The National Farmers Union NB, in collaboration with the Agriculture Alliance of NB and Really Local Harvest are urgently requesting sign-ons for an open letter in support of protecting farmland and private land. The letter calls on Premier Higgs to consult with the agricultural industry and general public about proposed amendments to the Mining Act. They hope to deliver the letter to MLAs throughout the province next week. The text of the letter is below:

OPEN LETTER: Protect farmland and private land from Bill-75

To: Premier Blaine Higgs

We, the undersigned are very concerned by Bill-75, which includes an amendment
to the Mining Act that would give prospectors leave to go on private or farm land
without permission.

The amendment has serious implications to farmers, private woodlot owners, and
private landowners, as it negates the requirement for permission to enter private
property, if a prospector is using hand tools or taking samples equivalent to 2
kilograms or 2 litres. A prospector simply driving in fields, let alone tampering with
soil and plants, can do significant damage to the crops and livelihoods of farmers.
Mining companies have often claimed they have little interest in mineral claims on
cultivated land due to fertilizer and pesticide use, but New Brunswick farmers
indicate that this is not true and regularly have stakes or prospectors on their land,
particularly in Charlotte County. Farmers have also raised concerns over the safety
of prospectors themselves who are often unaware of agricultural practices and may
be endangering themselves by coming into contact with pesticides, herbicides, or

As no consultation occurred with the agricultural or forestry industries, or the
general public prior to the 1st reading, 2nd reading, or Committee debate of this Bill,
we believe there has been a clear lack of due process.

The Department of Energy and Resource Development has failed to communicate
the implications of Bill-75, and we, the undersigned are dismayed by the absence of
consultation and the repercussions for farmers and private landowners. We demand
that the Mining Act protect the rights of private landowners and farmers, and
consultations now take place with the public and industries concerned.



View a PDF of the letter HERE.

If your organization would like to add its name to the above letter, please email Suzanne Fournier at with the name of your organization and its representative. Deadline for signatures is March 9th.


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