Advocates celebrate the Senate’s passage of Canada’s first environmental justice bill, marking a historic milestone


Advocates for social justice and equity, environmental protection and public health celebrate the Senate’s passage of Bill C-226, the National Strategy on Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act (Environmental Justice Strategy Act). Yesterday, the Environmental Justice Strategy Act passed the Senate’s third reading vote, with royal assent expected soon and representing that final step in the legislative process.

Read the full article here.
Check out this newly released video with a short introduction to nature-based climate solutions! It links to our work on nature-based solutions and our community of practice/resource bank!

The Magnetic Hill Zoo, in Moncton, NB, has recently partnered with a local naturalist’s club, Nature Moncton, to install a webcam on a Peregrine falcon nest box. Back in 2010, local bird enthusiasts received the appropriate permissions to construct and install a nest box on a high rise in downtown Moncton. The box was first used by Peregrine falcons in 2011 and every year since.

Fast forward to present day when the Nature Moncton club had an interest in installing a camera in the nest box. A partnership was formed with the Zoo and the Zoo’s conservation fund provided the funding to install the camera and host the live video feed on the Zoo’s website. Now Moncton residents (and beyond) have a unique way to connect with, observe, and learn about nature!

“It’s really important for our mission of education, conservation, and inspiring people to want to protect species in the wild,” said Jill Marvin, director of the Magnetic Hill Zoo and Park. Studies have shown that wildlife webcams increase viewers understanding of wildlife biology including an increased motivation to protect them (Johnson-Pynn, Carleton 2019).

Peregrine nesting generally begins in March with two to five eggs laid in intervals in April. Once all eggs are laid, the incubation period starts for 31-35 days. Hatched chicks grow rapidly and fledge around day 40.

The live video feed has drawn much attention. “Once you start watching, you can’t seem to stop!” said Fred Richards, president of Nature Moncton.


On Thursday, April 18th, join East Coast Environmental Law staff lawyers Mike Kofahl and Tina Northrup, along with guest speaker Marg Milburn, for an engaging evening of presentations, conversations, and learning about global and local movements to win legal rights to a healthy environment!

Where: Wu Conference Centre, Aitken Room (Room 217)
When: Thursday, April 18th: 6:00-8:30 PM

Admission is free, and all are welcome.

This public legal education session has been made possible by funding from the New Brunswick Law Foundation.

NB Media Co-op  February 2, 2024
Jim Emberger, Spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

Premier Blaine Higgs’ continuing desire to exploit shale gas and LNG can only be described as “perverse,” which the dictionary defines as “showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.”

Higgs referenced LNG development during his State of the Province address on Jan. 25.

“We have so many advantages with our direct access to the U.S. and international markets along with our rich natural resources including wind, minerals, water, forestry, and natural gas,” he said.

“That’s where I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to punch above our weight and really impact global emissions.”

His obstinate, decade-long pursuit of shale gas, can reasonably be called obsessive. It begins with his continuing promotion of gas even after citizens voted out the Alward government, which ran on the issue.

As premier, Higgs has repeatedly attempted to revive shale gas by partially lifting the moratorium and by backing an LNG plant in Saint John, but these and other efforts never attracted investors. His campaign for gas continued even during the years when shale drillers were losing billions of dollars and going bankrupt.

An award-winning public health report by then-Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Cleary, and evidence presented to the Commission on Hydrofracturing, and contained in a lawsuit against the government, catalogued the serious health dangers of fracking. Neither these nor a myriad of other serious negative consequences from fracking caused Higgs to reconsider his crusade for gas.

But his current push for gas is particularly perverse, as it comes at a time when we must address the glaringly obvious matter of the climate crisis.

We just experienced the warmest year and decade in 125,000 years, accompanied by record-breaking heat waves, droughts, floods, storms, melting poles and glaciers, and forest fires in every part of the world, totalling a record number of climate-related disasters that each exceeded a billion dollars-plus in damages. Climate tipping points may have been passed or are rapidly approaching.

This was eye-opening enough that the nations of the world finally, and unanimously, agreed at the COP28 meeting to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems” and “reduce both consumption and production of fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner.”

In real numbers, for gas, that means that by 2030 we must reduce usage by 42 per cent — minimum and that no new fossil fuel projects should be started. Canada signed a separate pledge to reduce the amount of methane (natural gas) emissions, as methane is 86 times more potent than CO2 in trapping heat, which can make it as bad as burning coal.

The science journal Nature, summed up COP28 this way: “Phasing out fossil fuels is not negotiable. World leaders will fail their people and the planet unless they accept this reality. In the end, the climate doesn’t care who emits greenhouse gases…. This year’s climate extremes have made it all too clear that there is no truly safe level of warming, and every fraction of a degree matters.”

In response, U.S. President Joe Biden just paused the approval of all new LNG export projects (Higgs’ biggest fantasy) in the States, until their true effect on climate change can be ascertained.

The health effects of LNG’s large volumes of pollution on surrounding communities will also be investigated.

Shale gas production itself has also been shown to severely stress public health systems, especially hospitals, in many ways. Studies have associated fracking with a long list of diseases, such as birth defects, leukaemia, asthma, and heart disease, among others.

Fracking is a dangerous industry with lots of accidents, and the thousands of truck trips the industry requires are associated with increased traffic accidents. The heavy trucks also destroy roads and bridges, which cost millions to repair, while also hampering emergency vehicles. In a province with a struggling health care system and deteriorating infrastructure, shale gas is unacceptable.

The gas industry requires experienced workers, many of whom will come from other provinces. Studies of communities that host shale gas development show the industry brings with it higher rents and a spike in evictions.

New Brunswick is not unique: the financialization of real estate, a lack of government investment in public housing, and an over-reliance on market forces by policymakers has created a housing crisis. The gas workers could displace local residents, and they, like other immigrants to the province, would be blamed for a crisis they did not create.

In a province trying to preserve its forests, fracking will segment forests with networks of roads, well pads, compressors, pipelines, and parking areas.

And it must be noted that there is still no safe way to dispose of toxic fracking wastewater, nor has Higgs established any meaningful degree of social license in either settler or Indigenous communities.

Can such devastating climate, health, social and economic consequences be ignored, as long as the province can collect some royalties?

This is perverse and unacceptable, and Higgs’ business case is also unreasonable, as it is outdated and untrue.

After a period of adjustment, caused by the war in Ukraine, the European gas market is now well-supplied. Europe uses only a small portion of its coal to generate electricity, and has long-standing plans to retire its coal plants. There is little evidence to show that they will require more gas from Canada to do so, as Higgs asserts. Also, as the research mentioned previously indicates, replacing coal with LNG brings no climate benefits.

European gas demands have decreased and are predicted to continue decreasing. Some analysts predict a glut of gas in Europe, as it continues a huge buildout of renewable energy and heat pumps, making gas investments very risky.

Premier Higgs would do well to follow the European model of renewables, heat pumps, and conservation into the future, rather than perversely clinging to an unhealthy and destructive fossil fuel past that must end.

Years ago the International Energy Agency coined the phrase “the Golden Age of Gas.” It now states that the Golden Age “is over.”

August 9 2023


Mike Holland
Minister Natural Resources and Energy Development

Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre
Floor: 3
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

Subject: An open letter

Dear Mr. Holland,

On behalf of Green Light NB Enviro Club Feu Vert and as a rural resident of the Upper Saint John River Valley, I am writing to you because of my concern about forest conservation in New Brunswick.  I am writing to you as you are the minister responsible for the protection of the NB environment – which includes forest lands, waterways such as rivers and their tributaries, and farm lands.  These three seemingly separate types of environments are interconnected and are integral parts of the Saint John River Valley ecological system.  All three are under attack due to over-exploitation; a direct consequence of clear cutting of woodlands (private and public), and intensive industrial crop management systems which favor large expanses of land in monoculture crops- specifically -- potatoes.  

One obvious result of clear-cutting of forests is the accelerated snow melt which endangers communities along the Saint John River every spring.  The over-use of farmland increases erosion resulting in tons of top soil being washed down waterways and into rivers and streams.  Along with the topsoil, chemicals and fertilizers used in potato production also find their way to the Saint John River and into the water sources of the communities along the river.

It surprises me that the provincial government is not talking more about flooding.  I searched the internet to see what the New Brunswick Government is doing to address climate change – to move this province in the direction of responsible stewardship of the environment. 

I found the infographic below on the government of New Brunswick’s website.  Though on the surface, it may look like the province is doing its share to address conservation, it falls very short of Canada’s target for conservation- which is the conservation of 30% of the nations’ land and water by 2030.  This target, in part to address climate change,  was set and agreed by 55 countries who are part of the United Nations.  This target was set to ensure that natural areas that provide essential benefits to humanity such as food, clean water, clean air and a stable climate are protected. 

 The general public is finally accepting that climate change is a reality.  Temperatures are rising, and our forests are suffering. Some tree species will not survive rising temperatures and drier conditions, and we need a variety of tree species to ensure that at least some will survive climate change.  We need a program to re-establish natural forests throughout the province where people live; not only in isolated parks, or along highways to camouflage the clearcutting of forestlands.

10As illustrated by the map above, the Government of New Brunswick has decided that only 10% of the province’s environment needs protection.  The small squiggly lines on this map represent narrow strips along roadways and touristy places that the government deems worthy of protection. However, climate change is everywhere… not just a narrow strip along the Renous – Plaster Rock highway, not just 10% of the province. 

If our legacy is to protect 10% of the province’s environment, it means that 90% is unprotected.  It is startling to see that the map which illustrates the chosen protected area has a huge gap of unprotected region – that is the entire Saint John River Valley system which stretches from Edmundston to Saint John.  It is important to protect the areas where people actually live. 

The following is a list of actions that needs to be taken immediately in order to mitigate climate change:

  1. Increase the target for conservation to 30% of New Brunswick’s land, in line with Canada’s and the United Nations conservation target.   
  2. An immediate focus on the health of forests, specifically - identifying tree species that are dying because of climate change. 
  3. Re-planting of forest must include a variety of native trees – both conifer and deciduous.
  4. To slow down the spring melt, and prevent erosion, laws that protect waterways must be enforced.   This includes enforcing the prohibition of tree harvesting within the buffer zone on either side of waterways. 
  5. Financial incentives to private land owners to preserve existing woodlots, especially woodlots that have a 20% or greater slope and/or are adjacent to streams and rivers.
  6. Waterways on crown land must also be protected from harvesting. 

We cannot treat climate change as an exercise in window dressing along highways for the benefit of the tourist industry while 90% of New Brunswick – where NB citizens live is left unprotected in toxic industrial farm regions, such as in the upper Saint John River area.

I would like to learn what the New Brunswick government will do to protect New Brunswick’s biodiversity and the well being of our citizens.   The current targets are simply not enough. 


Floranne McLaughlin
Member of Green Light NB Enviro Club Feu Vert
Grand Falls, NB

01 AsterFoundation VB

The Aster Foundation is seeking capacity-building proposals from NGOs and registered charities (or other qualified donees) in New Brunswick.

 Funding available: Up to $2,000 per organization ($10,000 available in total)

How to apply: Download and fill out this APPLICATION FORM and send it to before 5:00 pm Atlantic Time on Friday, August 18, 2023. 

Building New Brunswick ENGO Capacity

The environmental movement in New Brunswick is very strong, with many environmental groups making positive environmental change within their communities and beyond.  However, these same organizations occasionally face organizational challenges that cannot be addressed internally because they are beyond the level of expertise of the board and/or staff. 

Aster Foundation’s 2023 program, Building New Brunswick ENGO Capacity Program, allows New Brunswick environmental groups to access professionals or experts with certain types of expertise for advice and support.  These experts may include HR professionals, accountants/bookkeepers, project management professions, communications professionals, lawyers, etc. 

Aster Foundation will reimburse the organization for these professionals’ consulting fees, up to $2000 per organization. 

The organization may find their own consultant, or they may request help from Aster Foundation to do so.  (Please note: Aster Foundation cannot guarantee a suitable match.)

New Brunswick Environmental Network Survey Shows Public Support for Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change 

Moncton – May 17th, 2023

A new survey fielded by the New Brunswick Environmental Network evaluated New Brunswicker’s understanding and knowledge of, and support for, approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation that work with nature.

Approaches that work with nature incorporate natural ecosystems, or elements of natural ecosystems, in infrastructure to respond to the most prominent effects of climate change felt by New Brunswicker’s, including sea level rise, coastal and inland flooding, heatwaves, and decreased water and air quality. Nature-based approaches serve as tools to not only reduce the risks of those climate change effects to communities, but also serve a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving habitat availability for species at risk, filtering water, and providing green spaces for recreation and physical activity.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network, along with their partner Nature NB, are leading a project funded by Infrastructure Canada and the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund to support municipalities with climate risk mitigation through the implementation of nature-based and natural climate infrastructure.

NBEN Project Coordinator, Lilian Barraclough, shares that “municipalities are on the frontlines of climate change. Their services and communities are the most directly impacted by the effects of the changing climate, and their action have a large impact to the lives of their residents and their environment.”

New Brunswickers are feeling the effects of climate change, and they are concerned about their preparedness to respond. This survey asked how prepared respondents felt to deal with the impacts on climate change on a personal level, and how prepared they felt their provincial and local governments were. The vast majority felt unprepared, with 78% feeling unprepared on a personal level, and 88% at the provincial and municipal government levels.

Nature NB’s Director of Conservation, Adam Cheeseman, reflects that, “this result clearly indicates the need for ongoing support to help individuals and governments prepare and adapt, particularly given the impacts communities are already facing across the province.”

They surveyed over 660 residents of all demographics in the province. The survey found that overall, when given the choice between a traditional, human-made solution and a nature-based solution, the vast majority of respondents would choose the nature-based solution, even if it took longer to implement. Their support for nature-based solutions was further supported by their desire to have the associated co-benefits, including improvements to mental and physical health, overall community wellbeing, improved water and air quality, increased economic opportunities for residents, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions. However, only 21% of respondents were familiar with nature-based climate solutions before filling out the survey, and only 18% were aware that there was a new provincial climate action plan recently published.

The results of this survey have made it clear that there is public support for nature-based climate solutions. Residents are feeling the need for more support in place as the risks of the climate crisis worsen, from increased education to climate action and adaptation plans, to direct benefits and support in their everyday lives. This evening, from 7-8 pm the NBEN will be sharing the results in detail publicly through a virtual webinar open to residents, non-profits, government, and any interested parties.

Grand Falls, NB- Green Light NB Enviro Club Feu Vert, a charitable environmental organization in Grand Falls, launched a campaign to encourage Grand Falls residents not to mow their lawns for the month of May.   No Mow May is an opportunity to help our native pollinators and other wildlife thrive in the greenspaces where we live. During an entire month, wildflowers in lawns are left to bloom, providing a feast of nectar and pollen for hungry native bees, butterflies, and other animals whose populations have been declining in recent years due to habitat loss, land degradation, and climate change.

Nicole McLaughlin, president of Green Light, requested that the Grand Falls municipal council designate certain sites belonging to the municipality not to be mowed.  The municipal council accepted the proposal and has designated nine sites in the municipality that will not be mowed for the month of May.  During the Grand Falls municipal meeting which took place on April 19th 2023, the mayor of Grand Falls, Bertrand Beaulieu stated that the Grand Falls municipality wants to do their part in order to help the bees as human systems depend upon them.  He encouraged the residents of the municipality to do the same.

Green Light has also launched a Facebook contest where citizens of the Grand Falls municipality are asked to share pictures of their unmowed lawns on Facebook and use the hashtag #FVGL2023.  They will have a chance to win prizes related to pollinators (ex: honey, jams, etc).

Other members of the community are also involved in promoting the campaign.  Students at the Mgr Lang elementary school are asking family and neighbors for their commitment not to mow their lawns in May.    

In addition, Green Light has printed a number of signs that are available for free for Grand Falls residents participating in the No Mow May challenge.    The signs explaining why the lawn is left long are available at the town offices in the Grand Falls municipality.  “The beauty of the No Mow May initiative is that it does not require a lot of effort but it can have an important impact on pollinators,” explains Nicole McLaughlin. 

The idea of No Mow May came from a rewilding campaign that started in the UK and has spread around the world. It encourages leaving lawns un-mowed for the month of May to support bees, butterflies, ants and other insects that are a vital part of our food chain. It provides their early sources of food (such as clover and dandelions) an opportunity to bloom and produce nectar.

­­­­No Mow May

EMBERGER: No deal is a good deal to start shale gas |

Jim Emberger|Commentary

5-6 minutes

Every day, business ads promote the idea that wise business leaders make decisions based on solid data.

Premier Blaine Higgs likes to project the image of an experienced business leader, but his current effort to resurrect shale gas reveals that he more closely embodies his other reputation as a “Data, my ass” decision maker.

There is unequivocal data in the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change, which shows that we cannot develop any new fossil fuel source if we hope to escape the dire consequences of a warming climate.

This data was researched by virtually the entire global community of climate scientists and institutions.

Knowing this, any suggestion to now begin a shale gas industry, (designed to last for decades) directly contradicts the data, and constitutes an intellectual, not to mention moral, failure.

Data show that: the fossil fuel industry is Canada’s leading source of greenhouse gas pollution; the global warming effect of methane (natural gas) is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over 20 years; and methane is the fastest-growing greenhouse gas.

Fracking produces a lot of carbon dioxide by burning huge amounts of fossil fuels. This, plus well-documented leakage of methane from the entire shale gas life cycle, mean that fracked gas may be as bad as burning coal to generate electricity.

Thus, Higgs’s idea of switching the Belledune power plant from coal to fracked gas to lower provincial greenhouse gases directly denies all the data. Even the International Energy Agency, once a champion of shale gas, acknowledges that gas can no longer be a transition fuel.

In addition to its climate effects, research on fracking's other harmful effects overwhelmingly supports continuing our current moratorium. Fracking’s serious threats to health are growing in type and number, as the “safe distance” from wells grows longer.

Fracking pollutes both ground and drinking water. It produces copious air pollution. Ever-longer wells use huge and growing amounts of freshwater, and produce correspondingly more toxic wastewater, for which no safe, affordable method of disposal exists. It causes earthquakes.

In sum, the data show that none of the standards for lifting the moratorium can be met.

Higgs denies historical data, too; believing he can bring back shale gas by simply convincing First Nations community leaders to make a deal.

While the RCMP raid in Elsipogtog was dramatic and memorable, it was just one event in years of opposition to fracking by a historic alliance of First Nations, anglophones and francophones across the province, which included unions, public health, physician and nursing groups, religious organizations, community groups, environmentalists, and groups formed just to oppose fracking.

Thousands of non-Indigenous people signed petitions, demonstrated, attended educational meetings, and participated in civil disobedience, risking arrest along with their Indigenous allies. They filed a lawsuit against the Alward government, and later voted that government out.

This overwhelming demonstration that there is no social licence for fracking in the non-Indigenous community is more data that Higgs ignores.

Even his reprehensible attempt to bribe First Nations with promises of $1.6 billion in shale gas money over 20 years woefully lacks supportive economic data.

No one knows how much New Brunswick gas is economically recoverable, and the past year has seen record volatility in gas prices. The gas market is shrinking through conservation, a renewable energy boom, and price volatility.

Promises based on gas price and market predictions 20 years out, are strictly crystal ball gazing. The timeframe matters, because governments typically give tax and royalty breaks to the industry to offset upfront investments. Little revenue is actually collected for many years.

A gas industry launched today may be unused in 20 years if we address climate change; and if we don’t, then the climate, and our goose, will be well and truly cooked.

I don’t speak for Indigenous people, but any objective observer can see that their serious opposition to shale gas is rooted in age-old spiritual and cultural obligations to protect the water, the land and nature’s bounty. It is an ethos that also finds support in scientific data, and which we all would do well to adopt.

Higgs asks that they forsake that heritage in exchange for a fantasy deal, and ignore the real and continuing need to preserve the province, planet and our future.

Instead, wise leaders, following the dictates of solid data, should ask for an immediate, legislated, permanent ban on shale gas and fracking.

Jim Emberger is the spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-shale Gas Alliance.

Traditional territory of the Wabanaki Peoples/Fredericton — New Brunswick’s greenhouse gas emissions increased 700,000 tonnes from 2020 to 2021, a six per cent increase, due to increased emissions in the electricity sector, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s 2023 National Inventory Report 1990 – 2021: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada.

New Brunswick’s planet-warming greenhouse gases increased from 11.2 million tonnes in 2020 to 11.9 million tonnes in 2021, the latest year for which data is available. A detailed break out of emissions across all economic sectors in the province shows that the entire increase in emissions is from the electricity sector

“Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity must end,” says Louise Comeau, co-executive director at the Conservation Council. “Making money off planet-warming energy sources is unethical. It increases our carbon tax liability and puts our future at risk. The time is now to switch off the fossil plants in favour of renewable energy, storage, interties and efficiency.”

The 700,000-tonne increase from New Brunswick’s electricity sector represents an annual rise of 26 per cent, from 2.7 million tonnes in 2020 to 3.4 million tonnes in 2021. The increase was driven by increases in emissions at the Coleson Cove Generating Station (up 47 per cent, or 730,000 tonnes in 2020 to 1,070,000 in 2021), the Belledune Generating Station (up 22 per cent, or 1,140,000 tonnes to 1,390,000 tonnes), and the Bayside Generating Station (up 11 per cent, or 830,000 tonnes to 920,000 tonnes).

The Point Lepreau Generating station was largely operational in 2021, with three short-term outages in February, April and November, leading to a 7 per cent decline in megawatt hours of power production.  Wind power production was down 21 per cent due to base cracks at Kent Hills. These outages increase reliance on New Brunswick’s fossil plants or on imports from Quebec or New England.  According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, in 2021 electricity production at Belledune was up 23 per cent (1440 GWh in 2021, compared to 1140 GWh in 2020), up 15 per cent at Bayside (1580 GWh in 2021, compared to 1380 GWh in 2020), and up 34 per cent at Coleson Cove (940 GWh in 2021, compared to 700 GWh in 2020). Greenhouse gas intensity increased to 290 grams/carbon dioxide/kWh from 230 grams/carbon dioxide/kWh in 2020.

In 2021, NB Power also increased export sales which can contribute to increased use of the utility’s fossil fuel plants. NB Power’s 2021-2022 annual report shows a 52 per cent increase in export sales ($558 million in 2021-2022 from $369 million in 2020-2021), and a 35 per cent increase in gigawatt hours of production (6,175 GWh  in 2021-2022 from 4,576 GWh in 2020-2021). 

Emissions increases year-over-year are a concern even if long-term trends are still downward. New Brunswick’s greenhouse gas emissions are down 39 per cent from 2005 and 7 per cent from 2019.  Similar trends to 2021 are expected for 2022, signalling the importance of controlling electricity sector emissions through actions like a federal clean electricity regulation. 

As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, the Conservation Council calls for a clean electricity strategy that ensures New Brunswick has a reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity system with the right balance of in-province efficiency, wind, solar, hydro and storage, along with regional transmission interties like the Atlantic Loop.

To arrange an interview, contact:

 Jon MacNeill, communications director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, 506-238-3539 |

Are you planning a bilingual event or meeting? Are you unsure of where to start? Check out the New Brunswick Environmental Network’s Guide of Best Practices for Creating a Bilingual Space! Drawing on the NBEN’s three decades of experience providing services in English and French, the guide is full of tips and tricks on how to foster cooperation and sharing in a bilingual environment.

You can find the guide here.

The creation of this guide was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada.

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Instagram Watch Your Paws 202223

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society- New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) is excited to launch
their in-class nature education program for the 2022/23 school year. The Watch Your Paws program is a
fun and interactive way for your students to learn more about the natural environment around them.

- The Watch Your Paws program is open to students grades 3-6
- Presentations are available in English or French
- In-person or online presentations will be available
- The program was designed with curriculum outcomes in mind

To book your class presentation, email Danielle Hak ( or learn more about the program
on their website (

Tuesday September 20, 2022                           

New Publication: Taking Classrooms Outdoors Will Give NB Students an Experiential Edge

  • On September 20, 2022, the New Brunswick Environmental Network published a Discussion Paper regarding the benefits of outdoor learning using feedback and insight from more than 50 educators around the province. 
  • The document recommends a period of five years in which schools incrementally work toward a standard of at least 10 hours per week spent learning outdoors, which will lead to better learning outcomes, improved physical and mental health, and a stronger connection to the environment. 
  • The findings demonstrate that the New Brunswick public education system already has the tools and resources needed to make outdoor learning a permanent and mandated part of the public school curriculum over a five-year adjustment period, provided schools receive adequate government support during the transition.

MONCTON, New Brunswick – On Tuesday, September 20th, the New Brunswick Environmental Network published a document titled “Giving our Children an Experiential Edge: A Discussion Paper on Outdoor Learning in New Brunswick” With a combination of academic literature review, semi-structured interviews with education experts, and extensive teacher feedback throughout the drafting process, the Paper presents a multi-sectoral approach to how to address the remaining gaps, overcome common barriers, and access useful resources when incorporating outdoor learning into the curriculum.

The document demonstrates how teaching and learning outdoors align with each of the six Global Competencies that guide education goals in NB and worldwide. If implemented, these principles would help to make New Brunswick a world-class example of quality education.

The Discussion Paper also shows how outdoor learning re-enforces or helps to achieve stated goals for reform from the NB Department of Education, such as those included in the 2019 Green Paper by Education Minister Dominic Cardy, the province’s Ten-year Education Plans (2016), the New Brunswick Global Competencies framework (2019), and the New Brunswick Back-To-School plan by Minister Cardy (2021). 

After two years of interrupted and virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and the Education Minister have flagged a major concern for competency in literacy and numeracy at all grade levels. Hands-on and experiential outdoor learning provides a solution for  bridging those gaps in knowledge by providing engaging experiences that put learning outcomes into practice. 

Illnesses including COVID-19 are also widely recognized to be less easily transmissible in open-air settings, which has encouraged the adoption of outdoor learning practices worldwide in recent years in reaction to the pandemic. 

The Discussion Paper can be seen at this link: 

About the New Brunswick Environmental Network

The New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), established in 1991, is a communication network that links together over 110 non-profit environmental organizations. The role of the NBEN is to improve communication and cooperation among environmental groups and between these groups, the government and other sectors. The NBEN is not an advocacy group and does not take positions on any issue. Rather, the NBEN provides educational opportunities for its member and associate groups and encourages the growth of the environmental movement in New Brunswick. The NBEN acts as secretariat for the Sustainability Education Alliance, a network  connecting organizations, agencies and individuals throughout New Brunswick who want together in moving towards a culture of sustainability education. 

For comment or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Tzomi Jazwicki, Sustainability Education Alliance Manager
Annika Chiasson, Executive Director

232 Botsford Street, 2nd Floor
Moncton, NB, E1C 4X7


Screenshot 2022 09 01 131234

The Aster Foundation is seeking proposals from NGOs and registered charities (or other qualified donees) in New Brunswick for projects addressing the theme: Collaborative Environmental Policy Development.

Funding available: $10,000
We will support 1 project in the amount of $10,000 OR 2 projects in the amount of $5,000 each.  

How to apply: Fill out this APPLICATION FORM and send it to before 5:00 pm Atlantic Time on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.  

Supporting Collaborative Environmental Policy Development

The environmental movement in New Brunswick is very strong, with many players across the entire spectrum of issues. The movement is supported provincially by the NB Environmental Network, which has provided networking, collaborating, and engagement supports to the organizations. The individual organizations are generally well-funded for project work from water quality testing, to habitat restoration to climate change education (entire spectrum) through provincial funding programs such as the Environmental Trust Fund (over $8 million yearly, with over $5 million going to NGOs yearly over the last three years) and the Wildlife Trust Fund (approximately $600k yearly), as well as federal funding programs (Habitat Stewardship Fund, etc.), with some receiving grants from foundations as well. 

Click here to learn more.

LNG export terminal would carry great risks |

Jim Emberger|Commentary  August 13,2022

Editor's Note: As part of our In-Depth series, we invited a proponent and an opponent of the LNG export terminal in Saint John to make their case. Below is Jim Emberger's argument against the project.

The economic and climate costs of developing an LNG export facility in Saint John are real and significant. Benefits, if any, will come at great risk.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently stated, “Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

He was summing up the warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency, and climate scientists everywhere. Developing new fossil fuel projects will hinder any chance of meeting the climate targets necessary to save the world from dire consequences.

Observing the current record-setting heat waves, droughts, floods and forest fires afflicting every corner of the planet gives proof to these warnings. Unfortunately, the warnings underestimated how quickly climate effects would arrive, and how severe they would be.

The costs of climate disasters go beyond the billions in property destruction and loss of lives. Climate-influenced crop failures across the globe have threatened multitudes with starvation, created millions of food refugees, and increased food prices for us all. 

Climate disasters in Europe have also shut down nuclear power plants and rendered the Rhine River too shallow to support its normal huge load of shipping. So why would Germany look to increase the production of the very fossil fuels responsible for climate change?

In fact, they are not. Germany is well into a transition to a clean economy, with a large and growing renewable energy sector. In response to their current gas shortage, they plan to double down on renewables, and exit from natural gas as soon as possible. 

Germany needs LNG only for short-range relief. Yet, it will likely take five years to even begin sending LNG from a new Atlantic terminal – probably longer in light of necessary Impact Assessments and probable legal challenges. 

Atlantic LNG cannot be a real solution to Germany’s immediate needs.

This timing mismatch also highlights the extreme risk associated with any potential benefit for New Brunswick. Converting the Repsol facility to exports will require between $2 billion and $4 billion (according to a 2014 Natural Resources briefing note), plus considerably more for pipeline additions, and may require billions more for expensive carbon capture technology that either doesn’t exist or works poorly (and undoubtedly requiring taxpayer subsidies).

Add many more billions if the intent is to later convert the facility to handle hydrogen, another expensive, high-risk conversion for which there is little actual experience. Hydrogen itself currently has only a few technically and economically proven uses.

To recoup such vast investment, these projects require guaranteed purchases by LNG buyers for at least 20 years, as made clear by Repsol’s CEO. It is doubtful that a Germany looking to rapidly leave gas behind will make that commitment.

If by some miracle commitments are made, then the climate costs to Canada, New Brunswick and the earth increase, as fossil fuels are locked in for another generation. 

Canada is the only advanced nation that has never met a single emissions target, and New Brunswick is a leading per capita producer of greenhouse gases (GHGs). LNG export terminals produce great amounts of GHGs. Adding a terminal here will ensure that neither Canada nor New Brunswick meet our climate targets.

Simultaneously, we will risk having a multi-billion dollar white elephant in Saint John, as we gamble in the incredibly volatile gas market.

For the last decade, shale gas created gas prices so low that investors lost billions. Only in the current crisis has the price risen to profit-making levels. It’s now so high that it is causing financial crises and providing more incentive to abandon gas.

Shall we bet that the current scene will last the next 30 years? Repsol is stuck with the unused LNG import terminal that it now has, because it made a wrong bet on where gas was heading 20 years ago.

What makes climate and economic sense for New Brunswick is to invest in and promote the cheapest electricity in the history of the world – solar and wind, whose fuel costs will never go up – accompanied by affordable energy storage, conservation and retrofits of infrastructure.

This move to electrification of our society is inevitable, as the world is starting to seriously react to a fast-changing climate. We can, and should, be a leader in that move.

The cost/benefit comparisons are no-brainers. Any temporary jobs created during construction of an LNG terminal could easily be surpassed in a transition to a renewable/electrified economy.

LNG tax and royalty money for government coffers only lasts while markets are good, whereas cheap electricity rates for citizens will continue with renewable energy, and residents of Saint John will not have to cope with the huge dose of air pollution that LNG exports will also bring.

A clean economy in New Brunswick benefits Germany, the world, and us by reducing GHG emissions, which our Supreme Court acknowledges cause the same global harm, regardless of where they are created. Let’s not add to the harm.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.   Jim Emberger | Commentary | June 28, 2022

A recent Brunswick News editorial admitted Canadian fossil fuel companies might not profit on the misfortunes of the war in Ukraine ("Think long-term on resource projects," June 17). That should have been a foregone conclusion.

Europe’s search for natural gas to replace Russian supplies logically pointed it toward nations that could fill its needs immediately. Many European nations also stressed that their climate crisis plans to reduce gas usage as quickly as possible were still in effect. 

Canada would take years to become a European supplier, by which time there may no longer be a demand. Large fossil fuel projects are also generally planned for 30-year lifespans to recoup the massive financial investment involved. So, investors in Canada would risk their investments becoming stranded (essentially, lost) if the Europeans stick to their climate pledges. 

The editorial board professed a belief in the climate crisis. Yet they simultaneously argued the transition to renewable energy will take a long time, and so, meanwhile, we should profit on new fossil fuels projects.

This directly contradicts the recommendations of the many climate scientists whose work has been published by the UN International Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency and peer-reviewed journals such as Nature. They concluded there can be no new fossil fuel projects, and some existing projects must be abandoned early.

Of course, there will be a transition when fossil fuels will still be used, but only where necessary, for as short a time as possible and in diminishing quantities. Transition plans created years ago called for an orderly reduction of fossil fuels by just a small percentage each year, allowing us to slowly break our fossil fuel habit.  

Unfortunately, we ignored those plans for decades, and now we require greater and swifter reductions in fossil fuels. The climate emergency is here, and obviously severe. It is no longer just a worry about our grandchildren.

Historic, record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather events are killing thousands, increasing hunger, raising food prices and costing our economies billions right now.

The editorial board nevertheless suggests more Canadian gas, through fracking and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, can help because it is "lower carbon intensity" and "ethical." This is irresponsible and contestable.

Methane from natural gas is 86 times as potent as CO2 (over 20 years) as a greenhouse gas, and can leak for the entire gas life cycle. Scientific studies state that leakage has in previous years led to as much global warming as coal.

Shale wells and LNG plants are major methane leakers, and require the burning of fossil fuels to power their processes. LNG requires huge amounts of energy to chill gas to a temperature of minus 161.5 C. Fracking burns through oil and gas to mine enormous amounts of specialized sand, to transport it and millions of litres of water and wastewater, and to fuel many powerful compressors to shatter shale rock. 

Fracked gas and LNG should be considered extreme climate threats. The “Compendium," a compilation assembled from peer-reviewed studies, journalism and advocacy groups published by an organization of health professionals and scientists opposed to fracking, concluded: “Our examination uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health directly or without imperilling climate stability upon which human health depends.”

Based on the experience of other jurisdictions, if New Brunswick developed either project, it would likely mean it could not hit its greenhouse gas commitments. Is any of this ethical, or an argument for social license?

Ethical, long-term and sane solutions are at hand, and will make us healthier, prepare us for the future and provide jobs. Only fossil fuel influences and poor political choices prevent their deployment.  

We must electrify the economy as much as possible and run it on renewable energy as much as possible, as electricity from solar and wind is the cheapest form of electricity in the world. The fuel cost of sun and wind will never rise, unlike the current budget busting spikes in gas and oil.

Batteries and other storage methods have likewise advanced technologically, and dropped immensely in price. We can also use less energy by using it wisely, insulating buildings, using heat pumps, localizing our economy and conserving where we can.

That we are not adequately investing in these obvious solutions, and in an improved electric grid to tie them all together with potential hydro from our neighbours, is inexplicable.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres noted recently that "the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness."

He's right. There is no bargain that one can make with the physics of climate change to allow fossil fuel interests to make money on their way out.

That’s not long-term thinking. That’s self-destructive fantasy.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.
David H. Thompson, Project Officer
P.O. Box 4561
Rothesay, NB E2E 5X3

June 15, 2022

Standing Committee on Science and Research

Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street
House of Commons\Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Attention: Committee Clerk

Leap4wards, Saint John Region (New Brunswick) chapter, submits the following brief to the Study on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). Leap4wards is a local action group that works on social and environmental issues.

We believe that SMR development SHOULD NOT be supported by federal funds earmarked for climate action. In fact, if SMRs were a worthy investment, private investors would fully support them, and the proponents of these SMR projects would not be asking for government money (taxpayer funding).

Government investment in energy should ONLY be directed to renewable energy development and energy conservation and efficiency. We are in an emergency situation with climate change. Renewable energy projects of various kinds can be put in place quickly in all regions across Canada, whereas SMRs are only in the development stage.

The type of renewable energy projects for each location should be geared to the most available and economic sources of natural energy in that place. For instance, where we are, on the New Brunswick Bay of Fundy coast, wind power would probably be the best source for new electricity generation. Furthermore, information indicates that wind power sites strategically located would provide a more reliable supply of energy than the existing Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, which is often out of service for months at a time, sometimes during peak electricity demand times during the winter months. During its refurbishment several years ago, Point Lepreau was out of commission for 3 ½ years. Furthermore, Point Lepreau Nuclear Station is mired in debt.

Wind power is likely to be the best power generating choice for many coastal regions as well many other regions of Canada.

Solar energy, in its many forms of collection, including active, passive, and photo voltaic, can be a valuable source of energy to many communities, providing both heat and electricity from a non-inflationary source.

Heat from geothermal sources, aquafers and also industrial sources (which currently dump their heat into the natural environment) should all be taken advantage of.

Recovery of biogas from farm waste and other biologically digestible waste materials should be encouraged by making resources available for the infrastructure to collect, distribute, and use this under-used resource.

Potential still exists for more hydro-generated electricity, including small-scale hydro at many environmentally acceptable locations across Canada. Also, many existing hydro stations need refurbishment, as they are operating with inefficient and antiquated equipment installed decades or, in some cases, a century ago. For instance, in our Fundy region of New Brunswick, a small hydro station built in the early 1900s to serve the needs of a small pulp mill and the community surrounding it, originally produced only about 1M.W. of electricity. With the installation of modern equipment about a dozen years ago, it now generates in excess of 15 M.W. of electricity.

We strongly recommend that NO taxpayer dollars be invested in SMRs which, like all nuclear generation, would create radioactive waste which would be dangerous for thousands of years.

SMRs would be financially wasteful, too, as they are still in the pre development stage and have already gobbled up millions of dollars, requiring billions more and perhaps many years more to get them into production – if they ever DO get them into production.

The time factor is another reason that federal money should not be invested into SMRs, which will not be built – if ever – before the end of this decade. We already have renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc. . .) that are getting more efficient and more economical all the time.

We are confident that Net Zero Carbon Emissions can be accomplished more economically and much faster WITHOUT more nuclear and WITHOUT SMRs. Let’s put federal dollars into renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency, because they have already proven themselves to be reliable and economic. Furthermore, unlike non-renewable energy, the fuels to provide renewable energy (wind, sun, flowing water, etc.) have no cost and therefore are immune to future inflation.

New nuclear power plants, SMRs or fuel preparation facilities for SMRs must never be built in Canada without the most detailed and comprehensive federal environmental impact assessments, with FULL public participation. This is necessary due to the radioactive wastes produced and the danger of radiation escaping into the environment.

Thank you for considering our submission.
David H. Thompson
Project Officer, Leap4wards

Image of Kayakers paddling with text that reads Apply by July 6th Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society New Brunswick Chapter

CPAWS NB is looking for Wilderness Ambassadors, ages 18-30, for an 8-month conservation volunteer program!

Join us on
a wilderness trip to the beautiful Bay of Fundy, St. Andrews region (August 25-26, 2022), for whale watching and sea-kayaking, as well to take part in local conservation volunteer work and a Regional Summit (location TBD) - all expenses paid!


To learn more about the Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program, please visit or email


Deadline to apply is July 6th. Please note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so apply early!.

Applications are available online in English and French: (EN) (FR) 

In late winter, through an initiative funded by Natural Resources Canada, the New Brunswick Environmental Network worked with the Stewardship Centre of British Columbia and TransCoastal Adaptations in Nova Scotia to explore the potential for implementing a Green Shores program here in New Brunswick. Thanks to all who participated in the GS training and provided input during the feedback session. Read our report to find out more about Green Shores and the opportunities and challenges of bringing the program to our province. We promise to keep you posted as things move forward.

Click here to read the report.

Happy Earth Day!

This Earth Day we want to thank all the wonderful groups working throughout this province to protect nature and who make every day Earth Day!  We are so fortunate to have such a thriving network filled with dedicated groups and individuals.

We have been working in the background with BrainWorks to produce a video featuring the Sentinelles Petitcodiac Riverkeepers and the Groupe de développement durable du Pays de Cocagne highlighting the strength of this community. 

This video marks the end of our 30th-anniversary campaign and with that, we would like to thank our incredible sponsors BrainWorks, la ville de Caraquet, Manulife Securities, Omista Credit Union, Advance Savings Credit Union, RDÉE Nouveau-Brunswick, Nordais Architecture, and la ville de Shippagan. Here’s to 30 years! May there be many more!

April 22, 2022

[Moncton, NB] Every year, the New Brunswick Environmental Network hands out awards in recognition of people and environmental groups working to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment. This year, awards were handed out on Earth Day and accompanied by a video highlighting the social, economic and ecological contributions of local environmental groups to their respective communities.

“As the pandemic and war in Ukraine capture global attention, it’s comforting to know that people here at home continue in their efforts to protect our shared environment. The New Brunswick Environmental Network is composed of over 110 environmental groups from all four corners of our province and working in both official languages. When it comes to environmental protection, we are definitely a province that punches above its weight”, shared Tim Leblanc Murphy, Executive Director of the NBEN.

Collectively, this year’s awards recipients have contributed to protecting our shorelines, providing environmental education to our children, fighting for more urgent measures to address climate change, building food sovereignty, increasing indigenous knowledge of aquatic issues, and conserving valuable natural habitat.

“As an organization working primarily on air quality, it’s nice to be able to join a Network of other environmental groups working towards the same larger goal of a healthy environment and sustainable planet. One group’s success is everyone’s success, so we are pleased to recognize those who stood out over the past year”, stated Melanie Langille, President and CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association and Chair of the NBEN Steering Committee.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), established in 1991, is a communication network that links together over 110 non-profit environmental organizations. Its role is to improve communication and co-operation among environmental groups and between these groups, government and other sectors. The NBEN is not an advocacy group and does not take positions on any issue. Rather, the NBEN provides educational opportunities for its member and associate groups and encourages the growth of the environmental movement in New Brunswick.


For comment or to arrange an interview with any of this year’s awards recipients, please contact:

Annika Chiasson, Communication Manager

2021 NBEN Awards Recipients


Samaqan Award

The Samaqan Award is for those who have dedicated their efforts to the waters and the species that inhabit the waters. This year, the award is presented to the Gespe’gewaq Mi'gmaq Resource Council (GMRC) for its work in harmonizing the strengths of Mi'gmaq knowledge with Western scientific approaches in order to provide a better understanding of the water issues affecting its member communities.

GMRC is a non-profit organization with members from the Aboriginal communities of Eel River bar (Ugpi'ganjig), Pabineau (Oinpegitjoig L'noeigati), and Listuguj (Quebec). They are leaders who bring together the partners across their territory. GMRC’s core activities include habitat management and stewardship, as well as research and collection of Mi’gmaq Ecological Knowledge.

Their dedicated team is making a difference to aquatic resources by providing Mi'gmaq ecological knowledge and impartial scientific research to shape informed Mi'gmaq public policy.


Gaia Award

The Gaia Award is for those who have dedicated their efforts to the earth and the species that inhabit the earth. This year, the award is presented to Linda Stephenson in recognition of her instrumental role in habitat conservation across New Brunswick and Canada since 1998.

Stephenson has worked with non-governmental organizations since the mid-1980s. Her first exposure to the environmental sector was with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and she has also served on the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, the Board of Eastern Habitat Joint Venture, and the South-Central NB Forestry Working Group.

In 1998, Linda Stephenson joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) with the mandate of establishing a permanent office for the Atlantic Region. Over the next 18 years Stephenson would build a strong team of conservation and fundraising professionals with a common vision of conserving ecologically sensitive habitats throughout Atlantic Canada.

During Stephenson’s tenure as Vice President of the Atlantic Region she was personally involved in nearly 315 separate land conservation projects throughout Atlantic Canada. By raising the necessary funds and negotiating agreements with willing private landowners, NCC was successful in negotiating 148 of these projects in New Brunswick. The province’s ecologically sensitive wetland, forests, and coastal shoreline areas were successfully protected for today and future generations.

These sites are in all corners of the province, from 11 different projects involving wetlands and salt marsh properties on Miscou Island on the northeast tip of New Brunswick to five key sites for migratory birds on Grand Manan Island. Her long-term commitment and positive impact on nature conservation in New Brunswick and the greater Atlantic Region will resonate for many years to come.


Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award is for those who have dedicated their efforts to policies and legislation and have been through "the fire". This year, the award is presented to Nancy Juneau for her leadership in the environmental movement in the Acadian Peninsula leading to the mobilization of her community through the creation of Imaginons la péninsule acadienne autrement.

A Franco-Ontarian by birth and Acadian by adoption, Nancy Juneau has a wide range of professional and community experience, both at the executive and participatory levels, at the local, provincial, and national levels. She has worked in many capacities, both volunteer and professional. As a consultant, trainer and public relations professional, she has worked in a variety of fields ranging from education, training, fisheries, and media, to social engagement in language rights, women's rights, and most recently the environment.

In the spring of 2015, following a climate march organized in Inkerman as part of COP 21, she provided leadership in organizing the voices of Acadian Peninsula citizens towards the creation of an organization, Imaginons la Péninsule acadienne autrement. Over the years, through awareness events, citizen mobilizations and organizational changes, Nancy’s visionary qualities have helped lead the organisation to success since its inception.

An excellent communicator, she combines expertise in facilitation, non-profit governance, strategic planning, event planning and public relations with strong teamwork and consensus leadership skills. With her ability to synthesize information, good judgment and a strong sense of humour, she brings intuition, creativity and simplicity to the mandates she is given.


Salicorne Award

The Salicorne Award, thus named for the important significance of this plant in Acadian heritage, is a special award handed out this year in partnership with the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick (SANB) to a member of the NBEN who, over the past year, has provided environmental leadership in French in one of the many Acadian communities in the province. The award is presented to Serge LaRochelle from the Groupe de développement durable du Pays de Cocagne for his passion and commitment to natural landscaping and naturalization, inspiring thousands of students and his Acadian community in Cocagne.

Serge LaRochelle is passionate about gardening and the environment. He is originally from St. Boniface, Manitoba and has been living in Cocagne, New Brunswick since 2008. He completed a Master's degree in Natural Resource Management at the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Ottawa.

Serge has been working in his community for over 10 years, offering his practical advice, knowledge and skills to the local schools and community. He volunteers at the Cocagne Community Garden, the Community Dinner, and with many youth activities. His strength as a convener has been central to Cocagne and Grande-Digue's climate change planning. Recently, he has been working on projects for naturalizing our coasts to reduce the impacts of climate change on our communities. One of these projects, a Living Coasts project in the Cocagne Community Park, was nationally recognised by the Society for Organic Urban Care for its exemplary greener greenspace stewardship. People throughout his community appreciate his skills, his commitment and his listening skills.


Thuja Award

The Thuja Award, thus named for the long-lived tree, is a special award handed out this year in honor of the organization’s 30th anniversary. It is intended for a group or individual having made significant contributions to the NBEN over the course of its history. The recipients are Sabine Diez of CLIMAtlantic and Roland Chiasson of Aster Group. The Thuja Award is presented to Roland Chiasson and Sabine Dietz for past and ongoing contributions of their time and expertise, and for their outstanding engagement to the environmental movement and to the Network over the course of its 30-year history in numerous areas, including conservation and biodiversity, climate action, and sustainability education.

Currently the Executive Director of CLIMAtlantic, Atlantic Canada’s climate services hub, Sabine has worked for over 30 years on species at risk and ecosystem conservation, as Executive Director of the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, for the NB government leading climate change adaptation programs; and initiating, leading and working on a multitude of climate change adaptation projects and programs with and for municipalities, the federal and provincial governments, and the NGO community. She holds a PhD in biology (UNB), a Master's in Environmental Studies from U de Moncton, and a Baccalaureate in environmental & resource studies from Trent University. She has volunteered with numerous non-governmental organizations, having served on the Steering Committee of the Climate Change Adaptation Collaborative Steering Committee, Biodiversity Collaborative, and Crown Lands Caucus, the NBEN Finance Committee, and the BRACE Project Advisory Committee, among others. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of Nature Canada. She is a town councillor in Sackville, NB, and she loves gardening, backpacking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Roland is currently working as a wildlife biologist / ornithologist and as an environmental educator for the Aster Group, an environmental workers’ cooperative. He is also one of the founders of Great Minds Think Outside, an NBEN program, the long standing chair of the NB Sustainable Education Alliance, and was once a member of the steering committee of the NBEN. He and his partner Sabine Dietz initiated a Piping Plover conservation education program on the Acadian Peninsula in the early 1990’s. Prior to his work on Piping Plover, he was fortunate to work as a park interpreter in most of Atlantic Canada’s national parks. He earned his degree in wildlife biology from Acadia University, his masters is in biological conservation and environmental education from York University and his teacher’s license is from Mount Allison University. He is an avid cross-country skier, loves kayaking, wilderness camping, hiking, biking, and enjoys a decent science fiction story.

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) has sent its comments on climate policy to the legislative committee working on the climate plan. They are available on our website to read or to download (12 pages of text, 4 of references).

We remind everyone that the deadline for submission to the committee is midnight on Feb 24th. 
You may write your own comments, and email them to:

You may also register comments by answering climate survey questions from the Committee. To do so, go to:

At the bottom of the page click on the 'Share Your Thoughts' button to get the survey, and when you complete the survey, just click Submit.

Please feel free to use any ideas or references from NBASGA's comments.

Jim Emberger, Spokesperson


Traditional Land of Wabanaki People/Fredericton
— A survey of 300 New Brunswickers conducted by Oraclepoll Research on behalf of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – NB Chapter, and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick shows overwhelming support for new protected areas in the province.

In 2019, New Brunswick leaders promised to add 400,000 hectares of new protected area in the province by the end of 2020. More than a year since that deadline, no new areas have received formal protection.

The survey shows 90 per cent of New Brunswickers want provincial leaders to fulfill their commitment in 2022, and then go further. Nearly eight in 10 (78%) people polled want New Brunswick to match Canada’s commitment of 25 per cent protected land by 2025. This figure has increased 10 per cent compared to results from a similar poll conducted in 2020.

“Protecting forests and freshwater is a solution to climate change and habitat loss. It is the most meaningful thing we can do to ensure that New Brunswickers 100 years from now can enjoy wild places in this province,” said Bill Taylor, President of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

The survey also asked New Brunswickers what their greatest concerns were about the state of provincial forests. The top three unaided answers were logging/forestry, clear-cutting, and lack of protection.

“We are one of the most rural provinces in Canada and New Brunswickers are confronted every day with the reality of our current industrial forest practices,” said Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “It’s clear that people love nature and want it protected.”

Part of New Brunswick’s Nature Legacy initiative is the creation of a new park along the Restigouche River, a project that has been discussed since 2010. The survey shows 82 per cent of respondents want the park to happen.

“There’s no doubt that broad public support exists to protect our nature, our rivers, and to strengthen the connection people have with wild places. The time has come to go from nominated places to actual protection,” said Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s New Brunswick chapter.

The poll was conducted between February 3-5, 2022. The full results are available here.

For downloadable, high-resolution images click here.

For more information contact:

Jon MacNeill, CCNB (506) 238-3539 |

Neville Crabbe, ASF (506) 467-6804 |

Roberta Clowater, CPAWS NB (506) 452-9902 |

2022 Survey Highlights
  • 90 per cent of respondents say the provincial government should keep its promise to protect 10 per cent of land in N.B. this year.
  • 78 per cent say the provincial government should go further and protect 25 per cent of land in the province by 2025, in line with federal nature protection goals.
  • 79 per cent say it’s important that new protected areas safeguard habitat for wildlife, with 77 per cent saying the same for native fish species habitat.
  • 82 per cent say the provincial government should establish a new provincial park along the Restigouche River.
  • 75 per cent say they support updating the Crown Lands and Forests Act to establish a new, ecological forestry-based management system in N.B.
  • Logging (25 per cent), clear cutting (14 per cent) and a lack of protected areas (12 per cent) were identified as New Brunswickers’ top concerns about the state of N.B.’s forests.

View the results from our 2020 poll on nature protection here.
On January 6th, 2022, the province announced that it would begin the process of renewing its climate change action plan.  As part of that process, the Standing committee on climate change and environmental stewardship heard presentations from subject matter experts and First Nations representatives, several of which were given by NBEN member groups. The presentations are as follows:

January 13th 2022 - Sabine Dietz, Executive Director, CLIMAtlantic
January 13th 2022 - Marion Tétégan Simon, Head of research, VALORÈS

January 18th 2022 - Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, Conservation Council of New Brunswick

January 18th 2022 - Adam Cheeseman, Director of Conservation, Nature NB

January 18th 2022 - Tim LeBlanc Murphy, Executive Director, New Brunswick Environmental Network.

The committee will produce a document this spring, summarizing the presentations it heard. That information will be considered as part of the new action plan, which is expected to be released by this summer.

New Brunswickers will have an opportunity to provide input on the new action plan through an online public consultation period, Jan. 24 to Feb. 24.
On December 9th, the NBEN took an interest in the proposed blueberry project on the former shooting range in Tracadie-Sheila to test a tool called the Risk and Benefits Calculator (RBC). The workshop began with a panel of discussion moderated by Céline Surette of the Université de Moncton and featuring panelists Alain Deneault of the Université de Moncton, Alexandra Caissie of Imaginons la Péninsule acadienne autrement, and Jeff Rousselle, member of the Club chasse et pêche de Tracadie. The panelists shared their thoughts on the project's economic, environmental, and social risks and benefits. Following the panel, participants were introduced to the calculator and asked to use it to evaluate the project based on their newly acquired knowledge.

We would like to thank the panelists as well as the participants who contributed valuable feedback on how to improve the tool.

This year, the New Brunswick Environmental Network turned 30. As part of our 30th-anniversary celebration, we are excited to announce a partnership with the Aster Foundation to collect funds to strengthen the environmental movement in New Brunswick. The Aster Foundation is a brand-new independent charitable foundation designed to support environmental protection, conservation, and stewardship projects in NB and beyond.

As an organisation that brings together over 110 environmental groups, the New Brunswick Environmental Network knows first-hand the impact we can have when we come together. Working together through caucuses and collaborative efforts, various NBEN members have trained educators in outdoor learning, drafted a proposed environmental bill of rights, written letters to ministers in support of conservation for our public forests, worked together on shoreline restoration, launched Greenprint 2021, and much more.

Make a suggested gift of $30 or more to help support and give back to the many environmental groups on the ground working to protect our beautiful environment and promote sustainable ways of life in New Brunswick. Better yet, consider making your gift a monthly contribution and help us plan ahead for 2022 and beyond.

Half of your contribution will go directly to the NBEN and the other half will remain with the Aster Foundation to be distributed to environmental groups throughout the province. Aster Foundation will provide charitable tax receipts for all donations.

Your contribution today will:

  • Fund projects to protect and conserve our environment;
  • Support collaboration and communication between environmental groups by helping them come together on issues of importance in the province;
  • Provide educational opportunities for environmental groups to help advance their work. 

Together, we are stronger.


Please feel free to also show your support by sharing with your networks.

Thank you,

Tim Leblanc Murphy 
Executive Director
Annika Chiasson    
Communications Manager
Raissa Marks
Chair of the Board of Directors,
Aster Foundation 


After months of hard work by many environmental groups and individuals, the Just Transition Caucus of the New Brunswick Environmental Network is launching Greenprint 2021: Towards a Sustainable New Brunswick. Greenprint 2021 reflects the voices of environmental champions and activists across the province in creating a vision for a New Brunswick in which communities are equitable, more self-sufficient, and locally governed, where people actively respect and care for the environment, and create sustainable solutions to our challenges as a society.

Read Greenprint 2021 in full here.
Let us know what your group is doing to help us achieve the vision outlined in Greenprint 2021.
Greenprint 2021 highlights broad points of consensus, although every goal and measure listed are not necessarily endorsed by each participating organization.
Moncton, New Brunswick - On Thursday, the government released its White Paper on Local Governance Reform. Throughout the public consultation process, New Brunswickers expressed repeatedly that sustainable land use planning, environmental and agricultural protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation must all be properly considered in moving to restructure our systems of local governance. While the White Paper undoubtedly proposes big changes, a working group of the New Brunswick Environmental Network believes that the government could and should make better use of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring in tools for more stringent environmental management and true sustainable development at the local level.

The working group argues that the proposed significant reduction in the number of local government entities points to a pressing need for greater regional collaboration on environmental issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Careful consideration must be given to any potential amalgamation around watersheds (or partial watersheds), airsheds, foodsheds, or wildlife corridors, not unlike the consideration given to the creation of communities of interest formed around language, culture, and heritage. Climate change adaptation plans, including adaptation for key economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, must also take a regional approach, understanding that no one community is immune to activities undertaken by its neighbours. Unfortunately, the expanded role of the regional service commissions does not specifically include environmental protection and planning, nor does it give any mention to climate change adaptation.

“When we draw new lines on a map, we need to recognize how natural boundaries, such as watersheds, will impact our communities in the future. While the White Paper proposes major changes, there is an opportunity with this reform to ensure local governments, regional service commissions, and rural entities are supported with increased access to environmental expertise and services such as sustainable land use planning, climate adaptation and mitigation, and natural asset management. This is critical to the development of vibrant, sustainable communities in New Brunswick. Increased environmental expertise and services at these local levels can benefit from strong leadership at the provincial level through things like the proposed Statements of Public Interest, strong environmental laws and regulations, and their proper enforcement,” stated Adam Cheeseman, Director of Conservation with Nature NB.

The working group also argues that municipalities need greater access to various forms of authority, powers and fiscal levers currently outside their purview to encourage sustainability solutions at the local level. This includes more latitude to produce and distribute locally generated renewable energy and encourage energy efficiency at the household level through innovative taxation and incentive programs,
such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), popular in several other provinces, including neighboring Nova Scotia. As for the proposed Statements of Public Interest, they are welcomed, but must not be seen as a substitute for strong environmental laws and regulations and their proper enforcement.

“Municipalities across the country have shown that they are often willing to go beyond provincial and federal standards for environmental protection. The laws that structure our systems of local governance must be amended to allow them to more easily do so. We are pleased to see Statements of Public Interest included in the White Paper, but the devil is in the details and we will be watching closely to make sure these reflect the right environmental priorities,” stated Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Finally, since rural residents are often the first to witness adverse changes in our natural environments and are the first to report unchecked and unsustainable resource development, pollution, or extractive activity, environmental groups argue that the proposed reforms and amalgamations must respect the will of the people and must ensure that rural voice remains strong even as smaller communities merge to become larger ones. Social license has now become a prerequisite for development of all sorts. Achieving social license and acceptability becomes increasingly difficult the further removed local residents become from decisions that affect them.

“Any proposal for local governance reform, should recognize that along with language, culture, and heritage, nature and access to nature is a main factor in shaping collective identity, sense of place, and belonging. Local residents live on the front lines of resource development in this province. We generally know what’s best for our communities and we can act as good stewards for the land when given the chance and given a voice”, stated Serge Larochelle from the Groupe de développement durable du Pays de Cocagne.


For more information, please read the NBEN’s full brief here.

For comment, please contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick


Adam Cheeseman, Director of Conservation, Nature NB


2021 10 16 Noteworthy30 Banner

The New Brunswick Environmental Network is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and as a lead up to our Eco-confluence and annual general assembly we decided to take a look back at the past 30 years of collaboration for the environment. We came up with a little something we decided to call the Noteworthy 30 – A total of 30 vignettes revisiting key moments and people in the environmental movement and the network’s history.

New Brunswick’s environmental community is strong and full of people and organisations that deserve recognition for their hard work and, while we could not possibly recognize all of them in just 30 posts, we hope you will enjoy this look back at the past.

Thank you to all the individuals and organisations that make our community what it is! Here’s to 30 more years!

Click here to view the Noteworthy 30.

You can view the recordings of the NBEN's Eco-confluence here.


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The Aster Foundation is seeking proposals from registered charities* (or other qualified donees) for projects addressing the theme: Nature + Climate Change.

Do you have a project idea that relates to this theme? Is there a creative or innovative community project you’ve been wanting to do? This might be the moment!

Funding available: $2000
We will support 1 project in the amount of $2000 OR 2 different projects in the amount of $1000 each.

The Aster Foundations strives to donate money back to the region from which it was raised. For this reason, preference will be given to organizations and projects based in New Brunswick.

How to apply:

Your application should be no more than 2 pages and should include:
  • your complete contact information (including website if you have one, or facebook page),
  • your charitable or other qualified donee registration number
  • the amount requested ($1000 or $2000),
  • a brief explanation of your project and how it relates to the theme of Nature + Climate Change, and
  • what you hope to achieve with your project / the impact you hope it will have.

Applications must be sent to before 5:00 pm Atlantic Time on Friday, November 5, 2021.

We thank all applicants for their interest; only successful applicants will be contacted.

*The Aster Foundation intends to partner with NGOs (that is, non-registered charities) for environmental work in the future. However, for this initial round of funding, only registered charities, or other qualified donees, are eligible to apply.
The New Brunswick Environmental Network has moved! We are now located at La Station at:

232 Botsford Street
2nd floor
E1C 4X7

We are looking forward to continuing to work with you from our new digs!

The NBEN Team

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The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is accepting nominations for the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. This award recognizes an individual or organization’s significant contributions to the protection of natural heritage through land conservation in New Brunswick. Submit your nomination before August 31st here:
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This week, the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship held hearings to discuss pesticide and herbicide use in New Brunswick. NBEN member groups Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Stop Spraying in NB, and Écovie were among the long list of presenters, along with NBEN collaborator and Université de Moncton researcher Dr. Céline Surette.

About 13,000 hectares of Crown forest are sprayed each year in New Brunswick. Spraying is typically done by helicopter for about 40 days from August to September to kill hardwoods and other plants which compete with seedlings. Spraying covers roughly 25 per cent of the softwood land cut each year.

  • Click HERE to hear what Lois Corbett had to say and to use the Conservation Council of N.B.'s letter writing tool.
  • Click HERE to watch the powerful testimonial by Francine Levesque from Écovie.
  • Click HERE to visit Stop Spraying in N.B.'s Facebook page and HERE to see Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy's presentation.
  • Click HERE to check out Dr. Surette's powerpoint presentation.
  • Click HERE to read about the New Brunswick National Farmers Union's piece.
  • Click HERE to read about the presentation from the only Indigenous witness, Steve Ginnish, director of forestry for Eel Ground-based Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc.

CCNB has a media roundup which you can access HERE.

On behalf of three members of its Spraying Caucus, a letter was submitted to the Standing Committee on Friday, June 25th. To view this letter, click HERE.

If you have any questions, please contact

Nominations are now open for the 6th annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award in recognition of in-depth and thoughtful coverage of environmental issues in New Brunswick.
If you have written on an environmental topic, or have been inspired by someone who has, please consider nominating the work for this award. Works published between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021 are eligible.
Submit entries by July 31, 2021 to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Southeast Chapter Environmental Journalism Award Committee at
The $500 award will be presented in the fall.
Full details are here:

The federal government, through its Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), is currently in the midst of the public engagement stage of its plan to develop Canada's Blue Economy Strategy. The Strategy is slated to be presented in late fall 2021.

NBEN member groups are invited to participate and contribute written submissions by June 15th. Submissions may be sent via email to or by standard mail to:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Blue Economy Strategy Secretariat
200, Kent Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0E6

Click here for more information on the development of Canada's blue economy strategy.

Meanwhile, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and its allies, including the New Brunswick Environmental Network, are issuing a special call for participation to residents of communities on both sides of the Baie des Chaleurs, recognizing the need for greater communication and collaboration in protecting the health of this border defining and ecologically important body of water. Click here for more information on the call to action (French only).

A virtual event on the sustainable blue economy for the Baie des Chaleurs will be organized in mid-October.

If you live or work along the Baie des Chaleurs or know someone who does, consider sharing this message. Individually and collectively, let's have our voices heard as part of this public consultation and ensure the health of the Baie des Chaleurs and the many other beautiful bodies of water in this province!
In reaction to the ongoing consultations on local governance reform, members and collaborators of the New Brunswick Environmental Network formed an ad hoc committee back in March 2021 to discuss the links between local governance and environmental protection. Additionally, an open meeting of NBEN members was held on May 17th. Twenty people registered and eleven attended. Of those not in attendance, several sent along their comments by email.

The NBEN submitted its brief "Beyond Taxes and Services: Local Governance, Strong Rural Voices, Sustainable Land Use Planning, Environmental Protection, and Climate Adaptation and Mitigation" on May 31st. This brief contains 6 key environmental points of concern:
  1. Sustainable land use planning, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation and mitigation must be properly considered in the current process of local governance reform in New Brunswick.
  2. Statements of provincial interest are key in setting minimum standards for sustainable land use planning (including protection of farmland), watershed management and flood prevention, climate adaptation and mitigation, right to a healthy environment, and protection of ecologically important and sensitive natural areas, so that everyone is operating from the same playbook, regardless of the local governance structure in place where they live.
  3. Watersheds, airsheds, foodsheds, wildlife corridors, and other various ecosystems straddle human-defined municipal boundaries, hence the need for collaborative governance structures. Upstream activities impact downstream communities.
  4. Strong rural voices as key to environmental protection.
  5. Natural ecosystems in New Brunswick (forests, wetlands, dunes, salt marshes, etc) provide essential goods and services to our communities, both big and small.
  6. Municipalities need greater access to various forms of authority, powers and fiscal levers currently outside their purview to encourage sustainability solutions at the local level.

The ideas presented outline general consensus points, though each idea is not necessarily endorsed by each participating organization or member of the NBEN.

Prepared by the New Brunswick Environmental Network and its ad hoc committee on local governance and the environment:

Adam Cheeseman, Nature NB
Annika Chiasson, New Brunswick Environmental Network
Céline Surette, Université de Moncton
Lois Corbett, Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Serge Larochelle, Groupe de développement durable du Pays de Cocagne
Tim Leblanc Murphy, New Brunswick Environmental Network

If you have any questions, please contact :
Tim LeBlanc Murphy
Executive Director of the NBEN
For Immediate Release
June 9, 2021

Media Contact:
Neville Crabbe - ASF Communications
(506) 529-1033

Greenland defies scientific consensus as U.S., Canada, and European countries push for reduced salmon catch

ST. ANDREWS - Delegates to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), who met virtually last week, have adopted a one-year, interim regulatory measure for the Atlantic salmon fishery off west Greenland.

Greenland representatives at NASCO unilaterally put forward a 27-tonne (8100 salmon) total allowable catch proposal with no payback provision for recent overharvests. This follows the expiry of a three-year regulatory measure that included a 30-t total allowable harvest and contravenes scientific advice provided to NASCO, which states there should be no mixed stock harvest off Greenland.

NASCO is an international forum in which member countries discuss issues related to Atlantic salmon and set regulatory measures, although decisions are not binding. Despite criticism from U.S., Canadian, and European members, the Greenland delegation persisted, and its proposal for the 2021 Greenland fishery was accepted.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) are non-government observers at NASCO and followed the Greenland harvest negotiations closely.

“The Greenland Atlantic salmon fishery is small and well managed compared to the past, however it is still having an outsized negative effect on populations in home-water countries around the North Atlantic,” said Bill Taylor, president of ASF. “Like the U.S. and Canadian representatives to NASCO, who spoke strongly against this interim regulatory measure, ASF is disappointed and concerned.”

Because Atlantic salmon from more than 2,000 rivers in North America and Europe migrate to ocean feeding grounds off Greenland, participants in the fishery there capture individuals from relatively healthy populations alongside critically endangered ones. In addition, only fish that spend multiple winters at sea travel to Greenland. These large fish are predominantly female and carry significantly more eggs than smaller adults.

“The large salmon that are critical spawners are far less abundant than they used to be in Europe and U.K., and therefore it is important to protect them. Despite major improvements in the Greenland Atlantic salmon fishery in the last few years, we are worried that the new interim regulatory measure will not do enough to protect these fragile stocks,” said Elvar Fridriksson of NASF, based in Iceland.

In 2019, before Covid-19 suspended an international sampling program for landed Atlantic salmon in Greenland, genetic analysis revealed that approximately 75% of individuals sampled in a given year were of North American origin, where many populations are the focus of intense, ongoing recovery efforts led by federal, state, provincial, indigenous and non-government organizations.

ASF and NASF recognize the right of Greenlanders to fish salmon in their territorial waters. However, current harvest levels must be balanced with the responsibility we all have to protect nature and the environment. ASF and NASF were aligned with the U.S. and Canadian NASCO delegations calling for a 20-t total allowable harvest, in line with our current Greenland Salmon Conservation Agreement.

Signed in 2018, the three-party Greenland Salmon Conservation Agreement between ASF, NASF, and KNAPK (the Greenland fisheries union) is outside of the NASCO process and creates incentives for fishers to reduce their harvest of Atlantic salmon to subsistence levels. The 12-year agreement has established a 20-t (6000 salmon) annual target.

“We will continue to work with our partners to execute the agreement. ASF urges the member countries of NASCO to keep working with the Greenland government for a lower total allowable harvest, which includes reductions to account for recent overharvests, and to do more to conserve wild salmon in their home countries,” said ASF’s Bill Taylor.

The one-year interim management measure for the Greenland Atlantic salmon fishery adopted at NASCO will expire prior to the 2022 fishing season. It’s likely that negotiations will take place at next year’s NASCO annual meeting in an attempt to reach a multi-year agreement.

Backgrounder on Greenland Agreement, Media Use Image, ASF's 2021 State of the Atlantic Salmon Population Report all available, along with the press release at:
Dr. David Boyd, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, will speak at an online event to launch the citizen-led campaign for an Environmental Bill of Rights in New Brunswick.

The event takes place June 2, 2021 at 3 p.m. AST. Register here:

Based in Vancouver, Dr. Boyd is one of the world’s leading experts in environmental law and policy, recognized by the UN for his work on laws and policies that build an ecologically sustainable and just future for Canadians and people across the planet.

Dr. Boyd will be the New Brunswick Environmental Rights Caucus’ keynote speaker as the group launches a campaign to better protect the health of children and our environment.

A small group of dedicated citizens have studied children’s environmental rights since 2009 and are now releasing their draft Environmental Bill of Rights to the public and members of New Brunswick’s Legislative Assembly for review.

The draft bill focuses on the right of children to a healthy, sustainable environment. They urge legislators to make the document a law to enshrine these rights for children and all New Brunswickers into the future.

Children are much more vulnerable than adults to environmental harm and New Brunswick has obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure certain rights and freedoms, including a healthy environment.

Children’s exposures to contaminants from the air, water, soil, food, and consumer products are proportionally far greater than adults:
  • Children have additional exposure pathways of the placenta and breast milk;
  • Proportionally by body weight, children drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air compared to adults;
  • Children’s physiology is less developed to metabolize and excrete contaminants; and,
  • Children tend to be more active, explore their environment orally, and play lower to the ground where contaminants settle.
Join the event, hear from Dr. David Boyd, and see how you can help as we work together to ensure children and all New Brunswickers have their right to a healthy and sustainable environment enshrined in law.


For more information, contact:
Bonnie Hamilton Bogart:
Sam Arnold:
Denise Melanson:

Traditional Land of Wabanaki People/FrederictonNew Brunswick’s leading conservation groups are calling for new laws and regulations to protect wetlands in the wake of the tragic draining of the wetland at Ferris Street Forest and Wetland Nature Preserve in Fredericton.

In a letter sent to Ministers Mike Holland, Jill Green and Gary Crossman, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-NB Chapter, and Nature NB say the current regulatory regime fails to protect wetlands.

On Thursday, May 27, the groups launched a campaign inviting New Brunswickers to sign on to their letter for stronger wetland protections. 

New Brunswick’s outdated approach was developed by policy-makers who lacked the evidence of how important wetlands are for protecting nature and our communities. It leaves wetlands at risk from business as usual practices—such as poorly planned subdivisions and industry activity, especially by forestry companies in the Crown forest—and the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss in New Brunswick.

The groups say it is time for a wetland protection law—not a wetland alteration permit system. 

The letter outlines several recommendations to modernize wetland protection in the province, including:

  • DTI review all of its current WAWA permits with respect to impact on all wetlands larger than two hectares and release the results of that review;
  • All PSWs (Provincially Significant Wetlands) on Crown Land be designated as part of the areas protected under the 2020 Nature Legacy program and commit now to develop a plan to protect 25 per cent of N.B.’s nature over the next five years;
  • The Clean Water Act be reviewed, specifically for modernizing coastal areas protection by updating the 2002 provincial Coastal Areas Protection Policy and providing it weight, in law, a regulation promised in the 2018 NB Water Strategy; 
  • The 2014 Crown Forest Agreements be revised as soon as possible this year to adequately protect wetlands, streams and rivers on public land by increasing buffer zones and identifying no cut/no road construction in wetland areas and all sensitive areas, including the habitat for N.B. endangered species such as Atlantic salmon, the Canada warbler, wood turtles and others;

Read the full letter and recommendations here.

Who we are:

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a charitable land conservation organization established in 1987 dedicated to preserving the province’s ecologically significant landscapes. To date, the Nature Trust has conserved over 9,000 acres in 67 beautiful and diverse nature preserves in New Brunswick. Our mission is to conserve areas in New Brunswick that are ecologically significant, to establish nature preserves that remain protected forever, to steward the preserves through a network of volunteers and supporters, and to engage with the public on the importance of land conservation, New Brunswick’s natural heritage, biodiversity, and species at risk. Visit website.

Conservation Council of New Brunswick established in 1969 and remains the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us. Visit website

Nature NB is a provincial conservation organization comprised of a dozen naturalist clubs from across the province and hundreds of members. Our mission is to celebrate, conserve and protect New Brunswick’s natural heritage through education, networking and collaboration. Visit website.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – NB Chapter is part of the nation-wide charity CPAWS, with a mission to work with governments, Indigenous peoples and communities to protect more of Canada’s publicly managed lands and water – for the benefit of both wildlife and people. We work cooperatively with all parts of society to find solutions to nature conservation challenges and to connect people to the nature that supports us all. CPAWS-NB has led public campaigns that have resulted in over 150,000 hectares of new protected areas in New Brunswick. Visit website.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Renata Woodward, CEO, Nature Trust of New Brunswick:; 506-261-1260

Lois Corbett, Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick:; 506-238-5292

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director, Canadian Parks and WIlderness Society – NB Chapter:; 506-452-9902

Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director, Nature NB:; 506-459-4209

Green Leaf
Calling all experts! We want to hear from you!

If you're an organization in the fundy biosphere (business, NGO, etc) we want to hear from you! The Fundy Bisphere Reserve is starting a podcast/speaker series touching on everything from ecology and climate action to hiking spots and hidden lookouts!

If you'd like to join our series send us an email at for more info!
In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transportation, the Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group has asked the provincial government three times since December 2019 to invest in decentralizing hospital laundry services using carbon tax revenues, but our requests have been ignored. Click here to read our full press release.


NBASGA Applauds Supreme Court Decision on Carbon Pricing, with Conditions

Fredericton, (March 25, 2021) – Today the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of the federal government to employ a carbon pricing mechanism across the entire nation. The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) intervened on the side of the federal government, and we applaud this 6 to 3 decision, which allows Canada to address the global climate emergency in a uniform manner.

The court reaffirmed for good that “Global climate change is real, and it is clear that human activities are the primary cause.” NBASGA Spokesperson, Jim Emberger, said that, “while noting that all levels of government have parts to play in solving a global climate crisis, the court recognized that many necessary actions can only be achieved through national and international actions.”

“We are disappointed that the court decided the case without addressing our argument that the government’s carbon pricing program was justified by its responsibility to guarantee life, liberty and the security of the person under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, we are gratified that they point out that Canada’s North and Indigenous people endure inordinate climate change suffering.”

Emberger added, ”This is a powerful tool, which we hope governments employ wisely. Yet, it is only one tool. If governments use other financial tools to subsidize and increase the supply of fossil fuels, it will negate the reductions in demand that it achieves through carbon pricing.”

The federal government used taxpayer money to buy the Transmountain Pipeline, increasing the expansion of the tarsands. It is now considering the financing of the Goldboro, Nova Scotia LNG export project with up to a billion dollars. This will build a network of hundreds of new gas wells, fracking, pipelines and an LNG export plant, and stretch from Alberta through Quebec to Atlantic Canada.

The increased methane and CO2 emissions resulting from these projects alone will prevent provinces and the nation from hitting their already inadequate greenhouse gas emission targets, directly offsetting decreased emissions from carbon pricing.

The contradictions between our economic policies and scientific fact are painfully obvious. Do governments really grasp the meaning of ‘existential threat,’ as the courts describe the climate crisis, and do governments recognize the scientific fact that producing any additional fossil fuels will undo any other climate progress?

Emberger said, “We hope that they do. It would be disappointing to celebrate with the government on this historic climate victory, only to have to oppose them in other courtrooms. Holding up one’s hand and swearing to take serious climate action, while crossing one’s fingers and funnelling money to fossil fuel interests behind one’s back, will bring us to ruin. The laws of physics don’t care about such political games and strategies. Like the Supreme Court, they don’t vote, but they do have the final say.”

The Youth Environmental Network held a conference titled "In the RED ZONE: Youth Action, Climate Crisis, and COVID19" on Saturday, March 6th.
  • To start off the conference Tracey Wade spoke on climate change in a global context, then Antoine Zboralski gave a presentation on climate change in New Brunswick.
  • San Lin and Becca Hamilton then presented on Climate Justice and this was followed by Catherine Gauthier's presentation on EnJeu, which has an active climate change case against the government.
  • The Crandall University Biology Society, EOS Eco-Energy, Hampton High School Climate Action Group, and La Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick participated in our rapid fire by giving 3-minute presentations on their climate-related initiatives.
  • In the breakout rooms Cory Herc from #RisingYouth held a workshop on building ideas, Natacha Vautour discussed the environmentally-friendly projects carried out by Brilliant Labs, Fossil Free Lakehead and Fossil Free UNB had a panel discussion on divestment, and Laura Myers and Chris Rendell presented on the multiple green projects they have worked on in Hampton (food forest, climate action group, and more!).

We encourage you to contact the Youth Environmental Network with any ideas for events, projects, or other initiatives related to climate change and the environment! We can be reached at or through our social media accounts.

Date: March 10, 2021

Edited versions of this Commentary by Jim Emberger were printed in the 10 March 2021 editions of The Daily Gleaner, The Times Transcript, and in the Telegraph Journal.

In mid-March New Brunswick shale gas leases held by US corporation, ‘SWN’, will expire, and there is no word if SWN will seek a renewal or extension.

Ten years ago SWN showed up in our communities; igniting a nearly 5 year, hard-fought, citizen opposition campaign that defeated the Alward government, and brought a moratorium on hydrofracking.

Anniversaries are times to reflect on what might have been.  By fortunate coincidence, the Ohio River Valley Institute just released an economic retrospective of 2008 – 2018 for the 22 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia that make up the Marcellus and Utica shale gas formations.

Gas proponents frequently cited these premier shale gas areas as a model for New Brunswick, and the Marcellus is home to SWN.

The Natural Gas Fracking Boom and Appalachia’s Lost Economic Decade,” summarizes the decade as one that saw these counties pumping an enormous amount of gas, greatly boosting GDP, while simultaneously lagging economically behind both their states and the nation.

While jobs grew by 9.9% nationally, and by 3.9% in other counties in their states, the shale gas counties grew jobs by only 1.6%. Personal income growth was similar; the shale counties were well behind the national average, and slightly behind their states. Most tellingly, the shale gas counties actually saw a loss of population, while their states and the nation grew.

In one county, where shale accounted for 60 percent of the economy, GDP grew five times faster than the nation’s, but jobs declined by 7%, and population by 2%.  Only about 12% of the gas income went to wages and employment. The lion’s share went to shareholders, plus equipment and workers brought from other places.

The report concludes, “It is a case of economic growth without prosperity, the defining characteristic of the ‘resource curse’.”

Report author Sean O’Leary noted, “What’s really disturbing is that these disappointing results came about at a time when the region’s natural gas industry was operating at full capacity. So it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the results would be better.”

The reasons are clear: boom-and-bust extractive industries create extreme economic volatility, which makes it difficult to start or expand other businesses.

Drilling is capital intensive, but it doesn’t employ a lot of people.

Air, water, and noise pollution, and their impacts on health and environment, drive people away.

The Executive Director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, (serving the region) noted, “More than two dozen peer-reviewed epidemiological studies show a correlation between living near shale gas development and a host of health issues, such as worsening asthmas, heart failure hospitalizations, premature births, and babies born with low birth weights and birth defects.”

Environment/climate writer, Ben Parfitt, recently provided a Canadian retrospective about BC’s once-hyped Fort Nelson shale play (also hailed as a model by the Alward government).

As Parfitt describes it, “where once there were traffic jams in the middle of nowhere with idled 18-wheelers, lined bumper-to-bumper for as far as the eye could see, today you can drive the 320 kilometre round-trip to the Cabin gas plant from Fort Nelson and not see a soul.”

What you can see, however, are many of BC’s 770 orphaned gas wells. Five years ago, there were just 45. The clean-up costs will cost taxpayers billions.

Citizens, citing non-industry expert witnesses, predicted these types of economic outcomes in testimony before the 2014 NB Commission on Hydrofracturing. They also accurately predicted that fracking would cause earthquakes, that the hundreds of toxic fracking chemicals would cause pollution and health problems, and that no safe method of disposal for toxic wastewater would be found.

Prior to the Commission the government listened solely to industry PR and pie-in-the-sky sales pitches. Though some were obviously unbelievable, (ex. 100,000 wells had been drilled with never a problem) they promised politicians a magic economic silver bullet with lots of jobs – on paper.

Unfortunately, our current politicians may not have learned a lesson from shale gas. Based solely on a new industry’s claims, the government is investing millions of taxpayer dollars in small modular nuclear reactors, ignoring citizens’ informed concerns.

Though this technology exists only on paper, the industry promises lots of jobs – 10 or 15 years from now. The industry promises that it can handle new forms of radioactive waste – in theory. It claims it will be the next big energy source – yet it depends on taxpayer financing, with little private investment.

Since citizen research-based opposition was spot on with shale gas, why does the government continue to only pay attention to shiny sales brochures from corporations looking for handouts?

Jim Emberger is spokesman for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance
At the NBEN Eco-Confluence and AGA on November 14th, the Honorable Gary Crossman joined members for a question and answer session. After the event, we sent him your unanswered questions. Below are his written responses:


Q: Federal transit aid was rejected by the NB provincial government. NS, MB and SK as an example got a combined 57.1 million from the safe restart program. Why did Premier Higgs take advice only from Ontario Premier Ford and what will you do to rectify this? As you know cities like Saint John have had to cut their funding by many thousands of dollars.

A: The Government of New Brunswick recognizes the importance of public transit and we are working with our municipalities to advance their needs in a number of areas, and that includes public transit.

The Safe Restart Agreement includes funding specifically earmarked for local governments which must be cost-shared by the province. The Provincial allocation is $41 million for municipalities in New Brunswick, which can be used to address challenges they are facing with COVID-19, including costs related to public transit. We have also had discussions on other forms of public transit and to advance such ideas, we require flexibility from the federal government on infrastructure funding.

We are confident that municipalities will consider the needs of their transit systems as they decide how to use the funding that will be available to them from the Safe Restart Agreement.

Q: So much research shows that the proposed nuclear reactors (SMRs) will take more than 10 years to build. That is too long to wait to reduce GHG emissions. Why is the government so keen on SMRs, despite the evidence showing it’s an unwise investment?

A: Government remains committed in continuing to achieve real and meaningful GHG emissions while mitigating pressures on electricity rates.

In 2019, provincial emissions from electricity generation were 54% below 2005 levels. This is in large part due to continued investments in energy efficiency and clean energy sources including wind, biomass, landfill gas, hydro and nuclear.  In 2019/20, these clean sources supplied 80% of the electricity sold in New Brunswick. Developers are continuing to progress four community renewable energy projects totalling 78 MW. Some have been commissioned in 2020. Progress also continues on the actions identified in the NB Climate Change Action Plan.

New Brunswick wants to be a leader in the development of Advanced Small Modular Reactor technologies to provide options for future decarbonization efforts, reduce inventories of radioactive waste, support the development of variable renewable energy sources, and avoid the need for constructing Natural Gas generation, while fostering economic development opportunities proposed with the export of these technologies.

Q: What are the priorities to move forward the 2018-28 NB water strategy?

Q: Can you tell me what progress you expect to make on implementing NB Water Strategy over the next 12 months?

A: Water Strategy for New Brunswick 2018-2028” was released December 22, 2017. It contains 29 actions, organized according to five goals. The actions collectively define the water-related priorities over 10 years (2018 to 2028). The strategy is the result of two years of public, stakeholder and First Nation consultation.

Government is committed to ensuring the protection and management of New Brunswick’s water, now and in the future.

Progress has been made on a number of the 29 actions items such as:

  • Establishment of a recreational water monitoring program for provincial parks
  • Report on the current state of water quality in lakes and rivers, and
  • Improvements to wetlands management with the release of a new wetland reference map in January 2020.

Many actions included in the Water Strategy are of an ongoing nature, for example #24 & #25 involve working collaboratively with First Nations and Watershed Groups to share information on a regular basis. This will continue as me move into the new year under COVID protocols. Work will continue on the Shediac Watershed Management Plan. This project will help inform potential next steps in looking at a provincial watershed management approach. The department is looking to develop an approach to increase public education and awareness on drinking water protection.

A progress report will be released in the Spring of 2021.

Q: Would it be possible to have a provincial strategy to support coastal landowners with information and financial resources to deal with coastal erosion and flooding? People are still left to fend for themselves and here some homes are now at risk of being washed away during storms. Coastal stabilization using nature-based green infrastructure could be used as a way to combat climate change and protect coastal biodiversity. Too often, the only means people use is riprap and this poses a serious threat to biodiversity while providing only limited protection. A provincial and progressive strategy is needed.

A: The Department of Environment and Local Government encourages using nature-based infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change and flooding through all bank stabilization proposals that are reviewed. The Environmental Trust Fund may also be an option for non-for-profit organizations to support landowners and educate with information/tools to deal with coastal erosion with bio-technical stabilization techniques.

Q: Are there financial incentives to help citizens switch to green energy? Currently, these technologies are quite expensive and difficult to make profitable, which can discourage many people.

A: The province’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are delivered by NB Power and can be accessed at the following link:

Q: Are there any upcoming plans to address the inadequacies in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as it is fairly out of date in comparison to the Federal Impact Assessment (IA). The current list of projects that must register for an EIA under Schedule A is lacking- we currently have 2 quarries that sit side by side on the Hammond River, both share a quarry face, share a transport route, and both are equal distance to homes, wetlands, and watercourses. One quarry required an EIA, the other did not, based on how the aggregate would be used OFF-SITE. Standardization of Conditions of Approval would also be an asset. Can you please elaborate on upcoming plans to improve environmental impact regulations?

A: Since coming into force in 1987, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulation, NB Clean Environment Act has proven to be an effective regulatory tool to ensure that projects subject to EIA are implemented in a sustainable manner. 

As you indicate, projects requiring EIA review are those identified in Schedule A of the Regulation.  For projects that do not require an EIA (i.e. those not identified in Schedule A), the Department is also responsible for a variety of other regulatory programs (e.g., Watercourse and Wetland Alterations (WAWA); Authorizations and Compliance, etc.) that offer the ability to regulate project activities in the context of potential environmental impacts such as impacts to wetlands, watercourses, and air and water quality from project emissions, etc. 

The EIA Branch currently has a variety of standard conditions that are considered for all projects undergoing EIA review which are reviewed to ensure they remain relevant and effective over time and are updated as necessary.  Further, for all projects subject to EIA review, project-specific conditions are developed and considered during the review to address potentially significant project impacts, should the project receive approval to proceed.  You are correct that sometimes it may appear as inconsistent application of the EIA Regulation when two projects of the same sector (e.g. two quarries) require different regulatory approvals, however let me assure you that the regulatory approval process is determined based on the specific project details and location.    

While we always look to continuously improve the EIA process, there are currently no plans to update the EIA Regulation.

Q: In your response to a previous question, you mention the new wetland mapping which increases the number of areas identified as wetland. However wetlands continue to be filled in because the present legislation let’s you damage regulated wetland if it’s smaller than one hectare or you replace it with a 2 to 1 ratio which is part of the present legislation. I approve the new mapping, but the legislation needs to change in order to protect the sensitive wetland. Will your department take the lead and put in place a more stringent legislation to protect wetlands?

A: Wetlands that are sensitive are identified as Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs) through the New Brunswick Wetland Conservation Policy (2002). The Policy aims at preventing the loss of PSW’s and the net loss of wetland functions for all other wetlands. Impacts to these non-PSW wetlands are only considered as a last resort when all other options of avoidance and minimization were considered.

Climate change is already disrupting and destroying the ecosystems upon which we all rely for food, housing, and clothing. Climate change is a threat not only to our health, but to humanity’s very existence on this planet.

All around the world, communities are calling on their governments to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis better, stronger, and more resilient. This pandemic has laid bare the fragility and vulnerabilities of our economy and our society. We have experienced the human health risks of living on a planet in which the natural systems are out of balance. We have experienced that the actions of individuals can have a dramatic effect on the health of a population.

While COVID-19 has been a significant public health crisis worldwide, the prestigious medical publication, the Lancet indicates that climate change is the biggest threat to public health of the 21st century. The health of hundreds of millions of people around the world are already impacted by climate change. It’s already disrupting and destroying the ecosystems upon which we all rely for food, housing, and clothing. Climate change is a threat not only to our health, but to humanity’s very existence on this planet.

“Climate Change is the biggest threat to public health of the 21st Century”

While climate change risk may, at first glance, appear to represent a risk that is either far off in the future, or that will occur only in faraway countries, let’s not forget how remote the risk of COVID-19 to Canadians appeared just last year, and how much its presence has altered our daily lives. Already, the effects of climate change are being felt in Canada. They are putting our health and safety at risk: we are witnessing flooding, sea-level rise, more frequent and intense storms, longer heatwaves, forest fires, and more disease-carrying insects.

Response to the pandemic around the world offers insight into the role of government leadership, acceptance of science-based policy, and individuals’ responses to a shared crisis. This experience has led to three key lessons that can be applied to addressing the climate crisis.

Lesson 1: People can change their behaviour in the interest of protecting themselves and others

In early 2020, we experienced a remarkable shift in the actions of the global population. Our priorities shifted away from short-term bottom lines to more long-term thinking. As a society, we are looking out for one another. We are keeping our physical distance from one another and wearing masks, not just to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.

We have proven that people worldwide can work together to support a cause that is greater than ourselves. We can make small sacrifices in the face of crisis to support a healthier future. Travelling less, working remotely, and supporting local businesses are becoming our new normal and can result in significant greenhouse gas reduction.

Lesson 2: Prevention and timely mitigation are crucial to crisis management

Government response to the pandemic varies from region to region, across the world and within countries. But one common thread emerges: when faced with a significant health threat, full scientific understanding of all aspects of the COVID-19 virus did not prevent governments from acting in a precautionary manner, providing recommendations and implementing restrictions to protect public health.

Although the effects of climate change, and actions taken to mitigate it occur on longer timescales than pandemics, it has long been touted that early action to combat the climate crisis is critical. Delaying action by a decade significantly increases the cost of response. The longer we take to implement concrete policies, the closer we come to being overwhelmed with devastating, irreversible changes to our environment and jeopardizing our health and well-being.

Lesson 3: Addressing a global crisis requires long-term commitments

We have been fighting COVID-19 for over a year now, and early evidence suggests the virus may be with us for the long haul. The restrictions in place to protect public health may be causing fatigue, but we must endure. Individuals and governments must keep our collective well-being at the forefront of our decisions and actions.

As we shift to a low-carbon economy and move forward on meeting our Paris Climate Agreement targets, we must persevere and embrace a new normal. And not revert to “business as usual.” This will take time and commitment, but we will be healthier in the long term.

Changing for a better tomorrow

Despite pandemic fatigue, we are all trying our best to hang in there and follow public health directives until widespread vaccination becomes available. But there is no vaccine for climate change. Let our experience with the COVID crisis serve as a practice run for the important decisions and changes needed on a global scale to overcome the climate crisis.

“There is no vaccine for climate change”

We need to flatten the curve of climate-change risk, to change our behaviours to align with the best available science to ensure that our actions do not result in overwhelming global temperature rise. We need to make the drastic changes required to meet our targets under the Paris Agreement. And we need those changes to start now, in every aspect of our economy as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

Melanie Langille is an environmental scientist and vice president of the Foundation for Resilient Health, a project of the New Brunswick Lung Association.
THE GREEN LEAFWinter2021 page 001

This brief investigates the actual state of employment in Canada’s fossil fuel industry. It explains why the clean economy transition is manageable for workers in fossil fuel industries and should start now. And it provides ten principles that we should be following to make this transition fair and effective.

This brief summarizes the findings of Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels, a report authored by economist Jim Stanford at the Centre for Future Work.

Click here for more information and to view this report.

Canada can have a fair transition for workers and communities

We need to act on climate change, and we also need to be fair to workers and communities in fossil fuel industries. By starting a planned 20-year phase-out of fossil fuels now, we can ensure that workers and communities are given a steady path to a fossil free economy. Over this timeline, we’d need to find 4,000 new jobs for fossil fuel workers a year – that’s an amount that the Canadian economy currently creates every 5 days!

Canada’s economy has been strong even while fossil fuel jobs declined

In the 5 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, fossil fuel industries were already losing jobs, yet the rest of Canada’s economy had low unemployment. In fact, between 2014 and 2019, for every job that disappeared from fossil fuel industries, 42 were created in other fields.

Only 18 communities are significantly dependent on fossil fuel jobs

Providing communities with targeted transition support is very manageable. Of the 152 communities across Canada, only 18 are even somewhat dependent on fossil fuel jobs (more than 5% of employment), and only 2 rely on it for more than 20% of their jobs. Through tailored programs, we can support these communities to diversify their economies.

56% of fossil fuel workers are in cities

Despite the widespread belief that fossil fuel jobs are located in rural and remote areas of Canada, the majority of people working in the fossil fuel industry are actually in cities of 100,000 people or more.

Fossil fuel jobs have been on the decline for years

Many trends are threatening fossil fuel jobs that have nothing to do with climate policies. These include industry-led automation, decreasing job security, falling wages (partly from deunionization), increasing health and safety risks, and long commutes. Now is the time to support these workers with a compassionate transition plan.

The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) has opened a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The deadline for submitting a project under the January 2021 RFP is 4:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time (AST), on February 24th, 2021. Visit the EDF website for detailed information on eligibility, fund use requirements, and how to apply for funding.

In the Atlantic provinces, funding is available for projects related to the conservation and protection or fish habitat in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Project activities must focus on Marine Conservation Areas or Marine Refuges.

Log into the online application platform Grants & Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) to apply, and access the EDF Applicant Guide (attached to this email).

Inquiries related to the January 2021 RFP may be forwarded to the EDF office in your region: .

We look forward to hearing from you!

Heather Gordon
Manager, Funding Programs
Atlantic and Quebec Region
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives (AEI) is currently accepting applications for 2021-2022 funding. The deadline for submitting a project is 4:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time (AST), February 25th 2021.

Priorities for 2021-2022:

Geographic Focus

For 2021-2022, the priority ecosystems of focus are the Wolastoq / Saint John River Watershed and the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Watershed. Projects must take place in one of these two areas.

Issue of Focus: Water Quality
Funding is available for new projects that help to conserve, protect, and restore water quality from headwaters to estuaries within one of the priority ecosystems in Atlantic Canada. Priority will be given to projects that improve the assessment, monitoring, modelling and mitigation of stressors and their cumulative effects on water quality. Projects are required to focus on these specific stressors: nutrients, bacteria, and/or plastics.

Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants include all Atlantic Canada-based Indigenous governments and organizations, non-governmental organizations, coalitions and networks of organizations, research and academic institutions. Applicants will apply online using the (GCEMS), a single window electronic platform to all ECCC application based funding programs. If you have any questions about the AEI contact us by email at

Heather Gordon
Manager, Funding Programs
Atlantic and Québec Region
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) EcoAction Community Funding Program is now accepting applications for funding until March 3, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. PST / 3:00 p.m. EST for projects beginning summer 2021.

Funding is available for new projects that engage Canadians and clearly demonstrate measurable, positive results related to the key Environmental Priority: Fresh Water.

Your project must link to one of the related Priority Results:
  • 1. Canadians contribute to the improvement of water quality through the diversion and reduction of harmful substances in Freshwater; OR
  • 2. Canadians contribute to the improvement of Freshwater management and increase climate resilience through action involving the development and/or restoration of natural infrastructure.

Preference will be given to proposals that engage Indigenous Peoples, youth or small businesses. All proposals must fully meet program requirements.

For more information on this funding opportunity, please visit the EcoAction Community Funding Program or contact your Regional Office. Program Officers are available to discuss your project ideas and to provide advice on completing your application. The 2021-22 Applicant’s Guide is attached.

For questions regarding projects in the Atlantic & Quebec Region:

For GCEMS technical assistance, please contact:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Heather Gordon
Manager, Funding Programs, Atlantic & Quebec Region
Environment and Climate Change Canada
We are pleased to provide you with details on the 2021-22 Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) Call for Proposals.

The application period for projects commencing in 2021-22 is now open and will close March 2, 2021 at noon (Pacific Standard Time).

We strongly encourage you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to receive feedback and to ensure that your proposal aligns with Program priorities and expected results for 2021-22. Please use the Expression of Interest template attached to this email and submit your EOI to no later than February 2, 2021. Early submissions are encouraged.

Please note that for this call for proposals, projects can only be up to two years. ECCC will aim to have HSP funding decisions available by summer 2021.

HSP applications must be submitted online via the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS). Please see the GCEMS website to register an account and for further instructions to view and submit an HSP application. The previous online application system will no longer be used to accept new applications, however it will remain available for reporting purposes for previously approved projects. We recommend that you begin the registration and application process early in GCEMS after having received feedback on your EOI to ensure you are able to submit your application before the March 2, 2021 deadline.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is responsible for administering the aquatic HSP program. Applicants wishing to pursue new aquatic HSP projects should contact the appropriate DFO regional coordinator directly.

Now in its 22nd year, the HSP provides funding to help Canadians contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act and to prevent others from becoming a conservation concern.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the recovery of species at risk and in preventing other species from becoming a conservation concern.

Isabelle Robichaud, HSP coordinator

Isabelle Robichaud
(she, her; elle)
Funding Program Coordinator – Atlantic Region, Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada / Government of Canada / Tel: 506-364-5198

Coordonnatrice de programmes de financement – Région Atlantique, Service canadien de la faune
Environnement et Changement climatique Canada / Gouvernement du Canada / Tél. : 506-364-5198
Sadly, the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station lost its great whale champion yesterday (January 3, 2021). Laurie Murison passed away from complications of the cancer that she had been bravely battling for several years. She will be greatly missed by those on Grand Manan, in the Bay of Fundy, and by the conservation community as a whole.

Laurie worked tirelessly for marine conservation and maritime history in the Bay of Fundy for over three decades. She will be remembered for her strength, her determination, and for her love of whales, especially the North Atlantic Right Whale. Laurie constantly had her hands in many pots, leaving most of us wondering how she managed to accomplish everything – but she did. From the Research Station to the Swallowtail Keepers Society, and the Grand Manan Museum, Laurie was always working to educate those around her, to support wildlife conservation, and to preserve history. Less well-known among Laurie’s talents were also an ability to cut a cedar shingle into any shape, her skills at rebuilding anything out of old and recycled materials, and making the best lobster rolls ever.

Laurie’s lifelong work was to be paid tribute by an honourary doctorate from UNB this winter. It is certainly a fitting honour for someone who dedicated her life to the greater communities of the region – both people and wildlife.

We will miss you, Laurie, but your spirit will always be with us, especially on the water.

-Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station

Commentary by Jim Emberger, Telegraph Journal, Dec. 16, 2020

“Distant hypothetical targets are being set, and big speeches are being given. Yet, when it comes to the immediate action we need, we are still in a state of complete denial.”

These are the recent words of young climate activist, Greta Thunberg, concerning progress toward dealing with the climate emergency. Unfortunately, she could be talking about NB Power’s recent release of its 25-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). While claiming to pay attention to the climate crisis, the utility’s plans belie those claims.

First, NB Power plans to extend the life of the coal burning Belledune electricity generator, one of the province’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide, to 2041: more than 10 years past its federally mandated closure.

To put this plan in context, progress reports submitted in preparation for next year’s climate summit show the gap between our actual greenhouse gas emissions and our stated targets continues to grow.

Simultaneously, a number of new climate models show that we potentially could pass the 1.5 C “minimally safe” increase in global temperature later this decade, and pass the more dangerous 2 C increase in the early 2030s. This prediction is bolstered by the announcement that, according to NASA, last month was the hottest November on record. What’s more, 2020 is likely to be the hottest year on record, a fitting conclusion to what will likely also be the hottest decade.

This should lead us to conclude that our future climate efforts must be even more rigorous. As the United Nations notes, the “world’s wealthy will need to reduce their carbon footprints,” which “will require swift and substantial lifestyle changes.”

By extending the Belledune plant, we will continue to pump large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere well after we’ve passed the likely point of no return on climate chaos. NB Power alleges that it can cut emissions elsewhere, but its claims are based on questionable assumptions, and it is hard to imagine where it can cut at the scale necessary.

For instance, emphasis is put on maintaining or increasing natural gas usage as a low carbon emission alternative, ignoring the now-accepted science that leaking methane emissions along the entire gas supply chain makes gas no better for the climate than coal.

The IRP also mentions that another low-carbon plan is to develop small modular nuclear reactors, a technology that currently exists only on paper. It faces hurdles of technology, safety, cost and procuring investment. But the salient point is that it will not likely be available until 2030, and later before it can be widely dispersed.

To sum up, as we face an already serious climate crisis that is due to significantly worsen in the next decade, NB Power’s plans are to continue to use a high-polluting, out-of-date technology for 20 years, and invest in a new technology that won’t become useful until after much climate damage has already occurred.

The IRP notes that proven, cheaper alternatives exist: namely renewable energy from sun and wind. Why aren’t they being pursued as the main pillars of our energy future?

The excuse that they are too intermittent becomes less viable with every passing day, as advances in energy storage are being made at a dizzying pace.

What’s more, our province has a unique opportunity to take part in the “Atlantic Loop,” a project that would bring stable and low or even no-carbon energy from hydro dams in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. In concert with renewables, our energy supply could be ample, stable and potentially exportable to New England.

Though questionable, NB Power’s plans are not as off-base as the advice offered in a recent op-ed (“Oil and gas are a missed opportunity for Atlantic Canada,” Dec. 7) penned by researchers with the Canadian Energy Centre, an Alberta government corporation which was created to promote the interests and reputation of the provincial oil and gas sector.

Its authors claim that now is the time for New Brunswick to start a natural gas and oil industry. This is strange advice coming from Alberta, a province where the oil and gas industry has plummeted – even before the pandemic – with huge losses of investment, industry bankruptcies, decimated tax and royalty payments, the loss of many thousands of jobs and a multi-billion dollar tab for oil and gas industry cleanup.

They assume that we will continue to use fossil fuels, despite the climate crisis. Therefore, they argue, it makes more economic sense to produce our own rather than buy from elsewhere. This argument that we ought to knowingly contribute to the looming climate crisis is bizarre, particularly given that so many scientists argue that any new fossil fuel project is an act of economic and environmental self-harm.

As people finally pay attention to scientists about COVID-19, one can only hope that this enlightened attitude will spill over to the much larger, and more dangerous, climate crisis.

The time for rhetoric about long-range goals and inadequate plans to achieve them is long past. As Greta Thunberg’s clear-headed logic indicates, we need reality-based action, and we need it now.

–Jim Emberger is the Spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter after petroleum? Did you know pollinators were declining due to a loss of habitat? Did you know that you can dye wool naturally?

Cocagne Country Colours is launching its first holiday sale and welcomes you to the offices of the GDDPC. We're offering wool and yarn kits naturally-dyed with plants by local people. This past year, we did lots of research and tests and this is the fruit of that labour. We sewed, planted, harvested and dyed with flowers, leaves, bark and roots, fruits, branches and mushrooms. The wool is dyed with plants such as onion skins, goldenrod, woad, madder, marigold, bedstraw, dyer's polypore, sumac and apple tree. Our logo and knitting patterns were also designed by local people, and you'll receive one of these patterns with the tuque and mitten kits.

Here are the products for sale:
  • Hodgepodge tuque knitting kit
  • Apple tuque knitting kit
  • Cocagne Country Colours mitten knitting kit
  • sock knitting kit
  • rug hooking bundle
  • sock or fingering weight yarn
  • chunky soft lopi yarn
  • pottery by Suzanne Babineau from La P'tite Poterie
  • herbal teas by Jocelyne Gauvin at Ferme Spirale
The shop is open weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm. If you have any questions, please communicate with Wiebke Tinney at or by phone at 576-8247.
The goal of Cocagne country colors is cultivating and harvesting natural dyes sustainably while rediscovering and sharing this heritage in the Cocagne watershed. For more information:

Contact information:
Wiebke Tinney
Executive Director
118 Cocagne Cross, Cocagne NB
(506) 576-8247


Unceded and unsurrendered Wolastoqey/Mi’kmaq/Peskotomuhkati territory/Fredericton
– NB Power’s new plan for the future of the province’s electricity system fails to deliver the affordable, reliable and renewable electricity system that New Brunswickers want and need in the face of increasingly severe climate change. The public utility’s 25-year integrated resource plan (IRP; a demand/supply plan), released Friday, Dec. 4, proposes to keep greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) at current levels of about 3 million tonnes a year until 2040. The plan is inadequate in the face of worsening climate change and federal legislation to reach near zero emissions in Canada in less than 30 years.

“At the moment the world celebrates the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Change Agreement; where New Brunswick celebrates the 4th anniversary of the release of its own climate plan, and where the federal government is expected to announce deeper cuts in GHGs by 2030, our publicly-owned utility and the province argue no further action required,” says Louise Comeau, Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Climate Change and Energy program.

NB Power’s plans are not what New Brunswickers asked for. In its own survey, 85 per cent of New Brunswickers told NB Power that ‘New Brunswick’s transition to a clean energy future needs to minimize impacts on rates and the economy.’ NB Power’s IRP fails to achieve this goal.

Today, new wind and solar projects are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth. Five times cheaper than coal, five times cheaper than nuclear energy, and three times cheaper than natural gas. These technologies have advanced significantly in the last 10 years and are more reliable than ever, especially when paired with new transmission networks and energy storage technologies.

In addition, new research from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) and the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) shows that electricity plans that favour cleaner electricity are cost competitive. In fact, of the 24 electricity plans reviewed, 80 per cent of the scenarios favouring efficiency and renewable energy were cheaper or within just a few per cent of the scenarios favouring conventional, polluting technologies.

“What we need is an electricity system designed to protect our pocketbooks, keep us safe from power outages due to extreme weather, and protects our health from air pollution and climate change,” says Comeau. “Instead we have a provincial electricity plan that ignores climate science and intends to burn polluting and financially risky fossil fuels for decades.”

We can do better. We need a realistic update now to New Brunswick’s electricity plan, not three years from now when the next update is scheduled. We need a new process based on broad stakeholder engagement to develop scenarios. All studies and scenarios should be available for public comment, as is commonplace across Canada.

A realistic electricity plan protects the public interest through a vision of a regionally-connected and non-polluting electricity system that prioritizes energy efficiency, wind, solar and existing hydro power. A realistic electricity plan prioritizes solar neighbourhoods like NB Power’s Northeast Moncton pilot and smart neighbourhoods like the pilot in Shediac that get no mention in the 2020 IRP.

We need investments in solutions right now, like transmission upgrades to support two-way trade among Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to ensure an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity system. Federal financial support is available to make these transmission investments a reality as part of its commitment to phasing out coal and creating a 90 per cent emissions-free electricity system by 2030.

Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) unbalances our climate, and harms human health. If Nova Scotia and New Brunswick phase out coal electricity by 2030, we can avoid more than 125 premature deaths, 12,100 asthma episodes and 81,000 days of breathing difficulty.

Climate change is already costing families, businesses and the economy billions each year. Environment and Climate Change Canada numbers show that successfully phasing-out coal would actually be a net benefit of $4.7-billion in Canada, with $1.2-billion in healthcare savings alone.

NB Power’s proposal ignores the reality of increasing ambition on climate change through policies like emissions caps, carbon pricing and commitments for new renewable energy and efficiency programs. Worse, the NB Power IRP argues against new wind power until 2033, rather than embracing existing engineering solutions, including regional connections to firm capacity from existing hydro power, and investing in battery technologies whose prices are dropping rapidly.

In Nova Scotia’s IRP, released last month, Nova Scotia Power also plans to extend coal burning until 2040 or later. These plans would make New Brunswick and Nova Scotia the last coal-burning provinces in Canada.

“Our politicians and utility leadership are undermining the public interest by making choices that harm New Brunswickers now and in the long-run, but this doesn’t have to be the case” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of CCNB.

Two additional studies (1, 2) by East Coast Environmental Law, completed for CCNB and EAC, show that government rules stand in the way of investing to help low-income households spend less on energy; prevent utilities from considering the social and environmental costs of our electricity choices, and fail to send long-term signals to plan now for a zero-emitting electricity system over the next 20 to 30 years.

“We need electricity law reform to reach our modernized electricity system goals over the next 20 years, we can’t afford to continue to fail New Brunswickers,” says Comeau.

Recommended links

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Ecology Action Centre are collaborating on the Atlantic Electricity Vision, a project involving reports, webinars and research to show that affordable, reliable, sustainable electricity is possible in our region, right now.

Read NB Power’s Integrated Resource Plan 2020
Read our fact sheet on building an electricity system in Atlantic Canada that is affordable
Read our fact sheet on building an electricity system in Atlantic Canada that is reliable
Read our fact sheet on building an electricity system in Atlantic Canada that is sustainable

For more information, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick:; 506-238-3539
The NBEN recognized the following groups or individuals for their outstanding efforts in protecting our shared environment:

2020 Pheonix award
Julie Reimer
In recognition for their dedication and leadership in fighting for awareness surrounding environmental issues in New Brunswick.

2020 Zephyr Award
Liz Smith
In recognition of 20 years of hard work to improve air quality for the citizens of New Brunswick.

2020 Samaqan Award
Vision H20
In recognition of their work in preserving the integrity of watersheds in Southeastern New Brunswick using a multitude of means.

2021 Samaqan Award
Gespe'gewaq Mi'gmaq Resource Council (GMRC)
For its work in harmonizing the strengths of Mi'gmaq knowledge with Western scientific approaches in order to provide a better understanding of the water issues affecting its member communities.

2021 Gaia Award
Linda Stephenson
In recognition of her instrumental role in habitat conservation across New Brunswick and Canada since 1998.

2021 Phoenix Award
Nancy Juneau
For her leadership in the environmental movement in the Acadian Peninsula leading to mobilization of her community through the creation of Imaginons la péninsule acadienne autrement.

2022 Zephyr Award
Hank Scarth
In recognition of his dedication and determination to make a difference for the shorebirds of Saints Rest Beach through public education and conservation.

2022 Samaqan Award
Molly Demma
In recognition of her years of hard work in support of and recognition of the natural and cultural heritage of the Wolastoq river.

Congratulations to the recipients of the NBEN awards. Well deserved!

NB Lung
Verts Rivages
Vision H2O
Sierra Club Canada
Photo: RCMP officers block Highway 126 in Rexton on June 5, 2013. Shale gas protesters had gathered there to oppose shale gas exploration by SWN. Photo by Roy MacMullin.

The Brief

Vol. 12 No. 4 | A publication of the NB Media Co-op | December 2020/January 2021 |

RCMP shrugs off findings it acted illegally at Rexton raid against shale gas protesters

The RCMP is refusing to accept several findings made by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission on the RCMP response to the 2013 RCMP raid on the anti-shale gas camp in Rexton, New Brunswick.

Among the Commission’s findings were that the RCMP violated citizens’ Charter Rights on issues of warrantless searches, stops and spot checks, and the retention of personal and social media data gathered by the RCMP, even after it was established that an individual was cleared of any criminal or security concerns.

The final report, released on Nov. 12, comes seven years after the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance called for the investigation.

Without offering any new evidence to support its views, the RCMP rejected the Commission’s findings. In fact, it clearly implied that only the RCMP could judge the constitutionality of actions by its officers.

So, if it can simply dismiss the Civilian Review Commission, is the RCMP accountable to anyone outside of its own ranks?

That the report took seven years to complete is an obvious failure of the system, and emphasizes that ‘justice delayed is justice denied. Except for those who were there, few may remember much about the event beyond pictures of burning cars.

Many who testified before the Commission as eyewitnesses may read this report and marvel that some of its conclusions directly contradict their testimony. This was especially true in instances where it was alleged that the RCMP arrested Indigenous protesters, while they only dispersed nonindigenous protesters.

The Commission concluded that this did not occur, primarily because there was no supporting video evidence, and so simply resolved this issue in favour of RCMP claims. Multiple witnesses, who independently testified about such events (myself included), will not accept the conclusion that they didn’t occur, whether or not they were widespread or videotaped.

This report also cast doubts on the RCMP’s competence and judgment. The Commission found that RCMP negotiators had reached an agreement with the protesters to calm down the tense situation, just as the tactical force was finalizing the next morning’s raid. Had the two groups actually just talked with each other, the entire incident may have been avoided.

A primary reason for justifying the raid was ‘unverified rumours’ of weapons at the protestors’ encampment. Yet the RCMP’s own testimony revealed that its infiltrators, vehicle spot checks, personal searches and continuous surveillance had not turned up a single observation of any firearms. They had simply ‘heard rumours’ about weapons.

The RCMP also admitted that it made a tactical error in letting several police cars remain unmanned, which led to them being burned. The implication at the time was that they were burnt by protesters.

Credible witnesses testified that non-indigenous people, unknown to local residents, were able to approach and burn the cars and escape, without any intercession by the RCMP. As no perpetrators were ever identified, the Commission attributed the incident to a RCMP error, and they didn’t attribute the burning of the cars to the protesters or anyone else specifically.

They did, however, dismiss the possibility that it was the result of agent provocateurs, based solely on the RCMP saying so. So, incompetence or coverup? We’ll never know.

If one thinks that such speculation is a step too far, then I would suggest they read some academic research on this topic such as, Policing Indigenous Movements: Dissent and the Security State by Andrew Crosby and Jeffrey Monaghan. The book covers four Indigenous movements, concluding with the raid on the anti-shale gas camp near the Mi’kmaw First Nation of Elsipogtog in Rexton.

To quote from the book’s promotion, it “raises critical questions regarding the expansion of the security apparatus, the normalization of police surveillance targeting social movements, the relationship between police and energy corporations, the criminalization of dissent and threats to civil liberties and collective action in an era of extractive capitalism and hyper surveillance.”

It also provides context to the Commission report, which focuses solely on RCMP actions. We should not lose sight of, nor excuse, those who were ultimately responsible for this tragedy.

New Brunswick’s Alward government refused for years to engage in discussions with a united province-wide opposition, despite huge demonstrations, petitions from tens of thousands of citizens, and expert testimony. Its intransigence and obvious collusion with the gas industry, led directly to the raid at Rexton. Ironically, that may have been the event that finally doomed shale gas and spelled the end of the Alward government.

Unfortunately, current events, like the RCMP’s violent actions against Wet’suwet’en opposition to the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline in BC, and its failure to protect Mi’kmaw fishers in Nova Scotia, illustrate that government practices that allow the RCMP and the security services to abet corporate interests (especially fossil fuels) continue unabated.

Commercial rights continue to supersede personal rights, and especially treaty rights, in a peculiar and twisted hierarchy of justice overlaying a barely hidden foundation of racism.

The RCMP’s contention that it is the sole arbiter of the correctness or legality of its actions emphasizes that it, along with the intelligence services, governments, and fossil fuel interests will learn no lessons from the Commission report. And without real accountability they never will.

Jim Emberger is the spokesperson of the New Brunswick
Anti-Shale Gas Alliance
New Brunswick is home to a mix of unique habitats and wildlife that New Brunswickers care deeply about, and that are critical for our well-being. We want to ensure these natural spaces and the wildlife that live there remain protected for generations to come. These wild areas are also important for us to connect with nature.

From now until March 2022, we’re helping New Brunswick more than double its conserved land from 4.7% to 10% of the province -- and you can help, too!

Head to and learn more about GNB’s approach to choosing new protected and conserved natural areas, and how they want to hear from you.
The Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group reiterates its demand for decentralization of hospital laundry services in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to road transport. In response to Mr. Flemming's email dated September 23, 2020, you will find attached the letter from Odette Landry, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the GDDPC.

GDDPC Hospital eng 1GDDPC Hospital eng 2

No satisfaction: Chief Tremblay calls an emergency Wabanaki Confederacy meeting


by J.L. Deveau, Ron Tremblay, and Alma Brooks

Imagine how betrayed you would feel if you were an Indigenous person knowing your ancestors had agreed to make peace with the British on a promise made – that any Wolastoquyik (Maliseet person) would be entitled to satisfaction and reparation for any controversy, whether real or imagined – but that 300 years later, a judge reneged on that promise.

This happened after Wolastoqewi-Grand Chief Ron Tremblay and Wolastoqey Grand Council found out that the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture had begun working on the development of a Snowmobile Grooming Hub project at Mount Carleton Park, in northern New Brunswick, with no park management plan in place authorizing such a thing.

They went to court to ask for satisfaction and reparation from a judge. However Justice Petrie gave Grand Chief Tremblay and Wolastoqey Grand Council No Satisfaction (like the Rolling Stones’ 1965 hit (I can’t get no satisfaction). An appeal was subsequently filed with the NB Court of Appeal.

Since our last NB Media Co-op article was published, the NB Court of Appeal summoned all three of us to a teleconference call scheduled for Dec. 8. At that time, a judge from the high court will assess the legitimacy of our delay in perfecting (completing) our appeal filed in October 2019. If satisfied with our explanation, the judge can order us to perfect our appeal by a specific date. Alternatively, if not satisfied, the judge can dismiss our appeal.

We're facing a dilemma.

The Treaty of 1725-26 was the product of negotiations not only between two parties, Wolastoqiyik and the British, but also between representatives of a Confederacy, the Wabanaki Confederacy, and the British. "Wabanaki" means "people of the dawn."

The Wabanaki Compact (Treaty of 1725-26) was broken in Wolastokuk (Maliseet homeland). This has implications for all five nations in Wabanakiak (Abenaki, Mi’kmaq, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Wolatoqiyik combined territories). Therefore, Grand Chief Tremblay is beholden to inform the Confederacy of this breach in their treaty with the British and to seek guidance from its peoples on how best to proceed.

Few people in New Brunswick realize that Wolastoqiyik never abandoned their own legal system, agreeing only to set aside their international law of private satisfaction (komucikotuwal) for those instances involving controversies with the British. The deal was that in so doing, they were guaranteed satisfaction and reparation from His Majesty’s laws.

We have two options. Option 1 is to continue with the appeal and file everything before our conference call with the NB Court of Appeal judge on Dec. 8.  Option 2 is for Grand Chief Tremblay to revoke Wolastoqewi-Grand Chief Charles Manituphike’s agreement of 1728, to seek redress before the British court system for any controversies involving the settlers and to revive instead their own legal system.

Given the risk of having the appeal thrown out by a judge from the NB Court of Appeal, Grand Chief Tremblay and the Wolastoqey Grand Council have called for an Emergency Wabanaki Confederacy meeting.

Traditionally, a Confederacy meeting takes place in person at some fixed location during mid-winter however that is not possible this upcoming winter because of the pandemic.

The Wabanaki Confederacy meeting will be held online, through the videoconference platform Zoom, on the afternoons of Saturday Nov. 21 and Saturday Nov. 28, from 1pm to 5pm Atlantic time.

The first Saturday will be focused on treaty education, the second on determining how the Grand Council and its Grand Chief ought to proceed following the No Satisfaction outcome of Justice Petrie’s ruling.

Nov. 21 features three experts: Professor Harald Prins on the history of the Confederacy and how Wabanaki spokesperson Loron Saugaaram felt duped by the British even before he signed the Treaty of 1725-26; Professor Katherine Hermes on Indigenous Northeast law and the evolution of the legal arrangements that existed between Native peoples and colonial governments in the 17th and 18th centuries; and, Professor Heather Hirschfeld on how the term satisfaction as the bastion of substantive justice in the 17th and 18th centuries was whittled down to becoming nothing more than the touchy feely expressions of the fulfillment of our carnal needs and wants.

These events are free. The general public is invited to attend the three education sessions on Saturday Nov. 21. The following Saturday, Nov. 28, is reserved just for the Peoples of Wabanaki Confederacy.

Registration is required for both days to receive the link to the online sessions via email. For additional information, please visit our Facebook event page , email or call 1-506-260-1331.

This article was first published by NB Media Co-op on November 17th, 2020.

Dr. Jean Louis Deveau is an independent scholar, former manager of Mt. Carleton Park, and co-founder of the Friends of Mt. Carleton Provincial Park.


Alma H. Brooks, BA, is a Wolastoqwey Grandmother (the people of the beautiful & bountiful River) residing in the territory of EkPahak ( the place where the tide ends ) is physically, linguistically, spiritually, culturally, and biologically connected to the traditional homeland of her ancestors.


Ron Tremblay is his colonial birth name but is known as “spasaqsit possesom” (spuz-akw-zid  buz-za-zum) – morningstar burning. He is a citizen of Wolastokuk (Wa-lus-da-gook). Being the youngest of 10 children of the late Doris Sappier and Raymond Tremblay, spasaqsit possesom grew-up surrounded by Wolastoqey (Wa-lus-do-kway) Language spoken fluently. spasaqsit possesom credits his mother Doris and grandparents Madeline LePorte and Louise Sappier for his genuine love of Wolastoqey Language and he also acknowledges that they provided him the true teachings of life.


After moving to Fredericton in 1991 he befriended several Elders from local area. The two main Elders Ulsonuwit Sqot (Harry LaPorte) and Sagatay (Gwen Bear) guided him deeper into his Wolastoqey Traditional Ways. After years of involvement in various ceremonies with his teachers spasaqsit possesom gained wisdom and knowledge of “Wolastoqey way of life”. Still today, Ron practices the traditional ways of Wolastoqewiyik. In November 2016, Ron was installed as Traditional Wolastoqewi-Grand Chief. The mandate of the Wolastoqey Grand Council is to protect and preserve Wolastokuk, their non-ceded traditional homeland, waterways, ceremonies and language.


Content Warning: This article contains references to anti-Indigenous racism and hate crimes committed against the Mi'kmaq.
  • Indigenous-owned vehicles torched, food destroyed, and Mi'kmaw fishermen forced to barricade themselves indoors to escape violent mobs hurling rocks and racist insults. [1]
  • These were some of the shocking hate crimes committed in Nova Scotia on Tuesday night, while the RCMP watched. [2]
  • The Mi'kmaw people's right to fish is protected by the Peace and Friendship Treaties and was upheld by a Supreme Court decision. But so far, the federal government has avoided defining and protecting these treaty rights — leading to unrest and racial violence. [3]
  • Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, have condemned these appalling acts of terrorism and hate. [4]
  • But Jean-Louis the Mi'kmaq need more than words. They’re calling on the federal government to urgently step in before the situation escalates further and someone is seriously injured or killed.
  • While this story is dominating the news, the federal government is vulnerable to public pressure. [5] If we flood their inboxes with tens of thousands of messages calling on them to protect the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq, we could convince them to intervene and put a stop to the violent and unlawful attacks on Indigenous fishers.
  • Non-Indigenous fishermen raided a Mi'kmaq food storage facility, cut the power, poured chemicals on live lobsters, and threatened the Indigenous fishermen inside. [6]
  • Jason Marr, a fisherman with the Sipekne’katik First Nation barricaded himself inside a facility to escape the violent mob’s racist taunts and threats. He waited for the RCMP to escort him out safely but once the RCMP showed up, "they just stood there". [7] Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack said he couldn't believe the violent mob was getting away with terrorist acts while the police were present. [8]
  • The Mi’kmaq have a treaty protected, legal right to catch and sell fish to earn a moderate livelihood — one which includes the right for Mi'kmaw people to provide housing, food, clothing and amenities for themselves and their families. This is recognised by a 1999 Supreme Court decision and enshrined in Section 35 of the 1982 Constitution Act. [9]
  • Jean-Louis, Mi’kmaw fishermen have 250 lobster traps in the contested area, while non-Indigenous fishermen have approximately 390,000. This isn’t a dispute about over-fishing — it’s racist hate meant to intimidate Indigenous fishermen away from the waters. [10]

We must use our platform to amplify the voices and demands of the Mi'kmaq because it is the right thing to do. Send a message to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Jordan now.

Please check out this list of ways people can help.

To donate to people on the ground you can send an e-transfer or paypal to Sipekne'katik First Nation at Please make the subject line: “1752 Moderate Livelihood”.
Happy National Tree Day!

Today we celebrate National Tree Day. Did you know that it's also the 100th anniversary of #NationalForestWeek?

There's no better way to celebrate New Brunswick trees than a Q&A with The Great Trees of New Brunswick co-author Tracy Glynn.

A native of Miramichi and daughter of a horse-logging father, Tracy Glynn was the forest campaigner at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick from 2006 to 2018. Glynn teaches at St. Thomas University, writes and coordinates editing for the NB Media Co-op, and works with land defenders across Turtle Island, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guatemala, Colombia, and beyond.

Q: Tell us about how The Great Trees of New Brunswick book came about.
A: Forester David Palmer approached the Conservation Council of New Brunswick about writing a second edition of The Great Trees of New Brunswick. He wanted to honour the memory of his friend, David Folster, who wrote the first edition. I jumped on the chance to participate in this interesting project, which I thought would be a lovely way to end my time as the forest campaigner at the Conservation Council. I approached Goose Lane, a Fredericton-based publisher of books, to see if they were interested in publishing the book and it took no convincing, they were immediately interested. David did the heavy lifting of visiting almost every tree nominated for the book, taking its measurements and listening to the nominators' stories of their great tree. David and I spent 2018 and 2019 learning more about our trees and writing the book.

Q: Why do you think it's important for New Brunswickers to foster a relationship with our forests?
A: Our forests are so magnificent. Our forests are home to 32 different native tree species, beautiful forest orchids, funky mushrooms, songbirds, woodpeckers and owls, and so many other creatures that are worthy of getting to know, love, and protect.

Q: The Great Trees of New Brunswick Second Edition had such a strong emphasis on native species. Can you tell us why?
A: We wanted to make sure to include a chapter on each native tree species as well as some of the exotic species that folks have come to know and love. The first edition celebrated many of the common trees that folks know like the eastern white pine and sugar maple but we wanted to produce a folksy field guide that would allow readers to identify all the different trees of our forest, including the more elusive ones.

Q: Climate change and invasive species such as the emerald ash borer pose significant threats to our forests. How do you think these will affect the trees featured in this book?
A: Scientists say that climate change and invasive species could lead to the extirpation of some of our native trees. Some of our native trees are endangered like the butternut. In the book, we discuss the outlook for each tree and we discuss how human actions are affecting our trees.
In the book, we write about the emerald ash-borer and how it is ravaging ash stands in eastern Canada and the U.S. All of our three native ash species are susceptible and they show no natural resistance to the insect. The National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton is collecting ash seed for genetic conservation and it is hoped that ash will have a future in our forest.

Q: What tree is your favorite?
A: That's a hard question. I think all our trees are special. I am continually stunned by yellow birch and its shimmery bark, basswood in bloom, and golden tamarack in the fall. If I had to pick one tree that is special to me, it would be an old eastern white pine on the road where I grew up. Known simply as “the pine tree” to my family and neighbors, the lopsided tree was a meeting place where we would watch for black bears while devouring raspberries. Watching the sun set behind the tree never gets old for me.

Buy your copy of The Great Trees of New Brunswick, 2nd Edition today, and be sure to do your part to help protect our great trees by taking acting against invasive species!

Visit the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council website for more stories like this.
2020 09 04 Eurasian Water Milfoil
[Kingston, NB]- The New Brunswick Invasive Species Council and the Belleisle Watershed Coalition are asking boaters, anglers, and cottage owners to be on the look-out for Eurasian Water-Milfoil in Belleisle Bay after Dr. Meghann Bruce’s Research Team at the Canadian Rivers Institute observed the first known location of the highly invasive aquatic plant in the area.
The plants were observed at the mouth of the bay by Kingston Creek. “Not only the presence of the plants, but their location is concerning,” says Kristin Elton, Director for the NBISC. “The plant spreads by fragmentation and given how many boats come and go through that area, it is highly likely that pieces have been broken off and transported on propellers, hulls, etc. further into the bay itself where it will create new colonies.”
The research team had surveyed the same area in 2018 and did not find the invader, but given how quickly it has spread throughout other parts of the Saint John River, it is not surprising.
The Belleisle Watershed Coalition has been surveying publicly-accessible areas of the bay for EWM throughout the summer, and while they haven’t found any to date, most of the shoreline is privately owned. “Waterfront property owners hold the key to us tracking and preventing the spread of Eurasian Water Milfoil. If you think you have seen this plant in your waters, contact” says Melissa Rafuse, Project Manager at the Belleisle Watershed Coalition.
The good news, says Elton, is that by identifying this new colony relatively early, measures can be taken to stop further spread into the bay. “Boaters need to avoid areas where the plant is growing (if possible) to limit the plants’ fragmentation into even more plants, and if you arrive back at your dock and notice plant material on your boat do NOT throw it back into the water; dispose of it in the trash on land instead.”
Eurasian water-milfoil has the potential to grow into thick, dense mats where it clogs waterways, chokes out other plant species, alters fish habitat, and ruins beaches. “It grows so dense in some areas that it can become very difficult to boat, swim, fish or kayak in these places.” says Rafuse.

Media Contact
Kristin Elton, Director
New Brunswick Invasive Species Council
(506) 262-6247
Melissa Rafuse, Project Manager
Belleisle Watershed Coalition
(902) 691-3162
CyanobacteriaWebinarWelcome cropped medium
Take a break from Netflix, and watch this excellent video of a recent webinar with Dr. Janice Lawrence, a University of New Brunswick Professor of Biology. Learn about cyanobacteria and how genetic tools are being used to determine if cyanobacteria contain harmful cyanotoxins. Learn how harmful cyanotoxins arise from cyanobacteria, why they are increasing in surface freshwater bodies in Canada, and what we are doing about it in New Brunswick.

Be sure to watch the video to the end as Dr. Lawrence does a superb job of answering questions from the webinar attendees. The online, recorded version of the July 16, 2020 webinar is now available at
Please share this description and online webinar with anyone you think might be interested.
Check out our new blog from CECNB

We are not going back to the broken economic model we had. We will not stand by helplessly as our small businesses struggle to stay alive. We have the solutions, we know they work, and they won't cost us one more cent than we spend right now..
The NBEN is very excited to share what we hope to achieve this year! Here is a quick look at the NBEN's plan to support environmental groups in the 2020-2021 year. Check it out!

2020 Programplan ENG
We are UnFrackable -#WetsuwetenStrong and the Ethics of LNG
NBASGA, along with other sponsors - NBMEdiaCoop, RAVEN, Council of Canadians Fredericton, and the Peace and Friendship Alliance - were set to bring a cross country tour to Fredricton, until the corona virus changed our plans.

However, under the sponsorship of a different "RAVEN" group ("Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs") - the tour has been redesigned as a 3-part webinar series.

"We are UnFrackable" – focuses on national resistance to LNG – aka fracked gas.  Its goals are to share strategic approaches – from supporting Indigenous legal challenges, to divestment and de-funding campaigns – and to build an unbreakable alliance of action.  The narrative peddled by government and industry is that LNG is “ethical”, “environmental”, and “economic”.  The webinars will bring together fantastic expert guests and frontline activists to debunk that myth, while connecting the dots of resistance from coast to coast to coast.

The first webinar is FRIDAY APRIL 3 at 8 pm AT and is entitled: #WetsuwetenStrong and the Ethics of LNG, with Hereditary Chief Adam Gagnon and Mike Sawyer, COGC.

It will be an amazing opportunity to hear directly from Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader Chief Dsta’Hyl – Adam Gagnon, in conversation with Mike Sawyer of the Citizen’s Oil and Gas Council.
  • Chief Gagnon is a member of the Likhts’amisyu clan who have launched legal challenges to protect their traditional territory from fracked gas pipelines. He will talk about the Constitutional and Charter challenge to Coastal Gas Link and other fossil projects on Wet’suwet’en territory, based on the equity rights of future generations in a time of climate crisis.
  • Micheal Sawyer brings 30 years of extensive experience in Canadian regulatory and energy policy matters. Sawyer is no stranger to the power of citizen-driven justice: he’s famous for winning a court challenge against an LNG plant proposed for Lelu Island in BC: three weeks after that victory, the project was cancelled.
  • Your host is Mary Lovell, a climate justice organizer that has been primarily organizing against tar sands, extreme oil, and the Trans Mountain project for eight years. Mary is a campaigner with RAVEN and Sierra Club BC.
The achievement of Indigenous Peoples, and of activists like Sawyer, are proof: people power works.  And, when we forge alliances across the country, we are un-frackable. The strategic legal approaches like those being used in B.C., Quebec, and Nova Scotia against fracked gas infrastructure can become a blueprint for fighting LNG projects across the country.

This first webinar will touch on projects that may affect New Brunswick, but have been flying under the radar.

To sign-up for the webinar and/or find more information:
We have also put up an event on Facebook
This is an open letter to the Members of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick of New Brunswick, the leadership of N.B. Power, the Energy and Utilities Board and various news agencies.
To all concerned;
Leap4wards as an organization is interested in sustainability. We understand from their website that N.B. Power has a goal to obtain 40% of NB electricity from renewable sources by December 2020. This is an effort we support, but have some concerns.
It has come to our attention that in New Brunswick there are a number of municipal power utilities and private entrepreneurs developing proposals to produce their own power from proven renewable energy sources. These parties are running into roadblocks extending from the N.B. Electricity Act. Concerns include:
-Who is allowed to produce the electricity used by N.B.Power
-Who decides the sources of power which are bought
-Compensation rates for independent producers
-where a community can produce their power
We expect there are more roadblocks.
Meanwhile N.B. Power and the Province of New Brunswick seem to be preoccupied with less practical projects. New Brunswick tax payers/ratepayers have had their money invested in a questionable electrolysis project in Florida. Now we are also investing in a small scale nuclear project which would not be able to produce power for at least 10 years. These timelines do not match the expectations presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
Leap4wards questions why we can’t work with New Brunswickers interested in renewable power generation who have projects ready to go. Simply by altering the legislation in the N. B. Electricity Act we could allow a range of proven renewable technologies to be brought forward fairly quickly. 
This is the path that Germany took in 1991 when Herman Scheer initiated their Electricity Feed In Act which required grid companies to connect all renewable power plants. The passing of this act paved the way for Germany to become the world leader in renewable energy it is today.
Localization, in all its forms is considered by many to be one of the most effective approaches to climate change. Allowing local municipalities and entrepreneurs to produce their own power from renewable sources would go a long way towards helping N. B. Power reach its admirable 40% renewable energy by December 2020 goal.
Kindest regards;
Norma MacKellar  180 Britain St, Saint John, E2L 1X6
Paula Tippett         4273 Loch Lomond Rd, Saint John, E2N 1C7
For Leap4wards, Saint John

This article appeared in the Daily Gleaner, Friday, January 24, 2020

How long before climate emergency gains traction?

Fredericton is under pressure to join the many hundreds of Canadian municipalities and federal government that have declared a climate emergency.

A Climate Emergency declaration is “a piece of legislation or directive putting a government or organization on record in support of emergency action to restore a safe climate.” (Climate Mobilization 2020)

With few indications of leadership at the provincial level in this province, local governments are being pushed to take the strongest possible action towards mobilization. So far Bathurst, Saint John, Moncton and Edmundston have done this. Are the declarations of climate emergency symbolic, without teeth? That depends on how much people hold Council members to account to living up to their words.

Declaring a climate emergency is the first step towards shifting governments into emergency mode to address this global crisis. The focus should include a healthy dose of carbon/greenhouse gas drawdown as well as public safety in adapting to the new norm of extended heatwaves, more violent weather events and possible food shortages. It should include City residents as well as corporate operations.

What would declaring a climate emergency change for Fredericton?

 It would tell everyone, from environmental activist to electrical journeyman that this crisis is real, and that their personal actions—from choosing a new car to heating their homes—matter.

It would clearly say to our community, in turn percolating down to neighbourhoods, social groups etc. that you can either contribute to making things better in a framework where we are all working together, or you can choose to make things worse by your individual choices.

My guess is most of us would want to do the former.                                                                         

Mobilizing to address the climate crisis takes everyone, everywhere with no exceptions. This is a crisis, even though when we get up the sun is still shining, there is still food on the table and heat in the house. We lead a fairly privileged life here in New Brunswick; we have so far avoided the impacts being felt in places like Australia or along the US southern border, where migrants fleeing economic and climate breakdown and crime are signs of things to come elsewhere (but not here, we secretly tell ourselves).

Talk to an emergency measures coordinator though, and the future picture in New Brunswick gets dark in a hurry. They are the ones buying houses on the hill, out of the floodplain, and worrying about social unrest and crime waves.

Providing a safe climate, irrespective of our own seemingly miniscule contributions to its deterioration, means maximizing protection for people and species with whom we share this Earth. Organizing isn’t solely in the wheelhouse of the professionals. Neighbourhoods, block parents, local food groups, seniors all have a role in both drawing down our carbon output as well as supporting adaptive measures to help us cope.

A Mayor’s task force on the climate emergency, or a committee similar to that on homelessness is in order.  Council just had a perfect opportunity to direct surplus budget resources to climate, but did not. Instead, funds were put into Ignite Fredericton and immigration. Both of these are worthy, they are just not emergencies like the climate crisis.

Frederictonians are increasingly aware that something is amiss with the climate. By electing a Green Party MP in Jenica Atwin to represent us in Ottawa citizens have embraced the political party with a coherent and relevant plan to address the climate emergency—one that envisions a World War II scale mobilization starting now.

The effects of climate change aren’t going to stop. They’re going to overlap and get worse. What can seem an inconvenience today can become a major catastrophe in a heartbeat.

If you want people to act in an emergency, you have to act AS IF it’s an emergency. I want our city to be the public voice that makes people aware of their role and gets them out of their comfort zones. I want the city to start making climate adaptation and carbon drawdown a line item in every budget, not counting on staff to write grant applications for crumbs from the Feds.

And most of all, I want City Council to avoid taking decisions that compromise our climate resilience or endorse projects that add more emissions to an already overburdened atmosphere.

One wonders how bad things have to get before this climate emergency concept gets traction.

Margo Sheppard


Ditching fossil fuels is like a ‘monkey trap’

The Daily Gleaner, Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A recent Brunswick News Commentary wondered how bad must things get before the concept of ‘climate emergency’ gets traction.

One depressing answer may be found in the title of a widely circulated NYTimes editorial: “Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide.”

The continuing unimaginable conflagration of Australian bushfires has already burned an area much larger than New Brunswick, destroyed thousands of homes, and killed over a billion animals.

Decades will pass before knowing how many human lives will be lost or shortened by exposure to the world’s worst air pollution. An air quality index (AQI) above 200 is defined as hazardous. The AQI in Canberra has hit 4,650.

Climate scientists have long predicted such events, as the conditions that created them are well-studied climate topics.

While droughts and heat waves are normal, climate warming increases the odds of their occurrence, their duration, and their intensity. A continually warming Australia experienced its hottest and driest year in 2019. Average temperatures in the 40’s have baked the entire continent for weeks. Altered weather patterns push normal rains out to the ocean.

Yet, despite scientists’ warnings, years of increasingly destructive weather, and the current catastrophe, Australia plans to expand its world-leading exports of coal and liquid natural gas (LNG).

Perhaps, the country does have a psychotic death wish. Maybe it’s contagious.

In the USA, 100, 500 and 1000-year floods are meaningless, as they occur regularly. While the southwest faces water shortages, the central breadbasket remained flooded for months. California’s fire season is now year-round. Coasts are threatened by tropical depressions that turn into monster hurricanes within a day.

America’s response? Promote coal and frack as much gas and oil as possible.

Canada watches record fires burn BC, Ft. McMurray, and boreal forests. Extreme temperatures and precipitation and record flooding are the norm. Canada is warming at twice the global rate, and three times as fast in our north, where melting ice and permafrost lead to abandoned settlements and climate refugees.

Yet, several provinces stake their futures on huge new tarsands and LNG projects. The federal government, while shouting climate emergency warnings, inexplicably abets these expansions.

Maybe a mass psychosis has seized these countries. But, perhaps, there is a better explanation - the classic ’monkey trap’.

A monkey trap is an immovable trap, with a hole just large enough for a monkey's open hand. It is baited with a banana. A monkey grabs the banana, but the hole is not large enough to allow the monkey to withdraw its clenched fist (now clutching a banana).

Because the monkey can’t conceive of letting the banana go, it remains trapped, awaiting its fate.

It is the perfect analogy for humanity’s current situation. We cannot escape our trap (climate emergency), because we can’t conceive of giving up the banana (fossil fuels), even though doing so is our only means of escape.

There is absolutely no doubt about the climate trap. All the recent climate disasters resulted from less than 1.5-degrees warming - considered the ‘safe’ limit.

Our current fossil fuel usage puts us on track for 3 to 5 degree warming. At 3 degrees, Australian-like catastrophes become normal.

2019 ended the hottest decade on both land and in the ocean. No one born after 1985 has experienced a month cooler than the 20th century average.

Coal, and the energy intensive processes of fracking, LNG and tarsands produce more greenhouse gases than conventional oil and gas, and make the USA, Australia and Canada the word’s largest per capita contributors to climate change.

Despite knowing this, they still can’t conceive of letting them go.

Supposedly, a monkey isn’t intelligent enough to understand how its trap works. Is it conceivable that we, likewise, lack the intellect or imagination to envision a life without fossil fuels?

Or is it something more distinctly human? Are we so tied to greed, convenient habits, or misbegotten ideology that we cannot act to save ourselves?

We have a simple choice. Let go of the banana, or remain trapped. Nothing else will save us.

New Brunswick’s record floods, tropical storms, hurricanes, ice storms, and windstorms are becoming the norm. Each costs millions and affects our health, lives and livelihoods.

Our government has finally begun taking small steps to address the climate crisis. Hydro-electricity from Quebec to replace coal-fired Belledune is a good idea, as is regional cooperation. The Ministers of Environment and Energy tout their climate awareness in plans to use carbon-pricing revenue for climate action programs.

Yet, immediately upon hearing that a complicated investment deal might restart a local shale gas industry - an industry that supercharges climate warming - the Minister of Energy boasted how his Department had made it possible.

Congratulations! Have a banana! They’re irresistible.

The fossil fuels we have all profited from now threaten our existence. If you believe that we can gradually let them go, because we are superior to monkeys, let your leaders know. Act for our children instead of quietly awaiting fate.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2019

On Saturday, November 16, 2019, five environmental awards were presented to New Brunswick citizens and groups in honor of exemplary service to their community.

The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance was honoured with the Samaqan Award for their continuing efforts to protect and restore freshwater habitat in the Petitcodiac and Memramcook River watersheds through science, education, and community engagement. The Samaquan Award is given to a group or individual who has dedicated their efforts to the waters and the species that inhabit the waters.

The Phoenix Award was presented to Symbiose, the student environmental group at Université de Moncton, for the mobilisation not only of students but of the Greater Moncton community in solidarity with the global climate movement. The Phoenix Award is given to a group or individual who has dedicated their efforts to policies and legislation and has been through "the fire".

The Gaia Award was presented to Megan de Graaf, Forest Ecologist with Community Forests International, for her deep understanding of the connection between people and forests, for her dedication to building rural capacity for the conservation and restoration of the Acadian Forest, and for doing so with great care, curiosity, and respect. The Gaia Award is given to a group or individual who has dedicated their efforts to the earth and the species that inhabit the earth.

EOS Eco-Energy was honoured with the Zephyr Award for their community leadership and on-going efforts to empower local solutions to climate change in the Tantramar-Memramcook region. The Zephyr Award is given to a group or individual who has dedicated their efforts to the air and the species that inhabit the air.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick was presented with a special award in recognition of their 50 years of environmental action and leadership in New Brunswick.

The awards were presented during the New Brunswick Environmental Network’s annual meeting, Eco-Confluence, which was held in Fredericton over the weekend. Each year, significant efforts by citizens and citizen groups toward the protection and restoration of New Brunswick’s environment are recognized at a special awards ceremony.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network is a non-profit communications network of over 110 citizens’ environmental groups from across the province. The goal of the Network is to encourage networking and collaboration among groups and between groups, government, and other sectors.

- 30 –

Award Winners NBEN 2019
Photo credit: NBEN.

Media Contact:
Raissa Marks, 506-855-4144,

RE: Judge rules against Plants and Animals of Mount Carleton Park

Dear friends and colleagues:

On September 16th, Justice Richard Petrie dismissed our applications for judicial review of the provincial government’s decision to develop a Snowmobile Grooming Hub project at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. We can either file an appeal with the New Brunswick court of appeal or quit. The purpose of this note is to solicit your opinion on how best to proceed from here.

The reason for Justice Petrie’s dismissal of our judicial reviews was that, in his opinion, none of the applicants – Wolastoq Grand Council, Wolastoq Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, or myself – have standing. Standing means the right to be heard by the court.  Justice Petrie said that since the Grand Council and its Grand Chief do not have a delegated authority from one or more of the elected Indian Act chiefs, allegedly being the true Aboriginal rights-holders, on Wolastoq to act on their behalf, , neither had standing. There is no law to substantiate this assertion of no standing, not to mention that the Mascarene Treaty of 1726, which we relied upon in our arguments before the court, contradicts Justice Petrie’s claim. The treaty says that any Indian may seek redress before the Court. Also, because I aligned myself with the Grand Council, an Indigenous body, I was unable to obtain standing to represent the public interest despite being co-founder, and a current Director, of the Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc.

Those of you who participated in the Parks Act review process will recall that we had asked for park management plans to be developed for each provincial park prior to any development initiative like the proposed Grooming Hub Project. These management plans were to be based on a zoning plan specific to each park. Park zoning is based on habitat protection. Our new Parks Act reflects this ask. Mt Carleton is the only park with a zoning plan. Mount Carleton Park’s zoning plan has no provisions for the development of a grooming hub and snowmobiling activities as currently envisioned by the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Cultuer. The park’s zoning plan was also not included in the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Grooming Hub Project. The Department, however, was given the green light to go ahead with the Grooming Hub project earlier this summer. We’re alleging in our applications for judicial review that the Parks Act and Environmental Impact Regulations were compromised.  Focusing strictly on standing, all of these core matters were ignored by Justice Petrie. His ruling means the Government now has carte blanche to proceed with the Grooming Hub project unchallenged as the 90-day period during which anyone else could have filed an application for judicial review has long since expired.

Thanks to the public’s generosity, we have already amassed nearly $30,000 ( ) which is enough to pay our lawyer for services rendered thus far, plus the Government’s legal costs. Yes, not only did we lose in our efforts to have the Government follow its own rules and regulations as provided for in the Parks Act and Environmental Assessment regulations, but we’ve also been penalized for bringing this matter to the court’s attention by having to pay the Government’s court costs. I believe this sends the wrong message. That is, if you lose in your court battle to protect nature, not only will you to pay your lawyer, but the Government’s court costs as well.   

Our lawyer has recommended that we appeal Justice Petrie’s decision and is prepared to do all the paper work necessary 100% free of charge. We would still have to pay his fees to argue the matter before the Court of Appeal, though and, should we lose in our appeal, additional court costs to the Government.

So, we either cut our losses and admit defeat or dig in and ask the Court of Appeal to overturn Justice Petrie’s decision so that the plants and animals can have their day in court.  Please let Jean Louis know at on or before September 30th how you think we should proceed.

Jean Louis Deveau


FREDERICTON – The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey Chiefs of all fifteen communities in New Brunswick have come together over their concerns with consultation under the Higgs government.

“We officially put the Province of New Brunswick on notice that we will continue our efforts to protect the lands, water and resources of New Brunswick. This is our responsibility, and it is in the interest of all New Brunswickers,” said Fort Folly Chief Rebecca Knockwood.

The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey Nations both learned through media reports that in early May Premier Higgs and the Province of New Brunswick quietly passed an Order in Council exempting an area near Sussex from the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing without any consultation with, or notification to, the Nations.

“As signatories to the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey never gave up legal rights to our lands, waters or resources. Despite this, in the past century, our lands, waters and resources have been increasingly exploited to the point that they are in serious danger. We will not sit by and allow our Aboriginal and Treaty rights, including Aboriginal title, to be infringed on by the Crown and Industry” said Tobique Chief Ross Perley.

 The 2018 Throne Speech of the Higgs government committed to addressing unkept promises to First Nations and to defining a new relationship with First Nations that would include more control over lands and resources. The decision to secretly exempt the Sussex area from the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing without any Indigenous consultation does the very opposite and perpetuates the status quo in the New Brunswick government’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

“We came together to tell government they cannot cause division among our Nations and communities. We want to make sure the Premier never has to question who he needs to consult if he plans to frack in this province,” said Elsipogtog Chief Arron Sock.

The Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqey are committed to taking a strong and unified stand in protecting and taking back what is rightfully theirs and ensuring the Crown meets its consultation obligations.

Media contacts:

Jennifer Coleman, Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn, 506-292-1241 or at

Kenneth Francis, Kopit Lodge, 506-523-5823 or at

Gillian Paul, Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, 506-461-1187 or at

Climate emergency: health and cost 

Sam Arnold

Climate change is now widely recognized as a planetary emergency that is having both health impacts and economic costs caused by extreme weather events.

These events, linked to global warming, now include prolonged droughts, increased forest fires, massive rainfalls, floods, polar ice melting, sea level rise, and severe storms around the world. This is an emergency that if not checked, is on track to severely impact human health and economic life. The effects of this emergency are already being felt in New Brunswick.

Climatologists and the vast majority of unbiased climate scientists, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have essentially proven that the mining and burning of fossil fuels has produced a sharp spike in global warming over the past 200 years. They have made it amply clear that if fossil fuel use remains at current levels, within a dozen years it will almost certainly be too late for humans to limit global warming, and the climate emergency will become uncontrollable.

Climate change resulting from human produced global warming is by far the most serious threat facing the future of humanity with the global temperature on track to reach 4 to 5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. It is no surprise that a growing number of municipalities are declaring climate emergencies, while the World Health Organization has called the climate crisis the greatest threat to public health. 

This situation is very hard to accept or ignore. It means that fossil fuel extraction and use must now be sharply curtailed if the human species is to have any possibility of passing a liveable environment on to the next generation and to the generations to come.

But in the face of these warnings and this evidence of the climate emergency, leading news stories and editorials in these newspapers continue to advocate for growing the economy with oil and gas extraction and with pipelines to bring these carbon producing fuels to market. The Conservative premiers of New Brunswick and Alberta continue to talk about “responsible resource development” for bitumen oil and shale gas. 

How can this be “responsible” when long-term damage to public health and to economic life will be the result of continuing to burn fossil fuels? Resource development that increases global warming and makes the climate emergency worse is not responsible. It is negligent. It is even negligent about the well-being of the economy. 

It is not responsible to insist that we must burn fossil fuels in order to have a healthy economy when the climate emergency created by burning fossil fuels is increasingly damaging the economy. Even major business corporations are now recognizing the reality of this situation, including some energy companies.

Moreover, new research from Global Energy Monitor, an organization that tracks fossil fuel development, questions the long-term viability of even the natural gas industry. It cautions that many natural gas developments could become “stranded assets”. Investment in fossil fuels, which are creating the climate emergency, will become less and less attractive. Investment in clean energy alternatives will become increasingly attractive as costs continue to decrease and benefits continue to increase.

New Brunswick, Canada, and the entire world must now pull out all the stops to substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions while making the switch to a low carbon economy with clean, renewable energy. The comparison has often been made that we need to mobilize for this climate emergency with the same speed and determination that was mobilized for World War II. 

Only a total team effort by all levels of government, business, industry, and every citizen in all parts of the world can we make the changes necessary to reverse the climate emergency and avert a public health and an economic disaster. 

The future looks grim unless all government subsidies to the fossil fuel industries end and are redirected to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly advance the conversion to a clean energy economy. The sooner actions of this sort are taken, the lower will be the climate emergency costs and the better the outcome for the health of New Brunswickers and the economy of the province.

For an eye-opening report that puts New Brunswick in the centre of this issue, see Healthy Climate, Healthy New Brunswickersby Dr. Louise Comeau and Daniel Nunes. 

This comprehensive report summarizes existing research that explains how climate change can affect physical and mental health in New Brunswick. It includes temperature and precipitation projections for 16 NB municipalities. It reviews the health profiles of these same communities and makes recommendations for the next thirty years. This important report can be downloaded from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) website.

Sam Arnold is a member of the Sustainable Energy Group in Carleton County.

During the spring of 2019, the New Brunswick Environmental Network Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative Team Nurses, invited registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to respond to a brief survey on nursing and environmental health. The survey was disseminated through the Nurses Association of New Brunswick’s electronic bulletin. Members who received the bulletin were able to click on a link that took them directly to the survey found on the Children’s Environmental Health webpage.

The survey results were as follows:

Nineteen nurses responded (18 English and 1 French).

17 respondents shared that they were not prepared to address environmental health concerns as a RN or that they had ‘limited knowledge’ in environmental health. 2 respondents stated that they knew of good resources to refer to patients, including the New Brunswick Lung Association, federal government websites and resources from the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Nursing (Fredericton campus).

All 19 respondents shared that they were given little or no time to even consider environmental health concerns in their clinical practice; that there was a lack or readily available resources related to environmental health in their work place; and /or that they perceived the employer did not have environmental health as a priority for them as a RN employee.

Additionally, all 19 respondents stated that they’d like short educational webinars and tools to learn about the environment as it relates to health, including electronic links to print off or share
with patients and/or colleagues.

For further information and to learn more about Team Nurses or the Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative please contact or visit the Collaborative's home page.

The forecast is dire — but the solutions we need to slow climate change will make us happier and healthier

Flood 2019

The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

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

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

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

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

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

This is just life now.

An (un)real scenario 

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

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

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

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

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

The bad news

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

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

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

How’s the weather out there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But don’t get excited yet.

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

More intense rainfall events, more extreme floods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling down and out

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

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

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

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


What’s this all mean?

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

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

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

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

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

The good news — a better scenario 

The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You smile. This is just life now.

A new way on

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

Today, it’s a choice we must demand.

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

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

Yes, the science-based projections are dire. 

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

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

So what can you do right now?

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

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

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

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

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Click here to send your #climateaction letter

Recommended links:

Paddle for Facebook 2.0

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

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

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

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

Paddle for Facebook 2.0

Event details

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

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The Milton F. Gregg Awards are back and bigger than ever!

The awards have been presented by the Conservation Council annually since 1981 to deserving individuals and organizations who have contributed to protecting New Brunswick’s environment.

This year we’ve expanded the Milton F Gregg Awards in celebration of our 50th year of environmental action in New Brunswick. You can now nominate your Eco-Hero in one of 15 categories!

The main Eco-Hero award is given in memory of Milton F. Gregg, who was a founding member of the Conservation Council and had a particular concern for the health of the Wolastoq (St. John) River. Gregg served as federal cabinet minister, diplomat and Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick.

Please submit nominations by July 31. Our selection committee will notify you and the nominee by September 1. Our awards ceremony will be held at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton on October 12th, 2019 from 7 – 9 p.m.

Click here to see our full list of catagories and submit your nomination Milton F Gregg Awards.

Call for Nominations: Environmental Journalism Award

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is pleased to announce nominations are open for our 4th annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award. By recognizing the best environmental reporting, this award seeks to inspire journalists in all media, and showcase reporting that addresses important environmental issues in New Brunswick.

To be eligible for this year's award, entries must be predominantly about an environmental subject occurring in or affecting New Brunswick, and must have been published, broadcast, or posted in 2018.

Submit nominations to the CCNB Southeast Chapter Environmental Journalism Award Committee at by July 31, 2019.

Full details:
The Conservation Council's Pathway to a Cleaner Future Eco Buildings Tour is tomorow June 1st from 10:00 am to 4:30 with locations in the greater Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton regions.  Whether you want to visit New Brunswick's first solar farm or see an off-grid micro brewery in action or speak with homeowners who have built or converted their homes to be completely off-grid, net zero or to passivhouse standards, or find out more about a four season greenhouse where you can grow your food year round, visit Saint John's largest rooftop solar project, learn more about Saint John Energy's community renewable energy projects and so much sure to register today at

Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

[A slightly edited version of this appeared in “The Telegraph-Journal” and ”The Daily Gleaner” on May 17, 2019, under the the title ‘Public not well-informed on climate change’.]

I recently met a crew from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who were installing a new structure to count salmon smolt on the Tay River. In recent years the count has been disappointingly small, so new and better information is needed.

It’s always heartening to see dedicated people working to save our environment, but this morning I was left feeling that their task was like trying to hold back the tide.

I had just read the United Nations report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It concluded that human activities have pushed one million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

The reporting agency’s chair stated, "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide."

Seems like the kind of consequential information everyone needs to know. But mainstream media barely covered it. Since most people still get their news from mainstream media, the citizens, politicians, pundits and publishers who will shape our future will do so in ignorance of the real world.

We just witnessed a similar failure of the press in the debate over carbon pricing, which took place with hardly any discussion of the essential context of the climate crisis.

Carbon pricing began simultaneously with the release of a momentous scientific report showing that Canada is warming at two or three times the rate as the rest of the world. One of the consequences is increased precipitation.

Days later another study reported that the arctic, as we have known it, is gone. High temperatures, that crush records by double digits, have altered almost every part of the arctic ecosystem, pushing it into a new state of existence.

This will seriously impact global weather patterns, especially in our Northern hemisphere. One researcher warned, “What happens in the arctic does not stay in the arctic.”

Other studies note that feedback loops, like melting permafrost (twelve times faster than thought), are increasing the speed and intensity of warming, and that the latest climate models show that former ‘worst case’ scenarios may, in fact, prove to be the norm.

These reports each contained enough important news on causes, effects, and necessary actions to provide daily news stories for weeks.

Actual media coverage lasted one or two days for the Canadian story, while the other stories received essentially no coverage.

These studies were all released as eastern Canada was enduring the second ‘once-in-a-generation’ flood in two years. A responsible media could have informed the public of the connection between these stories and events.

Instead, week after week, media climate news consisted solely of variations of the PC party’s political narrative, that a modest price on carbon pollution was somehow an assault on our freedom.

This ‘debate’, consisting almost entirely of conjecture, crowded out the factual context of the climate crisis. One would think that carbon pricing, rather than a climate crisis, was threatening our world.

Another missing story was that new audits of the emission targets of the Paris climate treaty reaffirmed that “any production from new oil and gas fields, beyond those already in production or development,” will take us beyond safe limits.

This means that exploiting new tarsands or shale gas will render our other climate plans meaningless.

Perhaps, not knowing this explains how Premier Higgs, pundits, publishers, and economists can express concerns for flood victims in one breath, while in the next breath promote new fossil fuel projects whose development will help to ensure a growing supply of future flood victims.

If they had good climate information, politicians might be aware that raising roads won’t help us, unless we do something to keep future floodwaters from rising even higher.

The media’s failure to provide context has consequences.

The effort necessary to slow climate change is often compared to fighting World War II. It will require universal consensus that recognizes the vastness of the problem, the substantial work required, and that some sacrifices may be needed, but also that the task is necessary, we can do it, and that any hardships are justified by guaranteeing a liveable future for ourselves and our children.

The climate crisis is the definitive ‘we are all in this together’ issue.

The press has made getting this necessary consensus much harder. The outrage fostered by its focus on the politics of carbon pricing, was not balanced by sober reasoning about limiting fossil fuels.

Angry people, whipped into a divisive frenzy by a one-sided argument, are not easily drawn back together.

In one of the least reported parts of the Appeals Court carbon pricing decision, the five justices unanimously agreed that, “climate change has emerged as a major threat, not just to Canada, but to the planet itself.”

We all need to be privy to the same proof that convinced the Court of that conclusion. Providing it should be the daily job of the press.

Otherwise, the press simply becomes the enabler of ignorance. And as Mother Nature keeps reminding us, “what we don’t know can hurt us.”

The NBEN is very excited to share what we hope to accomplish this year! Here is a quick snapshot of the NBEN's plan to support environmental groups over the coming year. Have a look!

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As we get ready for our 2nd season on the farm and the new-and-improved Regenerative Farming Certificate program, we need YOUR help to continue doing this work.

We need your help to create a new generation of community-led farms, one person at a time. Help us train people to feed their communities as part of a new food and climate paradigm.

As a community-based farm, we are changing our focus from maximizing profit to maximizing production for greater community impact. With reduced revenue and public funding in 2019, we are asking for the crowd’s continued help in funding our current shortfall, so that this next cohort of farm learners (15 participants for the 2019 season!!) can get a meaningful education in feeding our (their) communities without taking on an undue burden.

Please give generously, or share the campaign widely, whatever gift you may be able to offer. No donation is too small and every effort is deeply appreciated.

We are here for community, and we need you to be here for us!

Hayes Farm - A project of NB Community Harvest Gardens Inc.

April 24, 2019: For immediate release

New Brunswick is making the transition to a low-carbon economy. What will it mean for jobs in our province? What are the new opportunities for work? How can our work help people to live more sustainable lives? A coalition of environmental and labour groups are meeting in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Saturday, April 27. Together, we will demonstrate our solidarity and commitment to work together to find the solutions to a successful low-carbon transition in New Brunswick.

Why march on April 27? Like other New Brunswickers, we love our province and believe investing in a low-carbon economy is the path forward for our economy. The Green Economy Network calculated that New Brunswick could create almost 25,000 person-years of employment over five years. Strategic investments -- in energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and public transit, and a just transition for workers -- will provide skilled jobs that cannot be relocated to other jurisdictions, laying a strong foundation for continued growth and prosperity here in the province.

The March for Tomorrow's Jobs will start at 1pm on April 27 at King's Square in Saint John.

Poster EN
Coalition partners:

New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL)
Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB)
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) - Atlantic
Sustainable Energy Group - Carleton County
Rural Action and Voices for the Environment (RAVEN)
Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association

Media contact:
Lynaya Astephen, Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association

Facebook event page:

From intense rain, wind and ice storms bringing flooding and power outages, to hotter days and seasons bringing dry summers and ticks, a lot of us are feeling anxious and on edge about climate change in New Brunswick.

We need strong leadership from our provincial government to do everything it can to protect our families’ health and communities’ safety from the effects of climate change and extreme weather we’re already seeing today.

This year, make your Earth Day count a little extra by writing Premier Blaine Higgs about your concerns and your call for serious action on climate change.

We’ve made it easy for you to speak out. Use our letter-writing tool below to let the Premier know where you stand and what you want. Our pre-written letter includes recommendations for smart climate solutions. We strongly encourage you to add to this letter with your own personal story of how climate change makes you feel and how it has affected you and your family.

Letter button

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Let’s tell Fredericton City Council it’s time to move beyond plastic bags.

Waste is an ever-growing issue that far too long has been shrugged off. From New Brunswick’s lack of a household composting program, recyclables that are diverted but not actually being recycled, to the acceptance of excessive packaging or use of single-use plastics such as cutlery, straws or plastic bags, we know we can do better — and the time is now.

Last year university students launched a petition for a province-wide ban on plastic bags following polling that showed more than 70 per cent of respondents in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John are in favour of the move. New Brunswick’s Minister of the Environment, Jeff Carr, recently told CBC he’s watching how other jurisdictions are tackling the issue and that he wants to see more conversation on the topic in N.B. before moving forward. The conversation has already started in Moncton, so, Frederictonians, let’s get talking about it!

Sign our petition to Fredericton City Council today and join us in calling for a ban on single-use plastic bags in Fredericton. An excerpt of the petition is below, followed by the full text and the form where you can add your name electronically.

Want to help us collect signatures? Download your own print version and ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign, or pick one up at our office, Conserver House (180 St. John Street, Fredericton) or at participating businesses across town.


You may have noticed some curious posts about the federal carbon tax on the Government of New Brunswick’s Facebook Page and website.

Premier Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative government’s materials on the carbon tax and what it will mean for New Brunswick cherry-picks facts about the issue, misconstrues how we got here, and (until recently, after pushback from New Brunswickers and groups like your Conservation Council), didn’t even tell us how to claim the federal Climate Action Incentive in our 2018 taxes (an incentive which, for the majority of New Brunswick households, analysis shows will more than cover the extra costs associated with a carbon tax).

Between the Higgs government’s misleading information on the carbon tax, and Andrew Scheers robo-texting campaign, there is a lot of politics dominating what should be a serious ‘all-hands-on-deck’ conversation about tackling climate change — what Canada’s leading health professionals call the ‘greatest public health threat of the 21st century.”

Climate change is already affecting New Brunswickers. An issue this serious and this urgent should go beyond politics. Protecting the places we love should be something we all get behind and give our best, honest effort.

But, slowing climate change is complicated business. And it’s made all the more confusing by stubborn and disconnected leaders who would rather deny climate change and abandon their duty to slow it and protect us from its effects.

How did we get here? How does a carbon tax work? Why is it important? What more should we be doing to protect families from increasingly severe flooding, devastating ice storms, and flipped, unpredictable weather?

Our Dr. Louise Comeau has prepared science-based, non-partisan fact sheets to help answer these important questions. If you are worried about climate change, but not sure where to get a sincere explanation of what all this is about, these resources can help. Give them a read. Share them with friends and family. And please, reach out to us if you have any questions (506-458-8747;

For the love of New Brunswick, we can — and must — prepare for a future with less pollution and safer communities.






“Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript - March 11, 2019

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.”

Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

There was little doubt why the Justice asked this question. The Court had received overwhelming evidence about climate change and its calamitous effects. 

Our group submitted judicial decisions from courts around the world, based on the principle that increased greenhouse gases emissions from anywhere, no matter how small the amount, add to the global totals that threaten everyone. 

Clearly the courts are now recognizing the obvious about climate change and the elemental part fossil fuels play in it. 

Saskatchewan and its co-plaintiffs, realizing that being “deniers” is no longer politically acceptable, proclaim concern about climate change. But their claims ring hollow, as all these provinces have recently elected Progressive Conservative governments whose climate policies belie their words.

Sadly, New Brunswick is a case in point. Its signature energy policies of a new shale gas industry and a resurrection of the Energy East bitumen pipeline contradict concern about climate change, despite official rhetoric to the contrary.

The first necessity to slow climate change is to stop creating additional greenhouse-gas emissions from new fossil fuel sources. This is the very thing that carbon pricing is designed to deter.

How could New Brunswick meet any greenhouse gas limits while starting a shale gas industry that would create huge volumes of emissions from leaking methane and from burning large quantities of diesel fuel and gasoline?

Reviving Energy East is a fantasy few experts consider viable, not least because its approval would have to consider the climate effects of its upstream and downstream emissions. It didn’t face that requirement last time around, but would now.

By misreading climate change considerations, and fossil fuel market forces, our government’s policies both suffered setbacks.

After promising that Corridor Inc. had millions of dollars to immediately invest in local shale gas, the premier appeared to be blindsided when Corridor said it wouldn’t be drilling new wells until 2021, and only if it found a financial partner.

This should not have been a surprise. The gas market is flooded. Shale gas has never been profitable for lenders and investors, who are now demanding long-delayed paybacks. The easy money spigot is closing, making it tougher to get financial backing.

A recent Supreme Court decision, finding environmental clean-up obligations have precedence over repaying loans, has made banks warier about fossil fuel investments.

Mr. Higgs has countered with the position that local shale gas could replace gas from Nova Scotia’s about-to-close Sable Island facility. However, gas suppliers, noting that a new local shale gas solution was years away, announced they would supply the Maritimes with western gas via the pipeline that was the centrepiece of Energy East. 

With Energy East dead, and with no apparent market justification for local shale gas, Mr. Higgs now gives us a truly convoluted policy rationalization for both.

He would have us believe a local shale gas industry (years in the making) would convince gas pipeline companies and western producers to give up their Maritime business, and once again go through the near-impossible task of Energy East approval.

Besides needing dozens of things to go exactly right, the many years required would bring this plan to fruition at the very time when fossil fuels must be reduced by nearly half, and when carbon pricing would be at a maximum. It strains credulity.

Readers should note these setbacks to the premier’s plans are not due to political opposition, or environmental activism, but rather to business decisions and market forces in the industry. 

Climate change, by necessity, will be a major market force in reducing fossil fuels, while cheap renewable energy is another. 

Energy planners and pundits should begin recognizing the obvious, as Alberta just did in contracting three new solar farms to provide 55 per cent of the government’s electricity, at nearly half the cost of natural gas.

The U.S. Permian Basin, the heart of shale oil, produces so much accompanying gas they pay to get rid of it. Yet, plans for the industry’s electricity needs include a solar farm and the world’s largest battery.

Despite many similar examples, Mr. Higgs maintains renewable energy is still too expensive, and continues dealing in the false hopes of fossil fuel riches. Both ideas are from a bygone era.

The climate threat and market forces clearly indicate there is no future in a local shale gas industry. We, too, need to recognize the obvious.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, an organization intervened in the recent court challenge over carbon pricing in Saskatchewan.

2019 RFC applications now open

Our 18-week full time program begins April 29, 2019.

Visit to read the full program description and APPLY FOR OUR 2019 REGENERATIVE FARMING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM! 

We've been working hard through the last few months to refocus our program and make improvements based on the 2018 pilot. We are feeling strong and excited and can't wait to meet a whole new group of learners and growers this year. Please help us spread the word by checking us out on Facebook:
For immediate release: February 6, 2019

FREDERICTON — Today, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASG) announced it has been accepted as an intervener in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case against the federal carbon tax. NBASGA will intervene in support of the federal government and against New Brunswick.

“Climate change is happening here and now, and it needs a fair, effective and immediate response,” says NBASGA’s Jim Emberger. Winter and summer flooding, storm surges from intense storms and sea level-rise, droughts, heat waves and other climate change effects are already disrupting the lives, livelihoods, and well being of New Brunswickers, and are predicted to get worse.

These extreme events put people in harm’s way, making climate change a public health issue. Thus,Canadian physicians participating in the 2018 Lancet assessment of climate changes and health have called for governments to “apply carbon pricing instruments as soon and as broadly as possible, enhancing ambition gradually in a predictable manner.” (1)

“No jurisdiction can be allowed to shirk its responsibility to cut carbon pollution and to keep its citizens safe from climate change’s devastating impacts,” says Emberger. The New Brunswick government’s plans to resurrect shale gas development and to pursue development of oil pipelines are evidence that it does not grasp the urgency and seriousness of the threats posed to our communities by climate change. It has also failed to develop its own carbon-pricing program to meet national minimum standards.

The federal government has the jurisdiction to implement international agreements and to set minimum standards on provinces to implement those agreements. Also, Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms “guarantees the life, liberty and security of the person.” NBASGA, therefore, contends that the federal government has the jurisdiction, duty and obligation to set such minimum standards.

Burning oil, coal and gas is harmful to our health and destabilizes the climate, regardless of where they are burned. Harmful emissions do not respect political borders drawn on a map. All provinces need to make polluters pay equally. That is the fairest approach.

Saskatchewan’s reference case will be heard by the province’s Court of Appeals on February 13th and 14th, 2019.

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For a summary of NBASGA’s affidavit arguments:

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jim Emberger (English) 367-2658, 440-4255 (cell),
Denise Melanson (Français) 523-9467, 858-0321 (cell),



Join the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Atlantic Canada Chapter (SCCF-ACC)

We are gathering people interested in serving on the Executive Committee of the Chapter (Executive Committee, Ex Com for short). These are the people who will lead our chapter and make decisions on everything from what campaigns we take on in our region to building capacity by growing our member and supporter base to where to hold our annual meeting. We need your help in finding the right people to lead our chapter.

The Atlantic Canada Chapter has members in all four Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), the territories of Innus (Montagnais), Nunatsiavut, NunatuKavut, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Wolastokuk (Maliseet).

Its activities include nature immersion and forest school programming (Wild Child), wildlife protection and collision prevention (Watch for Wildlife), stopping offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and protecting marine life, reducing the impacts of mines and quarries on the environment and communities, and engaging in energy policy and solutions with the aim of addressing climate change.

All members are invited to make a nomination of any member (including yourself) to be a candidate for positions on the Executive Committee of the SCCF-ACC. Nominations will be used by the nominations committee to put together a slate of candidates for this year.

The term of office for these positions will be two years, and is limited to three consecutive two-year terms (i.e. 6 years). On a practical level, being an Ex Com member means taking part in at least 10 meetings per year. These are usually about once per month (most by conference call) to organize and run the activities of the SCC-ACC, including the Annual General Gathering.

This may also involve taking on a position as an officer (Treasurer, Secretary) and/or chair of a committee, and there will be continuous opportunity to be active in various campaigns and projects.

As described in our bylaws and Chapter Policy, the Executive Committee comprises the volunteer leadership of its Chapter, and acts as the decision-making body for the Chapters, and in accordance with overall policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation and cooperation with its Board of Directors and National Staff.

Specifically, as outlined on our bylaws, the Ex Com is responsible for:

a) compliance with the by-laws and policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation;

b) engaging in any such activities within the territorial area which further the interests or objects of the Corporation, including the operation conservation or environmental programs, and media outreach;

c) developing a budget and raising funds for its own operations, as needed, and contributing to annual fundraising efforts; and

d) coordinating its activities through Staff, members and volunteers.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 is the deadline for receipt of names for candidates to be considered by the Nominations Committee.

Please send nominations to or call Tony Reddin, co-chair of the Atlantic Ex Comm at 1-902-675-4093.

by Jim Emberger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary by Jim Emberger / Telegraph Journal
11 January 2019

Just before the holidays, Brunswick News interviewed Steve Moran, CEO of gas producer Corridor, Inc. This interview, and conversations that followed it, contradicted everything that Premier Higgs told us about lifting the shale gas moratorium.

Mr. Higgs has justified lifting the moratorium because, he said, jobs and $70 million in investment would follow.

However, Corridor said it won’t be doing any drilling or investing in New Brunswick until 2021 at the earliest, and then only if it finds a financial partner, and if gas market conditions are promising, and if the province eases some gas regulations. So even if everything falls into place, investment and jobs are years away. If Corridor can’t find a partner, or if market conditions are bad, or if New Brunswick chooses not to alter its regulations (which protect residents), there may not be jobs or investment.

A fracked well is shown in this file photo. PHOTO: MARK DIXON/FLICKR

Mr. Higgs also said our gas supply from Nova Scotia would stop at the end of 2018, and that we needed local shale gas to fill that void.

But pipeline owners and gas suppliers were already on record that there would remain plenty of gas supply, though there would be a price increase. Local shale gas wasn’t an answer to an immediate supply problem.

If exploration doesn’t begin until 2021, it could still be years beyond that before Corridor would be able to fill any local supply void.

So with years before any gas activity, why is the premier rushing to lift the moratorium? Even deciding to do it without legislative involvement? What about the concerns raised by the former chief medical officer’s award-winning report on shale gas, the conclusions of the Commission on Hydrofracking, and the five conditions implemented by the last government in its moratorium?

Isn’t there plenty of time for a sober and scientific discussion of those issues? What exactly is the public policy wisdom of acting in haste?

Mr. Higgs has also stated his government wouldn’t trade special favours for corporations in exchange for jobs. Does that apply to Corridor’s demands to weaken New Brunswick’s regulations? Is putting people at increased risk part of the “responsible” development of resources that gas proponents constantly tout?

Confronted with the contradictions to his campaign rhetoric, Mr. Higgs has switched his rationale and now suggests shale gas is needed to supply a potential liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Saint John. The facility was built years ago to import gas, but is now underused.

But even if he is right – and it’s a big “if” – we are still looking at years before any jobs or royalties accrue to the province.

It’s time for Mr. Higgs to tell us what the basis of his shale gas policy truly is, who will benefit from what he is proposing, and why he has rushed to act before any discussion of events that lie years in the future.

What is certain is that his reasons to lift the moratorium have been inconsistent, at best. How do citizens – both pro and anti-fracking – feel about promise of jobs and investment that won’t happen for many years, if ever?

Will we learn why we’re lifting the moratorium in Sussex, when Corridor said it wants to drill in Elgin? Will Sussex determine whether Elgin gets fracked, or did the premier simply use Sussex as a tool to show that somebody wanted shale gas?

How will the People’s Alliance react to having spent much of its newly won political capital on saving a government by supporting its throne speech amendment on fracking?

Were PC MLAs themselves blindsided by Higgs’ actions and haste? Do they feel embarrassed when defending these actions to constituents?

Most importantly, what will the legislature do? Will it wait years to see if Corridor’s wish list comes true, while the province drifts without cogent energy, climate, employment and economic plans?

The previous legislature’s all-party climate plan already contains a roadmap to a clean energy economy that needs only to be implemented. A recent study by Dunsky Energy Consulting, commissioned by Clean Energy Canada, indicates New Brunswick could replicate the successes of similar jurisdictions and create hundreds of jobs almost immediately, leading to thousands over the years.  Perhaps, moving gas customers to increasingly inexpensive renewable energy could be a priority.

Amazingly, in spite of all of this, there are those calling to broaden the consensus for shale gas. But no consensus can be built without a foundation built on truth.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.

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

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

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

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

Why should I send my #noshalegas letter?

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

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

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

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

Climate change

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

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

Water and air pollution

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

Recommended resources:

Moncton, NB - More than 1000 young New Brunswickers participated in the fourth Branch Out, Make Waves Challenge, organized by the New Brunswick Environmental Network. Together, youth, schools, environmental groups, and community groups from across the province planted 1510 native trees and cleaned 26 hectares of shoreline.

Branch Out, Make Waves is a challenge for youth and community groups to work together on nature conservation projects in their local communities. To help raise awareness of their efforts, the youth groups were invited to participate in a photo challenge. Photos of their conservation projects were posted on-line and the public was invited to vote for their favorite entry. The photos can be seen at:

The grand prize winner of this year's challenge is Dalhousie Regional High School with more than 600 votes and 3000 views. Mr. Justin MacCurdy's students planted 50 trees and cleaned up three hectares of shoreline with the Town of Dalhousie as a partner. As Mr. MacCurdy explains, "Fresh air! Salt air! [This challenge] afforded the grade 6, 7, and 8 students of DRHS an opportunity to pursue a learning experience outside of the traditional classroom…The day was a great lesson in environmental stewardship, which gave students the opportunity to show their innate concern for our local natural environment. Just like the rocks that skipped across the bay that day we can sometimes find ourselves skipping along life’s trajectories but it is important to take the time to sit and enjoy our natural surroundings, in all their splendour, to find ourselves grounded and connected.”
Photo: Dalhousie Regional High School students participating in Branch Out Make Waves.

Contact: Raissa Marks, New Brunswick Environmental Network,, 506-855-4144
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB