1 million per year. One million is an awfully long way from $200 million. We earn more than a million from our gravel and sand industry.

New Brunswick’s university economists have analyzed the current royalty scheme. They say these are the lowest royalty rates in North America and that it is highly doubtful that New Brunswickers will gain any significant profits. They say it is an inefficient, overexploitation of our resource. The government has dropped their earlier plan to share royalties with those municipalities and landowners who would be bearing the risk of shale gas.

The PC party must also further justify their estimates on job creation per well.

In four years, the only data they quote to support their job claims comes from the partially government-funded and widely disputed Deloitte report, a small and questionable survey that predicted a best-case scenario of 21 jobs per well.

However, we have examined a number of detailed fiscal policy reports based on actual figures from places where shale gas is being produced. These show an average of 4 jobs per well, while being highly critical of predictive reports like the one from Deloitte.

In New Brunswick, with our roughly 50 producing wells, we have less than a dozen ongoing full-time jobs.

Our question is this: Why should we base our decision on estimates from a questionable survey, when there are real life examples and hard facts to draw upon?

Shale gas is not the only way to bring New Brunswickers home and create jobs.

Multiple reports actually show that the oil and gas sector produces far fewer jobs than any other energy-related industry. Retrofitting infrastructure for energy efficiency, alternative energy development and mass transit each create up to 8 times the number of jobs created by fossil fuels. These figures are based on real-life experience, not hopes.

A clean economy requires the same skills that our people out west already have, and it fosters industries that would create career opportunities, retain college graduates, employ both genders, and save the existing jobs in our tourism and agriculture sectors that are now being threatened by shale gas.

We also ask this: What is the long-term economic viability of this industry?

The industry is a typical boom-bust venture that leaves communities worse off than they were. Its long-term viability is unproven.

Recent figures from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), investment firms and financial analysts show that the industry is $100 billion dollars in debt. And 75% of its firms are rated as below investment grade (junk status). As a whole, the industry does not make any money from the sale of gas. It survives on borrowing, and selling assets.

It also seems some parties do not understand our Oil and Gas Act.

Hydrofracking is hydrofracking no matter whether you use propane or water, and it is the only way to get shale gas. The idea that one can keep exploring while not allowing hydrofracking is a contradiction in terms.

And to be clear, if an exploration company lives up to its requirements to invest a certain amount of money, it may automatically convert to production when it is ready. Thus, to put a moratorium on shale gas, you can not allow exploration to continue. You must stop both or you cannot stop either.

And as various parties talk about the necessity of having world class regulations, they ignore the recent report from the Council of Canadian Academies, which noted that there is so little research or monitoring of shale gas that no regulations anywhere can be said to be based on science. Regulations willnot protect us.

But, perhaps the largest piece of missing information and discussion concerns the effects of this industry on climate change. The day before our provincial elections there will be massive demonstrations around the world focused on climate change.

The world’s scientists, militaries, insurers, financial institutions, food and water specialists, and experts in many other fields tell us that climate change is the number one problem facing the world. It costs us billions of dollars and thousands of lives per year already, and those numbers will rise.

All public policies – local, regional, national and international - must now consider the effects of policy on climate change and the problems that will come from it. Investments in those industries are likely to be lost as the world reduces fossil fuel usage. Yet, remarkably, only one party mentions this ultimate threat and issue in their party platform.

Our concerns about unconventional oil and gas are not just the immediate threat to our health and environment caused by extraction methods, but also that we will be adding a new source of greenhouse gases to the fossil fuel mix that threatens us and future generations.

For the past 4 years, volunteers within the Anti-Shale Gas Alliance of New Brunswick have worked hard to get existing science to the people of New Brunswick in an understandable way. We have succeeded in bringing to light the costs and impacts of this industry and making shale gas a hot campaign issue in this election. All of our concerns have been validated by Canadian scientists, and yet, we see the same overinflated numbers and misleading information on economics and jobs being used to gather votes and sell this industry to the public. It is time to eliminate the spin and get honest about this issue.

The lawsuit that we have filed awaits whichever party wins the election. We are asking that a high standard be used to judge the scientific and health claims of the safety of this industry – “beyond a reasonable doubt” - the same standard for deciding guilt or innocence in court. High stakes demand a high standard.

So politicians take note. Deciding how to respond to this lawsuit will be one of your first tasks. Please take this seriously for all our sakes and start talking honestly about it now.

About NBASGA

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance represents the interests of New Brunswickers opposed to unconventional gas and oil exploration and development, while promoting a future in clean energy alternatives.

Website: www.noshalegasnb.ca

Email: shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com

Contact Information

Jim Emberger (English)

Tel: 506 440-4255       Email: jimemberger@yahoo.com

Denise Melanson (French)

Tel: 506-523-9467       Email: inrexton2013@yahoo.ca

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.

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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
Hello fellow environment lovers!

My name is Marie-Pierre Poirier. I am a recent M.A graduate originally from Grande-Digue. My passion for environmental issues in our beautiful province led me here to the NBEN to work as the Programs Assistant. I cannot wait to collaborate with all of you towards promoting sustainable practices and lifestyles throughout New-Brunswick and beyond!

Sackville, NB - EOS Eco-Energy Inc. has partnered with the Town of Sackville, NB to install a 100 amp (240 volt) Sun Country Highway electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The installation work (by Tantramar Electric) is now complete at the Sackville Visitor Information Centre at 34 Mallard Drive.

Sun County Highway was on hand for the official launch and inaugural charge on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014. They brought a Tesla Model S to charge. The public and media are welcome to attend this special event to learn more about electric vehicles and charging stations. Sackville joins a growing network of EV charging stations across Canada and the world, making it easier for EV owners to travel further. The Level 2, 100 amp charging station is among the fastest charging stations on the market today. "It will fully charge many EV's in about 3 hours," notes Amanda Marlin, executive director with EOS Eco-Energy. "This project is not only in line with our sustainability objectives, it gives people yet another reason to visit Sackville. This is an exciting project and we're leading by example," said Jamie Burke, Senior Manager of Corporate Projects for the Town of Sackville.

EOS Eco-Energy is a non-profit organization based in Sackville NB. It serves the Tantramar region with research, action and education projects on climate change and energy issues. It received funding from the Mount Allison Students Union's Green Investment Fund for the EV charging station. The Green Investment Fund is for local projects that reduce carbon emissions. "According to NB Power by switching to an electric vehicle, a New Brunswick driver can reduce his or her emissions by up to 84%," explains Marlin. EOS was thrilled to partner with the Town of Sackville who contributed financially to the project and will maintain the charging station. The Town will also cover the cost of charging vehicles.

For more information on the electric vehicle charging station contact Amanda Marlin, Executive Director of EOS Eco-Energy at 536-4487 or eos@nb.aibn.com or Jamie Burke, Senior Manager of Corporate Projects at the Town of Sackville at j.burke@sackville.com or 364-4957.

MEDIA RELEASE, September 3, 2014

Today, Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister Andrew Younger announced that his government will introduce legislation for a moratorium on fracking in the upcoming legislative session (see announcement here).

“This is a huge victory for citizens. The government has heard our call for real evidence of safety before proceeding with dangerous activities, like fracking,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, Campaigns Director fro Sierra Club Canada Foundations’ Atlantic Canada Chapter.

sierra club

In his announcement, Minister Younger stated that "Nova Scotians have overwhelmingly expressed concern about high volume hydraulic fracturing." He also noted he had spoken with Mi’kmaq Chiefs Terrance Paul, Paul Prsper, and Sidney Peters, who also oppose fracking.

“We await details on the wording of the legislation, and will be following up to make sure it truly protects our air, water, and communities,” continued Ms. Fitzgerald, “But this is a truly wonderful day.”

“I want to thank Sierra Club members and supporters, and the thousands of citizens who heard our action alert, educated themselves on this issue and made this decision happen,” stated John Bennett, National Programs Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “I hope other jurisdictions in this country will learn from Nova Scotia’s experience, and take measures to protect their citizens from fracking.”

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For more information contact:

Gretchen Fitzgerald
Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Atlantic Canada Chapter
1649 Barrington St., 2nd Floor (The Hub)
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1Z9
CANADA

Email: gretchenf@sierraclub.ca">gretchenf@sierraclub.ca
Tel: 902-444-3113 -or- 902-444-7096 (mobile)
Nashwaak Watershed Association Press Release For Immediate Release August 19, 2014

Ombudsman vindicates Nashwaak Watershed Association’s claims of government inaction on Water Classification program

Ombudsman concludes the Water Classification Regulation 2002-13, of the Clean Water Act “exists primarily as a mirage”

Fredericton - Today, the Nashwaak Watershed Association (NWAI) responded to the “Report of the Ombudsman into the Department of Environment’s Management of the Provincial Water Classification Program”, released on Friday, August 15th by Ombudsman Charles Murray.

“We are both saddened and encouraged by the Ombudsman’s findings,” says Paul McLaughlin, President of the Nashwaak Watershed Association.

“Saddened because for more than ten years now, we have been working, largely as volunteers and in good faith with the Department of Environment, to see enacted the protections afforded under the Clean Water Act, and we have been stalled in our efforts by the inaction, indecision and neglect by our provincial government.”

McLaughlin, speaking on behalf of the community-based watershed association, said “we are however, also heartened by the fact that the Ombudsman’s report is an unequivocal validation of our concerns and attempts to move the program forward over the intervening years”.

The Report makes strong statements about the inaction of successive governments in proceeding with water classification and about their assertions that the legislation is unenforceable: “The suggestion that there continues to be unaddressed issues about the legality of Regulation 2002-13 12 years after its coming into force strains credulity.”

The NWAI has long asserted that the delays in implementing the program have left New Brunswick’s water effectively without protection. This point too is clearly reflected in the report, “… Regulation 2002-13’s complete ineffectiveness is in some respects worse than having no regulation at all. Like a smoke detector without batteries, it provides no protection …”

The Association has also charged that the Department of the Environment’s claim they are working to amend the legislation is simply foot dragging, and this point has not escaped comment by the Ombudsman: “… the Department indicated that it planned to have a new Regulation in place by 2016. With respect, we considered that timeline to be so distant as to amount to little more than aspirational thinking.”

Stephanie Merrill, Freshwater Program Director for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, who supported NWAI’s complaint to the Ombudsman, echoes McLaughlin.

“We have been trying to highlight the rollbacks and facade of water protections in New Brunswick in recent years and this report helps big-time,” said Merrill “it feels like a victory after years of frustration.”

“We are proud to work with and support NWAI in this effort. NWAI has stepped up to defend their river and their years of work”, says Merrill. “We hope that the Report has rippling affects across all watersheds and rivers in New Brunswick with outstanding applications to be classified such as the Meduxnekeag, the Kennebacasis, the Richibucto, the Miramichi, and 14 others,” she continued.

McLaughlin and Merrill are both looking forward to meeting with the Department to hear their detailed plan to address the ineffectiveness of this program, as recommended by the Ombudsman.

The NWAI will continue to work with government and other stakeholders towards the implementation of an effective water classification system. NWAI sees the upcoming provincial election as an opportunity to press political candidates for their positions on this issue and hopes to encourage all who plan to vote to do the same.

Background: Water classification timeline

2002 – Water Classification Regulations are introduced and water classification efforts, supported by the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, begin.

2002-2012 – Non‐governmental groups continue to work in good faith with the Department of the Environment, waiting for perceived issues with the legislation to be addressed in order to proceed with classification.

June 2012 ‐ A coalition of five community organizations file an official request to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government to classify the Nashwaak River and its tributaries under Section 8.2 of Classification Regulation 2002‐13 of the Clean Water Act 2002‐56, as largely pristine “A” class waters.

July 2012 ‐ The NWAI receives a non‐response from the provincial government, indicating neither acceptance nor denial of the application.

February 2013 ‐ NWAI submits a complaint to the New Brunswick Ombudsman, requesting an investigation into the government’s inaction on regulation 2002‐13 the Water Classification Regulation of the Clean Water Act.

August 15, 2014 ‐ New Brunswick Ombudsman, Charles Murray, tables his report on the pursuant investigation to the New Brunswick Legislature.

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Links:
Ombudsman’s Report: http://www.gnb.ca/0073/PDF/EnglishWaterClassificationReport.pdf
http://www.nashwaakwatershed.ca
http://www.conservationcouncil.ca

Resources:
http://www.nashwaakwatershed.ca/resources/water‐classification‐fact‐sheet/
Conservation Council summary of Ombudsman’s report ‐ http://www.conservationcouncil.ca http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.201090.html

Contacts:
Paul McLaughlin,
President Nashwaak Watershed Association
Tel: (506) 450-4943 Cell: (506) 440-3625
E-mail: blindfaithstudio@gmail.com

Stephanie Merrill,
Freshwater Program Director Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Tel: (506) 458.8747 Cell: (506) 261.8317
E-mail: water@conservationcouncil.ca

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The 2011 funding cut of the Canadian Environmental Network by Environment Canada is back in the news again.  Investigative journalists from the Toronto Star have ferreted out an internal memo outlining the valuable role that the CEN played. The article is available here.
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The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has released a short video that shows remarkable forest loss in New Brunswick from 2000 to 2013. The animated maps reveal that the picture province is no longer home to large intact forest areas.

The Conservation Council is concerned that the New Brunswick's forest strategy will further degrade the province's endangered Acadian forest at a time when the province needs to manage the forest for diversity and resiliency to protect our vulnerable wildlife, our rivers and streams and our people who depend on the forest for a living.

The special edition of the NB Naturalist - Our Forests - Nos Forêts, is available for free and entirely dedicated to our public forests—their role, the questions that have not been answered, and the potential problems this new plan poses for biodiversity, ecosystems, and the future of our forests. Contact Vanessa (executive.director@naturenb.ca) to get copies, or download a pdf at www.naturenb.ca.

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?
Very exciting news! On Tuesday, June 17th, 2014, the draft proposed of the Bill of Rights to Support Children's Environmental Health was launched in Fredericton. There were songs, skits, and dances by children and Raffi Cavoukian said a few words on the importance of child honouring and children's environmental health. Please see the media release attached!
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This video examines the JD Irving and Government of New Brunswick
Crown Land Forestry Plan and explains why it must be stopped.


‪- produced by the Green Party of New Brunswick‬



VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Stanley NB May 27 2014


70 people attended the  Stanley Voice of the People Town Hall Wednesday evening. Here are the Red Dot Poll results:

1) Need community meetings to generate ideas about creating our own industries, just like at this town hall meeting

2) Our water must be protected!

3) Stop the centralization of power and industry in NB ( lack of democracy)

4) Moratorium on shale gas

5) We want long term jobs for our children and a clean future

6) Bring back sustainable forestry not plantations

7) Business opportunities for wind energy in NB

8) Need more tools to create small, local economies

9) Keep our children here by rural development 

10) Home owners need incentives to generate own power i.e. Solar, biogas, windmill
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Perth Andover NB May 21 2014

1. Government should represent people not the Irvings (18)

2. Create local jobs that stay in the community (10)

3. (tie)
- Stop media control by Irving (9)

- Kick the Alward government out (9)

- Pressure government to kick-start renewable energy (9)

4. (tie)
- Give back control of our forests to NBers. Remove control by Irving (8)

- No pipeline (8)

- Elect politicians who don't want shale gas (8)

5. (tie)
- Create your own job - more opportunity for small business, self sufficiency (7)

- Cultivate Hemp (7)

6. Promote food products from our forests, ecotourism, native medicines (6)

7. (tie)
- Keep big logs and trees and process them here, add value (4)

- Community owned and run forestry (4)

- Policies to replace imports with domestic goods (4)

Study successful plans in Vermont, Nova Scotia, etc and implement here in NB (4)

8. (tie)
- Community gardens (3)

- Maintain good jobs, education and health care (3)

- People need to get informed (3)
Join Naturalists from across the province as we discover the wonders the Fundy region has to offer at Nature NB's 2014 Festival of Nature. Participants will be able to take part in more than 20 field trips with botanists, geologists and naturalists learning about insects, birds and butterflies, aquatic plants and fossils, and the history of the park. There will be workshops on nature photography and geocaching, and day-long hikes and visits to Hopewell Rocks. Participation in the weekend’s events and outings is open to the general public whether members of Nature NB or not, but advance registration is recommended at www.naturenb.ca.



Just a little something funny for your day sung to the popular "Royals" by Lourde!

Enjoy!
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Rexton NB and area May 14 2014

Two hundred and more enthusiastic and engaged people from the Rexton and Kent County areas attended a standing room-only Voice of the People Tour stop at the Bonar Law High School Wednesday evening.

Aboriginal, Acadian, English and other friends and neighbours spoke their minds on the issue of fracking and how they choose to take a stand in rejecting the shale gas industry while pursuing viable and locally-based solutions and alternatives to our 'Dig it Up, Cut it Down, Ship it Out' economy.


Below are the results of the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR Red Dot Poll for Rexton NB

1. People of NB will not stand by and allow this (fracking) to happen (112 dots)

2. Boycott Irving (83 dots)

3. More emphasis on food security for Kent County (64 dots)

4. On election day make a statement by voting for a party opposed to fracking (59 dots)

5. SLAPP suits by SWN (South Western Energy) are unacceptable and will be challenged by individuals and by class action (53 dots)

6. Honour Aboriginal land and rights (51 dots)

7. Exploration test wells need to be opposed/stopped. "We have to stop before they drill" (36 dots)

8. We need to get behind local & provincial politicians who have opposed shale gas (33 dots)

9. Tools and incentives (e.g. community economic development investment funds) need to be made more available to assist communities to develop renewable energy programs (29 dots)

10. Greater transparency from government regarding costs incurred from shale gas industry (impacts to air quality, water quality, public health, road maintenance, etc.) (18 dots)

11. Organized tours of Penobsquis are available. It is important that we see and smell what the industry creates (17 dots)

12. Speak out not only for yourself but for your wider community (11 dots)

13. Phased environmental impact assessments (EIA) will be ineffective tools of a regulatory process (9 dots)

14. Make personal submissions or complaints if medical conditions are potentially at risk by operations that may be planned to happen near or around your community (4 dots)

15. Challenge the establishment and their use of words to obscure the truth & take away our rights (2 dots)
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Sussex NB and area May 8 2014


1)  NB's democratic deficit is stifling our ability to have an effective public voice to counter government and industry control

2)  Something needs to be done about corporate media control in NB

3)  We need better transparency about what has been happening in Penobsquis

4)  (Tie)
     - Stop subsidizing large corporations
     - Regulations will not protect us

5)  NB needs more emphasis on sustainable industry incentives

6)  Proportional representation is needed for electoral reform

7)  (Tie)
    - Community economic development investment funds and other investment tools are needed to support local community development
    - Concern for lack of accurate information and industry truth

8) Reduce toxins - Take NB out of a sacrifice zone 

    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


Guest Blog from the former Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network.

Hello environmental friends across Canada!

I wanted to share these new documents with you about Canadian government spending.

If you look at the latest Plans & Priorities of Environment Canada (EC) you will see a major planned cut to the environmental budget – it is so shocking in 2012 the budget for EC was $1.6 billion and by 2016-2017 it will be $698 million – that’s about a billion dollar cut or 2/3 of the EC budget gone.

Scroll through this Environment Canada’s Plans & Priorities to see its financial and human resource budget and programs for the next three years:

https://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=024B8406-1&offset=3&toc=show

**You should see that Environment Canada now spends only $118,000,000 on climate change, but by 2016-2017 it will be reduced to $54,000,000 – that’s more than half cut though we know how dire the warnings are from the IPCC and the need to take urgent action – you can see these numbers if you scroll down the document.

Please see the attached 2-page hand-out on “Military Spending in the World & in Canada” that compares Canadian environmental spending to the Department of National Defence military spending over the past 15 years.

Please see the other 6-page document attached “Why Canada needs to demilitarize: Facts & Figures about Canada’s Defence Budget” – it has some good updated graphics and a list of cuts to Environment Canada and DFO over the past 8 years. Last year was a high for the Department of National Defence budget at almost $23 billion but Environment Canada’s budget has been cut to $1.5 billion from last year.

I have posted all these documents to my web site too for your future reference: www.demilitarize.ca

All of my information comes from the audited Public Accounts of Canada: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2013/index-eng.html

(If you go to Volume II and Table I you can see the Statement of Revenues and Expenses  - the one-page snap shot of the federal budget for last year and there’s a link to all the archives. I have merely compiled the numbers and represented them in these graphs)

Canada needs a green, peace, creative & fair economy. Halifax needs to stop building armed combat vessels (warships) and start building something useful like renewable energy technologies. Canada can’t afford to buy stealth fighters and instead needs to green the economy.

Finally, please sign the petition and ask the Finance Minister Joe Oliver to move the money, cut military spending and invest in urgent environmental and social needs: http://www.ceasefire.ca/?p=18284

(Today’s the Global Day of Action against Military Spending: www.gdams.org)

Please pass these documents around - Canadians need to know the numbers. Please sign the petition & spread the word. Thank you!

In solidarity for peace, earth & justice from the UK,

Tamara


Tamara Lorincz

Rotary International World Peace Fellow 2013-2014
University of Bradford, UK
Email: tlorincz@dal.ca
Email: T.Lorincz@student.bradford.ac.uk
DEMILITARIZE: http://www.demilitarize.ca
BLOG "Wednesdays against Warships": http://demilitarize.ca/wp/
TWITTER: @TamaraLorincz

Man-Made Disasters: Our Own Fault

Natural disasters, for the most part, can’t be avoided. But how much time and money do we spend cleaning up our own messes?

The Costliest

Some of the most expensive disasters in history have been man-made. Let’s explore the most expensive disasters that were humans’ fault.
Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger explosion
Cost: $5.5 billion
The Challenger rocket was in the air for just over 60 seconds when an O-ring destroyed the rocket and killed the seven astronauts on board. Because of the faulty O-ring, freezing conditions in space and poor organization, the rocket exploded seconds after it was launched. This led to NASA activities being suspended to overhaul safety procedures.
2002: Prestige Oil Spill
Cost: $12 billion
During a tropical storm off the coast of Galicia, an oil tanker’s fuel tanks ruptured and spilled its cargo into the sea. The ship tried to dock in various ports but was turned away because Spain, France and Portugal did not want to deal with the environmental consequences. Eventually, the ship split in two in the storm and spilled 77,000 metric tons (20 million gallons) of oil off the northern coast of Spain.
Feb. 1, 2003: Columbia space shuttle disaster
Cost: $13 billion
During re-entry after several complete missions, the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated, killing all crew members on board. A piece of foam had broken off and struck the wing of the shuttle, causing the accident. The 64,000 pieces of the ship are on display at the Kennedy Space Center.
April 10, 2010: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Cost: $42 billion
As the second most-costly disaster in human history, the explosion took the lives of 11 workers on board the Deepwater Horizon platform on board the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico. BP was charged with 11 counts of manslaughter, a felony count of lying to Congress and two misdemeanors. Legal proceedings are ongoing as 150 people living in the area are still suffering and some have developed illnesses.
April 26, 1986: Chernobyl
Cost: $235 billion
During a routine test at a nuclear plant In Pripyat, Ukraine, a sudden power surge led to reactor #4 exploding and releasing a blast of radiation. 31 people died immediately and the entire town had to be evacuated. Eventually, it is estimated the explosion led to the deaths of between 10,000 and 20,000. The area is still a ghost town.
1991: Kuwait oil fires
Cost: $1.5 billion
Following the invasion of Kuwait, then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent men to detonate hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells. They managed to set more than 600 ablaze; those fires burned for more than seven months, and the resulting oil spill caused enormous environmental damage.
1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill
Cost: $2 billion
More than 11 million gallons of oil spilled over nearly 500 miles of the Prince William Sound coastline in Alaska. More than a quarter-million birds and countless other animals died.

The Weirdest

Not all manmade disasters are especially costly; some of them are just plain memorable.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A “landfill” also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex is 3.5 million tons of floating trash between Hawaii and California. It is twice the size of Texas and is made up of 90% plastic debris.
Cactus Dome in the Marshall Islands
The U.S. government dug up 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil from the Marshall Islands in the late 1970s after nuclear test explosions. They moved the soil to a 350-foot wide crater left by nuclear tests on Runit Island. They made 358 concrete panels and formed a 100,000-square-foot dome that is still radioactive. It cost the government a quarter of a billion dollars.
Centralia, Pennsylvania
In 1962, a huge coal fire under the city was ignited and has been burning ever since. Residents were relocated by 1984 after a 12-year-old boy died after falling into a hole that suddenly appeared in his backyard. The entire town was condemned in 1992.
Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan
In 1971 a Soviet drilling operation hit a huge underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse. Deadly fumes began leaking from the hole and, to avert a disaster, Soviet authorities lit fire to the 328-foot hole. It still burns today.
The Sidoarjo Mud Volcano
Gas drilling on an Indonesian island called Java caused a mud volcano in May 2006. The volcano killed 13 people and has already covered 25 square kilometers. It is growing at about 50,000 cubic meters each day. That means it is getting bigger by 84 Olympic swimming pools every week. Scientists predict this will continue for another 30 years.
Picher, Oklahoma
According to the EPA, this is the most toxic place in the United States. It was once the world’s richest lead and zinc mining area where 20,000 people lived. Acidic water began seeping from underground tunnels and turned the nearby creek into poison. Fewer than 25 people live there now.
The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan
Irrigation projects from the Aral Sea have gradually drained the water. Soviet operations drained it nearly dry, and it has separated into two smaller areas.
The Berkeley Pit, Montana
A flock of geese landed on Berkeley Pit Lake in Montana in November 1995. The lake is a copper mine filled with more than 40 billion gallons of acidic water and heavy metals. After the geese landed, there were several days of stormy conditions and fog, keeping them on the lake. 342 of the birds were found dead because the water corroded their esophagi.
Guiyu, China
Electronic trash is dissembled by hand in this Chinese town. It is the country’s biggest e-waste village where computer parts are burned, cooked and soaked in acid to remove the precious metals inside them. These processes have led to the city being the second most polluted place on the earth.

manmade-disasters-fb

Man-Made Disasters: Our Own Fault

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Man-Made Disasters: Our Own Fault

Natural disasters, for the most part, can’t be avoided. But how much time and money do we spend cleaning up our own messes?

The Costliest

Some of the most expensive disasters in history have been man-made. Let’s explore the most expensive disasters that were humans’ fault.
Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger explosion
Cost: $5.5 billion
The Challenger rocket was in the air for just over 60 seconds when an O-ring destroyed the rocket and killed the seven astronauts on board. Because of the faulty O-ring, freezing conditions in space and poor organization, the rocket exploded seconds after it was launched. This led to NASA activities being suspended to overhaul safety procedures.
2002: Prestige Oil Spill
Cost: $12 billion
During a tropical storm off the coast of Galicia, an oil tanker’s fuel tanks ruptured and spilled its cargo into the sea. The ship tried to dock in various ports but was turned away because Spain, France and Portugal did not want to deal with the environmental consequences. Eventually, the ship split in two in the storm and spilled 77,000 metric tons (20 million gallons) of oil off the northern coast of Spain.
Feb. 1, 2003: Columbia space shuttle disaster
Cost: $13 billion
During re-entry after several complete missions, the Columbia Space Shuttle disintegrated, killing all crew members on board. A piece of foam had broken off and struck the wing of the shuttle, causing the accident. The 64,000 pieces of the ship are on display at the Kennedy Space Center.
April 10, 2010: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Cost: $42 billion
As the second most-costly disaster in human history, the explosion took the lives of 11 workers on board the Deepwater Horizon platform on board the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico. BP was charged with 11 counts of manslaughter, a felony count of lying to Congress and two misdemeanors. Legal proceedings are ongoing as 150 people living in the area are still suffering and some have developed illnesses.
April 26, 1986: Chernobyl
Cost: $235 billion
During a routine test at a nuclear plant In Pripyat, Ukraine, a sudden power surge led to reactor #4 exploding and releasing a blast of radiation. 31 people died immediately and the entire town had to be evacuated. Eventually, it is estimated the explosion led to the deaths of between 10,000 and 20,000. The area is still a ghost town.
1991: Kuwait oil fires
Cost: $1.5 billion
Following the invasion of Kuwait, then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent men to detonate hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells. They managed to set more than 600 ablaze; those fires burned for more than seven months, and the resulting oil spill caused enormous environmental damage.
1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill
Cost: $2 billion
More than 11 million gallons of oil spilled over nearly 500 miles of the Prince William Sound coastline in Alaska. More than a quarter-million birds and countless other animals died.

The Weirdest

Not all manmade disasters are especially costly; some of them are just plain memorable.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A “landfill” also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex is 3.5 million tons of floating trash between Hawaii and California. It is twice the size of Texas and is made up of 90% plastic debris.
Cactus Dome in the Marshall Islands
The U.S. government dug up 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive soil from the Marshall Islands in the late 1970s after nuclear test explosions. They moved the soil to a 350-foot wide crater left by nuclear tests on Runit Island. They made 358 concrete panels and formed a 100,000-square-foot dome that is still radioactive. It cost the government a quarter of a billion dollars.
Centralia, Pennsylvania
In 1962, a huge coal fire under the city was ignited and has been burning ever since. Residents were relocated by 1984 after a 12-year-old boy died after falling into a hole that suddenly appeared in his backyard. The entire town was condemned in 1992.
Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan
In 1971 a Soviet drilling operation hit a huge underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse. Deadly fumes began leaking from the hole and, to avert a disaster, Soviet authorities lit fire to the 328-foot hole. It still burns today.
The Sidoarjo Mud Volcano
Gas drilling on an Indonesian island called Java caused a mud volcano in May 2006. The volcano killed 13 people and has already covered 25 square kilometers. It is growing at about 50,000 cubic meters each day. That means it is getting bigger by 84 Olympic swimming pools every week. Scientists predict this will continue for another 30 years.
Picher, Oklahoma
According to the EPA, this is the most toxic place in the United States. It was once the world’s richest lead and zinc mining area where 20,000 people lived. Acidic water began seeping from underground tunnels and turned the nearby creek into poison. Fewer than 25 people live there now.
The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan
Irrigation projects from the Aral Sea have gradually drained the water. Soviet operations drained it nearly dry, and it has separated into two smaller areas.
The Berkeley Pit, Montana
A flock of geese landed on Berkeley Pit Lake in Montana in November 1995. The lake is a copper mine filled with more than 40 billion gallons of acidic water and heavy metals. After the geese landed, there were several days of stormy conditions and fog, keeping them on the lake. 342 of the birds were found dead because the water corroded their esophagi.
Guiyu, China
Electronic trash is dissembled by hand in this Chinese town. It is the country’s biggest e-waste village where computer parts are burned, cooked and soaked in acid to remove the precious metals inside them. These processes have led to the city being the second most polluted place on the earth.

manmade-disasters-fb

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Fredericton South, April 30, 2014

1) Moratorium on shale gas

2) Public health

3) New Brunswick needs diverse set of solutions for jobs / economy
- clean energy
- Local value aded products
- local agriculture and forestry

4) Sustainable jobs. Clean jobs.

5) Forest management agreement with JD Irving must be stopped

6) First Nations should be consulted before entering into resource agreements

7) No 'gag' orders and non-disclosure agreements should be allowed in NB

8) Radioactive waste water

9) Solar power

10) Clean energy
 
The Voice of the People Tour town hall meeting for Fredericton South is being held this Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014, at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm. The Voice of the People Tour is in 30+ communities across the province, giving citizens their say in building a better energy future for New Brunswick.

The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will announce to the public at tonight's meeting that it is organizing a ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ for the riding of Fredericton South.
 

This ‘Meet the Candidates Q&A’ meeting will be held Thursday, September 4, 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm.

Invitations have just gone out to the known candidates David Coon (Green Party), Kelly Lamrock (NDP), and Craig Leonard (PC and the incumbent MLA). The purpose of this meeting is to provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions of their MLA candidates and to hear their positions on issues which concern constituents.

The Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter will be encouraging communities across the province to organize their own ‘Meet the Candidates’ Q&A meetings. All of these meetings will be citizen-led and non-partisan.


DATE:Wednesday evening, April 30, 2014
 

TIME: 7:00PM-9:00PM
 

LOCATION: Christ Church Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church St. Fredericton NB


VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Edmundston, April 9, 2014

- 35 citizens (approx.) in attendance

Edmundston April 10, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:

1(tie) 

-First nations: "You will not be bringing this(shale gas) to our territories" 

-Don't forget about the Pipelines


2(tie) 

- Don't vote Red or Blue- any colour but that.

- Take our province back, take our government back.

- Take corporations out of politics

- Look to areas that have succeeded in transitioning to a new way of thinking


3 - Treaties protect us all


4(tie)

- True consultation with First Nations

- Let's focus on what we want versus what we don't want.


5 - Demand a moratorium on fracking 

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results Summary for Belledune, April 9, 2014

Belledune April 9, 2014 Red Dot Poll results:


1) We need to protect our water above all else.


2) Belledune should pass a 10 year moratorium on shale. 


3) Map aquifers


4) (tie)

- Ask politicians the hard questions

- Government must classify our waterways

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


“Children's Environments, Health and Wellbeing: Making  the Links” conference, November 2013.

Did you know that collaboration works? In a survey, participants reported overwhelmingly positively that their participation in the collaborative resulted in increased awareness of children’s environmental health issues and new or improved connections and working relationships.

Ideas for the future abound among this group to make CEH a priority in the province of NB– from founding research chairs at NB universities to applying for funding for mapping hotspots of disease and environmental contamination in NB. And if the province of NB responds to the Bill of Rights for Children’s Environmental Health the way the conference participants did; the bill will become a law in 10 seconds flat!

The final report and presentations from the meeting are all available on the NBEN website, on the Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative page.

Don’t forget to follow our new champion, Norman the Eco-Warrior, on Twitter! @NEcoWarrior

Thank you to the funders: NB Department of Health, NB Dept of Healthy and Inclusive Communities and Raffi Cavoukian!

Yesterday was not a good day for biodiversity conservation on our public lands. The changes to how crown forests are managed fly in the face of science, and will put species and habitats at risk. Nature NB has sent an open letter, available from our website, www.naturenb.ca.

More to this, and very much worth watching and listening to, Charles Theriault's comments:
http://www.isourforestreallyours.com/Isourforestreallyours/Ep_22.html

Commentary - February 27, 2014
Scientists Concerned Upcoming New Brunswick Forestry Plan will Eliminate too Much Habitat

We are writing as a collective of concerned scientists and professionals who have spent many decades studying the needs of wildlife, healthy forests, and rivers in New Brunswick. Less than two years ago (March 2012), the Minister of Natural Resources announced a new 10-year Crown forest management plan that, while not acceptable to all, at least attempted to hold the line on keeping a minimum amount of habitat for wildlife, and appropriate buffers along rivers and streams. This was a plan that the Department developed after a year of consultation with wildlife researchers, forest companies, hunting and angling groups, environmental groups and First Nations. It was supposed to have set the amount of forest managed for conservation goals at 28% of the public forest. This was the bare minimum deemed necessary by government wildlife managers to make sure we have enough old forest to maintain healthy populations of our wildlife. The 2012 plan would have reduced clearcutting in certain Acadian mixed-forests, and reduced the amount of wood logged from hardwood stands to make sure there will be enough hardwoods to log in the future.

We thought the 2012 plan was the path forward. Now we are deeply concerned to learn that a new plan has been in development behind the scenes, government is apparently ignoring previous recommendations from their own staff, and did not ask for input or feedback from wildlife researchers or others who could speak on behalf of the public’s stated priority values - water, wildlife and basic sustainability of the forest.

The Premier in his 2014 State of the Province address, and Minister of Natural Resources in recent media interviews, both alluded to a new strategy that will allocate more wood to the province’s mills. Having not been part of the discussions that led to these decisions, we cannot be sure where this wood will come from. Since all Crown forest is already allocated, we are concerned the wood will come from buffer strips on brooks and wetlands, from deer yards, and from the small pockets of forest used to maintain wildlife and old forest. We are left to wonder if the wood will come from these previously conserved habitat areas, taking us below the minimums that are deemed necessary for wildlife and the health of our rivers. If this is what is being proposed, we believe it would be an irresponsible plan that will have serious negative consequences for the sustainability of our public forests for a long time to come.

Roberta Clowater (Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-NB Chapter); Dr. Tom Beckley (Professor, Forestry and Environmental Management, UNB); Dr. Tony Diamond (Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Biology Dep’t and Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management, UNB); Dr. Graham Forbes (Director, New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Centre, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, Faculty of Science, UNB); Dr. Roger Roy (Professor and Interim Director, School of Forestry, UdeM); Dr. Marc-André Villard (Professor, Biology, Université de Moncton).

www.cpawsnb.org



Have you been wondering where the Irvings stack up on the list of “Who owns the most land in the world?” According to an article in Business Insider, topping the list is the Queen of England, followed by the King of Saudi Arabia and the Pope. Then it’s nine kings, sultans, and emirs from various regimes around the world. Then, lucky number 13, the Irving family.

Don Bowser, an international expert on transparency and anti-corruption, was recently interviewed by Charles Thériault. Bowser, who is originally from New Brunswick, has worked on corruption, particularly in natural resource extraction, in countries such as Russia, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. He is surprised by the lack of transparency and public consultation taking place in New Brunswick in regards to extractive industries and notes that in New Brunswick it is particularly troubling. He offers an analysis of our province, calling it a “captured province” in which the regulators have “Stockholm syndrome” and identify with their hostage takers.

People are expressing concerns about whether Crown land is being managed for the public good. Charles Thériault recently produced a video of a public meeting in the Miramichi which sheds light on the feelings in that community. On January 30, 2014, the Premier announced that the province would be increasing the amount of wood available to industry. It is anticipated that this will result in clearcutting in areas that currently have restrictions on the type of cutting in order to allow for other purposes such as water protection and wildlife habitat. Scientists have come out in opposition to this. As well, there is a lot of discussion about herbicide spraying, triggered by Rod Cumberland, a retired provincial deer biologist. Herbicide spraying and clear cutting are linked activities as, after a clear cut, softwoods are planted and herbicides are sprayed to prevent hardwoods from growing back.  

There is an online petition that you can sign. An herbicide fact sheet has been published encouraging people to write letters. There are two great new web tools that quickly download satellite images and analysis about what is happening in the forest anywhere in the globe, including the forest near you!

The World's 15 Biggest Landowners, Business Insider, March 18, 2011: http://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-biggest-landowners-2011-3?op=1

Interview with Don Bowser, March 2, 2014: http://isourforestreallyours.com/Isourforestreallyours/Ep_21.html

Crown forest access will impact flora, fauna, experts warn, CBC, February 19, 2014: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/crown-forest-access-will-impact-flora-fauna-experts-warn-1.2543625

Video of the public meeting in the Miramichi, November 27, 2013: http://vimeo.com/81147160#

Herbicide use in NB: Everything you need to know to write an effective letter to eliminate herbicide spraying of our forest: http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Herbicide-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Online forest satellite tools: http://www.nben.ca/en/collaborative-action/caucuses/crown-lands-network/crown-lands-network

Petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/government-of-new-brunswick-revamp-the-crown-forest-act-give-us-back-our-forest#share

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.”

francais suit

Outdoor Winter
Workshop

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Join Nature NB and Parks NB at Mactaquac Provincial Park for this free outdoor workshop. From winter birds to tracks and scat, learn about nature during winter from experienced naturalists. As a participant you will also learn skills as an outdoor leader in your own group or community.

Who should register? Outdoor leaders, educators, naturalists, and anyone interested in learning more about New Brunswick’s natural heritage during the winter months.

Travel subsidies may be available upon request.  For more information, or to register, please contact Nature NB at (506)-459-4209 or ync@naturenb.ca.

Atelier Plein Air d’Hiver
Samedi, le 15 mars, 2014

Joignez-vous à Nature NB et Parcs Nouveau-Brunswick au Parc provincial Mactaquac pour cet atelier gratuit en plein air. Des oiseaux d'hiver, aux pistes et excréments, venez en apprendre davantage sur la nature en hiver, de naturalistes expérimentés. En tant que participant, vous pourrez également acquérir des compétences comme animateur en plein air pour votre propre groupe ou votre communauté.

Qui doit s'inscrire ? Les animateurs de plein air, les éducateurs, les naturalistes et toutes les personnes intéressées à en apprendre davantage sur le patrimoine naturel du Nouveau-Brunswick au cours des mois d'hiver.

Des subventions de voyage peuvent être disponibles sur demande. Pour plus d'informations, ou pour vous inscrire, s'il vous plaît contactez Nature NB au (506) -459-4209 ou ync@naturenb.ca.
PowerShift Atlantic is a climate and economic justice conference focused on giving people new skills and building up a movement for a just and sustainable future.

Join 500+ young people from across Atlantic Canada in learning skills for community organizing and non-violent direct action, building an understanding of the climate justice issues that face Atlantic Canada, and creating strong relationships between communities impacted by climate change and extreme energy extraction, and catalysing a movement to create real, just, and sustainable change in Atlantic Canada.

If you:

- Are worried about climate change and what it means for Atlantic Canada,
- Are impacted by extreme energy projects like fracking, offshore drilling, tar sands, pipelines, or other infrastructure,
- Know there is a better way to provide for the needs of people, communities, and economies,
- Are interested in creating the just and sustainable future Atlantic Canada so badly needs,

PowerShift Atlantic is for you!

We’re calling on people from across the Atlantic Provinces to participate in PowerShift and join the movement for a just and sustainable future that can provide jobs for people in Atlantic Canada and support our communities without cooking the climate.

Register today!

If you’re travelling from New Brunswick, the Conservation Council and CUPE NB will cover your travel expenses! Get in touch with Tracy at info@conservationcouncil.ca to set up a ride to Halifax!

Need help paying for registration fees? Check out fundraising options and front line scholarship opportunities.

Want to help make PowerShift happen? Sign up here and we’ll find a volunteer role that fits your skills and goals!

Want to present a skills-based workshop, issues-based workshop, or panel discussion at PowerShift Atlantic? Learn more and submit your idea here!

For more information visit wearepowershift.ca or contact atlantic@ourclimate.ca.

The NBEN invites you to take part in a conference that will focus on biodiversity conservation in New Brunswick and, more specifically, how to integrate this issue into planning. We encourage conservation practitioners, researchers, policy makers, land use planners, participants in the NB Biodiversity Collaborative and all those who are interested in wild spaces and species to join us at this event Wednesday, March 12. We hope you will join us!
 
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Today Mary Majka passed away. In her 90's, she was an ever-present force of environmental activism in the province. Her out-spoken, community-based work has been an inspiration for countless individuals in the province. She mentored many naturalists and environmentalists over the years, building a community of support for natural areas, wild species, and heritage sites. Mary never shied away from hard work or difficult issues and achieved significant goals in her life. She will be missed. Condolences to family and friends.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/naturalist-mary-majka-mourned-1.2534538
January 15, 2014 (Fredericton, NB) – The Nature Trust of New Brunswick (NTNB)is inviting the general public to a series of community information sessions throughout the Lower St. John River region from January 26 to January 31, 2014. Over the past three years, NTNB has been developing a conservation strategy for the Lower St. John River region, with a goal to guide future conservation efforts and more actively involve the public in land conservation and stewardship of ecologically sensitive areas.

“The Lower St. John River region is a rich landscape that is home to a diversity of plant, animal, insect, and bird species - many of them rare and endangered such as the Cobblestone Tiger Beetle and the Peregrine Falcon,” says Aaron Dowding, NTNB Conservation Planning Manager. “Protecting these habitats can help ensure that the beauty and diversity we see today will remain for generations to come.”

The development of this conservation strategy has been a complex yet rewarding process, involving the extensive analysis of relevant data and the close collaboration of many partners including federal and provincial government scientists, conservation groups, researchers, and naturalist organizations. Having now identified important areas for conservation in the region, NTNB is seeking to actively engage New Brunswickers in land conservation and stewardship efforts, with the first step being a series of informative open house events.

"We hope that those interested in these initiatives can join us in taking a hands-on role in stewarding the forests, wetlands, and rivers in this region for future generations. And, we are here to give them the tools to do so," says Dowding.

NTNB and its partners invite everyone with an interest in conservation to attend an open house in their community, where information will be provided about species at risk, important habitats, private land stewardship, and the overall Lower St. John River conservation strategy.

"Our community tour gives us an opportunity to share our learnings about the Lower St. John River region. For example, landowners may not know that they have endangered species on their property, so we can help inform them about that,” says Dowding. “On the other hand, there is also a lot we can learn about the ecology of the region from landowners and what they have observed over time.”

Please join NTNB for an open house in your community:
  • Keswick Ridge - Sun., Jan. 26, Keswick Ridge Community Hall (84 Route 616) from 2 to 3:30 pm
  • Taymouth - Mon., Jan. 27, Taymouth Community Centre (864 Route 8) from 7 to 8 pm
  • Hampton - Tues., Jan. 28, Lighthouse River Centre (1075 Main St) from 6:30 to 8 pm
  • Grand Bay-Westfield - Wed., Jan. 29, Community Centrum (609 River Valley Dr) at 7 pm
  • Sussex - Thurs., Jan. 30, Sussex Public Library (46 Magnolia Dr) at 6:30 pm
  • Gagetown - Fri., Jan. 31, Royal Canadian Legion (81 Tilley Rd) from 7:30 to 8:30 pm

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving New Brunswick’s outstanding ecological landscapes for people and nature. Nature Trust NB currently protects 37 nature preserves in the province. For more information about the organization, visit naturetrust.nb.ca.

Hello everyone,

I am writing to you from beautiful (and rainy) Costa Rica, where we have already reached the halfway point for our internship at the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN). At this point we have settled into a routine here in San Jose. One of my favourite weekly activities is to head to the organic food market that happens every Saturday morning in San Jose, known as the Fería Verde. There is always a wonderful selection of fresh, organic produce, prepared foods, smoothie stands, as well as artisanal clothes and crafts. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with live music and great people, so much so that it often feels more like a large gathering of friends rather than a market. Through this event we have been fortunate to meet many new people who are involved in very interesting environmental projects throughout the region, whether it be planting food forests, promoting organic farming or working to protect local bee populations.

Despite what this may sound like, we are also working hard here in the offices of the IAFN. Currently I am working on a short paper to describe the opinion of Analog Forestry vis-à-vis the use of non-native species. Often demonized in popular culture and within conservation circles, exotic species can serve a valuable role, especially within Agro-Forestry. Many foods that today are considered staple crops and that provide many economic and social benefits were once introduced species themselves. In Costa Rica, for example, one practitioner of Analog Forestry, Milo Bekins (also the Co-President of the IAFN), currently grows cinnamon, mangosteen, nutmeg, cardamom, citronella, ginger and turmeric, none of which are native to this region. He does this utilizing a method that is geared towards conserving and rehabilitating the natural ecosystem.

Non-native species may also have a role to play in the restoration of degraded landscapes. They may act as food or habitat for native species, promote pollination, replace ecological engineers or provide ecosystem services, among others (Schlaepfer, Sax, and Olden 430). Not wishing to diminish the real danger of many invasive species, the IAFN hopes to promote the idea that exotic species can be useful and beneficial and should not be prematurely overlooked for their non-native status.

 

 

Blackpepper Costa Rica

Dear friends of sustainability education,

The deadline is fast approaching for the winter edition of Sustainability News. I am hoping to receive lots of submissions from our SEA-NB partners, as usual J

Can you think of anything you are currently aware of that might be of use to teachers for the winter? Workshops? Helpful tips? Partnership opportunities? Curriculum links? Dates to note?

This newsletter goes out to as many English speaking teachers as Martha can get on her list which is currently HUGE and growing!!! We also circulate through SEA-NB and our own networks-so our reach is indeed awe inspiring!!!

Content needs to be sustainability education oriented, appropriate for the winter semester and may include:

-funding opportunities for teachers and schools
-partnership opportunities between teachers, students, schools, community, business, NGO's etc
-activities for classrooms and schools
-workshops for teachers and students
-curriculum links
-good news stories
-good example stories
-presentations for classes from outside schools
-advice for teachers
-dates of note

Please submit to me asap,

In sustainability,

Sharon from SEA-NB's Team Connections!

 For Immediate Release                PRESS RELEASE                November 4, 2013

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

“Kahsatstenhsera: Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines” is a must see.  Kahsatstenhsera is a Mohawk word that means Strength in Unity. Check out this short documentary about Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipeline expansion, in particular the Line 9 and Energy East pipelines, which threaten the health of their territories. It includes the voices and perspectives of Ron Tremblay, John Levis and Suzanne Patles.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

 

(Fredericton, NB) The Meduxnekeag River Association Inc. (MRA) is this year’s recipient of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. On Friday, Nov. 1 from 2 to 4 pm, an award ceremony will take place at Government House in Fredericton to recognize the outstanding achievement of the MRA in acquiring and protecting a significant portion of the lands in the Meduxnekeag watershed, a valuable part of New Brunswick’s Saint John River watershed.

“This is the second year of the award, which was created by his Honour Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Nature Trust of NB,” says Don Dennison, Past President of Nature Trust. “This initiative by His Honour to establish the award for land conservation is testimony to Mr. Nicholas’ understanding of, and commitment to respecting the land and the connection to it felt profoundly by First Peoples and generally by all New Brunswickers. The award provides an opportunity to give thanks to those who work to protect it.”

Twelve nominations were put in front of a five-member selection committee, which includes Angela Acquin, a member of the St. Mary's First Nation community, Paula Noel, Regional Director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Mike Sullivan, New Brunswick Ministry of Natural Resources, Kevin Davidson with Canadian Wildlife Services, and Don Dennison, Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

 

“I think we were chosen in recognition of our 15 years of work in acquiring and protecting ecologically significant land in the Meduxnekeag watershed,” says George Peabody, MRA Program Coordinator. “We are, so far as I know, unique among NB local organizations in carrying this out.”

Starting in Woodstock in 1995, the MRA initially focused only on fish and fish habitat in the area. Recognizing the importance of the Meduxnekeag watershed and uniqueness of the Appalachian Hardwood Forest found there, the group blossomed into the impressive organization seen today, with almost 800 acres of protected land through the Meduxnekeag Valley Nature Preserve system and well-established educational outreach programs.

“In addition to the direct value of our work, we think our example shows how a relatively small local organization can make a big local difference in land conservation,” says Peabody. “We'd like to see the same sort of thing happening in communities all over New Brunswick.”

About the Award

The Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation recognizes individuals and organizations like the MRA for their achievements in land conservation, including:

  • 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.     

 

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving New   Brunswick’s outstanding ecological landscapes for people and nature. The Nature Trust currently protects 36 nature preserves in the province. For more information about the organization, visit naturetrust.nb.ca.

 

About the Meduxnekeag River Association

The Meduxnekeag River Association is a community-based watershed organization in Woodstock, New Brunswick that has protected over 800 acres of eco-regionally significant habitats. For more information about the organization, visit meduxnekeag.org.

 

 Press Release

Council of Canadians,                                                                           24 October 2013

Fredericton Chapter

Council of Canadians stunned by Premier’s comments on consultation with Indigenous Peoples

FREDERICTON– The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians is stunned by Premier Alward’s comments suggesting that adequate consultations have taken place between his government and Indigenous Peoples on the issue of shale gas.

“That is not what I heard at a meeting last night with members of the Wabanaki Confederacy which included Harry Laporte, Grand Chief of the Maliseet First Nation,” says Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, Chair, Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.

Deveau, who completed his doctoral studies on the duty to consult and accommodate persons with disabilities in the workplace, believes that Premier Alward is misleading New Brunswickers on this issue.

“Not only does our government have to consult Indigenous Peoples about shale gas,” says Deveau, but it also has to accommodate their concerns, as outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada”

“Besides, says Deveau, “if proper consultations had taken place, why would the Mik’maq and the Maliseet of this province along with their allies have blockaded thumper trucks two summers in a row?”

The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians believes that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) cannot be done safely, and is calling for a ban on the practice in New Brunswick.

 

Communiqué de presse en français

- 30 -

I’m Grace, I am nineteen years old and from Accra, Ghana. I am Julia, I am eighteen years old and I am from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. We are two out of the eighteen volunteers participating in a Canada World Youth women’s exchange. We have completed our first week volunteering at the New Brunswick Environmental Network! It has been a wonderful experiential learning opportunity so far and we are looking forward to gaining knowledge on key environmental issues present in Moncton and the surrounding area. We will be volunteering at the NBEN until mid- December and are excited to better our understanding of the NBEN and their positive and lasting impacts regarding sustainability and strengthening the environmental movement in New Brunswick. After our volunteer work placement concludes, we are headed off to Otuam, Ghana with the other eight volunteers from Canada and the eight volunteers from Ghana to continue our non-formal education and volunteer work endeavours over-seas!! We are anticipating an exciting and informative two and a half months with the New Brunswick Environmental Network!

Nature NB est ravi d’annoncer que notre programme Champions de la Nature est présenté sur SmallChangeFund.org.

Ce programme permet les jeunes de Nouveau-Brunswick à construire les espaces de conservation à leurs écoles et centres communautaires. Les jeunes construisent des nichoirs pour les oiseaux et les chauves-souris et plantent les jardins de pollinisateurs, tout en apprenant l’importance de la conservation des habitats.

Les fonds levés au smallchangefund.org aideront Nature NB à acheter les panneaux d’interprétation ainsi que le bois et les plantes natives pour construire les jardins de pollinisateurs et les nichoirs pour la faune. Tous les dons seront augmenter par Small Change Fund!

Nature NB is pleased to announce that our Nature Champions program is featured on SmallChangeFund.org.

The Nature Champions program enables New Brunswick youth to construct conservation spaces in schools and community centres. Youth build birdhouses, bat boxes, and plant pollinator gardens, all while learning about the importance of conserving habitat.

Money raised through smallchangefund.org will help Nature NB purchase interpretive signs and the wood materials and native plants to build pollinator gardens and wildlife structures. Any donations made to this program will be amplified by Small Change Fund.

 

Hon. David Alward

Premier of New Brunswick

PO Box 6000

Fredericton, NB

E3B 5H1

September 19, 2013

Dear Premier Alward:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

           

Sincerely,

Rev. Mary Wanamaker

For Saint John and Area KAIROS

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.
Press Release

Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter


Council of Canadians applauds Elsipogtog’s sovereignty declaration

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

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

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

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

Sisson Mine Project Community Meetings Oct 7, 8, 9

 

Did you know that the public is being asked to comment on the Environmental Impact Assessment put forth by the mine developers, Northcliff Resources?

It's a big document – over 5000 pages – so we'd like to invite you to learn about what some expert reviewers have to say about the Environmental Impact Assessment report and the possible impacts of the mine on matters such as air and water quality and public health. We hope you can use some of this information when you send your comments on the mine to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).

 

Monday Oct 7

Stanley

School Cafeteria

 

Tuesday Oct 8

Fredericton

Hugh John Flemming Complex

 

Wednesday Oct 9

Taymouth

Community Centre

 

Evening Agenda:

6:00pm: Welcome and light meal served

7:00: Presentations highlighting the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and open pit mining

8:30: Questions/Answer moderated by Nashwaak Watershed Association

9:00: Wrap-up

 

These discussions are being hosted by the Nashwaak Watershed Association Inc. and CCNB Action as part of the review and open comment period, with funding from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). Our goal is to provide information to the community, understand and document community expectations and concerns of the mine and the degree to which the community has been informed and consulted by the proponent as part of the community engagement component of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

 

We hope you can join us for a free meal and a good community discussion. Please forward this invitation to friends and neighbours. For more information please contact:

Paul McLaughin, NWAI: 450.4943; blindfaithstudio@gmail.com

Stephanie Merrill, CCNB Action: 458.8747; water@ccnbaction.ca

 

To share or forward: http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/ai1ec_event/sisson-mine-project-community-meetings/?instance_id=393

 

Send a comment directly to CEAA by October 14:

200-1801 Hollis Street

Halifax, NS B3J 3N4

Telephone: 902-426-0564

Fax: 902-426-6550

E-mail: Sissonproject@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Project website: http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/details-eng.cfm?evaluation=63169

October 2nd to 4th, 2013 Saint John New Brunswick

The Atlantic Energy Summit (http://www.insightinfo.com/index.php/ci_id/58141/la_id/1.htm) promotes fracked gas, pipelines and nuclear energy. These aren't the future - they're the past. “Energy for Everyone” is a collaborative effort to bring people together to learn and organise for the sustainable Atlantic energy future we deserve.

Wednesday Evening, October 2nd:
Public forum - Moving beyond the Energy East Pipeline and Shale Gas Towards a Sustainable Atlantic Energy Future

When and Where:

Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:00 pm at the Hatheway Pavilion at Lily Lake, Saint John, NB (see Council of Canadians - www.canadians.org for details)

Thursday, October 3rd:

Workshops - TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline, Fracked Gas, Nuclear Energy and a Sustainable Atlantic Energy Vision

When and Where: October 3rd 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Church of St. Andrew and St. David, 164 Germain St, Saint John, NB (see Council of Canadians - www.canadians.org for agenda)

NOON -“Energy for Everyone”

Rally While Premier David Alward gives his keynote address at the Atlantic Energy Summit, join us to demand change and show that another energy vision is possible. Begins outside of the Church of St. Andrew and St. David, 164 Germain St, Saint John, NB

Thursday evening, October 3rd:

Conservation Council Film Night 7:00-9:00 pm

Grand Room, City Market, 2nd floor Seniors Center There will be time for discussion following the screening of the following two films:

1. Moving Forward - Allons de l'avant:

A movement toward renewable energy is occurring throughout New Brunswick. Follow Raphael Shay as he tours the Province of NB talking with people who are building a renewable energy future by harnessing the power of water, wind, sun, biomass and biogas. Features Joe Waugh of EfficiencyNB, Charles Martin of Edmundston Hydro, Paul Cunningham of Energy Systems & Design, Leonard Larocque of Lameque Wind Cooperative, Jason Juurlink of Falls Brook Centre, Roland Chaisson of Cape Jourimain, Ken Hardie of NB Woodlot Owners, Esther Samson of Twin Rivers Paper, Jacques Laforge - biogas, and Marc MacLeod of Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission.

Une revue des technologies axées sur l'énergie renouvelable utilisées au Nouveau- Brunswick. Suivez Raphael Shay dans sa tournée de la province, où il discute avec des gens qui se servent de l'eau, du vent, du soleil, des biomasses ou du biogaz pour produire de l'électricité et bâtir un avenir orienté vers l'énergie renouvelable. Il rencontrera Joe Waugh (Efficacité NB), Charles Martin (Énergie Edmundston), Paul Cunningham (Energy Systems & Design), Léonard Larocque (Coopérative d'énergie renouvelable de Lamèque), Jason Juurlink (centre Falls Brook), Roland Chiasson (Cape Jourimain), Ken Hardie (Fédération des propriétaires de lots boisés du N.-B.), Esther Samson (Twin Rivers Paper), Jacques Laforge (producteur de biogaz) et Marc MacLeod (Commission de gestion des déchets solides de la région de Fundy).
2. Our Energy Future:

This film focuses on New Brunswick's energy future and looks at the potential for reducing the dependence on oil through energy efficiency, efficient commercial building construction, passive solar home and commercial building design and the use of alternative local energy sources such as wood biomass from New Brunswick's forest resource. The film features Alfred Gordon of Gordon Energy, an energy efficiency expert, John Irving of Commercial Properties Ltd., Krista Downy of Green Canary Group, passive solar design, Frank McCarey & Sid Lodhi of Saint John City Transit, and Peter deMarsh of Nashwaak Valley Wood Energy Inc.

Friday, October 4th:

Workshops -Atlantic Canada – Canada's New Energy Frontier?

When and Where:

October 4th 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the New Brunswick Museum,1 Market Square, Saint John, NB

Saint John Museum:

10:00-10:30 am -Sharing Energy Solutions for NB -Talking Circle

10:40-11:45 am -Atlantic Canada's Evolving Energy Mix? Getting to know Fracking, Renewables, Nuclear and Oil up close and personal.
12:00-1:00 pm -What is Our Region's Energy Future? Investing in Ourselves A People's Panel - Part 1

1:00 pm -potluck/bag lunch

1:30-2:00 pm -Music and Laughter Therapy for the People

2:00-3:00 pm -What is Our Region's Energy Future? Investing in Ourselves A People's Panel - Part 2

3:00-4:00 pm -Seize the Day! Join us in creating a joint press release and to plan future collaborative events.

Friday Evening, October 4th:

5:30 pm -A People's Potluck! Share food, friendship and fun at the Seniors Center, City Market, 2nd floor.

Register if possible for the workshops please by filling out the form on www.canadians.org 

 

For more information, contact the Council of Canadians (www.canadians.org) or Sharon from your local CCNB Action Saint John Fundy Chapter (sharon_e_murphy@hotmail.com and 639-9929)

Hard to believe that it has already been a month since our last update from Costa Rica! Only 4 weeks but so much to tell. We are very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit many different parts of the country in that time. So far we have seen majestic beaches and isolated pristine waterfalls in the tropical forest surrounded by lush vegetation. We have spotted monkeys, sloths, toucans, dolphins, whales and more! We also hiked in some beautiful mountains surrounded by scenic coffee plantations and have visited several organic Agro-Forestry farms.

Make no mistake, however, we are also here to do some work! J In the past few weeks, we started elaborating our workplans and our tasks have become clearer. As the Forestry Communication and Research Assistant, I am helping to build content for the organization’s social media, newsletter and website. I am also starting a research project on participatory guarantee systems (PGS) which will lead me to do field work to visit organic farms around San Jose.

What is PGS you ask? They are essentially systems to guarantee the quality of products issued from organic farms that are both participative and inclusive. These systems are based on trust, social networks, transparency and the exchange of knowledge between producers and stakeholders. It is a very interesting alternative tool for smaller scale producers to gain access to more direct and local markets because, unlike conventional organic certification systems, they do not involve a third party, which can be prohibitively expensive. The International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN) is interested in developing such a system to certify products issued from Analog Forestry (AF) sites. It is my hope that my work will enable our partners to know more about how to develop and operate PGS. At the present moment, AF’s products can only be certified under the Forest Garden Product (FGP) system.

We continue to meet wonderful, inspiring and passionate people and learn everyday about the country and the culture here. Our internship at the IAFN is teaching us so much about Analog Forestry and the many issues related to conservation, reforestation and organic agriculture.

Pura vida!

Anne-Marie Dufour

For more information about PGS and the FGP accreditation, follow these links:

http://www.ifoam.org/en/value-chain/participatory-guarantee-systems-pgs

http://www.analogforestrynetwork.org/en/accreditation.php

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is currently calling for nominations until Monday, September 30, 2013 for this year’s Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. Thisrecognition is in honor of an individual or organization’s significant contributions to the protection of natural heritage through land conservation in New   Brunswick.

“The Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation was established last year to mark the 25th anniversary of the Nature Trust, so we’re thrilled to be involved with this award for the second year in a row in cooperation with the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor,” says Lynn MacKinnon, President of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

The recipient of last year’s inaugural award was Mary Majka, a naturalist and one of Canada’s great pioneering conservationists.

This year, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick will again present the award at a ceremony at Government House in Fredericton. The recipient of the award will also receive an individual plaque and have their name engraved on a permanent one alongside New Brunswick’s other great conservationists that will hang in Government House for years to come.

“Oftentimes those who work to protect our natural areas do so in silence for the love of nature and the environment. This award allows us to commend those groups and individuals for their hard work and appreciate their efforts to keep our province’s natural beauty intact,” says MacKinnon.

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 those individuals or organizations involved in stewardship, volunteerism, donation of lands, or building effective partnerships. The selection committee which will make the final decision of the award will have five members as chosen by a First Nations person named by the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Atlantic Regional Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, New Brunswick Minister of Natural Resources, Atlantic Regional Director of the Canadian Wildlife Service, and a chairperson named by the Board of Trustees of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

If you know a person or group who deserves recognition in this field, you are invited to nominate them for this special award until September 30, 2013. Nominations may be in French or English and require a nomination letter, description of accomplishments, and references. For more information and to download a nomination form, please visit naturetrust.nb.ca or contact naturetrust@ntnb.org.

 

Groups are reviewing the Sisson Brook mine environmental study and say that the scale of this project is hard to imagine. First, the project itself is an open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine that will create a pit 300-375 metres deep over 145 hectares. The tailings pond will cover 750 hectares.

Secondly, with the process itself, the public has only 45 days to respond to an environmental assessment report that took years to prepare and is over 5000 pages in length.

One issue of significant concern noted by one environmental group is the potential for widespread arsenic contamination due to the mining, storing and processing of the ore. As well, the closure plan for the mine includes draining the water from the tailings pond into the mine pit. While the study calls the former mine pit an "aquatic feature", the water in the pit will be contaminated with chemicals that have been used during the process to extract the ore.

People from St. Mary’s First Nations have held an event at the proposed site and Chief Candace Paul has vowed to “fight the proposed mine at all costs.” “We will have to do what we have to do. This is our traditional land," she said.

Other groups are preparing briefs to submit to the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency before the October 14, 2013 deadline. All groups submitting comments are invited to send their submissions to the NBEN, where we will post them on line in our reference library.

Media article on the St. Mary’s protest 

More information on the Sisson Brook assessment

I am happy to let everyone know about the arrival of Abigail Virginia, who was born on the morning of August 15 (la Fête nationale de l’Acadie!). Chris, Lianna, and I are very excited to welcome Abby into our family!

Check out this show on Global News "What it's like when oil runs through your backyard!" It's a rude awakening about the effects of oil and pipelines.

¡Buenos días!

I am writing to you all from beautiful Costa Rica, where Anne-Marie and I are starting work at the secretariat of the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), the organization we will be interning with for 6 months. We are happy to be settling in to our routines here in San Jose, after a couple of hectic weeks since arriving. The IAFN recently decided to move from their previous home near the Pacific coast, in a small town called Londres, to the bustling capital of San Jose. What a change!

When we first arrived we were whisked off to Londres and were fortunate to enjoy the beauty and pace of life in the countryside for a little while. We stayed at a beautiful organic farm (Finca Paraíso Verde, a wonderful place to stay for anyone interested) where we went to sleep to the sound of thousands of insects and woke up to birds and the smell of delicious gallo pinto (the traditional dish of rice and beans). We learned many things during our stay and met some incredible people! It was definitely hard to say goodbye and we hope to visit as often as we can.

Being in Londres gave us the opportunity to learn more about Analog Forestry (AF) by visiting an AF site created by one of the pioneers of this method. If you are confused by the term do not worry – so were we! Basically AF is a method of ecological restoration that uses natural forests as the ultimate guide, in both architectural structures and ecological functions. That is, the end goal for restoring a degraded area of land would be a forest that is analogous to a mature forest in the same region. In this method, the socioeconomic needs of farmers and communities can be met through the production of a range of marketable goods. The IAFN even has a certification system set up to market goods produced from Analog Forestry, known as Forest Garden Products.

We are both looking forward to learning more and continuing to share our adventures, so check back here for more updates!

Maya Irwin

For anyone interested in learning more about Analog Forestry and on the work of the IAFN, check out our website: http://www.analogforestrynetwork.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Analog-Forestry-Forester%C3%ADa-An%C3%A1loga/104523486249675?fref=ts

Finca Paraíso Verde: http://fincaparaisoverde.jimdo.com/english/about-use/

https://www.facebook.com/FincaParaisoVerde?fref=ts

Check out Charles Thériault’s new video. The power that an intense look and intelligent rhymes can have is truly impressive! The arts sure have their role to play in the environmental movement. Thanks to Charles Thériault for this interesting perspective on forest issues. Click here to watch the video.

Check out this set of front line photos and a song from Elsipogtog. Powerful stuff and lots of food for thought - over thirty people have been willing to stand up and be arrested for the protection of our environment.

Click here to view the photos and song from Elispogtog.

And even more photos with the old tune "See you in September".

Nature NB is happy to announce that registration is open for our Second Annual Amazing Bird Challenge. Last year, teams raised over $800 to support Nature NB programs and among some interesting observations were a South Polar Skua, Marbled Godwit, and Snowy Egret. Prizes will be awarded, so team up (or not) with your fellow birders and join us in September! Registration is open until August 23rd, 2013.  For more information, visit our website.

Nature NB est heureux d’annoncer que vous pouvez vous inscrire à notre second formidable défi aviaire annuel. L’an dernier, les équipes ont amassés plus de 800$ afin de supporter les programmes de Nature NB. Parmi certaines observations intéressantes mentionnons le Labbe de McCormick, la Barge marbrée et l’Aigrette neigeuse. Des récompenses seront octroyée, alors formez vos équipes (ou allez-y en solo) et joignez-vous à nous au mois de septembre. Vous pouvez vous inscrire jusqu’à le 23 août. Pour plus d’information, visiter notre site-web.

July 29, 2013 (Blacks Harbour, NB) On July 25, 2013, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick led its annual Charlotte Isles clean-up at one of the most significant and beautiful islands in the Bay of Fundy—South Wolf Island Nature Preserve. It is the southernmost island in the Wolves Archipelago, roughly 12 km by boat from Black’s Harbour. This was the first shoreline clean-up done on the island since it was donated to the Nature Trust last year by Connor Bros. Clover Leaf Seafoods Company in the name of coastal and marine sustainability.

“South Wolf Island Nature Preserve is recognized as an Environmentally Significant Area for birds,” says Dorothy Diamond, ornithologist and Trustee Emeritus of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick. “As an important breeding and feeding ground, one of biggest threats to the bird populations on the island is the accumulation of garbage and debris, as it can often be mistaken for food or accidentally ingested, causing poisoning and digestive blockages.”

Because of the abundance of birds that use the island as a nesting site and feeding ground, this island was chosen as the location of the Nature Trust's annual Charlotte Isles clean-upand was supported through a partnership between the Nature Trust, Connor Bros. Clover Leaf Seafoods Company and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.

“We see the impact of marine garbage every day on every level from individual organisms to whole ecosystems, “says Pat Fitzgerald, operations manager, Huntsman Marine Science Centre. “We're glad to participate in this exercise, as it cleans up a small portion of an ecologically significant archipelago, raises awareness of the amount of marine debris , and educates people on the impact garbage has on the marine ecosystem.”

The cleanup had originally been scheduled for Friday, July 19, but due to poor weather conditions it had to be postponed.

"Even with such short notice of the date change, the clean-up still brought out over 30 volunteers from around the province, all very eager to help improve the ecological health of the island in whatever way they could," says Lynn Mackinnon, Nature Trust of New Brunswick President. "It also allowed for different organizations, such as the Saint John Naturalist Club, the Saint John Outdoor Enthusiasts, the New Brunswick Museum, and more, to all come together for a common cause."

With the donation of the island and other coastal preserves to the Nature Trust, and with their assistance removing large debris from South Wolf, Connor Bros. Clover Leaf Seafoods Company sets a positive example in corporate social responsibility. During the clean-up, three of the South Wolf Island’s beaches were cleaned of garbage and debris.

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to preserving New Brunswick’s outstanding ecological landscapes for people and nature. The Nature Trust currently protects 36 nature preserves in the province. For more information about the organization, visit naturetrust.nb.ca.



Media contact:

Jessica Bradford, Communications Coordinator

Nature Trust of New Brunswick

(506) 457-2398 | communications@ntnb.org

facebook.com/NatureTrustNB | @NatureTrustNB | naturetrust.nb.ca

I am happy to announce that our 2-year-old daughter will soon have a baby brother or sister!  I am due on August 29th and I will be going on maternity leave as of the end of July.  I will keep everyone posted with news about the baby.

I look forward to re-joining the NBEN team upon my return at the beginning of September 2014.

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A little "sustainable" humour to lighten your day!

The NBEN is dabbling in the art of video creation! The video was shot a while ago, but check it out and let us know what you think.

Maya and I are the new interns at the NBEN as part of CIDA’s international youth internship program. During the past 3 weeks at the NBEN, we had the chance to participate in different interesting projects, one of them is the “Branch Out, Make Waves” challenge that will soon be launched! We are now getting ready to leave for Costa Rica. For the next 6 months we will have the opportunity to develop new skills and to put what we learned at the NBEN into practice while working for the International Analog Forestry Network. You can follow our adventures on this blog, where we will keep you informed about all the exciting projects being undertaken by NBEN’s partner in Costa Rica. ¡Hasta luego!

This year's Bioblitz is taking place in Grand Lake Meadows Protected Natural Area, and Mira is blogging about the event as per an understanding between Nature NB, Cape Jourimain Nature Centre and the NB Museum.

As we discover exciting creatures in New Brunswick's Grand Lake Meadows Protected Natural Area, she will be updating this blog, posting pictures and stories about the work done during these exciting two weeks.

Please visit and subscribe to the blog for updates and check out the facebook and twitter pages.

Blog: http://bioblitznb.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bioblitz-NB/585761318114039#
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BioblitzNB

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Le Bioblitz de cette année a lieu dans la région de Grand Lake Meadows, et Mira écrit un blog au sujet de l'évènement en conformité à une entente entre Nature NB, le Centre d'Interprétation de Cape Jourimain et le Musée du N.-B. 

Alors que nous découvrons des créatures excitantes dans la région de Grand Lake Meadows, elle va mettre à jour ce blog en y affichant des photos et des histoires au sujet du travail qui sera fait pendant ces deux prochaines semaines.

SVP visitez notre blog (qui a une section avec des articles en français) et souscrivez- vous afin de recevoir des nouvelles. Également, visitez notre page facebook et notre compte de twitter.

Blog: http://bioblitznb.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bioblitz-NB/585761318114039#
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BioblitzNB

Today’s the second day of training at the NBEN office! There are lots of new people to get to know and lots to learn. My fellow co-workers, Annie, Lisa, Sidney, Anne-Marie, Maya, and I have a lot on our plates, but it will certainly be a fun and rewarding experience!

 

Annika Chiasson - Health and education programs assistant

Annie Guérard – Programs coordinator

Lisa J. Griffin – Programs coordinator

Anne-Marie Dufour– Intern

Maya Irwin – Intern

Sydney Wood – Communications and special projects

First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

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


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

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

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

On the questionnaire and subsequent conclusions:

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

On the supporting data:

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

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

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

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


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


The Conclusions:

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

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

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

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


Regulatory review:

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

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

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

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

Road repair paid for by companies?

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

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

-30-

 

The UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) comes to an end next year. What have we accomplished in Canada to support the Decade? What challenges did we face? And where do we go from here? It was these questions that shaped the discussion at a national ESD workshop I attended at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO annual meeting recently. In general, the workshop provided an interesting discussion, although it was a bit too much of listening to ourselves talk and not quite enough of concrete action items for my liking.

 

Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking comments included the best definition of ESD – more often called sustainability education here in NB! – that I have ever heard. Here it is: ESD is about figuring out the kind of future we want and then preparing people with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to make that future a reality.

 

The workshop helped me think about our various ESD initiatives in New Brunswick in terms of international priorities and those in other provinces. UNESCO has developed three priorities for ESD internationally; these have been adopted provincially in Manitoba. Should we in NB be focusing on these priorities also? The priorities are:

 

  • All schools have an ESD or sustainability plan by 2015,
  • Faculties of Education incorporate ESD into their teachers’ education programs, and
  • Vocational education (e.g., community collges) re-orient their programming to help us move from a “brown economy” to a “green economy.”

 

There is research underway internationally that may help our cause here in the province. We, as “believers” know that ESD improves the quality of education. However, research is needed to demonstrate this to non-believers. This research is being undertaken by a number of countries working together to explore the links between ESD and quality education and to find qualitative and quantitative data to support these links.

This workshop was attended by 29 representatives from organizations across the country. The official minutes can be found here.

Did you know that the middle class will grow from 25% of the world’s population to 50% of the world’s population between now and 2030? This stat was put forward by one of the keynote speakers at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s AGM that I recently attended. If true, the implications are quite amazing. Many national governments that now represent mostly poor people will soon represent mostly middle class people – people whose basic needs are met and who can focus on broader issues such as environmental sustainability and social justice. Is our world about to change for the better?

On the other hand, what is happening to national governments that now represent mostly middle class people? If the Canadian context is any indication, it seems as though the people’s concern for the environment and social issues does not translate to our politicians.

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.

Published in the Telegraph Journal April 29, 2013

Original title “Our Energy Dilemma.”

Title below used by the editor

Why Extreme Energy Won’t Last

Keith Helmuth

The historical facts of our energy situation are clear. Since the early days of the 20th Century the development of modern societies has been based on a huge injection of hydrocarbon energy. This sudden and unusual injection of energy must realistically be understood as a temporary subsidy.

At the beginning of this hydrocarbon era, large deposits of oil and natural gas were easily accessible. The energy return on energy investment for early oil wells was often 100 to 1. This means 100 barrels of oil could be extracted using the energy of only l barrel of oil.

This ratio steadily dropped as the deposits of easily accessible oil were depleted. In recent years the ratio has plummeted. Increasing amounts of energy are required to produce new oil as it becomes harder and harder to extract from deeper, less accessible, and lower quality deposits. The ratio is now down to approximately 18 to 1 worldwide. The ratio for North America is down to 15 to l. Alberta oil sands extraction is down to 5 to 1, and perhaps much lower; some calculations put it at 1 to 1.

This rapidly declining ratio of energy return on energy invested is the fundamental reality of our energy situation. Energy science analysts and biophysical economists now calculate that 5 to 1 is about as low as the ratio can go before oil extraction is no longer a profitable investment. At 3 to 1 they calculate the oil industry will come to a stand still. Energy corporations will no longer be able to earn a profit and investment will stop. This is simply the logic of our economic system.

There is no obvious work-around for this future energy scenario. There is simply nothing in the energy picture that can replace the oil subsidy on which our society now runs. As this subsidy is depleted and becomes economically inaccessible, the whole energy basis of our society will  change. The big question is, change to what?

Meanwhile, the push is on to forestall the sunset of the hydrocarbon economy by moving to extreme energy. Extreme energy is defined by the extraordinary measures required for its extraction compared to conventional energy. These measures include deep-ocean drilling, drilling in remote sites such the Arctic, surface mining of tar and oil sands, and horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of deep shale formations. This extreme energy extraction includes both oil and natural gas.

Extreme energy is to conventional energy what extreme sports are to conventional sports. Extreme energy, like extreme sports, involves high risk. Failure is often catastrophic. In extreme sports the individual participant suffers the damage of failure. With extreme energy, however, the damage of failure is suffered by the larger environment, economy, and society.

Extreme energy requires a complexity of technology and a level of risk management that must necessarily become more and more intense as hydrocarbon resources become increasingly difficult to extract. Technology and risk must be pushed to more and more extreme levels in order to keep up the flow of oil required by our current economy.

Some experts in the field now warn that extreme energy systems are being pushed beyond operator capacity for safe and effective management, and significant failures can, therefore, be expected. (See Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma by Joseph A. Tainter and Tadeusz W. Patzek.)

We are currently locked into a rapidly ascending spiral of complexity and risk, that will likely   lead to more events like the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the BP Macondo Gulf well blowout. More pipeline failures, more oil and LNG tanker accidents, and more surface and ground water contamination from fracking can be reasonably expected. Evidence is accumulating that fracking can trigger earthquake activity. Fracking and natural gas extraction routinely leak significant amounts of raw methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Habitat and health damage is increasingly associated with extreme energy installations.

The intensity of this extreme energy spiral will continue to mount as we approach the limit of its economic profitability. When energy return on energy investment no longer returns a profit, the spiral will subside, or perhaps collapse. An unforeseen shock to this extremely complex and highly vulnerable energy system could trigger a collapse. Hopefully, we can manage a subsidence, but the possibility of a collapse cannot be dismissed.

Is the path of extreme energy our only way into future? Both the current Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick are acting as if it were. Alberta now has everything riding on the oil sands. A pipeline bringing Alberta crude to the Bay of Fundy is seen as a good way for New Brunswick to cash in on the economy of extreme energy while it lasts.

The current NB Government is fully engaged with the prospect of shale gas fracking and the royalties it hopes to realize, even though the long-term aftermath costs to Government may largely offset, or even wipe out, the royalty gains. Short-term rationality may be trumped by long-term costs, but we don’t know because Government has not done the risk analysis or made the calculations on aftermath costs – costs that will continue long after the last well is pumped dry.

The short-term view on oil and natural gas is easy to understand, but it treats the question of extreme energy as if it was here to stay, and we know for sure it is not. We don’t know how  much longer we can depend on it, and we don’t know if we should prepare for a gradual subsidence or a catastrophic collapse. But we do know we better start preparing.

Herbert Stein, a noted economist and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under US presidents Nixon and Ford, once said, “If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.” This bit of folk wisdom has become known as Stein’s Law, and is often expressed as, “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.”

As we launch more and more into the era of extreme energy, Stein’s Law increasingly confronts us. We can run extreme energy right out to the end and then hope for the best, or we can start now to scale back while we still have a cushion that enables us to make different energy plans for the future. The big question is will civic, political, and business leadership raise their sights from making the most of extreme energy in the short-term to making the most of sustainable energy for the long-run?

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group

Government has released its “Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint” for New Brunswick. It reads like an election platform, with vagaries and cheerleading for the bright future we will all have if we just close our eyes and open our hearts and arms.
 
The Blueprint promises “responsible development” all the while hoping we’ll forget about all of the previous policy commitments for environmental protection and a resilient economy that have been reneged or recently stalled:
 
Read Full Article:
http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/oil-and-gas-blueprint-a-misprint-for-our-future/

New Brunswick Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint

Wishful Thinking about Our Future

The government’s blueprint is not a plan for the future; it is the history of a past to which we cannot return. It was forged in an alternate reality created by fossil fuel companies, banks and PR firms. No outside information may pass into this reality. How else can we explain the following about the plan?

 

It ignores the worldwide alarms from scientists, global financial and energy institutions, and the world’s military and intelligence establishments that climate change is the most serious threat to our existence, our financial systems, and our security. Yet, the blueprint bases our future on shale gas and tar sands, two of the worst emitters of greenhouse gases.

 

It ignores the lack of public health studies about shale gas, and disregards the serious warnings raised from the studies that do exist.

 

It ignores implementing many of its own Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for baseline health studies, and relegates others to a ‘will be considered in the future’ status.

 

It ignores adequately addressing some recommendations by simply claiming they are answered in the ‘Rules for Industry’. Those concerning fracking fluid disclosure, well testing and setbacks clearly are not.

 

It ignores the fact that insinuating the newly created Energy Institute into matters formerly handled by health professionals will only deepen public mistrust.

 

It ignores the calls from New Brunswick health professionals, including doctors, nurses and cancer and lung associations, for a moratorium until studies can be done.

 

It ignores the extensive record of air and water pollution that has occurred everywhere shale has been produced, regardless of regulations, including ignoring data from industry’s own records showing a high frequency of well failures.

 

It ignores the facts that alternative energies such as wind and solar are the fastest growing parts of the energy sector and are supplying increasing amounts of energy and good long-term jobs at competitive costs - everywhere else in the world but here.

 

It ignores the growing number of economic studies that show that local communities do not profit from shale gas, and that most fare worse than similar non-shale communities on virtually every socio-economic measure.

 

It ignores the growing number of financial and petroleum analysts who have taken the measure of shale gas through industry records and judged it to be a bubble that will soon burst. They question its longevity and its business plan.

 

It ignores the growing number of countries, states, provinces, regions and municipalities (including many in New Brunswick) that have instituted bans or moratoriums on shale gas.

 

And, most troubling of all, it has ignored the voices of its own citizens.

 

It ignored a 2011 petition with 20,000 signatures, and a recent letter from groups representing more than 50,000 people calling for a halt to shale exploration.

 

It ignores the growing number of diverse social, labor, professional, environmental, health, political and citizen groups that continue banding together to oppose shale gas.

 

It ignores its treaty duty to do real consultation with First Nations, and ignores its own call for public meetings. It even ignores the well-researched public comments from the alleged ‘listening tour’ conducted by Dr. LaPierre.

 

Instead it has listened to the shale industry exclusively, and kowtowed to its needs, whether by not punishing lawbreakers like Windsor Energy, or by improperly granting license renewals to SWN on the flimsiest of excuses.

 

It has listened to industry trade groups like the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, whose language, deceptive advertising, disinformation, and meaningless phrases like, ‘best practices,’ show up in the government’s blueprint and website.

 

It has listened to Dr. LaPierre, a biologist with no demonstrated expertise on shale gas, who sits on the board of NB Power and channeled their wishes in his report. In return he was rewarded with the patronage job of chairmanship of the publicly funded Energy Institute that he, and he alone, had proposed a new government entity that will cost taxpayers a million dollars in its first year.

 

It has listened to the self-interested banks via former premier Frank McKenna, who represents TD Bank – a major investor in Transcanada’s pipeline business, and a bank that makes fortunes from oil and gas mergers and acquisitions.

 

It has listened to Hawk Communications, a public relations firm it hired with at least $200,000 of taxpayer money, not to improve communications, but to help sell the LaPierre report.

 

In short, to govern in New Brunswick is to live in a self-contained universe with no links to the outside world. Only in such a place could the government’s blueprint be deemed a serious approach to the issues facing both New Brunswick and the earth.

 

Therefore, we call again for a halt to any exploration and production of shale oil or gas, until such a time that the citizens have had a chance to examine in depth all the factors surrounding it. Only then can they explicitly reject it, or proceed with it after understanding all of its implications.

A delegation representing 27 community groups, organizations and unions publically presented the attached letter to SWN Resources in Moncton on April 30, 2013. It was also sent to all other companies conducting shale gas exploration in New Brunswick. The letter points out that the companies do not have a social license to operate in the province, and advises them to halt their exploration activities.

Since the time of the presentation, two additional groups have signed the letter: Friends of Tantramar Marsh and the Elsipogtog Band Council.

 


 

Moncton, April 30 2013

 

To shale oil and gas companies and supporting operators in New Brunswick1:

 

We are a group of 27 associations, organizations and unions representing tens of thousands of New Brunswickers, urban and rural; Anglophone, Francophone and Aboriginal.

 

We are writing today to advise you that you are operating in New Brunswick without a social license. Furthermore, for those companies whose license was renewed after November 2012, we consider your current exploration license invalid.

 

 


We are writing today to advise you that you are operating in New Brunswick without a social license


 

 

In winter 2011, petitions to ban shale gas exploration and production totaling nearly 20,000 signatures were delivered to the New Brunswick Legislature. On November 27, 2012, groups representing a wide cross-section of both rural and urban New Brunswickers rallied in front of the Legislature and demanded our government to immediately stop ongoing shale gas exploration, the granting of any new licenses, and the renewal of existing ones. These demands were restated in an open letter to Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard delivered on February 28 2013, which was signed by organizations representing more than 50,000 New Brunswickers.

 

 


Most New Brunswickers do not want exploration and further development of shale hydrocarbons


 

 

As evidenced by the results of several polls, and as indicated by continued public protests and the increasing number of municipalities that have passed bans on fracking, most New Brunswickers do not want exploration and further development of shale hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the current provincial government has neither a mandate nor the consent of the aboriginal and non-aboriginal people of New Brunswick to allow hydrocarbon extraction in our shale formations.

 

 


The government has neither a mandate nor the consent of the Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people of New Brunswick to allow hydrocarbon extraction in our shale formations


 

 

If your license was renewed after our petition of November 2012, and since the renewal was only made possible by a questionable amendment to our Oil and Gas Act, please note that we do not accept as valid your current exploration license, and neither will a democratic government, formed after the provincial elections next year, grant its conversion to a lease.

 

 


We urge you to reconsider your plans and stop any further exploration and drilling in this province until proper public consultation has taken place


 

 

We, the people of New Brunswick, do not want to become a sacrifice zone for extreme energy extraction. We have come to realize, through scientific and economic studies, that mining for shale gas and oil is detrimental to human prosperity here and anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact, several leading organizations (e.g. International Energy Agency, World Bank) have warned that we must keep unconventional fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.

 

Given all the above, we urge you to reconsider your plans and stop any further exploration and drilling in this province until proper public consultation has taken place.


 

Sincerely concerned about health, water, and climate change,

 

27 organizations, associations and unions of NB

 

1. Including, but not necessarily limited to: SWN Resources Canada, Corridor Resources Inc., Contact Exploration Inc., Windsor Energy Inc., and Geokinetics Exploration Inc.

 


 

Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick (CUPE NB)

CCNB Action

Citizens Coalition for Clean Air

Cornhill and Area Residents Association

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

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

Sierra Club Atlantic

Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition

Stanley Area Action Group

Sustainable Energy Group

Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking

Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance

Upriver Environment Watch

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County

 

Have you been wondering if the proposed bitumen pipeline passes by your door? Or perhaps your favourite wild haunts? Here’s a map of the route through New Brunswick to Saint John.

The Pembina Institute has done an interesting analysis of the climate implications caused by increased tar sands production that would result from the Keystone pipeline. These climate implications would also apply to an eastern pipeline. According to David Coon, Leader of the Green Party, “It looks like the pipeline to the Port of Saint John would support a 27% increase in tar sands production which in upstream emissions alone would be akin to equivalent to those from building 4 coal-fired power plants or putting 4.6 million more cars on the road.”

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

(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

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

New Shale 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.

Can We Follow Germany’s Route to Renewable Energy?

Keith Helmuth

In the early 1970’s I attended a conference on long-term agricultural planning at the federal Research Centre in Fredericton where I had a memorable conversation with a soil scientist from Ottawa. He was as frustrated with the conference as I was but for a somewhat different reason.

I was stymied by an almost contemptuous dismissal of organic agriculture. He was out of sync with his fellow professionals on long term planning because, as he put it, “All they want to talk about is how to increase production in the next five or ten years, and I want to talk about how we are going to feed ourselves when we can no longer feed our combine-harvesters.”

This man already knew something about the end of the road for oil and the crisis it portends for industrial civilization. The science and practice of organic farming has come a long way since then, but, unfortunately, the governments of Canada and the US have not yet taken seriously what it will mean for the energy source on which our economies now run to become less and less available and more and more expensive.

Since 1981 the rate of discovery of new oil deposits worldwide has fallen steadily below the rate of increase in demand. According to oil industry analysts, the new drilling technologies that can now tap previously inaccessible sites have not changed this scenario. Not only are oil reserves rapidly diminishing, industrial civilization is burning oil at a steadily increasing rate.

If we don’t plan for an orderly transition from oil dependency to renewable energy, we will likely be left in the lurch not only by a supply crunch and a price spike, but by other nations and regions of the world that have already gone into overdrive with their public policies and infrastructure planning for the transition to renewable energy.

I know there are those who scratch their heads and say it can’t be done, not here in New Brunswick, and not here in Canada. It’s too cold, too cloudy, the wind is too intermittent, and above all (perhaps) people want their electricity as cheaply as possible.

Others argue that fossil fuels are the life-blood of our economy and we have to make maximum use of then to generate more economic growth and more wealth. Otherwise, how will we ever get ourselves out of our current debt and deficit hole, both provincially and nationally? Everyone seems to agree that economic growth is the David for our debt Goliath.

I am happy to say there is plenty of evidence that New Brunswick is not too cold, too cloudy, or insufficiently windy to make a combination of renewable energy technologies a rapidly growing feature of our energy system and a significant factor in economic growth. The best case study for New Brunswick and for Canada is Germany.

Germany is less sunny on average than New Brunswick, yet during midday on May 24th and 25th of 2012 its solar capacity supplied 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour to the national grid. That’s equal to the output of 20 nuclear power stations. This was close to 50 % of the nation’s midday electricity needs. Of course, this is just a peak which is why the German system combines wind (8.6%), biomass (6%), and solar (6.1%) along with hydro to now have 26% of its electricity generated by renewable energy. Solar is the rising star of this system. Solar power installation and electricity production in Germany grew more than 50% in the first nine months of 2012.

The first key to this growth is the feed-in tariff that provides a powerful economic incentive for anyone with a building and power bill to install solar electric panels. All renewable electricity producers are paid a premium for the power they supply. Individuals, cooperatives and communities own an amazing 65% of the nation’s renewable energy capacity. This change is being driven by private investment because Germany’s energy policy has got the incentives right.

The second key to this success is that the vast majority of the German people understood that to make this feed-in tariff and renewable energy system work, the amount they pay for electricity service needed to increase. Because they want their country to make this transition to renewable energy, they accepted this increase in cost. Honest information, public education, political leadership, and both private and public investment have combined to make Germany a world leader in renewable energy. This has taken broad cooperation and a keen sense of the common good.

It’s true there are people in Germany who have opposed the increased costs of electricity and some special interests that disagree with the national energy policies, but they are marginal to the general support that has rallied behind this growing transition to renewable energy.

Germany now has over 1/3 of the world’s solar electric capacity and they are bounding ahead at an astounding rate. In 2000, 6% of their electricity came from renewables. They set a target of 30% by 2020, but they are now ahead of their projections and expect to make to 35 to 40% by that date. By 2050 they expect to be at 80 to 90%. Some folks might say only the Germans can pull this off, but the fact is other nations in Europe and around the world are following this example and making it work. Why not New Brunswick? Why not Canada? (For further study see the new book, Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation by Osha Gray Davidson.)

The final point to this story is that the switch to renewable energy is also a boost for economic development at the grass roots level. The move to renewable energy is a job creator. It creates jobs in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy systems. The recent announcement by Premier Alward that wood pellets will heat two new schools being built in Woodstock is perhaps a small step in this direction. New Brunswick may not yet be manufacturing the furnaces, but it is manufacturing the pellets, and the greater the demand for pellets the more jobs in the industry.

It’s a good sign that the government now has the German firm, Siemens, working on a smart grid for the province. If the government would begin installing solar electric on public buildings, it would be taking a step that would help create good jobs and lower the long-term costs of operating government infrastructure. And if it put a feed-in tariff system place for electricity generated with renewable energy, it would be taking another important step to boost the industry and create still more, good, long lasting jobs. When we see this kind leadership, we will know we are on the way to serious growth in renewable energy, and to a renewal of job creation in the economy.

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group (SEG). SEG has just published From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy: An Energy Transition Guidebook for the Woodstock Region; Assessment, Planning, Resources. Complimentary copies may be obtained by contacting ekhelmuth@mindspring.com">ekhelmuth@mindspring.com

January 26, 2013

World Bank Says: “Turn Down the Heat?”

Keith Helmuth

A line of demarcation is falling across our society that has on one side those who believe it is a good thing for Canada to allow and encourage the production and consumption of fossil fuels for as long as we can, and those on the other side who think the extraction and burning of all fossil fuels should be scaled back as rapidly as possibly.

Two recent reports from mainstream international sources have now put a big stick in the wheel of fossil fuel production and consumption. They both come down on the side of those who see the future of sustainable economic development and prosperity in the rapid shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

On November 12 the International Energy Agency released its annual flagship publication, World Energy Outlook, in which it writes, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 20 C goal.” Two degrees centigrade is the scientifically based, internationally recognized limit for average global warming in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.

On November 19th the World Bank released a new report, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 40 Degree Warmer World Must Be Avoided, in which it writes, “Humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases are breaking new records every year. Hence we’re on a path towards 4-degree global warming probably as soon as by the end of this century. This would mean a world of risks beyond the experience of our civilization – including heat waves, especially in the tropics, a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, and regional yield failures impacting global food security.”

“If we venture far beyond the 2 degree guardrail, towards 4 degrees, we risk crossing tipping points in the Earth system. ….  The only way to avoid this is to break with the fossil-fuel-age patterns of production and consumption. …. Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today….. we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations….”

Take note: This is the World Bank speaking, not a so-called “radical environmentalist organization.” Where does this leave our Provincial enthusiasm for the oil sands pipeline project?

We could say, “Well, this oil is going to be produced and consumed anyway, so why shouldn’t NB get a piece of the action and benefit financially by helping route it to the world market? Why shouldn’t Alberta maximize the production of its oil sands resource and create as much wealth for itself as it can? Why shouldn’t Canada create a national energy policy for ramping up its fossil fuel resources to serve the world market?”

These questions appear quite rational, until you begin to plot them against the scientific risk assessment that informs the IEA and the World Bank reports, and until you begin to factor in moral responsibility.

Admittedly, the thought of leaving two thirds of known fossil fuel deposits in the ground is, perhaps, the most difficult thought we can imagine. How can this calculation possibly be taken into account? Yet, if we don’t take it into account how can we possibly run the risk that the IEA and the World Bank now lay before us?

This is a huge question that goes to the heart of both business and political leadership. How it is answered will determine whether global warming will rise to a level that renders a large a part the earth humanly uninhabitable.

At the moment, it seem unlikely that either business or political leadership in Canada will do anything except maximize the wealth that can be created from the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. The enthusiasm of NB political, business and labour leaders for the oil sands pipeline to Saint John is perfectly in sync with this wealth maximizing strategy.

Unfortunately, this strategy can be employed only by radically discounting the long-term wellbeing of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren both at home and around the world. Is this acceptable? If not, what is the option?

A good start would be a scaling up of renewable energy development comparable to the industrial strategy and social cooperation that enabled the winning of World War Two. In the light of the IEA and World Bank reports, responding rationally to the global climate crisis requires something like this historic effort. In addition to helping mitigate long-term global warming, a national and provincial energy policy that goes full tilt for solar energy would create significant employment opportunities and long lasting economic benefit.

The window is closing on fossil fuels, one way or the other. Burning them out to the end of available supplies, according the IEA and the World Bank, will be a disastrous closing that will, for example, turn a large part of the planet’s best farmland into desert.

Winding down the fossil fuel era by shifting rapidly to solar energy is the rational alternative. Those who doubt this can be done in our climate should check out what is happening in Germany – a place that has less solar energy potential than NB, but is bounding ahead in making this shift.

Why the difference? Leadership, smart policy, incentives, investment. Put “Germany solar energy 2050” into Google for an eye opening look at what is possible.

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group (SEG). SEG has just published From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy: An Energy Transition Guidebook for the Woodstock Region; Assessment, Planning, Resources. Complimentary copies may be obtained by contacting ekhelmuth@mindspring.com">ekhelmuth@mindspring.com

January 2, 2012

Have you checked out the changes to the provincial election ridings? The CBC has a link to a great map which will show you any riding in the province – as it is now and as it is proposed to be. The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission is currently holding public meetings and accepting comments on its proposal. There has been back-lash from some small communities across New Brunswick who feel that the new boundaries do not respect their community ties.

From my point of view, it seems that our democratic institutions are being steadily eroded. Alex Himelfarb,a former Clerk of the Privy Council, has written a great commentary on how we are moving from a democratic society to a market society and “bargain basement citizenship.”

The Canadian Labour Congress has just published its report, “What Did Corporate Tax Cuts Deliver?” In 2011, January 20th was “Corporate Tax Freedom Day.” By that date, corporations had already had enough income to cover their share of provincial and federal taxes for the rest of the year. Corporations also managed to hoard $72 billion more in 2011 than the previous year.

And the proof of all of this is in the pudding. In October 2012, “How are Canadians Really Doing?” was published by the Canadian Index of Well Being Network out of the University of Waterloo. The index measures eight factors of well-being such as environment, education, leisure and living standards. The findings in this report show that “from 1994 to 2010, while Canada’s GDP grew by a robust 28.9%, improvements in Canadians’ well-being grew by a considerably smaller 5.7%. Despite years of prosperity, our economic growth has not translated into similarly significant gains in our overall quality of life. Even more concerning is the considerable backslide Canadians have experienced since 2008. Following the recession of 2008, Canada’s GDP dropped by 8.3%, but shows signs of slow recovery in 2010. In contrast, the impact of the recession on the CIW was a stunning 24% decline and shows no such sign of recovery to even the modest gains made up to 2008.”

If you are interested in ongoing discussions about democracy in Canada, the Samara Institute has just released a report on the House of Commons and how well they are doing in addressing the priorities of Canadians. This month they are also hosting a blog series “Redesigning Parliament”.

 
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