Ken Hardie passed away on April 1, 2016.  Ken was dedicated to NB forests and worked tirelessly for improvements to forest policy. Through this work, he built strong links with people in the environmental community from across the province. He was executive director of the NB Federation of Woodlot Owners, and involved in the Southern New Brunswick Wood Co-op, the SNB Marketing Board and the SNB Working Woodlot program. Ken was a founding member of the New Brunswick Community Land Trust. Ken will be profoundly missed by all who are working on forest issues. Our condolences go to his family and friends.



Obituary

Kenneth Thomas Laing Hardie
1953-2016

Ken Hardie of Kars, NB, loving husband of Deborah Boles, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2016 at Saint John Regional Hospital. Born August 22, 1953, in Montreal, Ken was the son of John Laing Hardie (Selkirk, MB) and the late Alice Thompson.

Ken grew up in Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, attended high school in Pointe Claire, and university at Sir George Williams in Montreal. In 1971 Ken migrated east to study science and play varsity football at UNB where he made lifelong friendships. After university, Ken put down Maritime roots. He remained in Fredericton where he managed the UNB Student Union and played for the infamous Atlantic Rentals hockey team. However, his life soon changed when he fell in love and married Deborah Boles in 1981. The newlyweds moved to a 230 year old farmhouse in Kars on Belleisle Bay. It was here that Ken found his passion - the forest. He developed a Fundy Model woodlot on his farm and began a storied career in forestry in which he held many positions: executive director of the NB Federation of Woodlot Owners, and leadership roles in the Southern New Brunswick Wood Co-op, the SNB Marketing Board and the SNB Working Woodlot program. Ken was a proud founding member of the New Brunswick Community Land Trust.

Ken Hardie was a humble man of character and integrity who possessed a fine sense of humour. He earned the respect and admiration of all who knew him. He was passionate about environmental stewardship, nature and wildlife. His love of animals, especially his many hounds and cats, was legendary, but above all it was Deborah, his friends and family that mattered most. He will be missed. Ken was predeceased by his cherished Bernese Mountain Dog, Addie.

Besides his wife of 35 years, Ken is survived by his father; sister, Margaret (Gerald Beaudoin) of Havelock, QC; brother, Robert Hardie (Lynn Charette) of Halifax, NS; and brother-in-law, David Boles of Fredericton. Ken was the loving uncle of Mathiew and the late Jean-Luke Beaudoin; and Tyler, Jordyn and Austyn Hardie. He was much loved by cousins, Anne Maura and Mary Alice.

A memorial gathering will be held at McAdam’s Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Word of remembrance to celebrate Ken’s life will occur at 3:00 pm followed by a reception. For those who wish, donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the New Brunswick Community Land Trust, the SPCA or a charity of the donor’s choice.

www.mcadamsfh.com
Join Nature NB as we help researchers from across Canada in tracking changes in our Natural Environment! The PlantWatch program enables citizen scientists to get involved by recording flowering times for selected plant species and reporting these dates to researchers, who work to identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. No experience needed!
For more information on how to participate, visit our website:


Joignez Nature NB à aider les chercheurs de partout au Canada à suivre les changements dans notre environnement naturel. Le programme AttentionFlore permet à des citoyens scientifiques de participer et d’agir en enregistrant la période de floraison d’espèces de plantes sélectionnées, et en communiquant ces dates aux scientifiques. Aucune experience nécéssaire!
Pour plus d'information visitez notre site web.
The 2016 Festival of Nature Schedule is now available. Discover Restigouche county and surrounding areas the weekend of May 27-29th 2016.

L'horaire du Festival de la Nature 2016 est maintenant disponible. Découvrez comté de Restigouche et ses environs le week-end du 27-29 mai 2016

Schedule/horaire: http://www.naturenb.ca/about-us/2016-festival-of-nature/
Register/inscription: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2016-festival-of-nature-festiva…
“Strengthen, not weaken, the protection of our rivers, bays and drinking water”, says New Brunswick groups questioning the government’s Water Strategy

FREDERICTON, N.B. –  On World Water Day, March 22nd,  several citizen groups joined the Wolastoq Grand Council and held a Press Conference today in Fredericton to call on the Gallant government for the immediate halt to the hastily-planned review process for the New Brunswick’s new Water Strategy.  

“The process is a sham.”, says Mark D’Arcy, New Brunswick Energy East Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.  “The Gallant Government is proposing a new strategy to manage our drinking water and waterways with industry and to replace our current water classification regulation.  The process is not democratic.  The process would weaken, not strengthen, our protection of water.  And the process ignores the reality of climate change, that peoples’ lives and communities are at stake.” 

The process is not democratic. 

Brian Kenny, NB Minister of Environment and Local Government, released the Discussion Paper entitled ‘Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick” on March 6th.  Less than two weeks later, six Open Houses in rapid succession have been scheduled to gather people’s input with written feedback welcome until April 29th (see link below to government website).

“Why has there been limited advertising for these Open House consultations and why is the lead time for this input so rushed?,” asks Mark D’Arcy. “Why is the government conducting secret stakeholder meetings with watershed groups and municipalities that excludes the public? And why is there a third tier of secret stakeholder meetings only with industry. You can’t have a democracy with secret meetings. Is this to pave the way for large-scale projects such as Energy East, Sisson Brook, and shale gas fracking? Premier Brian Gallant needs to halt this process now and start an open and meaningful public process.” 

Ann Pohl, Chair of the Council of Canadians – Kent County Chapter says, “We endorse this call for an open, transparent, engaged and valid process to determine water protection policy and regulations.”

Sharlene Paul, Clanmother speaking on behalf of the Wolastoq Grand Council, says, “It is wrong of Premier Brian Gallant to release any Water Strategy without first initiating discussions with our people.  Our recent declarations here in our non-ceded Wolastoq Homeland – the ‘Water Declaration’ last May 2015 in Red Head, and our ‘Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth’ in February 2016 - are very clear about the importance of water:  The inherent right to water as a source of life.”

The process is going to weaken, not strengthen, our protection of water.

Lawrence Wuest, a retired scientist who lives in the Nashwaak River watershed, asked, “Why is the government disempowering and dismantling at least six (6) current volunteer watershed organizations along the Saint John River?  The new water strategy proposes to exclude from provincial legislation almost all the individual watersheds directly impacted by the Energy East Pipeline, the Sisson Tungsten Mine, the Minco PLC Woodstock Manganese Project, and shale gas development in the great swath of New Brunswick currently under gas and oil exploration license and lease."

Mr. Wuest emphasizes, "This would remove local community control, monitoring and advocacy in the Nashwaak Watershed, the Meduxnekeag Watershed, the Cannan River/Washademoak Lake Watershed, the Belleisle Bay Watershed, the Kennebecasis Watershed, the Hammond River Watershed, and all other existing sub-watersheds of the Saint John River.”

“Why won’t they implement the Watershed Classification System? “, asks Bill Ayer. “This is the same system successfully used by the State of Maine, which would allow NB and ME to easily exchange data on their shared Transboundary watersheds in the St. Croix and St. John River Basins.”

“We must listen to our Ombudsman,” says Margo Sheppard, member of Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. “Ombudsman Charles Murray ruled in 2014 that the province’s Water Classification Regulation was legal and that it was reckless not to put it into practice. Ombudsman Murray stressed that this Water Classification was made a strong legal tool by an amendment of the Clean Water Act on December 19, 2008.”

 “The language in the discussion paper with respect to the management and control of water by industry, including ‘water management partnerships’, is too vague and is also very troubling”, says Susan Linkletter, Vice President of the Organic Crop improvement Association, and former Executive Director of the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, “The Water Strategy is proposing a triple bottom line, that is, of managing water for people, nature, and business.  Why, when we know the value of clean drinking water, is the Province laying a foundation that would allow for the bulk transport of water between watersheds in New Brunswick, as well as the export of water out of New Brunswick?”, says Jean Louis Deveau, Chair of the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter. 

The process ignores the reality of climate change.

“The new Water Strategy ignores the focus on water in the recent NB report of the Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing”, says Maggie Connell, past Co-chair Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter.  “The Commissioner detailed steps to protect surface water and groundwater, including the “comprehensive mapping and monitoring of New Brunswick’s groundwater aquifers” and “to mitigate the impacts of climate change-related effects, such as extreme weather, on New Brunswick’s watersheds, coasts and land base”.

Our group has consistently warned Premier Gallant and his Ministers of the need to stop the unsustainable forest clear cutting and the destruction of our wetlands,” says Connell. “The environmental protection of our forests and watersheds must be an urgent priority in order to protect downstream communities.”

Marilyn Merritt-Gray a resident of Kars, one of the Belleisle Bay communities hardest hit by the Fall 2015 rain storm, says “We know all about bad roads down here, spring flooding and washouts, but the September storm was overwhelming. The government says they have already spent $15 million on bridge and road reconstruction, but even with that in our roads in places remain barely passable and other roads remain closed. For weeks the river in front of my house ran brown.”

Halt the current Water Strategy process and start over.  

“It’s important that we halt this current process and start over with a more evidence-based document and with an open and transparent process, a process which includes all Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in New Brunswick and the Chief Medical Officer of Health,” says Russ Letica, First Nation Consultation Coordinator from the Wolastoqiyik Nation.

The last planned meeting for ‘invitation-only stakeholders’ is in Fredericton on Wednesday, March 23rd from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the Fredericton Inn.  The Open House follows at 4:30pm-6:30pm, also at the Fredericton Inn.  We encourage the general public to attend these meetings, ask these important questions and your local concerns about the protection of our water, and ask the Gallant government to halt the current Water Strategy process.  The process should start only after Premier Gallant properly answers these questions.  


                                                       - 30 -

References: 



Managing Water Resources, 3pp - Released March 1, 2016

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/Water-Eau/WaterStrategy-StrategieSurLeau/ManagingWaterResources.pdf



Working Towards a Water Strategy for New Brunswick, 24pp – Released March 6, 2016

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/elg/environment/content/water/content/water_strategy.html
Gallant government watering down the protection of our rivers, streams and lakes
by Jean Louis Deveau

At the Peace and Friendship Alliance (PAFA) meeting of March 19th, Lawrence Wuest introduced us to the Gallant government’s proposed new water strategy which is meant to replace our current Water Classification Regulation, NB Regulation 2002-13.

The following is an attempt to explain the differences between the two.

The proposed new water strategy may be found on all of two pages, that is, on pages 17 and 18 of a discussion paper called Working Together to Build a Water Strategy for New Brunswick. It consists of four main goals.

Goal no. 2 of this new water strategy, as quoted from page 17, is: “to manage and use water responsibly by protecting drinking water and eco-system [sic] health while allowing economic opportunities (my emphasis).”

Of concern is that, compared to our current water policy, water will be used for economic development, “now and in the future.” An example of this would be to use water for fracking. In short, the use of water for economic development is now entrenched in the draft water strategy and so on equal footing with the traditional use of water which is to maintain the health of our environments. These two objectives are diametrically opposed. Plus, there is no indication on how water allocations would be made and who would be making those decisions other than that it would be a shared responsibility amongst the consumers, be it corporations or people, large or small.

On page 6 of the new water strategy, the Government stated that it is committed to engage First Nations communities in the discussion and that information will be sent to those communities. According to discussions held at the PAFA meeting, on March 19th, First Nations were not involved in drafting this new water strategy before it was released to the public. And since the provisions of the Government’s own policy on the Duty to Consult Indigenous Peoples requires that First Nations be consulted at the outset, as opposed to after such a policy has been drafted, the government is already in contravention of its own rules and regulations, not to mention Supreme Court of Canada rulings from which their consultation policy is a derivation of.

Our current water classification system as specified in A Guide to New Brunswick’s Water Classification Regulation, and albeit never implemented, has been in existence since 2002. It is designed to protect aquatic life. This is accomplished by way of engaging with community members to collect data on the quality of water in the streams, rivers, and lakes of their respective communities. This data is then used to classify these bodies of water according to three different classes of water: A, B, or C, where class A consists of the highest quality water. Each body of water would then be managed according to its classification. Nobody is permitted to do anything to change a body of water’s classification without receiving permission from members of the local community, thereby making local communities responsible and accountable for the care and use of their water. This is by far one of the most progressive policies in North America yet risks being dismantled by the Gallant government in exchange for their watered-down policy which is the subject of this notification.

There has been a great deal of interest demonstrated from New Brunswick’s communities in classifying bodies of water. Since 2000, more than a million dollars has been dispensed by the Environmental Trust Fund to non-governmental organizations, such as the Nashwaak Watershed Association and the Groupe du bassin versant de la region du Cap Pele, to collect data needed for the classification of some 19 rivers in New Brunswick.

table


Whereas our current water classification system is focused on a single bottom line of ensuring that the conditions necessary to maintain aquatic life are being met, as illustrated in Table 1 above, the triple bottom line of the new water strategy, that is, of managing water for people, nature, and industry is problematic for at least three reasons. First, the incorporation of water as a means for economic growth ultimately leads to the commodification of water.

The commodification of water means that water could be traded on the free market like oil, gas, and other commodities. Should our water become entangled in free trade agreements, this would undoubtedly lead to conflicts on who should have priority over its use: people, nature, or industry. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, corporations trump all else. Second, the transferring of the responsibility for the care of our water from communities into the hands of consumers, be it people or corporations, means that not only have local communities lost control over their water but that whoever has the most power and influence, in terms of corporations and or other consumers, gets to decide who uses our water. Third, this way of managing our water is not in keeping with the government’s obligations of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples who view water as sacred and who would never accept water being used for economic development.

My second point is about the lack of transparency over this issue. Despite the importance and gravity of this major policy change in water use, public consultations on this new water strategy have been occurring with little to no advertisement, thus making it nearly impossible for interested citizens to become engaged. Appearing in the Gallant Government’s last throne speech, and in a press release which was not picked up by the media, public notifications have not been widely distributed. To date, four open houses have occurred, with only two left to happen this week: Monday in Saint John and Wednesday in Fredericton. The meetings are also happening during supper time, that is, between 4:30 pm and 6:30, making it difficult for many people to attend, particularly those who finish work at 5:00 pm and those with young children in daycare. By way of comparison, the 2012 Citizen Engagement tour for the new oil and natural gas standards were well advertised and took place between 6:30 and 8:30 pm.

And finally, I wish to refer to a comment on page 13 of the new water strategy made in reference to the deficiencies of the current water classification system.

[Department of Environment and Local Government] was advised that deficiencies within this regulation prevented its use to classify surface waters and the program was put on hold. Furthermore DELG received legal advice that suggested attempting to fix this regulation would equate to an entire rewrite of that part of the legislation.

Charles Murray, our Ombudsman did not agree with the concerns expressed above by the Department of Environment and Local Government as stated on pages 5-6 of his report:

At this point, it should be noted that no court has ruled upon the Regulation. Accordingly, the suggestions that the Regulation is void or unenforceable are thus far opinion— perhaps correct, but not having the force of law...The suggestion that there continues to be unaddressed issues about the legality of Regulation 2002-13 12 years after its coming into force strains credulity.

To conclude, the Government is now developing policy that would transform water into a vehicle for economic development. Consultations with Indigenous peoples have not yet occurred and public open houses will have been completed by the time most New Brunswickers will have heard anything about this, leaving the majority of us with few options to make our voices heard on what is undoubtedly our most important and precious resource—water. The closing date for comments on the new water strategy is April 29th and so the time to act is now.

 
Creating a regenerative economy in N.B.

KEiTH HELMUTH


What kind of economy will New Brunswick have in the new energy future? A renewable energy platform is clearly coming and new energy platforms create new economies. The extraction and refining of hydrocarbons launched a new energy platform, which has created the modern economy and its many benefits. However, the growth of the hydrocarbon economy has now developed to such a scale that it has burst through the safe operating limits of earth’s geochemical and ecological boundaries, with increasingly negative effects. This is an unwelcome thought. We used to think that hydrocarbon energy paved the road to a better life. Up to a point, this idea made sense, but a threshold of reversal has been crossed.

Crossing this threshold means that, from a certain point on, the negative effects of burning hydrocarbons will be greater than the benefits. The danger of these negative effects is now so serious that it has brought almost all national governments on earth into agreement on reducing and limiting carbon emissions.

The message from the Paris climate agreement is clear: the energy platform of the economy must shift from reliance on carbon releasing fuels to a diversity of non-carbon emitting, renewable energy sources.

Fortunately, renewable energy innovators have been at bat, and it now looks like the most important public policy question is how fast this transition can be made without upsetting the apple cart of the economy.

In N.B., we are fortunate that the government has recently announced an excellent program to facilitate this transition -- Locally-Owned Renewable Energy that is Small Scale (LORESS). It’s a small start, but it’s heading in the right direction.

This transition is enormously attractive. We have the tools, materials, and knowledge to create a clean, rapidly growing, and sustainable energy platform. And the clincher is this: the renewable energy platform has the potential to help create a regenerative economy that builds up steady-state prosperity.

What might this mean for N.B.? Currently, the government seems to have one foot firmly on the hydrocarbon dock and the other stepping gingerly into the renewable energy boat. Will government grasp the economic potential of renewable energy and get fully on board?

What comes after the last use of the Energy East pipeline (if built)? What comes after fracked-out shale gas wells (if drilled)? When these projects have faded, and the jobs they created have vanished, what will they have contributed to a sustainable, self-regenerating economy?

The renewable energy industry, on the other hand, is creating a fast growing sector of sustainable, community-based employment.

Statistical analysis shows that for every $1 million invested in the oil and gas industry two jobs are created. For every $1 million invested in renewable energy 15 jobs are created. For every $1 million invested in upgrading the energy efficiency of buildings 14 jobs are created.

(See www.bluegreencanada.ca/more-bang-for-our-buck)

One of the key factors about the shift to renewable energy is that it triggers a new way of thinking about security and prosperity. It shifts thinking about the economy from the extraction of resources to the cultivation and regenerating of resources.

For example, policies that support the expansion of local food production and marketing will help build up a regenerative economy. Can we imagine a N.B. that produces at least 50 per cent of the food it needs?

Likewise, policies for woodlot and Crown land management that improve biodiversity and insure the longterm harvesting of high quality timber would move the forest industry from extraction to regeneration, and help build up a steady-state prosperity for forest-based livelihoods.

Will government catch the opportunity to facilitate a regenerative economy? This depends on whether the smart, renewable energy platform is placed at the centre of the province’s economic development future.



Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable energy Group
While the first ministers may take some time to agree on a national climate plan, there is some federal-provincial collaboration already in the works. Canada's federal and provincial auditors general are joining forces to come up with the first comprehensive national audit of climate change actions. Julie Gelfand, federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, is heading up this national initiative that will be completed in 2017.  

Ms. Gelfand was appointed as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in March 2014. She previously served as President of Nature Canada, and has worked in the mining sector.  

Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-provincial-auditors-combine-forces-1.3453346

The NBEN organized a meeting yesterday with 15 environmental groups and the Minister of Environment and Local Government and his senior staff. It was a great meeting during which we explored ways to work more closely together on water, climate change, regional planning, and other issues. Thank you to everyone who attended!

mtg Minister Kenny 2016 Mar 2
Photo: Ann Pohl
KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Council of Canadians and its four New Brunswick chapters are calling on the Gallant government to recognize it has no choice but to extend the fracking moratorium, after the report it commissioned demonstrated that its five conditions for lifting the moratorium have not been met.

“Based on the Commission’s report, the government of New Brunswick must commit to a legislated moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province. All five conditions, including social licence, have not been met and will require a lot of work,” says Denise Melanson, Council of Canadians’ Kent County chapter media spokesperson. “To give the people of this province some peace of mind and some security, the government should close the book on this industry.”

“We stand with our Indigenous allies including Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council. This report clearly recognizes the constitutional duty to consult Indigenous peoples, highlighting a critical reason a legislated moratorium is needed,” says Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton chapter.

Angela Giles, the Council’s Atlantic Regional Organizer based in Halifax, added “The Commission report highlights the need for a transition to clean energy for New Brunswick’s future energy mix. Given the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, shale gas cannot be part of the future. We need to focus on real solutions to the climate crisis in New Brunswick and beyond.”

Representatives from the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton and Kent County chapters attended the private briefing as well as the public release of the Commission’s report this morning in Fredericton.

-30-

The report is available on the NB Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing website.

Commission’s Fracking Report Shows Moratorium Remains Smartest Policy And That Time Is Right To Begin New Brunswick’s Transition to Low-Carbon Economy

FREDERICTON — The report released today from the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing provides more evidence that the provincial government made the smart policy decision by putting a moratorium in place and throws down the gauntlet for N.B. to start the transition to a thriving low-carbon economy.

Consider what the Commissioners say in their report:

  • The challenge and opportunity for economic development today is in clean and low-carbon technologies as governments across the world — including New Brunswick — prepare to deal with the opportunities and challenges of climate change. The Commissioners say New Brunswick must transition away from the old-world economies of resource extraction into a new value-added and knowledge-based era driven by new forms of energy, stating: “The world is shifting towards integrated energy systems that will be supported by a variety of advanced technologies, most of which will not require fossil fuels.”

  • The environmental protection and energy regulatory system in New Brunswick is prone to conflicts of interest. The Commissioners highlight significant gaps in the current framework, such as the lack of understanding and mapping of our groundwater system, and highlight pieces that are broken entirely, such as the failure of the Water Classification regulation for protecting rivers and streams. The current approach means a government department has to have two heads, meaning ministers serve two masters — one that promotes energy projects and another that regulates them. This system leads not only to confusion, anger and distrust but also creates too many unanswered questions, especially with respect to the cumulative effects of energy projects on water, air and public health.

  • Nation-to-Nation communication with First Nation communities is sorely lacking and needs years of repair and capacity-building for all involved.

“The Commissioners rightly point out that the world shifted with the signing of the first universal climate agreement and that the real opportunities for jobs and economic growth comes from clean energy and energy efficiency,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “The economic case for renewables grows stronger every month and energy efficiency has long been recognized as a tool for creating jobs and keeping electricity affordable.”

Corbett continued: “It’s clear from the Commissioners’ report that New Brunswick’s regulatory and oversight system is prone to conflicts of interest and is at best years away from being ready to handle shale gas. If we spend 90% of our effort and New Brunswickers’ ingenuity focused on building the clean energy transition then we’d all be much better off than continuing an endless conversation about fracking.”

Corbett concluded: “The moratorium was the smart public policy decision in 2014 and it remains the right public policy well into the future. The Commissioners outline the crossroads our province — and the world at large — is facing, and it’s hard to imagine a future for new shale gas development in a world committed to protecting our families from climate change. Our best bet for creating jobs right now in New Brunswick is through energy efficiency and clean power technology. That’s the road we need to take, and it’s the road that doesn’t put our drinking water or communities’ health at risk.”
—30—

The report will be available on the Commission's website.

Read the submissions the commission received from groups and individuals here.

Read the commissioners’ blog here.

To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Director. Office: 458-8747; Cell: 261-1353; Email: jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

Free Videos and Lesson Plans About Climate Change in Atlantic Canada!

(For use in middle and high school classrooms in New Brunswick.)

Students learn about climate change from experts and locals with decades of first-hand experience (such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders). 

View the classroom materials here: http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/projects-and-initiatives/education.html

Schools can request a free presentation and training session for their teachers by Fundy Biosphere staff on how to use the education materials in their classrooms.

Contact Megan de Graaf by email at info@fundy-biosphere.ca.

Book your training session before March 31st 2016!

Wolastoq Grand Council Addresses the Energy East Pipeline
Ottawa January 29, 2016

The Wolastoq Grand Council represents the non-ceded homeland of the Wolastoqewiyik who occupy the homeland and waterways as follows: North - Wolastoq River (aka St.John River which flows from Maine to the Bay of Fundy), South - Kenepek River (aka Kennebec), East - Supeq (aka Atlantic Ocean), and West – Wahsipekuk (aka St. Lawrence River).

As members of the Wolastoq Grand Council we unanimously oppose the Energy East Pipeline Project in order to protect our non-ceded homeland and waterways, our traditional and cultural connection to our lands, waterways, and air. The Wolastoq Grand Council has serious concerns for the safety and protection of the animals, fish, birds, insects, plants and tree life that sustains our Wolastoq Nation.

The Wolastoq Grand Council recognizes and values the statements made by the Federal Government on January 27, 2016 to consult with Indigenous Nations with respect to the project of our Ancestral Homeland. The Wolastoq Grand Council is willing to meet with the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and other senior personnel in critical discussions that are consistent with our Peace and Friendship Treaties in a Nation-to-Nation relationship. There is a legal duty of the Crown to address and support our concerns due to the inadequacy of the National Energy Board process.

The Wolastoq Grand Council will expect from the appropriate Crown delegate and provincial representative, a written acceptance of our traditional philosophy, and our rejection of the Energy East tar sands pipeline as soon as possible.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Ottawa, le 29 janvier 2016

Le Grand conseil de la communauté Wolastoq représente la patrie non cédée des Wolastoqewiyik. Ces derniers occupent les terres et les cours d’eau suivant : Nord – Wolastoq River (maintenant connu sous le nom de fleuve Saint-Jean et qui coule de l’état du Maine à la Baie de Fundy), Sud – Kenepek River (aussi connu sous le nom de la Kennebec), Est – Supeq (également appelé l’Océan Atlantique) et Ouest – Wahsipekuk (appelé également le fleuve Saint-Laurent).


En tant que membres du Grand conseil Wolastoq, nous sommes unanimement contre le projet de l’Oléoduc Énergie Est afin de protéger notre patrie non cédée et nos cours d’eau, nos rapports traditionnels et culturels avec nos terres, nos cours d’eau et nos espaces aériens. Le Grand conseil Wolastoq entretient de vives inquiétudes à l’égard de la santé et la sécurité des animaux, des poissons, des oiseaux, des insectes, des plantes et de la vie des arbres qui soutiennent notre peuple Wolastoq. 


Le Grand conseil Wolastoq reconnait et valorise les déclarations faites par le gouvernement fédéral le 27 janvier 2016. Ce dernier avait dit qu’il consultera les peuples autochtones par rapport au projet de notre territoire ancestral. Le Grand conseil Wolastoq est disposé à rencontrer le ministre des Ressources naturelles, Jim Carr, et d’autres fonctionnaires de rang supérieur, pour entamer des discussions critiques qui sont conformes à nos traités de paix et d’amitié dans une relation de nation à nation. La Couronne a une obligation légale d’adresser et de soutenir nos préoccupations en raison de l’inefficacité du processus de l’Office national de l’énergie.

Le Grand conseil Wolastoq attend du délégué approprié de la Couronne une confirmation écrite de notre philosophie traditionnelle et de notre rejet du projet de l’Oléoduc Énergie Est, de la pipeline et de ses sables bitumineux, et ce, le plus rapidement possible.

Ron Tremblay,
Wolastoq Grand Chief / Grand chef de la nation Wolastoq
OBITUARY OF THE ACADIAN FOREST - With great sadness we mourn the sudden, tragic death of more than 12,600 acres/year of Acadian Forest which, until this year, had been placed in the care of its Trustee, the Province of New Brunswick, for heritage conservation purposes. The death was caused by a routine case of what the Province of New Brunswick calls “carefully managed clear cutting." The amount cut is equivalent to cutting Mactaquac Provincial Park 10 times every year and for the next 25 years.

This part of New Brunswick's forest had been entrusted to the Province for perpetual care by rural and urban residents alike for the benefit of all generations. Felled by the tens of thousands, primarily along rivers and streams, the premature and suspicious death means this forest will no longer be able to provide much needed water flow, temperature and flood control.

Along with more severe soil erosion and increased flooding in its communities, this tragic 'death by clear cutting' will further reduce fish populations, notably that of the pride of New Brunswick rivers, the Atlantic Salmon. As well, thousands of deer and countless other species of animals and plants associated with Old Growth Forests will now die because the shelter and food they need to survive that had been provided by the forest was, of course, also destroyed by the clear cut.

The Acadian Forest is survived by a very distant relative, the Tree Plantation, unable to provide the same type of life-giving function of its now dead relative. Meanwhile, yet another 'unnatural death by clear cut' in New Brunswick is prompting calls for an inquest into what has been called the reckless endangerment of all the New Brunswick Forests by their Trustee, the Province. In a stunning admission, the Province of New Brunswick has admitted to openly colluding with serial clear cutters. Adding to the concern is the fact that the Forest estate was stripped of assets by 'serial clear cutters' before its death and so left nothing to the residents of New Brunswick.

The dead forest, more than 10,000 years old and now gone forever, was predeceased by northern cod stocks off the Atlantic coast who also fell victim to "careful management" by their Trustees.

In lieu of flowers and other tokens of mourning for this beloved member of New Brunswick's Natural Family, letters, e-mails, tweets and other expressions of outrage directed to Premier Brian Gallant, Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry, and your MLA are requested.

Rest in peace Acadian Forest.
newbanner
Monday, February 22, 2016, 9:00 - 4:30
Fredericton Inn

·           What can we learn from other Canadian jurisdictions?
·           What resonates with the public in NB? With decision-makers?
·           What works well? And what doesn’t work at all?
·           How do you balance conservation with recreational and educational opportunities?

Highlights
-          Protected Areas: Lessons from Across Canada – Hear from Nova Scotia, Quebec, Alberta and others!
-          Increasing public support in NB – a panel of home-grown experts share their experience and know-how.
-          Establishing Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in NB - What are the challenges and how can support be built?
-          Building a case for protected areas in NB – throughout the day, work with others to identify what will resonate in NB and build the case!

Join us! For more information and to register, click here!

Hosted by the NB Biodiversity Collaborative. Brought to you by the Planning Committee:
-          Al Hanson, Canadian Wildlife Service
-          Barb Brown
-          David MacKinnon, Nova Scotia Environment
-          Eric Tremblay, Kouchibouguac National Park
-          Paula Noel, Nature Conservancy of Canada
-          Peter McLaughlin, NB Department of Environment and Local Government
-          Renata Woodward, Nature Trust of NB
-          Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, NB Chapter
-          Steve Gordon, NB Department of Natural Resources

With thanks to the NB Wildlife Trust Fund, Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Conservation Council Logo
Jan. 27, 2016

Statement on critical changes to pipeline/energy project assessment

FREDERICTON — Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued this statement following the announcement today from Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna:

“We want to congratulate Ministers Carr and McKenna for using both common sense and a comprehensive understanding of the urgency we need to tackle carbon pollution by requiring major oil production projects, like TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, to undergo a science-based assessment, including First Nations' traditional knowledge, as well as direct and upstream greenhouse gas pollution linked to the project.   

It was naive and foolhardy not to include greenhouse gas analysis in oil pipeline projects but in its sheer stubborn determination to rush tarsands oil to export markets and damn the climate consequences, the former government did exactly that. One take-away lesson for decision makers everywhere today is that short cuts in environmental assessments are usually anything but.

We also welcome the Ministers' intention to ensure the public’s right to participate in project reviews. That means the input of people from Edmundston, to the Tobique, all along the St. John River through to communities along our Bay of Fundy must be respected, instead of ignored. We look forward to working with this government in the near future to ensure that the climate analysis and other new requirements are robust.”
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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications: 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
$100 DISCOUNT UNTIL DEC 31 

On March 7th, 8th and 9th there will be an opportunity for hands-on training into the planning and application of climate change considerations for forest managers. This training is designed for all natural resource managers across the Maritimes who are interested in actively enhancing the ability of forests to cope with changing climate conditions. individuals and small teams can participate in this training. The training enables participants to incorporate applicable adaptations into a current or developing forest management plan. The workshop will take place in Fredericton. Space is limited to 40 participants.

Registration:

Registration cost includes lunch, refreshments, dinner on Monday evening, evening activities and a complete set of digital resourcesVisit our website at ARPFNB | AFANB – Fees and Payments to reserve your space now with a credit card. Cash/cheque will also be accepted by Lori Curtis 506-452-6933 info@arpfnb at the ARPFNB office; please contact her to make arrangements.

ARPFNB member                         $175

Non-member before Dec. 31         $175

Non-member after Dec. 31            $275


Over the past six weeks or so, the NBEN has brought together groups from across the province to develop a joint submission to the Education Plan Secretariat that focuses on integrating sustainability education into our K-12 education system.  We are super excited about the resulting document, which provides a great framework for transforming our education system for a sustainable future.

This idea was born out of the most recent Sustainability Education Alliance conference, which was held at the end of October.

Click here to read the submission.

The following letter was sent to the Minister today....

Hon. Denis Landry 
Minister of Natural Resources


As a resident of the Province of New Brunswick, I am deeply concerned that the spraying of our forests is a very dangerous practice that is irresponsible, reckless and potentially affecting the health of its residents. 


As the President of the Moncton Fish & Game Association, I am also concerned that spraying is also killing our wildlife. Animals in the forest and fish in our waterways are allegedly suffering the negative effects of the spraying of our woodlands. We know that the practice is legal and permissible in our province however we need to ask ourselves should it continue? Should companies be allowed to spray to prevent hardwood growth? Should they be allowed to spray to prevent the spread of berries and other nutrients that wildlife eat? 


As a province that relies very heavily on its natural resources, (which by the way include generations of hunters and fishermen all of which bring in tens of millions to our NB economy), we all should be deeply concerned. There is a fine line that we have to respect when dealing with Mother Nature. She is not very forgiving at times and it may take many many years to correct the wrongs of previous generations. While current forestry practices permit vast clear cuts and the related spraying of these chemicals, all of these activities must be analysed. 


Potentially, a moratorium on spraying could be put into place until more scientific information is available. We know that this government is not opposed to moratoriums as is evident by the current one on fracking. Rather than point fingers at companies which will garner the whole cause no credibility at all, we as residents and people who enjoy the outdoors, people concerned for our own health and the health of our children, we all need to band together and question the government in a relentless, credible yet organized public campaign to end this practice once and for all. 


Forestry activities will continue and as a manageable resource they rightfully should continue; however, neighbouring Provinces of Nova Scotia and Quebec are doing very well with their forestry practices, both enjoying great revenues which belong to the taxpayers and they are NOT spraying. If they can do it then why are we not able to continue forestry operations without spraying and potentially harming people, wildlife and fish? 


The Moncton Fish & Game Association has taken an official stance that we do not support the spraying of our woodlands. 


Thank you and I look forward to a response.


Robert Snider, 

President

Moncton Fish & Game Association
OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF N.B.



Our Chief Medical Officer of Health has been fired.   No cause given.   No reason given.



Dr Eilish Cleary is an ethical, courageous, hard-working, award-winning doctor and perhaps the best CMOH this province has ever been fortunate to have.   She has worked tirelessly to protect the health of the people of N.B..   She has been a wonderful ambassador for Canada in her selfless service in West Africa during the Ebola Crisis.   She has brought decent health care for the first time to First Nations.       Why, then, was she fired ?



Liberal officials are refusing to talk.   Do they even understand the meaning of Public Service ?



Was her error to put the health of the people of N.B. first  ?   Was her commitment to researching the issues more information than our government wanted ?   Was her bravery in speaking the truth on health matters too much for our “bought-and-paid-for” government  ?   Did Industry pull the strings ?  



Are politicians once again showing their true colours?   If so, they have opened a can of worms.   The outrage is growing.   Something is rotten in New Brunswick.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015

FREDERICTON —
 Stephanie Merrill, Director of Freshwater Protection with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Environment’s approval of the Sisson Mine Environmental Impact Assessment:

“I’m surprised by today’s announcement considering it’s been made in a vacuum. Final approval of this project is a joint process between the provincial and federal government — but we’re still waiting on the review from the feds, and there are outstanding parts of that review that we’re committed to participating in.

The province also has not released the summary of the Independent Review Panel to the public, as it’s required to do by law. The summary needs to be released right away for the sake of transparency, otherwise our government is playing fast and loose with the rules that let people participate in this process.

The company behind the mine proposal, Sisson Mines Ltd, is still far from securing the financing needed to move forward with the project, and no public financing accounts have been released. At best, today’s announcement is a signal that the province is open to business, but in reality, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

The conditions of approval are vague when it comes to critical issues like emergency planning, the security of the tailings dam, and liability. Most striking, we’re letting the fox guard the henhouse by leaving the responsibility to protect the Nashwaak River and watershed directly in the hands of the company. Even the International Council on Mining —  composed of the world’s largest companies — said yesterday that the control standards for tailing facilities are inadequate and the council would be reviewing and revising its standards.

We’ve seen at least three major tailings disasters in the past year and a half — at Mount Polley in B.C., the Buenavista del Cobre mine in Mexico, and most recently in Brazil,  where 16 people died and the Brazilian government announced yesterday a $5.2 (billion) USD billion lawsuit against the company responsible.

First and foremost at this point, we call on the province to release the summary report of the Independent Review Panel so New Brunswickers know what the experts in the scientific community have to say about this project proposal.”
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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: 458-8747 | 261-1353 |jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has released a new special edition of its membership magazine,
EcoAlert: <2° — Making it Happen at COP21 in Paris.


This special edition will help you cut through the jargon and technicalities of international climate negotiations to understand: What the heck is COP21 in Paris? What’s it all about? What does the fight against climate change mean for me, our province, and Canada as a whole?


  • In this issue: • the road to locally-made clean energy in NB • charting the course toward a low-carbon economy • a brief history of international climate negotiations • best and the rest: countries’ climate plans heading into COP21 • how you can live greener and cleaner at home and work • and more


Click here to download a PDF version of this issue, or head to our archives for past editions.
Live Wild Eng Bilingual

The Communications Team of the Biodiversity Collaborative has been working hard to develop a logo – and the final product is gorgeous. The logo was developed to help create awareness of the importance of New Brunswick’s biodiversity and to build public interest in preserving it. This logo can be used by all collaborative partner organizations to demonstrate solidarity and connect various efforts to advance biodiversity conservation, stewardship, and education. The logo is intended to supplement organizations’ brands by demonstrating a collaborative spirit.

Everyone is invited to use this logo!

  • Put it on your website and highlight your biodiversity work
  • Raise awareness through your social media and enhance your brand
  • Use it in your education materials and celebrate nature
Kudos to everyone who was involved in developing this logo!

Check out all the versions – and then get on board to build a brand for NB biodiversity!

FREDERICTON — A broad range of public interest groups and experts in New Brunswick says new legislation is needed to ensure our public forests are being managed to meet the needs of all New Brunswickers.

The group, which includes representatives from wildlife organizations, the scientific community, private woodlot owners, environmental and conservation organizations, is calling for the urgent development of a new Crown Lands and Forests Act.

In a statement sent to the provincial government today, the group says the existing act, which came into law in 1980, fosters an outdated approach to forest management and fails to reflect the interests of the whole province. Forest management has become more complex, and New Brunswickers now expect forests to be managed for water, wildlife, recreation and other uses as well as jobs and revenue.

The statement referenced Auditor General Kim MacPherson’s June 2015 report on forest management, which stated our public forest should be managed for economic, environmental and social values, and highlighted that the province has lost money from the management of public forests for at least the last five years.

The group says new forest legislation should:

(1) State clear principles for managing public forests to protect the range of life in the forest, nature’s benefits, a wide variety of sustainable, forest-based business opportunities, and recreational values all in the context of climate change;

(2) Clarify and reinstate government as the trustee responsible to the public for the stewardship of Crown lands;

(3) Ensure transparency in setting forestry goals and objectives, and in achieving them, including a robust system of public involvement and consultation throughout the process;

(4) Respect the Peace and Friendship Treaties and establish mechanisms for consultation through free, prior, and informed consent with indigenous peoples;

(5) Support diversification and value-added processing within New Brunswick’s forest products sector; and,

(6) Ensure that private woodlots provide a proportional share of the wood supply and promote productivity from private woodlots through stronger management, pricing and marketing measures.

Read the group’s statement and background information here.

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“Our membership is convinced that opening more conservation land to harvesting of trees in sensitive, stream buffers could endanger vulnerable Atlantic salmon populations by damaging the habitats upon which they depend. It is appalling that such a sweeping change to the forest management regime was forced upon us without any discussion with the concerned watershed groups and conservation groups.   We have deepened our commitment to work cooperatively with the provincial government, First Nations, the forest industry, scientists, conservation organizations and other interest groups to better manage our Crown resources,” says Debbie Norton, President of NB Salmon Council.

“What’s really significant here is the broad range of people who are coming together and saying, ‘this act doesn’t work for us anymore — it doesn’t work for the good of the province. Our forests are very special to New Brunswickers, so when this many people and different types of experts are saying something is broken, it’s time to fix it,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“Naturalists from across New Brunswick are very concerned about the lack of attention the province pays to wildlife and habitat in our public forests. We see the consequences of this every day, we are ready to work with government in developing a new act that better protects New Brunswick nature,” says Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director of Nature NB.

“NB lags behind all provinces in Canada except PEI when it comes to protecting nature. New legislation could carefully craft new directives about how to balance investments in forest conservation and other economic interests,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of Canadians Parks and Wilderness – New Brunswick.

“The fundamental flaw in the act is that industrial consumers of wood were made managers of crown land and not customers, there are conflicts of interest, that can only be resolved by creating a new CFLA.Wood lot owners believe that the people harvesting crown wood should have a common interest with us in getting fair market value for  logs and other forest products. It is time to correct the mistakes of the past for the good of all N.B.,” says Andrew Clark of the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners.

“The New Brunswick Wildlife Federation supports the use of public forests in the province to provide a variety of social and economic benefits. However, those uses should not compromise the integrity of natural habitats and biodiversity,” says Charles LeBlanc, President of the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca  

Sabine Dietz, Nature NB: 536-1260 | 536-7560 | sabine.dietz@bellaliant.net (bilingual)

Andrew Clark, New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners: 459-2990 | 324-3380 | andrewclark@xplornet.com

Peter J Cronin, NB Salmon Council: 444-9012 | 238-4616 | pjcronin18@gmail.com

Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, NB Chapter: 452-9902 | rclowater@cpaws.org

Rod Currie, New Brunswick Wildlife Federation: 458-5643 | racurrie@nb.sympatico.ca
Attention: The New Brunswick Hydraulic Fracturing Commission

Ancient Voices

We are totally dependent on the Earth for life, and because of the arrogance of a superiority attitude, western society is headed in the wrong direction. As a consequence, climate change is here and people are in a panic. Grandchildren are asking, “What will happen to me?”

What 200 year old prophesies said has now come to pass. People have disobeyed the natural laws of the universe, and are stubbornly determined to ignore the voices of reason and truth. The Earth governs all life here, and she will have no mercy.

The Wolastokewinobk (Maliseet Grand Council) is the traditional decision-making structure of the Wolastokewiyik - the people of the beautiful river. We are the river people, indigenous to the entire St. John River watershed. Our Grand Council is made up of our clans, from the oldest to the youngest. We send these words to your commission on behalf of our extended families, as well as the deer, the moose, birds, fishes, and all other living things within our traditional territories. Our lands and waters have never been ceded or surrendered, therefore we are still the title holders.

Canada, New Brunswick and big business have and continue to exploit and expropriate our traditional lands and resources amounting to categorical infringement on our right to use our land and hunt, fish, and gather. Currently the following industries are infringing on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights:
  • All attempts to further the industry of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in our territory must stop immediately.
First of all our people have not been adequately consulted, and in fact we have been abused and punished for taking a stand to protect our sacred lands and waters. Secondly, traditional stories in our language tell us of a time when there was great flooding on the river and the reversing falls was caused by an ancient earthquake. There is also historical evidence of major fault lines through the centre of our territory from earlier earth quakes which is what caused salt water lakes to form all the way up to central parts of the Province of New Brunswick. It is well known that ‘fracking’ causes earthquakes to happen, because of the lubricated, chemically laced cocktail that is pumped into the ground under extremely high pressure. There is too much of a risk to allow fracturing to take place here and we do not support this destructive industry. We request that you to put a stop to this detrimental activity in our homeland.
  • The Irving Forestry Companies have not only clear cut our forests, they are also spraying poisonous carcinogenic herbicides such as glyphosate all over ‘our land,’ to kill hardwood trees, and other green vegetation. Both human and animal health is at serious risk, not to mention leaving no food for the animals.
Streams, brooks and creeks are drying up, causing the dwindling of Atlantic salmon and trout. Places where our people gather medicines, hunt deer and moose are being contaminated with poison. We were not warned about the use of these dangerous herbicides, but then cancer rates have been on the rise in Maliseet communities, especially breast cancers in women and younger people are dying from cancer.
  • Open Pit Mining for tungsten and molybdenum is another infringement on the rights of our people – archeology shows that our people have been there around 7000 years – the oldest period found in the heart of New Brunswick.
This is Maliseet traditional territory and we have not been consulted. Open pit mines require tailing ponds, this one designated to be the largest in the world. It is well known that all tailing ponds have a high probability to breach their bounds, and definitely will seep out into the environment. A spill or leak from the Sisson Brook open pit mine will permanently contaminate the Nashwaak River, which is a tributary of the Wolastok (St. John River) and surrounding waterways. This is the only place left clean enough for the survival of the Atlantic salmon.
  • Oil pipelines and refineries are also among the current abominable schemes, bent on contaminating and destroying the very last inch of (Wblastokok) Maliseet territory.
The above mentioned industries are just another layer of infringements on the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Wolastokewiyik. Rivers, lakes, streams, and lands have been contaminated already to the point that we are unable to gather our annual supply of fiddleheads, and medicines. This territory has never been ceded or surrendered by our people – yet not an inch of our land has been spared for our traditional use. Government and industry blindly and carelessly proceed to exploit and misappropriate Indigenous lands and resources to the point of extreme damage and destruction, and continue to ignored the concerns and protests of Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick.

The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that all levels of government have a “duty to consult with aboriginal people” prior to the beginning of any project, or any other kind of land use, that would cause an infringement on the Indigenous rights of our people.

The Wolastokewiyik (Maliseet People) - the Title Holders - have not been consulted on any of the above projects. Therefore governments and/or companies do not have our consent to proceed with hydro-fracturing, open pit mining, or the building of pipelines for gas and oil bitumen, on or across our traditional lands and waters.

The duty to consult has become a meaningless process. Companies meet with INAC Chiefs, who’s jurisdiction is limited to within each of their respective reserves. Individuals are given a power point presentation, and then told the next step is accommodation. Question: then to the chief - What do you want?

The majority of the people do not go to these meetings due to the manipulation of the process, and the lack of regard for collective rights. Collective rights require collective discussion and collective decision-making. The closest interpretation of our treaty and aboriginal right to consultation is written in international law: Free, Prior and informed consent.

In conclusion, humans are supposed to be responsible and intelligent beings, who were given instruction on how to live on the earth.

One of the oldest teachings about how to live on the land – “ wihkwelan tehpo eli powalbkw wblam keti sepowsowipbn” itbm Kelowbskap.” Take only what you need in order to live. Maintaining the balance of nature is the way to live on the earth. Arrogance is why we are going in the wrong direction. If we do not follow the spiritual laws of the universe, nature will take over. There will be no mercy in nature, only law.

It is the Earth that governs life here – all life comes from the earth. You can have no value for resources that have been stolen. Greed, selfishness, and foolishness have taken over, and they have no value at all for life. Why else have become the enemy of the earth?

Business as usual is over. Oil and Carbon is over. We will pay for damages by what is coming. Economies will be wrecked. If we continue to disregard the laws of nature the Earth will bring about the balance herself, through diseases, crisis events – etc. We have to change the way of living.

Sincerely,

Alma H. Brooks
Grandmother, The Maliseet Grand Council

October 15, 2015
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2015

New Brunswick Citizens Presented with Environmental Awards

On Saturday, November 14, 2015, two environmental awards were presented to New Brunswick citizens in honour of exemplary service to their community. The prizes, awarded by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), recognize significant efforts by citizens and citizen groups toward the protection and restoration of New Brunswick’s environment.

Jocelyne Gauvin, of the Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group, was honoured with an Environmental Achievement Award for her passion for sustainable development and her commitment to her community. According to Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the NBEN, “For many years, Jocelyne has dedicated her limitless energy to environment and sustainable development issues in her region with the Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group. As she moves towards semi-retirement, we felt that it was an appropriate time to honour her work and efforts.”

The Samaqan Award, for those who have dedicated their efforts to the waters, was presented to Donald Killorn “for his tireless commitment and innovative approaches to the conservation of freshwater ecosystems.” Killorn is the Executive Director of Eastern Charlotte Waterways, a group whose purpose is to promote responsible management and development of the environment through community based actions.

The awards were presented during the Annual General Assembly of the NBEN, which was held in Saint John on November 14, 2015.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network is a non-profit communications network of over 90 citizens’ environmental groups from across the province. The goal of the Network is to encourage communication among groups and between groups, government and other sectors.

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Media Contact:
Raissa Marks, 506-855-4144
October 15, 2015



PRESS RELEASE



TransCanada blocking local residents from attending their Energy East Pipeline Community Liaison Committee meeting



SAINT JOHN – This week, nine local residents and landowners requested to sit in as observers at TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Community Liaison Committee meeting held at the Hampton Inn, Saint John, on Wednesday, October 14.  Blocking their entrance, a security guard informed them that only members of the Committee were permitted at the meeting.



Residents then asked to speak with a TransCanada representative. A short discussion took place with Pamela McKay, Trans Canada’s community consultant, which was videotaped. Ms. McKay informed the residents that TransCanada did not have a policy to allow observers at their Energy East community liaison meetings and that the residents would not be permitted to enter the meeting room.



https://youtu.be/a4hdSWxq1Pw

TransCanada blocking local residents from Community Liaison Committee in Saint John, Oct 14, 2015 (12:26)



“Unlike other local industrial committees, TransCanada denies entry to local citizens,“ said Saint John resident David Thompson who was part of the group kept out of the meeting.  Mr Thompson has a long history of participating in industrial liaison meetings, and presently sits on two other industrial community liaison committees in Saint John.  “We simply wanted to sit quietly and listen to tonight’s committee meeting.”



“Open, transparent, and democratic public participation should be the operating principles of each and every community liaison committee,” added Thompson. “The National Energy Board should be required to practice this.”



 “It’s a straw horse; it’s dishonest that TransCanada will go to National Energy Board and use this Community Liaison Committee as fulfilling part of their community outreach and consultation,” remarked Colin Seeley after being refused entry.  “As a person with a proposed pipeline running across my property, I have not been contacted since it was announced that the project was being delayed for 2 years.  Meanwhile, TransCanada has been pushing ahead with work on the project such as the recent borehole testing in Red Head.”



Leslie Hillman, Red Head resident and member of Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association (RHACPA), was also disappointed to be refused entry, “TransCanada should respect the interests, the health, and the well-being of the residents and make the meeting open to the citizen observers.”



Teresa Debly, a Red Head resident whose family property has already been impacted by industrial development in the area, says, “Several residents who have considerable experience with other industrial community committees, including myself, have repeatedly requested to be accepted as Committee members, but have been denied each time by TransCanada.  Back in February, I was utterly shocked when TransCanada hired a retired police officer to prevent landowners from attending these meetings.  We are calling upon TransCanada to immediately open up their Community Liaison Committee meeting.”



A copy of this News Release and the web link to the video is also being sent to the National Energy Board. 



Media contacts: David Thompson, Saint John, 506-635-1297 and Leanne Sutton, Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, 506-654-7857
This year marks the 10th anniversary for the NB Children’s Environmental Health Collaborative!  And to feature this event, we are hosting a workshop "Children's Health, Equity and the Environment: Creating Action" which looks at the issue through a new lens that brings together health, equity and the environment.  The workshop is themed around the questions:

What are the links between social inequity, the environment and children’s health?
What actions can happen, now on the ground, to immediately improve health outcomes for NB children?

Highlights

·         Experiential learning – a child-led tour of where North End Saint John children live and play
·         Children’s Health, Social Equity and Environment Fair

Speakers

·         Children's Health and the Environment - The Problem and the Solution, Philip Landrigan, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics and Dean for Global Health, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
·         Serious about equity? Thinking and working differently, Jeffrey Masuda, Director,  The Centre for Environmental Health Equity, and
Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Department of Geography, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
·         Making our towns and cities healthier, Anne Roué Le Gall, Professor, Ecole des hautes études en santé publique, Rennes, France
·         NB Snap Shot: Associations and Trending, Michelina Mancuso, Executive Director of Performance Measurement, NB Health Council

Round Table

How is equity linked to children's health, socially, economically and environmentally?
What can be done?

Moderator: Bernard Richard

Round Table Contributors:
·         Jennifer Carhart, Principal, Princess Elizabeth School
·         Randy Hatfield, Executive Director, Human Development Council
·         Rob Moir, Professor of Economics and the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences, UNBSJ
·         Silvia Borsic, Executive Director, Saint John Family Resource Centre

Join us as we envision a different future for children’s health in New Brunswick. We will dream, and then we will get down to brass tacks and work together to determine real actions.

For more information and to register: http://www.nben.ca/index.php/en/cycling-article-event-01-nb-children-s-environmental-health-workshop

Brought to you by the organizing committee:

Barb McKinnon, NB Lung Association
Brigitte Lapointe, Health Canada
Céline Surette, Université de Moncton
Karen White-Masry, Scott Giffin and Todd Arsenault, NB Department of Health
Mary Ann Coleman, NB Environmental Network
Mary Britten-Belding, VON- Healthy Baby and Me
Mélanie LeBlanc, NB Department of Environment
Sharon Murphy, PEACE-NB
MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – Wednesday, October 14, 2015 – The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) is celebrating National Science and Technology Week (October 16-25,  2015) with a new classroom resource that will facilitate climate change education and foster environmental awareness and scientific literacy among students.

“Students in New Brunswick classrooms tend to learn about complex or major scientific events in the context of the United States or in the tropical rainforests of Brazil,” says FBR Executive Director, Megan de Graaf. “The Fundy Biosphere Reserve wants to change that. And one of the most pressing issues right in our own backyard is climate change.”

Climate Change in Atlantic Canada is an impressive multimedia project showcasing thought-provoking interviews with experts and locals who have decades of first-hand experience with the local climate, such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders.

In 2011, with funding from the NB Environmental Trust Fund, FBR Conservation Program Manager Ben Phillips began to interview local climate knowledge-holders. The project also included some climate data analysis to explain local trends in our weather, such as temperature highs and lows, snow fall and melt dates, number of drought days, and rain event amounts and duration. The project rapidly evolved into an exciting collaboration between the Fundy Biosphere Reserve and Dr. Ian Mauro (previously the Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change at Mount Allison University, now Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg). Working with Mauro’s team, a year’s worth of video footage was carefully assembled into short documentary films, which aim to increase awareness about the real world experiences of Atlantic Canadian coastal communities, and how they are on the front lines of climate change and responding to it.

The Fundy Biosphere Reserve then researched and developed lesson plans to go along with each video in the series, so that the videos could be used as a teaching tool in middle and high school classrooms.

De Graaf explains: “We worked with specialists in pedagogy to see where within the New Brunswick curricula our materials were best suited and how we could effectively deliver them. The result has been engaging lesson plans and materials for teachers to use with very little preparation needed. We’re now ready to disseminate the materials as widely as possible throughout schools in New Brunswick - as well as throughout the Atlantic provinces.”

Teachers can access the Climate Change in Atlantic Canada videos and classroom lesson plans - at no cost - by visiting www.climatechangeatlantic.com. The materials are available under the "Education" tab (password: climateeducation). Schools can also request a free presentation and training session for their teachers by Fundy Biosphere staff on how to use the education materials in their classrooms by contacting FBR Executive Director Megan de Graaf atinfo@fundy-biosphere.ca. More information on the project is also available on the Fundy Biosphere Reserve’s website at fundy-biosphere.ca/en/projects-and-initiatives/education.html.the most pressing issues right in our own backyard is climate change.”

Climate Change in Atlantic Canada is an impressive multimedia project showcasing thought-provoking interviews with experts and locals who have decades of first-hand experience with the local climate, such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders.


Students in New Brunswick classrooms tend to learn about complex or major scientific events in the context of the United States or in the tropical rainforests of Brazil. The Fundy Biosphere Reserve wants to change that.

We’re pleased to present Climate Change in Atlantic Canada.



At the height of the harvest season and just in time for Thanksgiving, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick is releasing its new, free BuyLocalNB™ smartphone app!

Our user-friendly app helps you find delicious and wholesome locally-grown meats and alternatives, fruits, vegetables, grain products and more — all grown or produced right here in New Brunswick! 

Looking to prepare a local-infused Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings this year? Use the BuyLocalNB™ to source your ingredients within minutes.

But it’s not just for local food! Looking for furniture with that authentic, hand-carved feel? Or are you on the look-out for a thoughtful gift idea, like the perfect hand-made artisanal craft? Maybe you want environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies or soaps? The BuyLocalNB™ directory has it all, and our new smartphone app puts everything right at your fingertips.

We also want to help you experience the local food economy through our smartphone app. Use the ‘Visit a Farm’ feature to find a local producer near you — maybe a sugar shack, apple orchard or dairy farm — and arrange a first-hand look at what they do to provide our families with fresh, wholesome, local products. You’ll also find the dozens of farmers markets and local markets adding life and vibrancy to our communities.

buylocal_ccnbbanner
The BuyLocalNB™ initiative launched at the Conservation Council in 2009. In 2011, we developed an online local food directory that became and instant favourite of local foodies, with chefs and retailers using our directory to source their products and ingredients.

We revamped our online food directory last fall, adding a user-friendly searchable database of local growers, producers and retailers.

Today, the online directory and complementary smarthphone app feature more than 280 local farmers, craftspeople and businesses, with more becoming listed each day!

The BuyLocalNB™ app is currently available as an Android download. It will be available in iOS soon. (Are you an iOS user who is anxious to try out our new app? Check out the directory at buylocalnb.ca for a preview of what the app can do!)

 Download App

Why should you shop local with our new BuyLocalNB™ app?  Easy! Supporting local food: 

  •   Supports the provincial economy and the family farm;
  •   Keeps N.B. money in N.B. communities by circulating our food dollars locally;
  •   Protects the environment by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation;
  •   Strengthens our communities by letting New Brunswickers get to know their local farmers and learn about where their food comes from; and
  •   Proactively increases our public health by providing better access to healthy nutritious food
Get the new BuyLocalNB™ smarthphone app to download local food to your table today!
Have you visited the Fundy Biosphere Reserve's Amazing Places? 



The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) has released the long awaited results of research into climate change-resilient tree species in southern New Brunswick.

The FBR recently completed an analysis of which native tree species has the most chance to prosper under changing climatic conditions over the next 100 years, as well as those that will most probably merely persevere, and which could even decline. Northern trees species like spruces, fir, birches, and poplars will likely face more insects, disease, extreme weather, and competition, which would lead to slower growth and higher mortality. By contrast, southern species such as maples, oak, pines, beech, hemlock, and cherry should have a longer growing season and thus, faster growth. 

The FBR has created a pamphlet that describes the eight ‘winners’ for the changing climate.  It describes the trees and their preferred growing conditions, so that woodlot owners, foresters, municipalities, and the general public are armed with the right information about what to plant and where

As the climate changes and less-resilient species begin to decline and disappear, the Acadian Forest composition in southern New Brunswick (as well as throughout the Maritimes) will also change. This means that the forest as we know it today will later contain fewer of those northern species, and probably more of these “winners”. But the forest will need help from residents of the region, notably in planting these resilient species.

By planning ahead for climate change and planting tree species that have a better chance to thrive, we can help ensure that there will be healthy and beautiful trees in our neighborhoods and parks as well as in the forest, to be enjoyed by generations to come. An informative brochure has thus been developed to help 

The other component of this research is related to forest corridors. As climate change and deforestation affect the forest, wildlife can become cut-off.  The FBR is working with other organizations to try and establish forest corridors based on areas with climate change resilient trees, helping plants and animals move freely around the FBR or to and from Nova Scotia.

More information on this project, including a detailed research report and maps showing current and projected forest composition within the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, is available at http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/home/forests-of-the-future.html.
 
 
NEWS RELEASE

September 10, 2015


Parks groups concerned about potential harm to Mount Carleton by proposed snowmobile trail


Fredericton – A plan to widen a walking trail up the Maritimes’ highest peak and open it for snowmobile use within New Brunswick’s only designated Wilderness Park has the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) and the Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park deeply concerned.

“We’ve recently learned about this trail proposal for Mount Carleton, which is part of a plan for increasing snowmobile trails in northern New Brunswick. The government appears to be ready to agree to this proposal without an environmental analysis or any public consultation. It would see a walking trail up Mount Carleton cleared to double its width to 12 feet wide, and the canopy over it removed to a height of 12 feet,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB.

“This type of development will fragment the habitat of wildlife species including moose, flying squirrels, and American marten. Sustained motorized access on this trail is also likely to compact the soil, causing fast rain runoff and erosion. Grooming the trail will encourage increased motorized vehicle access that could lead to them continuing up to the fragile mountain top. This is completely inappropriate within a designated wilderness park,” adds Clowater.

“For over eight years, the Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc. has worked diligently to promote, preserve and protect the Park’s natural wilderness setting and its ecosystems. We have worked to develop, what we thought, was a good working relationship with the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. The snowmobile hub infrastructure announcement came without any forewarning or consultation with our group,” says Susan Mulherin, President of Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc.

“The Friends are committed to working cooperatively with the Department, while also ensuring that stewardship of the Park is maintained, and the protection of the environment, animal habitat and heritage is reflected in all policies and programs. We are concerned that in this case, that is not happening. Surely a compromise can be found that respects our protected areas and meets snowmobilers interests,” adds Mulherin.

No Public Discussion Whether Snowmobile Trail is Compatible with Wildest Parts of Wilderness Park

Mount Carleton park is New Brunswick’s only “Wilderness Provincial Park”, having been classified as such in revisions to the Parks Act in 2014. Those same revisions mandated the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture to develop Resource Management Plans for the provincial parks, outlining the recreational uses that would be compatible with conservation of the park natural areas.

“We are very concerned that the Department would consider making an irreversible decision such as this before the Resource Management Plan and the associated zoning are discussed publicly and approved. The Department is poised to, by default, decide that motorized vehicles are allowed in conservation zones in a wilderness park, setting a precedent from which it will be hard to back away.

“Allowing motorized recreation in one of the wildest parts of a wilderness park is inconsistent with how wilderness zones are generally managed in this level of park across Canada and the US. If the trail that goes up Mount Carleton is groomed for use by snowmobiles, it will prevent its use by people who want a wilderness experience of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in that part of the park,” says Clowater.

“It’s important to tourists who are attracted to wilderness that the marketing of Mount Carleton Provincial Park as a wilderness destination be backed up with management that is consistent with a wilderness experience,” adds Clowater.

“This is one of the first tests of the revised Parks Act, which our organization has been applauding as a good step forward for the modernization of New Brunswick’s approach to parks management. If this trail is approved with no public engagement process or environmental analysis, in our view the government will have failed this first test of our new legislation,”adds Clowater.

CPAWS is recommending that the provincial government take the time to assess the potential impacts of this proposal, undertake public and stakeholder consultations, and then determine whether Mount Carleton is an appropriate location for such a development.

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For more information, contact: Roberta Clowater, rclowater@cpaws.org; phone: 506-452-9902

Founded in 1963, CPAWS is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to protecting our public land and water, and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within.Learn more at www.cpawsnb.org.
Wolastoq Grand Council is hosting a Peace and Friendship Alliance Gathering on September 25, 26 & 27 at THE NICTAU LAKE CABINS, Mount Carleton Provincial Park.  
This historical place is where the Wolastoq and Mi’kmaq Traditional Chiefs once met to unify the nations and discuss important issues in a true democratic manner.

This will be an historical event where the two nations and their allies will reaffirm the Peace and Friendship treaties that our Ancestors signed during the 1800 century.

All members of the Wolastoq - Mi’kmaq Nations and ally groups are welcomed to attend this historical gathering.

There will be 6 cabins that will house approximately 35 Elderly people.

CAMPSITES ARE available for the younger attendees.



Items to bring

• air mattress

• bedding – sleeping bag, pillow

• toiletries

• Flashlight/HEADLIGHT

• Warm clothing/rain gear (check the weather for the area before you come)

• Plate, bowl, cup, glass, cutlery

• Towel, soap, shampoo, etc…
Meals will be provided

* RSVP by Sunday, Sept. 20th so we'll know how much food to purchase as this is a catered event.

You may do so on the Facebook page (Peace and Friendship Alliance Gathering) or through the old –fashioned way, that is, by sending an email to jlpdev@nbnet.nb.ca. Please use the following subject heading in your email: Peace and Friendship Alliance. Indicate when you'll be arriving and the number of people in your party. For additional information, please phone 506-238-5277. 


Proposed agenda
FRIDAY, SEPT 25th EVENING

- Meet-and-Greet

SATURDAY, SEPT 26th

- Sunrise (~6:30am) - Sunrise Ceremony
- Breakfast served at 8:00am

SAT. MORNING MEETING (9:00am-12:30pm)
- Opening Prayer
- Report on Confederacy Meeting held last month in Vermont
- Peace and Friendship Treaties
- Water Declaration 
- Interview Matrix (everyone writes down answers to 4 Key Questions)
- Group photograph taken in support of the Unist’ot’en blockade in BC

Lunch served at 12:30pm

SAT. AFTERNOON MEETING (1:30pm-5:00pm)
- Paris Climate Change meeting in December
- Structure & Decision-Making Process of the Peace and Friendship Alliance
- Small Hydro Projects discussion with Melvin Nash
- Discussion of potential projects to be promoted by Alliance (e.g. community energy, food self-sustainability, getting back control of our forests)
- Decide on agenda for Sunday's meeting

Supper served at 6:00pm

SAT. EVENING STORYTELLING & BRAINSTORMING

Sunset (~8:15pm) - Sunset Ceremony

SUNDAY, SEPT 27th

Breakfast served at 8:00am

9:00am - 12:30pm - SUN. MORNING MEETING
- 4 Key Questions (review flipcharts which have answers compiled from Saturday)

Lunch served at 12:30pm

1:30pm - 3:00pm - SUN. AFTERNOON MEETING








September 15th, 2015
For immediate release


Innovative outdoor education program launched


Moncton - The Sustainability Education Alliance of New Brunswick (SEA) is launching Great Minds Think Outside, a hands-on, curriculum-linked, outdoor professional development program for teachers and educators. 

  “This program is the first if its kind in New Brunswick. It will give the teachers and educators the skills, tools, and resources they need to teach their students outside,” said Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Environmental Network.  “This program will empower youth to become leaders in building sustainable communities through learning and increased environmental awareness,”.

 The workshop sessions will be delivered by a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals from all around the province who specialize in outdoor education, nature education, and environmental education. “There are many benefits to teaching outdoors for both the students and educators. Mental and physical health and wellness improve, and disruptive behaviours have been shown to decrease significantly. Spending more time outside also develops a stronger connection with nature and leads to a more active lifestyle,” stated Roland Chiasson, one of Great Minds Think Outside’s trainers.  “Any and all learning outcomes can be met outside with hands-on creativity. Our role as trainers is to ensure the perceived barriers to teaching outside are addressed and overcome through the relevant teaching methods”. 

According to Marcy Malloy, Community School Coordinator at Cambridge-Narrows Community School, “This program is a great opportunity to maintain the bridge between the school and the community. The skills you learn when teaching and learning outdoors are reflected in your behaviours and actions outside of the classroom. This program will help develop more environmentally-conscious communities.”

Half-day and full-day professional development sessions are available. The topics include approaches of “how” to teach outside, as well as “what” to teach outside. Limited subsidies are available. For more information on Great Minds Think Outside and to book a session, visit www.nben.ca/greatminds or call 506-855-4144. 


Start the new school year on the right foot! 

Contact: 

Roland Chiasson, Aster Group Environmental Services Cooperative, 506-536-1260

Serge LaRochelle, Groupe de développement durable du pays de Cocagne, 506- 576-8247

Raissa Marks, New Brunswick Environmental Network, office: 506-855-4144, cell: 506-588-2980.
The Fossils at Joggins

Workshop with Dr. Melissa Grey

Sunday September 27, 2015







The Joggins Fossil Institute is a not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cliffs represent a time over 300 million years ago wherein club mosses could grow over 30m tall, dragonflies had a meter wing span, and millipedes were the size of humans! In this presentation, participants will learn about why the Joggins beach is such a special place and what the Institute does to foster earth history education and conservation.




Dr. Melissa Grey is a palaeontologist with a background in Biology and Zoology. She obtained her doctorate in Geological Sciences at the University of British Columbia, her Masters in Zoology from the University of Guelph and her Bachelors in Biology from Acadia University. She has lived and worked across Canada, but is happy to be back in her home province studying fossils.




Sunday September 27, 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Tankville School, 1665 Elmwood Dr., Moncton

Registration with Judi Berry-Steeves at jbsteeve@nbnet.nb.ca or phone Judi at 387-4778.

$8 payable at the door.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.




FREDERICTON — On Wednesday, Sept. 2, Donald Arseneault, Minister of Energy and Mines, released the draft regulation to allow small-scale renewable energy generation projects in New Brunswick.

The regulation is available online for 30 days of public input.

Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement:

“I’m pleased to see the Minister release this new regulation, following so closely on the heels of the Premier’s announcement of new strong targets to reduce carbon pollution from N.B. sources. Providing the means and the market for renewable energy projects here at home is a welcomed and sensible action.

I encourage the leaders in environmental and renewable industries and local champions of projects that protect their communities to take a look at this package and submit their comments.”

The regulation sets out explicit policies devoted to the task of making sure N.B. gets at least 40 per cent of its electricity from clean renewable sources.

It sets out the criteria for co-ops, First Nations, non-profit groups and local communities to put on their thinking caps about how they can lead the charge to reduce carbon pollution by installing solar, wind, and tidal technologies.

The regulation also requires NB Power to report its progress every year from now to 2020 in a transparent and public manner.

Over the past five years, solar-module costs have dropped by 73 per cent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, there are 2.5 million people working in solar PV jobs worldwide. In Canada, the number of people working in the renewable energy industry rose by 37 per cent between 2009 and 2013, and the sector now employs more Canadians than the oil sands in Alberta.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
According to a recent survey, cross-sectoral collaboration is increasingly regarded as the key driver of progress towards sustainability, more so than public-private partnerships, leadership and innovation forums, and other approaches. Here in New Brunswick, the NBEN brings together partners from a wide variety of sectors to address the complex sustainability issues we face. The sum is greater than the parts – by working together, more can be achieved than by each organization working in its own silo.

Another interesting finding from the survey is that experts believe that multinational companies will be the key drivers of broad-scale collaborations to advance sustainability. I wonder if this will be the case in New Brunswick?

The survey also compared and contrasted corporations and NGOs and the drivers that propel each to become involved in sustainable development.

Two groups in the US, Sustain Ability and Globe Scan surveyed sustainability experts from around the world. The resulting report came out in February.

(FREDERICTON) A coalition of 22 community and environmental groups have issued a joint letter which has been sent today by registered letter to TransCanada, the National Energy Board, and appropriate heads of government departments at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal level.
 
A 6-page work plan has come to their attention which shows TransCanada is days away from borehole testing off the shore of Red Head, New Brunswick in the Bay of Fundy.  One of the large barges necessary for this work is already being put into position.
 
"TransCanada has not informed the residents at the end of the line in Red Head in Saint John,” says Lynaya Astephen, spokesperson for Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “No testing of wells or foundations has been done.  And this is prime time for migratory birds and the endangered right whale.  There's a lack of transparency with this company."
 
"Notice of the imminent work was kept from our people," confirms Ron Tremblay, spokesperson for the Wolastoq Grand Council.  "As a member of the Wolastoq Grand Council and Wolastoq Nation, I stand firm on the protection of our lands, water and air. The area that the proposed testing will take place is our tradition land and shoreline where our people fished, gathered and flourished from the vast supply of food and medicine. Additional damage to the area will further destroy the traditional territory of the Wolastoq People. I strongly oppose any testing or industrial disaster in our homeland."  
 
“The regulatory and consultation process appears to be missing,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, past Co-chair and member of the Council of Canadians – Fredericton chapter.  “If TransCanada has failed to follow due diligence with all necessary government agencies, this really is a wake-up call for how this entire Energy East project may proceed.”
 
In their joint statement, the 22 groups urge TransCanada and appropriate government agencies to act immediately, “Given the lack of consultation and long list of concerns we are requesting that all work on borehole testing be stopped until these concerns are addressed. Why would TransCanada conduct this work just as migratory birds and whales are coming into the Bay of Fundy in increasing numbers in August & September?”

Link to joint letter
Last month, the Canadian Energy Strategy Working Group, of which NB Premier Brian Gallant is one of the co-chairs, announced the Canadian Energy Strategy. The intent of this strategy is to provide a framework for provinces and territories to work together on common energy-related interests.

While the strategy speaks to climate change quite a bit, it does so in a rather non-committal manner. For example, energy efficiency and conservation is an area of focus in the strategy, but so is “Develop and enhance a modern, reliable, environmentally safe and efficient series of transmission and transportation networks for domestic and export/import sources of energy”. Sounds like pipelines to me. The strategy also discusses transitioning to a lower-carbon economy (not a low-carbon economy). 

What does all this really mean? To me, the strategy is so broad that it could mean anything to anyone. But, don’t take it from me. Check it out for yourself here.

(Fredericton, NB) The Nature Trust of New Brunswick, in partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, is seeking nominations for the 2015 Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. This award is presented annually to an individual or an organization who has made a difference in the field of conservation in the province of New Brunswick through volunteerism, donation of land, stewardship, or other means. Nomination forms can be accessed here, and can be submitted now until Monday, Aug. 31. The Honourable Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, will present the award at a ceremony taking place at Government House on Thursday, Nov. 25. Nominations are to be submitted to Communications Coordinator Jessica Bradford at communications@ntnb.org.

The award was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and its ongoing efforts to preserve ecologically significant areas within the province. Nominees must fulfill at least one of several requirements for evaluation for the award, including contribution to conservation efforts over time, involvement as a past or present volunteer, steward and/or member of the Nature Trust or other conservation organization, or involvement as a corporate or community partner of the Nature Trust or other conservation organization. The nominations may also be made as a posthumous recognition of an individual’s significant contributions to conservation over time. 

Dr. Don Floyd represents the Atlantic Regional Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as one of the members of the award’s selection committee. Floyd notes the importance of acknowledging the commendable work of conservationists in the province:

“The Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation is an important way to recognize and give thanks to conservationists in New Brunswick,” says Floyd. “In addition to organizations like NCC and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, there are many other conservation-minded groups and individuals who are making a difference in their communities to preserve natural landscapes for the future,” says Floyd. “This award is a way to recognize and give thanks to those who are leaving legacies to be enjoyed for generations to come.”

The Meduxnekeag River Association was the recipient of the award in 2013, recognizing the difference the organization has made in the Meduxnekeag river valley since 1995 and for the ongoing commitment to acquiring and protecting land in the area for present and future generations. 

 “The Nature Trust of New Brunswick's recognition of conservation in New Brunswick via the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award was gratefully received by the Meduxnekeag River Association Inc. in 2013,” says Stephen Wilson, President of the Meduxnekeag River Association. “Our continued engagement with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and the many others that make our conservation efforts possible is much appreciated, and continues to raise the profile of the unique habitats of the Meduxnekeag region.” 

The Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation provides an opportunity to recognize the dedication and long-term contributions of environmental conservationists in the province. The Nature Trust of New Brunswick thanks its partners in the award selection committee, including the Honourable Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, the Atlantic Regional Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the New Brunswick Minister of Natural Resources, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and Angee Acquin, First Nations representative. 

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

Established in 1987, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to preserving the province’s ecologically significant landscapes. To date, the Nature Trust has conserved over 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares) in more than 40 beautiful and diverse nature preserves in New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.naturetrust.nb.ca.
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment has recently published an Implementation Framework for Climate Change Adaptation Planning at a Watershed Scale.The Framework lists seven steps through which a group of individuals can come together to assess and manage vulnerabilities and risks stemming from climate change at a watershed level. 

It is expected that the impacts of climate change on Canada’s water resources will be significant. Whether you are involved directly or indirectely with climate change adaptation and/or watersheds, or are just concerned about our water resources' well being, it's definitely worth checking out! 

Click here to consult the framework. Also available in the Climate Change Adaptation section of our Reference Library (under the "Resources" tab).

 

TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL July 22/2015



Premiers’ energy strategy lacking  

The recent premiers’ conference in Newfoundland illustrates how firmly the oil and gas industry has our politicians in its pocket.   Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who hopes to turn Saskatchewan into another tarsands province, was the most obvious. The irony is that he is presiding over a province consumed by wildfires which are a direct result of climate change which is a direct result of our use of fossil fuels. And he wants to produce more?   Climate change was given lip service, but there were no definite commitments.   This is insanity. If our premiers had our welfare at heart, they would be doing all in their power to support, encourage and subsidize renewable energy, instead of giving enormous taxpayer subsidies to the oil and gas industry. Many studies also prove that renewable energy -- solar, wind, water – would create many more jobs than the highly subsidized oil and gas industry.   A fossil fuel future guarantees chaotic weather patterns leading to crop losses, farmer bankruptcies, homeowner disasters, food scarcities, water shortages and health catastrophes. The pollution of rivers and waterways -- such as the July 17 spill of five million litres of tarsands bitumen at Fort MacMurray and exploding tarsands oil trains, such as in Lac Megantic, contribute to a general breakdown of all ecosystem services that make life on Earth possible.   I don’t want to believe these premiers are stupid -- but there’s only one alternative -- -that they have sold out.   Mary de La Valette   Porter Cove


Are you interested in knowing more about the various projects linked to climate change adaptation around the province this year? Look no further! 

On June 24th, the NBEN held a workshop for ENGOs around climate change adaptation. A total of 12 ENGOs as well as a few other organizations were represented. Over the course of the day, the participants were able to map out adaptation in the province, network with other climate change adaptation enthusiast to exchange tools and resources, and to make the links in between the various projects to be implemented over the next year.

Following the workshop, the data was compiled and transformed into interactive maps. They are now available on our website! Click here to consult them.  

The report from the workshop is also available here.  

Enjoy! 
Fredericton – In its latest annual report released in advance of Canada Parks Day, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling Canada out for falling behind most other countries in protecting its land and fresh water.  CPAWS’ 2015 report, Protecting Canada: Is it in our nature?, assesses whether our governments are on track to meet their collective international commitment to protect at least 17% of our land and fresh water by 2020, and to improve the quality of our protected areas.
“Based on our assessment of progress since Canada endorsed the UN Convention on Biological Diversity 10-year plan in 2010, it would take us 50 years from today, not five, to meet our commitment to protect at least 17% of our land and fresh water. And 17% is only the next step we need to take towards protecting at least half to ensure Canada continues to have healthy, functioning ecosystems,” says Alison Woodley, national director of CPAWS’ parks program.
“In New Brunswick, we are particularly worried that New Brunswick is so far behind most of the other provinces in Canada, there is no plan in place to catch up, and no commitment to add any new protected areas,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS New Brunswick.
“Furthermore, the opportunities for creating more protected areas in the future are quickly being foreclosed due to the province’s new Crown Forestry strategy. There will be fewer and fewer wild forest options left to add to the protected areas systems over time.”

Slow to no progress since 2011

CPAWS found that the current percentage of lands and inland waters protected varies dramatically across Canada, ranging from just under three percent in Prince Edward Island, to more than 15% in British Columbia.  Since 2011, the area protected in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Yukon Territory has not grown at all, and all other provinces have increased protection by less than 2%. B.C.’s progress is undermined by its 2014 Parks Act amendments that allow industrial research in parks and boundary changes to accommodate pipelines and logging.

Reasons for optimism

“Some of Canada’s provinces and territories and Indigenous communities are making impressive efforts to advance protected areas. Quebec and Ontario have committed to protecting half of their northern territories, although implementation of these commitments is very slow. Nova Scotia has ramped up efforts and appears to be on track to reach 14% protection, Manitoba has committed to creating 15 new parks and protected areas and to expanding others, and Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut all have land use planning processes underway that could lead to new, large protected areas,” says Woodley.

At the federal level, a large new national park called Qausuittuq in Nunavut (11,000 km2) was just finalized in June, and two more could be announced within the next year. These include an area called Thaidene Nene around the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, NWT, where approximately 30,000 km2 could become a combined national and territorial park shortly. Similarly, the process for finalizing the 10,700 km2 Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve in Labrador is nearing completion, with an adjacent 3,000 km2 provincial park still at the early stages of establishment.
Local Indigenous communities are playing a significant leadership role and partnering with federal, provincial, and/or territorial governments to protect many of these large areas.
CPAWS calculates that if existing plans for creating new protected areas were implemented, along with other commitments for which specific sites have not yet been confirmed, Canada could meet its obligation to reach 17% protection by 2020.


Government leadership needed In New Brunswick

Over the past 20 years, New Brunswick has only moved from 1.3% to 4.7% of the province in permanently and legally designated protected areas.
“We’re looking for New Brunswick to take on leadership to help meet Canada’s 2020 protected area commitments. To start, the New Brunswick government needs to revise the Crown Forestry Strategy to allow space for new forested protected areas across the province, and needs to commit to an ambitious  plan to establish new protected areas around ecologically important forests, coastal shores, cliffs, wetlands and river headwaters. We cannot maintain the current slow pace of protection, because we are losing opportunities to protect our wild nature at an even faster rate,” says Roberta Clowater.

-30-


View executive summary and full report at: http://cpaws.org/uploads/CPAWS_Parks_Report_2015-Single_Page.pdf
For interviews, contact: Roberta Clowater, rclowater@cpaws.org; phone: 506-452-9902
Founded in 1963, CPAWS is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to protecting our public land and water, and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within.
Do you buy local? Wish there were more options for local food and beverages?

The provincial government is developing a local food and beverage strategy and they are looking for input from New Brunswickers about their local food buying habits. The survey includes questions about the importance of supporting local producers, where local food is purchased and what can be done to improve accessibility of local food and beverages for consumers.

Check out the survey here and background information about the government’s buy local initiative can be found here.

For immediate release

July 2, 2015


16 groups confirm support for Fredericton climate event as part of community-organized 'March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate' in cities across Canada on July 4th

Fredericton – A coalition of 16 community and environmental groups have issued a joint statement of support for the 'March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate' event that will be held this Saturday, July 4th, 1:00pm-1:45pm in downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick. 

The public is invited to meet in front of the Legislature Building, 706 Queen Street, Fredericton at 1:00pm, and then take a short walk to the pedestrian Train Bridge for a photo-op over the Saint John River (the Wolastoq).  There will be lots of banners and RED 'JobsJusticeClimateAction' signs for everyone. This will be a great photo opportunity on the bridge to show our support for a just transition to a clean energy future.

Fredericton will join communities across Canada with climate events on July 4th, including St. John's, Annapolis Valley, Halifax, Québec City, Lac Mégantic, Hudson-Oka, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Nelson, and Vancouver.  The weekend will culminate in a large rally planned the next day in Toronto on July 5th which will feature prominent leaders from labour unions, Indigenous communities, and divestment groups.

In their joint statement, the 16 groups urge our political leaders to take action on climate, "This is the moment to come together like never before, to massively invest in green infrastructure and clean energy and create hundreds of thousands of climate-friendly jobs. We join together with communities standing up to tar sands pipelines and with student divestment organizers fighting for a safe climate future. We unite with workers being laid off by the thousands in the Alberta oil patch and with Indigenous communities working to build clean energy solutions on the frontlines of extraction."

The international divestment organization, 350.org, is co-ordinating and promoting the events across Canada.  On their website, 350.org highlights the Fredericton event by stating, "In Fredericton, at the iconic walking bridge that towers over the St John/Wolastoq river, people will assemble to show they are ready for an economy that works for people."  And 350.org also highlights, "These mobilizations are striving to take leadership from First Nations communities that are on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis."

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Mark D'Arcy, Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter, (506) 454-5119 
Maggie Connell, Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter, (506) 459-8081
Leanne Sutton, Red Head-Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association, 506-657-6721

Read the full statement from the 16 groups

See 350.org article '4 Reasons to Get Excited about July 4th'

See the Facebook Event Page: March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate (FREDERICTON)

BOMW Vote Now
The NBEN’s Branch Out, Make Waves is a province-wide challenge that encourages youth and community groups to team up and take on a tree-planting and shoreline clean-up conservation project. To help raise awareness on conservation in the province, the youth groups participated in a photo and video challenge.

Together, the groups from around the province planted 1351 trees and cleaned 18 hectares of shoreline!

While the challenge ended on June 15th, you can still support them! The prizes categories are Challenge Favourite, Most Creative Artwork, Best 2 minute eco-documentary, Weirdest Item Cleaned up, and Best Teamwork. We want you to vote for Challenge Favourite!

Vote by clicking the “up” arrow at the bottom of the post for Challenge Favourite. The more votes a project has, the higher up on the page it will be. On the deadline, the publication at the top of the page will win a special prize. Voting for Challenge Favourite closes on June 22nd, so make sure your voice is heard!

You can vote HERE!

Thank you for supporting youth and community conservation efforts!
On March 30, 2015, New Brunswick citizens representing a wide range of sectors met in Fredericton to develop ideas and discuss opportunities for forest management options in New Brunswick. The report from that conference is now available online.

The event was organized in response to concerns about potential biodiversity loss under the Forest Management Strategy that was announced in March 2014. Simply put, the goal of the conference was to identify opportunities, solutions, and next steps and to provide these to the government.

During the day, the level of expertise and know-how about both the forest economy and biodiversity was impressive, for its depth and its breadth. The highlight of the day was the Round Table, a panel of experts who raised key questions and generated new ideas. Throughout the course of the day participants contributed to expert ideas and it was exciting to see fresh thinking get posted on the wall! Throughout the course of the day opportunities were identified in three key areas:

• protecting forest biodiversity in NB;
• improving the economic approach to forests; and
• modernizing public policy for Crown lands.



The event was hosted by the Biodiversity Collaborative Steering Committee. Thank you to all the presenters, participants and those who volunteered on site during the day. 

Click here to read the report.


Despite the declaration in last Saturday’s Telegraph Journal, there are several folks willing to declare that Mount Carleton is not the toughest trail to climb in Mount Carleton Park. The trail up Mount Sagamook is definitely a much more challenging hiking trail. The trail is steep and rocky for most of the distance, if you hike up the right hand trail to the outcrops that are most often featured in photos of the park.

On Friday, June 5th a group of hikers consisting NB Parks staff, a Friends of Mount Carleton representative and three members of a group named A for Adventure. “A for Adventure is all about inspiring people to get outdoors and experience adventure.” The members of the group endeavour to go on adventures, large and small, and by taking their message to the media, they hope to encourage others to get outside.

In August 2013, Jan LaPierre and Graham Carter had just finished a 200 km plus kayak paddle to Cape Sable Island. “Paddle to Sable” raised funds and awareness to create a camp for kids struggling with mental health issues at Brigadoon Village. “

On the trip home from their epic paddle, Jan began to recite a poem he was thinking up. He asked his friends if they could put together an adventure children’s book. They were all so enthused with the concept, that they stopped the car and went on a hike to discuss the idea. On that hike a book was born.

“A is for adventure, as you will come to see.
Like hiking or biking or climbing a tree,

Or taking a plane to a far away land,

Or a trip to the beach to play in the sand. “

The idea took flight and currently their group includes not only Jan LaPierre and Chris Surrette, but a recent addition is photographer Brad Sayeau. Christopher Hoyt agreed to illustrate their book, “A is for Adventure”, which is due out this month.

Meanwhile the group are taking in as many adventures as they can, in the hopes of encouraging folks young and old to get outside and see and experience the world around them. Many of their adventures are in our parks and last week they came to Mount Carleton Park, where they helped to paddle a large canoe on Little Nictau Lake and climbed Mount Sagamook. They agreed that the challenging climb was well worth the effort, once they took in the panoramic view offered from the iconic rock outcrops at the top of Sagamook. Despite the threat of rain, it held off until the group reached the parking lot at the foot of Mount Sagamook, insuring that all the camera gear was kept safely dry.

When asked for his opinion of Mount Carleton Park, Jan LaPierre summed up his experience there by saying;”Mount Carleton Park is one of those places that can’t be summed up in words. And I’m so grateful for that. It’s a place that needs to be seen, but more importantly, felt. Where, because of its authentic beauty you can” let go.”

Jan feels so passionately about his experiences in the park, that since his trip last Friday he has been talking about the park nonstop, to anyone who will listen. Jan’s only regret is that he had not come to the park sooner, but a return trip to the park is definitely in his near future.
A for Adventure advocates for a fitter population by declaring; “Get outside and do any kind of adventure, large or small. Adventure can be right in your own backyard.”
You may soon log on to their Facebook and website, to access more information and photos taken on their trip to Mount Carleton Park.

John Connell Bernadette Michaud Ian Smith and Brigitte Donald from NB Parks
John Connell, Bernadette Michaud, Ian Smith and Brigitte Clavette
from NB Parks
Labrador tea
Labrador tea
L R John Connell Jan LaPierre Chris Surette Brad SayeauIan Smith Brigitte Clavette Susan Mulherin
L-R John Connell, Jan LaPierre, Chris Surette, Brad Sayeau,Ian Smith,
Brigitte Clavette, Susan Mulherin
Little Nictau Lake
Little Nictau Lake
Nature Paddle
Paddle
Outlook on Mount Sagamook
Outlook on Mount Sagamook
Purple trilliums on the trail
Purple trilliums on the trail
Stunted birch near the top of Mount Sagamook
Stunted birch near the top of Mount Sagamook
Sumi on the summit
Sumi on the summit
Top of the Mount Sagamook Trail
Top of the Mount Sagamook Trail
How do you stop a pipeline when one family owns both the oil and the media?

By: Lynaya Astephen, member of Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association, read the original here

Pipeline opponent’s op-ed rejected by Irving-owned newspaper in New Brunswick

Editors’ note: Saint John’s Telegraph-Journal refused to publish this op-ed, written by a local resident to explain why over 700 people gathered on the shores of the Bay of Fundy this past Saturday to oppose Energy East, TransCanada’s proposed 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline. Like nearly all print media in the province of New Brunswick, the Telegraph-Journal is owned by the Irving family, whose company, Irving Oil, has partnered with TransCanada to build a maritime export terminal for the proposed Energy East pipeline.

I am a proud resident of Red Head, Saint John, a small rural community with quiet roads and beautiful coastal views.

TransCanada is proposing a 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline from Alberta to Saint John. After travelling almost the entire length of the country, it would end at a new deep water port on the Bay of Fundy. The Energy East project also includes a massive tank “farm” to store the oil that would be loaded onto waiting ships — across the street from my home.

Why do I oppose Energy East?

I’m worried about the air we breathe.

Saint John is highly industrialized, and residents are already exposed to increased health risks from air pollution, not to mention the oil smells near Irving’s new rail facility. We have, among other industries, Irving Oil’s export terminal and the Canaport LNG terminal. We have 38 times the industrial pollution of Fredericton and 243 times that of Moncton. A recent study found lung cancer rates 30 per cent higher in Saint John than in either of these communities. The health experts I’ve spoken to say that existing regulations for air pollution as inadequate. Yet TransCanada says air pollution from Energy East would not be significant.

I’m worried about the prospect of a spill or fire at the tank storage farm.

The deputy fire chief in Burnaby, B.C., has issued a scathing report on the risks presented by a similar oil tank storage facility on the West Coast. The chief warned that a fire at the expanded tank farm could create a “nightmare scenario” resulting in a massive urban evacuation.

I am having trouble trusting TransCanada and Irving Oil. Despite several requests, TransCanada has refused to hold a public meeting with Red Head residents with an open question-and-answer period.

A recent Reuters investigation of the New Brunswick Department of Energy found that since 2012, Irving’s export terminal has experienced at least 19 accidents classified as “environmental emergencies.” In 2013, Irving received a formal warning for taking more than a day to report a storage tank leak at the Canaport facility.

According to National Energy Board statistics, TransCanada has had more pipeline ruptures than any other company in Canada. The company’s electronic monitoring equipment won’t even detect a spill that is less than 1.5 per cent of the pipeline’s capacity. This means over 2 million litres can spill before anyone is alerted.

My concerns don’t stop at the end of my driveway.

The Energy East project would see 115 oil tankers in the Bay of Fundy — and potentially far more now that the Cacouna, Quebec, port has been cancelled. The endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Bay of Fundy are already vulnerable to ship strikes and low-frequency ship noise, both of which Energy East threatens to worsen. Moving in and out of port for export, Energy East tankers would carry 1 to 2 million barrels of oil each.

Energy East would ship diluted bitumen from the tar sands. Sticky and heavy, bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands separated from the diluents (chemicals) and sunk in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River during a pipeline spill in 2010. This cost Enbridge more than $1 billion to clean up, yet submerged oil remains on the river bed to this day.

One federal study found diluted bitumen sunk and formed “tar balls” in marine conditions similar to the Bay of Fundy. A major spill that occurs during loading of the tankers or when the tankers are leaving wouldn’t just threaten whales. It could be a serious blow for all ocean-dependent economies and jobs.

A draft federal report accessed through freedom of information admits that not enough is known about the potential toxic effects of tar sands crude in our waterways. Energy East passes through or comes near more than 300 waterways, including at least six of the St. John River’s main tributaries.

I want to do my part in helping protect future generations.

The Energy East pipeline would create more climate pollution than any single Atlantic province.

A recent scientific report says 85 per cent of Canada’s tar sands need to stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst of climate change. Industry wants to double production by 2030 and will pursue both pipeline and rail expansion to export their product. Filling the Energy East pipeline would allow a close to 40 per cent increase in tar sands production.

We can do better. This export pipeline puts so much at risk for such short-term benefit. There is much more at stake than profit.


June 4, 2015
For immediate release

NB Green Pages Launched for World Environment Day

Button Greenpages
Moncton – In celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) is launching Green Pages, a searchable on-line directory of more than 80 non-profit environmental groups in New Brunswick.

“Green Pages is the who’s who for New Brunswick environmental issues. It will help people across the province connect with community environmental groups in their region,” said Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the NBEN. “We are launching this on World Environment Day as an invitation to all New Brunswickers to step forward and join with groups in their region.”

Community-based environmental groups are found in every corner of the province. These groups work hard to protect and restore the environment and educate the public, but also have fun enjoying nature with one another. “Nature NB has eight affiliated clubs in the province,” said Vanessa Roy MacDougall, Nature NB, a member group of the NBEN, “and Green Pages will help the public get involved with us.”

“Green Pages is going to be very helpful to young people like myself who are interested in environmental issues,” said Chloé Mélanson, of Vertige, the student environmental group at Mathieu-Martin High School. “It will now be so easy to find a group to volunteer with or to join.”

“Green Pages will help people become more involved in environmental issues, and in their local communities,” said Amanda Marlin, of EOS Eco-Energy in the Tantramar area. “Whatever their environmental interests, and wherever they are in the province, New Brunswickers will be able to find a group with which to connect.”

“It’s surprising to find over 80 community-based environmental groups in a small province. From my perspective, this is because we are a rural province and people have deep connections to the land and their communities. They want to preserve and protect them. For the NBEN, supporting this drive to preserve and protect is key to our mission,” stated Marks. “Green Pages will provide an important link. What issue is close to your heart? Use Green Pages to find others who are like-minded.”

Green Pages is searchable by organization name or acronym, environmental issues addressed, location and geographical scope, and language of service. For each group, contact information is provided, as well as its purpose, activities, and services available to the public. Green Pages can be accessed at http://db.nben.ca/.

The New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), established in 1991, is a communication network that links together non-profit environmental organizations. Its mission is to encourage and facilitate networking and communication among member groups in order to advance their work to protect the Earth and to promote ecologically sound ways of life, and to strengthen the environmental movement in New Brunswick.

— 30 —

Contact:
Raissa Marks, New Brunswick Environmental Network, office: 506-855-4144, cell: 506-588-2980
Biologist Rod Cumberland sent this letter to all members of the NB Legislative Assembly

Dear NBMLA:

I have just reviewed the 323 page Health Canada re-assessment of glyphosate. It was due in 2014 but was completed April 13, 2015.

Rather than simply take whatever comes out of this process at face value, I believe you need to be informed of the pitfalls of this present review.

It is VERY evident that there are huge problems with this process and I would like to make you aware of them before we blindly assume that this review is unbiased and "scientific". Please allow me to elaborate on my two main shortfalls of this review:

First - There is an obvious lack of relevant research; and
(Without recent and relevant research that CLEARLY reveals numerous health and wildlife hazards associated with glyphosate, the assumptions that it is safe are erroneous).

Second - the inclusion of the economic and social benefits of glyphosate.
This document presumes to use “a science-based approach”, therefore this is no place for economic and social benefits that have little relevance when considering the science behind the impacts and safety of a compound to human health.
The shortcomings of this review are as follows:

1. The Health Canada review of glyphosate has not considered the actual product sprayed and used across Canada with the adjuvants and emulsifiers that make it the effective product it is – If glyphosate was used by itself for the benefits purported in both agriculture and forest based applications, then a review considering the impacts of glyphosate alone may be appropriate. However, the effectiveness of this compound is only possible in formulation. It is therefore the FORMULATION that must be considered in the review of glyphosate because indeed, this is what is sprayed across the country, not glyphosate alone.

2. This review has not included volumes of recent worldwide literature that reveals huge issues with glyphosate in formulation. In any scientific review, literature review or published paper, the strength of the paper is only as relevant as the research upon which it is based. In other words, using outdated and short-term studies on a compound that has been continually modified and that has long term consequences is either knowingly biasing the process and results, or worse, pleading ignorance to the advancement of science and emerging research. Neither is appropriate in this re-evaluation and this process relies on outdated, short-term research when long term and relevant research is readily available that shows markedly different results than they report.

For example, 78% of all industry-supplied research is between 10 and 40 years outdated. Further, the majority of these (a full 80%) are more than 15 years removed from currently published material. I forwarded (and have appended here) over 30 papers published within the past 10 years on glyphosate and glyphosate formulations that suggest markedly different results and reveal glyphosate and its formulations are the cause of many modern human diseases, are carcinogenic and are the cause of cell malformations in numerous types of human and animal cells, but most problematic are its problems associated with gastrointestinal systems and reproductive cells specifically. And the review doesn’t even begin to address all the relevant research on GMO’s and their problems.

Discouragingly, but likely explanatory to the present proposed conclusion is that a mere 9% of the papers used in the review are recent publications. I do not understand on such a controversial topic as glyphosate use and it’s proven health concerns why more effort was not expended to find current research from around the globe to give a much better review of this chemical. It would definitely impact this assessment. This very biased approach is clearly covered in Antoniou et.al 2012.

I would also like to comment on several specific concerns within the document:

a) On page 3 it states that “pesticides are registered for use in Canada only if the level of exposure does not cause any harmful effects”. Therefore, if there is current research that DOES show harmful effects, particularly of a chemical in the state it is sprayed in throughout the country, by their own admission it MUST NOT recommend it for use. I contend that the attached research is clear evidence that the decision must be reversed.

b) Glyphosate formulations pose negligible risk to freshwater fish and amphibians. This conclusion has been proven incorrect by modern research (Annett et.al 2014, Vera et.al 2010). It shows harmful effects and would invoke a nation-wide ban on the use of glyphosate.

c) Under 3.1 it is stated that studies were available to satisfy data requirements, yet it is not specified what these requirements are, nor what studies are applicable, when they were done, etc. to justify these statement. This is poor science and format for a review document with the intent of public review, unless of course the intent is to limit the amount of intelligent and scientific comment.

d) Cardiovascular malformations are mentioned on page 14 as serious side effects in one study (again, no specifics) but regardless, how can it be concluded that glyphosate is safe? Once again, these results disagree with the suggestion that glyphosate “does not cause harmful effects” and would rather corroborate modern research linking glyphosate and its formulations to a huge list of environmental, human and wildlife ill effects (research attached).

e) Dietary exposure can be mitigated by changes in use patterns. This begs two questions – if there are no harmful effects, why suggest mitigation? Next, mitigation is suggested, this implies harmful effects. More Problems are that this document does not suggest how these mitigative steps will be enforced to ensure compliance. Therefore, it is a hollow recommendation that affords NO protection of health.

f) On page 29 “major incidents of human exposure” are reported, however, no qualification is provided for the word “major”. Further, these exposures to “Highly toxic ingredients” or the adjuvants and emulsifiers I suggest MUST be considered. This again highlights that some of their research, along with most modern research, that glyphosate in formulation is HIGHLY TOXIC. Back to point 1 – how can such a review conclude glyphosate does not cause harmful effects unless on the grounds of semantics by separating glyphosate from its formulations, a formulation that is rarely used commercially??

g) On page 30 they reference common incidents in wild animals where these formulations cause death in wildlife. Once again, totally contradicting statements and research that suggests this assessment is incorrect and will jeopardize human, wildlife and environmental health and safety. How could a toxic substance causing death NOT warrant changes in labels at the least, or more responsibly a ban on the product?

h) The statement “Glyphosate is rarely detected in drinking water” proves the weakness and ignorance of the process and data. I include papers that show glyphosate, even at residual levels, shows up in soil, water, human urine, cattle tissue, other cells, etc. Therefore, based on modern research the present suggested evaluation must be reconsidered in light of science.

i) You assume “risk to mammals is low”. Again, research from Montana, Australia, Denmark, Germany and Egypt directly linked malformations in ungulates to the mineral chelating effect that glyphosate has and the resulting mineral deficiencies in their food and systems from the use of glyphosate; More erroneous data, more erroneous conclusions.

j) This review states there is no reproductive risk to glyphosate. Current research again proves this point outdated and erroneous (see attached research).

k) This review states glyphosate has no effect on fish. The appended research proves that herbicides are endocrine disruptors (which glyphosate is) and federal research scientists have proven they cause many problems in fish including high at-sea mortality.

l) Quite disturbing is the assertion on page 42 that one of the benefits of glyphosate is its ability to be more effective when combined with other chemicals. It is hypocritical to in one breath dismiss the impacts of glyphosate in formation because only the compound glyphosate is being reviewed, yet when it’s convenient, this very argument is used to weigh the scales in favour of the compound.

m) The wordsmithing in the section referencing OECD countries not prohibiting ALL uses of glyphosate is correct only grammatically. For the record, there are municipalities within Canada, Provinces within Canada and many countries that have prohibited the use of glyphosate (Columbia and Holland in the past few weeks) due to the health hazards and risks you purport are not present. Interesting play on words, but in no way reflects reality and concerns around this compound. Statements like these drip with bias, and ignorance – whether purposeful or not – to current research.

n) Maximum levels in foods – this raises another point that MUST be considered by Health Canada. In light of emerging research and glyphosates link to modern disease, it is Health Canada’s responsibility to request labels on all foods that have been sprayed at one point or another in the growth process by glyphosate so the public can protect themselves from ingestion of this substance. If the use of this toxic chemical is not revoked, at the very least there must be a means by which the public can make informed decisions on the purchase of these contaminated foods.

o) If the only change from Health Canada’s former review of glyphosate is several labeling changes, how does Health Canada ensure these label instructions are followed? What are the penalties for failure to heed them? Once again, this is a broken system and in NO WAY protects the health and welfare of humans, wildlife or the environment. These are serious deficiencies in this review and therefore, we cannot be expected to take this re-evaluation seriously.

In closing, I was very disappointed with this re-assessment. This appears another bureaucratic process that only provides lip service and opportunity for input just to say it was done. I would hope and expect that the elected politicians of New Brunswick would take these comments seriously and ensure such a biased and ill-informed review in light of applicable and relevant literature of glyphosate’s great risk to public health, wildlife health and the environment would step up and demand a more rigorous approach.

If NB companies, or the BNBDNR, NBAFA or other NB departments stand behind this biased and flawed review, you will be knowingly allowing the poisoning of New Brunswickers.

In all sincerity,
Rod E. Cumberland, CWB
The workshop report from  "Running with the current: A workshop for watershed groups in NB" that was held on January 21, 2015 in Fredericton is now available to all members and associates of the NBEN in the Reference Library of our website (under the "Resources" tab).


The event attracted representatives from 24 watershed groups and seven other environmental groups. This represents 75% of all watershed groups in the province! They identified four priority areas on which they want to together: 

·         Communication strategy

·         Long-term funding strategy

·         Coordination of data collection and monitoring

·         Encouraging the completion of the water policy framework in New Brunswick (including the Water Classification Regulation)


A big thanks to all the participants who attended and to Small Change Fund for making the event possible. There is interesting work ahead!

Happy reading.
Water Declaration
Peace and Friendship Alliance, Red Head 2015

We, the members of the Alliance, recognize the Nation-to-Nation Peace and Friendship Treaties as the basis of our common ground, defining our responsibilities to the water and to each other, down through the generations.

We affirm that Water is the dynamic and creative element that sustains all life. Water moves and flows through deep aquifers, springs, bogs, brooks, marshes, lakes, rivers and into the ocean tides throughout Wabanaki territory, to be drawn up into the clouds and fall as rain, returning to the land.

In this constant ebb & flow, Water nourishes & cleanses the entire world. It makes up who we are, as well as the other living beings. We live, grow, play, work, wash, cook, drink, rest, pray and celebrate with the waters. What we do to the Water, we do to ourselves.

Water is limited, and it is vulnerable. It needs to be protected, and shared freely and fairly. Water is not a commodity or merely a resource. It is a unique condition, a life giver, a right, and water is a dynamic being with a creative power of its own unlike any other in the natural world, and the human family.

We see the destruction of the environment as the destruction of ourselves. We see that any assault on the good and well-being of our relations in the natural world, upon our lands and our waters as an act of aggression against us.

Today, we recognize and resist the extensive abuses to Water that resource industries and governments are unleashing, directly assaulting Water.

These threats include:

● fracking ● tar sands pipelines ● mining ● industrial wastewater dumping ● privatizing water services ● clear cut & spraying in the forest ● industrial farming ● river dams ● coastal inundation and flash flooding from severe storms and climate change ● nuclear power generation ● salmon farm mismanagement ● government inaction

These abuses render water toxic, diverted, substandard, unreliable and unavailable. All of these assaults on Water are abusive to the web of life which our societies are embedded in and depend upon to survive and thrive for the next seven generations. Our children and grandchildren deserve better and need to be protected from harm.

The Peace and Friendship Alliance opposes these abuses. We are committed to restoring balance to our relationship with the water, thereby renewing our treaty responsibilities to each other as distinct Nations. When we care for the water, we care for each other.

We will care for the water by building a sustainable economy that rapidly transitions away from fossil-fuels to renewables, restores our forests, reduces the carbon footprint, decentralizes energy supply, and builds food security through a regional biodiverse farming sector.

We call on governments to amend our laws and regulations to accommodate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. lThese laws and regulations must take into account sovereign aboriginal title of Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq, involving their inherent and inalienable rights, including among others their right to exercise free, prior, and informed consent and their right to participate in economic development that affects the waters in their lands. These laws and regulations must also take into account the balance of interests involving the farming sector, forestry sector, renewable energy sector, manufacturing sector, as well as health services and tourism industries among others.

We the Alliance invite you to join in our movement – our shared consciousness - to reconnect in a sacred manner to the natural world. Our Nations will stand shoulder-to- shoulder to protect the water and secure a future for our children and our grandchildren.

This Water Declaration is declared in Peace and Friendship, on the 30th of May, 2015, at the mouth of the Wolastoq (Saint John River) and the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

The Peace and Friendship Alliance

woliwon - wela’lin - thank you - merci


Visit http://www.noenergyeastnb.ca/
Hi everyone,

The ETF project awards have been announced!

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/ETFAwards.pdf

Fingers crossed for you!

The NBEN team
MEDIA RELEASE

Provinces take lead on climate protection

FREDERICTON — The declaration from premiers at the Quebec Summit on Climate Change puts momentum behind the effort to protect our climate and reduce carbon pollution, says the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Yesterday the premiers released a declaration containing several commitments for greater cooperation and meaningful action to curb climate change. The 12-point declaration included commitments from premiers to transition to a lower-carbon economy, noting that could involve carbon pricing, and putting policies in place to reduce climate change-causing pollution, such as increasing energy efficiency and conservation and using clean and renewable energy.

“Tuesday’s announcement from our premiers is the type of leadership on climate that Canadians have been looking for,” said Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council. "Of course, now they have to take action at home to reduce pollution — actions that their citizens support and will create jobs."

In the declaration, the premiers said they recognize the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of acting on climate protection, and that the fight against climate change would create sustainable, long-term jobs, especially in areas such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The document comes just one day after Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced her province would enter into a cap and trade system with Quebec and California as a means to control carbon pollution, and following this weekend’s massive march in Quebec City where 25,000 people called on leaders to act now on climate protection.

“To me, this is our premiers saying to the Canadian people: message received. Our provinces are now empowered to act, and we expect that they will,” added Corbett, who attended the climate march and presented at an Act On Climate Forum in Quebec City over the weekend.

Corbett said the commitments contained in the declaration meant good things for New Brunswick, noting efforts to reduce carbon pollution - such as investments in energy conservation, renewable energy projects, putting a price on carbon and phasing out coal - will create good jobs for New Brunswickers and make our communities healthier places to live.

The climate summit was hosted in Quebec City and attended by eight provincial premiers, including New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant. Gallant led a New Brunswick delegation which included Environment and Local Government Minister Brian Kenny and Fredericton South MLA David Coon.

Read the declaration from premiers.
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MEDIA RELEASE


FREDERICTON — Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, will talk about ways governments can protect our climate while creating prosperous communities during the Act on Climate Forum in Quebec City this weekend.

Corbett is one of several notable speakers participating in the Act on Climate Forum on Sunday, April 12 in Quebec City. The forum follows the Act on Climate March being organized on April 11, when Canadians from coast-to-coast will gather to show their support for government action on climate protection.

Later in the week, some of Canada’s premiers, including New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, will be in Quebec City for a special meeting on climate change. The march and forum are intended to show leaders how serious Canadians are about coming up with climate solutions in the lead up to the international climate talks in Paris later this year.

“It’s all about solutions for that week in Quebec City,” says Corbett, who will speak on federal and provincial laws and policies at the forum. "Premiers agreeing to act together to manage carbon pollution at home and invest in the new jobs found in clean energy and improved energy efficiency will send a strong signal that they, like most Canadians, respect that there is a limit to the amount of carbon pollution the atmosphere can take.”

Corbett, an expert in public policy, will talk about ways our leaders can move fairly and effectively toward an economy that doesn’t depend on fossil fuels.

Other speakers of the Act on Climate Forum include representatives from Canadian universities, the Canadian Labour Congress, labour unions, First Nations, citizen groups and environmental organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation and Blue Green Canada, among others.

The forum aims to strengthen collaboration between groups across Canada who are working to tackle climate change.

Corbett will be available to media in New Brunswick for on-the-street interviews from Quebec City during the March on Saturday or following the Forum on Sunday.

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MEDIA RELEASE


FREDERICTON — A new poll shows New Brunswickers want their government leaders to act now to protect the climate.

Polling determined an overwhelming majority of New Brunswickers — a margin of nearly 8 to 1 — believe we should be global leaders in protecting the climate by reducing our energy consumption.

The national telephone poll was conducted in the last half of March, just weeks before several Canadian premiers, including New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, are gathering in Quebec City for a special meeting on climate change.

The poll also shows New Brunswickers don’t buy into the idea that just because a jurisdiction is small it doesn’t have to take as much action to curb climate change. A majority of New Brunswickers rejected the notion that Canada’s efforts on climate change should be minimal given our country’s total emissions as compared to other polluters such as the U.S. or China.

Instead, New Brunswickers want swift action on climate protection from their leaders. Polling shows 73.3 per cent of people from the province want to see a plan for creating jobs in the renewable energy sector, with 70.2 per cent calling for a promise to legally enforce a cap or limits to carbon pollution. Nearly 70 per cent of New Brunswickers want a commitment to phase out coal, oil and gas and replace them with renewable energy sources.

The national random sample telephone poll involved participation from 3,040 Canadians and was conducted for Climate Action Network Canada by Oracle Research Limited between March 12 to 30. The margin of error for the total 3040-person survey is +/- 1.78%, 19/20 times. See full results here.

Other results related to New Brunswick:

  • 78.7 per cent of New Brunswickers see curbing climate change as a moral issue, saying they believe they are morally obligated to reduce carbon pollution in their daily lives;

  • 63.5 per cent of New Brunswickers disagree with the notion that cheap and accessible energy are more important than the negative impacts they have on the environment;

  • 80 per cent of New Brunswickers want a say in decision-making around energy projects.
When Mary Ann started out with the New Brunswick Environmental Network in 1991, she no doubt had no idea what the organization would look like 24 years later. From a simple network trying to link up environmental organizations in New Brunswick, it has developed into an organization that plays a crucial role in bringing people together around burning issues to strategize and plan for actions. In addition, the NBEN also brings together a great variety of stakeholders, agencies and organizations to address specific gaps that they know they cannot deal with on their own. So today, the NBEN, with 2 full-time staff, 2 part-time staff, and some contractors, manages communications among environmental groups, including 4 active caucuses around shale gas, crown lands, watersheds, and the pipeline, 4 multistakeholder collaboratives (children’s environmental health, sustainability education, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity), that combined have 18 teams or working groups. All that makes up the Environmental Network today in a very unique approach to addressing environmental issues and concerns in the province, all based on networking and communication.

Mary Ann has brought a vision to the Environmental Network that at once is grounded in grassroots, while always looking at everything in a very strategic manner towards building the capacity of our environmental movement. Mary Ann is an activist, a strategic thinker, and a doer... all of us in the environmental community have benefited from her dedication and commitment, and for that we thank her enormously.

On May 30th, let's show Canada and the world that Red Head is "the end of the line" for Energy East

By Mark D'Arcy, New Brunswick Energy East campaigner, The Council of Canadians

Cacuna stopped it. South Portland stopped it. Now it is Red Head's turn to stand up against the tarsands pipeline.

As attention on Energy East now focuses on New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy, the residents of Red Head are well into their second month of planning for the large "End of the Line March" on Saturday, May 30th @ 1:00pm.

Why is the line in the sand being drawn at Red Head? The numbers speak for themselves:

• a 42-inch diameter export pipeline built over 280 proposed waterway crossings in New Brunswick (see this interactive map);
• a 150-hectare tank farm capable of housing 7.6 million barrels of oil and heated bitumen will be situated right in the middle of the rural community of Red Head;
• a 183-hectare marine terminal complex at Red Head;
• supertankers carrying 2.2 million barrels of oil crossing over the Bay of Fundy; and
• pipeline leaks as large as 2.6 million litres per day for up to 2 weeks could go undetected;

The threat of spills into waterways and the Bay of Fundy, and certain toxic air pollution for Red Head, is unacceptable.

Continue reading here: Red Head is "the end of the line" for Energy East

Event Facebook Page:March to the End of the Line

NBEN event page: March To The End Of The Line

Council of Canadians Energy East page
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MEDIA RELEASE

FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has partnered with Earth Day Canada to help New Brunswickers make eco-friendly choices this April 22 and beyond.

The province's leading environmental organization will be supplying free materials to schools and teachers and providing event toolkits for groups or individuals looking to organize local events across New Brunswick.

The Conservation Council is the official N.B. partner of Earth Day Canada and one of several groups collaborating on the campaign across the country.

The theme of this year's celebration is 'Clean Your Commute,' encouraging Canadians to become VGPs — Very Green People — by embracing green transportation options on April 22.

Other elements include the 'Earth Day Every Day Campaign.' On April 22, Canadians who signed up will receive an 'Earth Day Every Day' toolkit that will give them ideas for fun ways to reduce and track their environmental footprint over the course of the year.

Organizers have also created a 2015 Earth Day Flag which will be signed by people from coast-to-coast who have committed to cutting their carbon emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2020. The flag will be presented during the International Climate Conference in Paris in December, re-creating the moment when a similar flag was presented at the U.N. Earth Summit in 1992.

The Conservation Council will coordinate with New Brunswickers who want to sign the Earth Day Flag.

Prizes are available for people who participate, post about, and share their Earth Day Canada activities.

To receive free promotional materials, resources for teachers, event toolkits, or to arrange to sign the 2015 Earth Day Flag, contact Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer with the Conservation Council.
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Throwing darts at map won't cut it: CCNB says TransCanada has moral duty to withdraw pipeline application

                                                            MEDIA RELEASE

FREDERICTON — TransCanada Corporation has a moral responsibility to withdraw its Energy East project from the national review process now that significant changes have been made to the original oil pipeline proposal, says the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

On Thursday, April 2, TransCanada announced it had cancelled plans to build an export terminal in Cacouna, Que., due to the negative effects it would have on a nearby nursing ground for the endangered Beluga whale.

The company said it is still looking at other potential terminal sites in Quebec and noted it would file any amendments to its application to the National Energy Board between October and December of this year.

The application process for the public to participate in the review of Energy East closed on March 17. Once it has received all necessary documents from the company, the National Energy Board will have 15 months to make a decision on the project.

The Conservation Council says TransCanada has a moral duty toward Canadians to act responsibly by withdrawing its project application because:
 

  • Too many details are still up in the air for the National Energy Board to make a responsible decision in its review — throwing a dart at a map of Canada’s export terminals won’t cut it;
     

  • The company has demonstrated poor business planning for a project of this scale, failing to file its original application in both official languages, and significantly changing the scope of the project after the regulatory review process has already begun;
     

  • It is unfair to proceed with the project given how little is known about what this change will mean for the Bay of Fundy, including the impact on fishers and tourism operators whose livelihood depends on the pristine condition of the bay, and the impact on the many animals that frequent the bay, including the North Atlantic Right whale, one of the top 10 most endangered whales on the planet.

“There are too many unknowns around this project, especially when it comes to the Bay of Fundy,” said Matt Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“There are a lot of dedicated people in fisheries, NGOs and government working to protect and improve the coastal waters that are at the base of our economy and culture here in New Brunswick. It just wouldn’t be responsible or fair of TransCanada to string our coastal communities and industries along with an incomplete, ill-thought-out plan."

The Steering Committee of the New Brunswick Environmental Network is pleased to announce that Raissa Marks will be the new Executive Director of the organization beginning April 1, 2015. Raissa brings over 8 years of experience of senior leadership within the organization, as program director. She is a skilled facilitator and has a deep understanding of the important role the NBEN has as a communications hub and facilitator, as well as an innate appreciation for the NBEN as a strategic player in advancing environmental issues in our province.
CCNB: Cancer classification warrants ban on widely-used herbicide


FREDERICTON — A herbicide sprayed yearly and in large quantities on New Brunswick forests was recently classified as a probable cancer-causing chemical by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization. The decision was published in the journal, Lancet Oncology. Glyphosate, sold under various trade names including Roundup, Vision, and Vision Max, is a broad-spectrum weedkiller used in agriculture, silviculture, recreational areas and on lawns. Globally, it is the highest-volume herbicide in use.

The IARC panel of 17 experts from 11 countries classified glyphosateas a probable carcinogen based on evidence in human and animal studies. Several studies, including one in Canada, have found a link between occupational exposure to glyphosate and increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Glyphosate can be absorbed into the body and has been detected in the blood and urine of workers handling the chemical,” says Inka Milewski, science advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. "Glyphosate causes cancer by damaging chromosomes (DNA) which can result in mutations that lead to cancer. But it is not only workers that are affected. The IARC experts cite a 2009 study that found chromosomal damage in residents of several communities after aerial glyphosate spraying."

Herbicides have been used on New Brunswick forests since the 1970s when pulp and paper companies were first permitted to clearcut natural forest and replace it with plantations. About 13,000 hectares of Crown forest are sprayed each year in the province. Spraying is done by helicopter for about 40 days between August and September, covering roughly 25 per cent of the softwood land cut each year.

The Conservation Council is calling for a ban on glyphosate use in New Brunswick’s Crown forest. "Health policy and regulations lag way behind the known science of many of the pollutants in our environment. There are plenty of examples where regulators have waited too long before acting to protect public health. Lead, DDT, radon, dioxin and cigarette smoke come to mind," says Milewski.

Tracy Glynn, forest campaign director for the Conservation Council, says it's time for New Brunswick to ban aerial herbicide spraying in forests. "Quebec banned the use of glyphosate in forestry in 2001 and replaced herbicide use with thinning crews.Nova Scotia recently abandoned the public funding of herbicide spraying of their forest and is moving toward FSC certification of their forest, which would mean no more herbicides in their woods. But here in New Brunswick, we continue to fund silviculture on Crown land that includes spraying, which according to data from Natural Resources Canada, can cost the province about $1,000/ha," says Glynn.

Three petitions, signed by thousands of New Brunswickers, against herbicide spraying in the forest have been tabled in the New Brunswick Legislature in just over a decade, the most recent in 2011. Kent County residents have recently risked arrest and are facing hefty fines for trying to stop the herbicide spraying of their woods.

“Creating good jobs and protecting our health and the health of our forest is very important to New Brunswickers,” says Glynn. “Following in our neighbour’s footsteps by using thinning crews instead of chemicals that have been connected to cancer is just good common sense.”
PEACE & FRIENDSHIP ALLIANCE DEMANDS GALLANT SUSPEND
FORESTRY 
CONTRACTS AND CONSULT WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             PRESS RELEASE              23 MARCH 2015


Fredericton NB - Members of the Peace & Friendship Alliance are alarmed at the Gallant government’s decision to honour forestry contracts that were signed without meaningful consultation.  

The Alliance includes non-governmental groups and Indigenous Peoples from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine, in collaboration with a national and international coalition, who are all concerned about mounting assaults on our land, water, and air by governments and industry.

“The lands tied to those contracts are the stolen ancestral territory of our people,” says Ron Tremblay, spokesperson for Wolastoq Grand Council


“The lands tied to those contracts are the stolen ancestral territory of our people,” says Ron Tremblay, spokesperson for Wolastoq Grand Council. “We see Brian Gallant’s endorsement of the contracts as abuse of due process. The contracts were signed without meaningful consultation with Indigenous People.”

“Gallant should have announced he was going to suspend the contracts until Indigenous People were properly consulted,” adds Tremblay.

“This is more of an incentive to take this government to court to finally recognize aboriginal title to the lands that have been given away for destruction,” says Alma Brooks, clan mother of the Wolastoq Grand Council.

“This is more of an incentive to take this governmentto court to finally recognize aboriginal title to the landsthat have been given away for destruction,”says Alma Brooks, clan motherof the Wolastoq Grand Council

Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians, said “This forestry deal was done in secret without Wolastoq Peoples knowledge or ours.”

“We want to prevent irreparable harm to Acadian forests which will not regenerate for hundreds of years,” adds Connell. “And after such severe weather this winter, our elected leaders can no longer hide from climate change. They have a duty of care to prevent widespread loss of forest cover. Many of these areas now allowed in the forestry contract are on steep slopes and wet areas that once cut, will not retain as much water after heavy rain events, thus increasing the risk of flooding in downstream communities.”

“We want to prevent irreparable harm to Acadian forests
which will not regenerate for hundreds of years”
- Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Fredericton
Chapter of the Council of Canadians



A rally is being held outside the combined Annual General Meetings of three (3) NB Liberal Riding Associations this coming Wednesday, March 25th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Knights of Columbus Hall, 170 Regent Street, Fredericton to tell Brian Gallant to give us due process and suspend the forestry contracts through legislation. The public is invited to attend this family event.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 PRESS RELEASE                          12 MARCH 2015

Will residents of Fredericton get to ask TransCanada about the risk of an Energy East pipeline spill to their drinking water?

FREDERICTON - TransCanada refuses to hold a public meeting for the residents of Fredericton, yet the company is scheduled to meet Fredericton's business community for the second time in one year.

Kevin Maloney of TransCanada Pipeline, plans to give an early morning presentation to the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce on March 17, 2015 at the Fredericton Convention Centre, from 8:00am to 9:00am.  As TransCanada's Manager for New Build Pipeline – Ontario & New Brunswick,  Mr. Maloney wants to update the business community on the progress of the Energy East Pipeline proposal.

This announcement comes only 2 weeks after the public learned that TransCanada sent a letter to the City of Fredericton refusing City Council's request to hold a public meeting for their citizens.   Dated February 11, 2015, Patrick Lacroix, TransCanada's NB Project Manager for Energy East Project, explained his company's position in the letter, "Our focus remains on communities and landowners directly affected by the pipeline route.", intimating that Fredericton would not be directly affected by the pipeline.

The letter by TransCanada did not mention that the company is holding meetings with the business community in Fredericton.  TransCanada's Philippe Cannon gave a presentation on the public safety and economic impacts of the proposed pipeline to the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Fredericton North Rotary Club and Mayor Brad Woodside on March 17, 2014.

This contradiction prompted several members of the Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter to call the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and ask for an open meeting.  One of those members, Marzipan Trahms, explained, "It is unfair that TransCanada will meet with the business community of Fredericton but not the citizens of Fredericton. The optics are bad for building trust.  I expressed my concern with Chamber President Joseph O'Donnell and he assured me that the public is welcome at this breakfast presentation."

Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter is very pleased with this turn of events, "The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is to be congratulated for opening up this meeting to the public.  We look forward to TransCanada dealing with our concern about the risk to our city's drinking water supply in an open and genuine manner."

"Our question to TransCanada will be very straight-forward: Where will a spill in the Nashwaak River end up?" says Ms. Connell. "Will computer modelling be conducted to predict whether or not toxic chemicals from an oil spill would reach the base of the Nashwaak River, the critical location of windows into the Fredericton aquifer?"

Don McDonald, a resident of Stanley, was so concerned about the impact of a pipeline spill into his long-time fishing waterways, the Nashwaak River and the Southwest Miramichi River, that he applied a week ago to the National Energy Board to be an intervenor in the Energy East hearings. "The S Br SW Miramichi River, Taxis River, its tributaries, and Lake Brook flow into the SouthWest Miramichi River.  McGivney Brook and Arnold Brook flow into the Cross Creek stream which flows into the Nashwaak River and on into the Saint John River."

Mr. McDonald stressed the high risk to Fredericton, "The proposed pipeline route crosses three tributaries leading into the Nashwaak River.  The usually high flow rate of Cross Creek and the Nashwaak River means that a spill could happen in the middle of the night and only be detected in the morning when it has already reached Fredericton."

Don plans to attend the TransCanada presentation and ask the following, "How much can the pipeline spill before they know it, and how accurately can they identify where the leak is?  These are the two prime questions about leaks.  For example, we need to know what type of sensing equipment they will use and what will be the requirements for shut-off values at these water crossings?  Can they be shut off automatically." 

Elizabeth Hamilton, member of Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter sums up why their group is so concerned about this pipeline, "An independent study commissioned by a Quebec municipality found that Energy East leaks as large as 2.6 million litres per day could go undetected. And the diluted bitumen that TransCanada plans to pump through the pipeline is filled with cancer-causing chemicals and sinks to the bottom of waterways it enters."

"We have actual spills that prove our concerns are real," says Ms. Hamilton.  "An estimated 3.8 million litres of diluted tar sands bitumen spilled into a 60-kilometre stretch of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July 2010, forcing hundreds of residents from their homes.  Even after 4 years of clean-up, at a cost of $1.3 billion dollars, there remains an estimated 600,000 litres of oil stuck to the bottom of the Kalamazoo River."

Ms. Hamilton concludes, "Our concern is for a large pipeline spill in the Nashwaak River that would reach all the way to Fredericton. We have to think first and foremost about protecting our drinking water."

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Maggie Connell  506.459.8081

Marzipan Trahms 506.454.6410




LINK: Presentation Day - The Energy East Pipeline

http://business.frederictonchamber.ca/events/details/presentation-day-the-energy-east-pipeline-come-get-the-latest-update-on-its-progress-163


MEDIA RELEASE

FREDERICTON — Proposed new aquaculture regulations will face scrutiny before a senate committee meeting today after a coalition of fishers, fishing associations, business leaders and scientists have said the changes would harm marine environments and wild fisheries such as salmon and lobster.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick’s Fundy Baykeeper, Matt Abbott, will be watching the meeting and is available for comment to media before and after the proceedings.

Abbott was a leading force behind the open letter sent last month to Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling upon the federal government to scrap the proposed aquaculture activities regulations. The letter was signed by a broad coalition of 120 people and organizations, who will be represented at the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans by Bill Ernst (Toxicologist, Environment Canada, retired), Rob Johnson (Ecology Action Centre),  and Michael Van den Heuvel (Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity, University of Prince Edward Island).

The hearing takes place at 5 p.m. EST and can be watched online through a webcast. Follow the Twitter handles @AquaRegs and @cc_nb for more updates.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Matt Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper: 506-321-0429, matt.abbott@conservationcouncil.ca

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Established in 1969, the Conservation Council serves as the province’s leading voice for conservation and environmental protection. A leading public policy advocate, CCNB works to find practical solutions to help families and educators, citizens, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forests, that support us.

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

MEDIA RELEASE

FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has applied to be an intervenor in the National Energy Board’s review of the proposed Energy East oil pipeline.

It is one of nearly 1,000 groups and individuals to apply to participate in the review of TransCanada Corporation’s proposal to build a 4,600-kilometre oil pipeline from the tarsands in Alberta to export terminals in New Brunswick. The deadline to apply to be heard by the NEB was today.

Among other abilities, approved intervenors can file written evidence, ask written questions about evidence supplied by TransCanada, comment on draft conditions, and present written and oral arguments during hearings.

The Conservation Council has also applied to receive participant funding from the NEB which it will use in part to hire a team of scientists to examine the pipeline proposal.

“There are already quite a few holes in the information the Board has received — it's not translated, it neglects to address upstream climate pollution, and we have yet to discover where the second export terminal will be,” said Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

“We need to have scientists with expertise in a range of fields — from oil spill impacts in rivers to how increased tanker traffic will affect the endangered whales in the Bay of Fundy."

Corbett said the large number of groups and individuals who have applied demonstrates the concern Canadians have about the oil pipeline project, even in spite of changes to the hearing process which made it harder for people to be involved.

If approved as an intervenor, the Conservation Council will hire a team of experts to study: 

●      The pipeline’s potential impacts on freshwater fish and fish habitat in New Brunswick;

●      The impact of the pipeline and increased shipping traffic on the Bay of Fundy and its wildlife such as the endangered Right whale;

●      The state of emergency preparedness for responding to an oil spill in the Bay of Fundy; and

●      The risks associated with oil spills and the use of dispersants in the Bay of Fundy and New Brunswick’s freshwater rivers, creeks and streams.

The Conservation Council is asking the National Energy Board to hold hearings in Edmundston and Saint John, at the minimum, so New Brunswickers have fair access to the review process.

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The Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Established in 1969, the Conservation Council serves as the province’s leading voice for conservation and environmental protection. A leading public policy advocate, CCNB works to find practical solutions to help families and educators, citizens, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forests, that support us.

To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

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

FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has released a powerful tool that shows people just how close the proposed Energy East oil pipeline will be to their home, cottage or favourite fishing hole.

The interactive Google Map allows users to see the nearly 300 points at which the oil pipeline will intersect rivers and streams in New Brunswick. It was generated using Google Earth Pro and documents from TransCanada Corporation, the North American oil and gas giant proposing to build the 4,600-kilometre Energy East oil pipeline from the tarsands in Alberta to export terminals in Quebec and Saint John.

“It’s a really neat tool,” said Stephanie Merrill, Freshwater Protection Program Coordinator for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “Whenever someone asks about the pipeline, I can bring up the map on my iPad and say, ‘there’s the route, and that’s how close your family cottage is to it.’ Or, ‘there’s the pipeline slicing through the river you’ve fished for years.”

The Conservation Council is calling on New Brunswickers to use the tool and see how the proposed pipeline will affect them. We’re encouraging people to share stories of their favourite fishing holes, hunting grounds, family cottages or homesteads that are in the pipeline’s path.  

View the map on our website.

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Sadly, Beth McLaughlin passed away on February 22, 2015.

Beth was a positive force in New Brunswick’s environmental community for decades. She firmly believed that people’s actions could change the world and lived by this belief. Beth founded PANE (People Against Nuclear Energy) and the South East Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and co-founded SOS Eau Water Sanqwan. In 2002, Beth was honoured with the NBEN’s Orca award for her tireless efforts in fighting City Hall on the issue of the privatization of the Moncton public water distribution system, and for her capacity to involve people from diverse backgrounds. In 2006, the NBEN again honoured her with an Environmental Achievement award for her passionate and unwavering commitment to the environment and people of New Brunswick, and her ability to inspire, motivate and nurture other environmentalists. Beth had a great love of life and for young people; she mentored many of New Brunswick’s up-and-coming environmentalists over the years.

Our thoughts are with Beth’s family and friends as they mourn a great loss.

A celebration of life for Beth will take place on Wednesday, February 25 in Moncton. See http://www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca/obituary.asp?id=777#sthash.abjp2Rmh.dpuf for more details.

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From the Conservation Council of New Brunswick:

In honour of Beth McLaughlin

New Brunswick has lost a fierce defender of our environment with the
passing of Beth McLaughlin on Sunday, Feb. 22.

Beth was on the Conservation Council board for years. She worked
tirelessly to make people aware of the dangers of nuclear power and she
was one of the key organizers who shelved the Jaakko Poyry
recommendations which sought to double the annual allowable cut in our
forest in the early 2000s.

Beth organized people around the province to ensure they attended the
hearings that determined the fate of our forest. She traveled across New
Brunswick and summarized what people had to stay at each hearing,
comments which were then used to defeat the recommendations. Even when
she became ill with cancer, Beth remained committed to protecting New
Brunswick's Acadian forest and to developing proposed legislation for an
Environmental Bill of Rights for New Brunswick. Her dedication and
service was honoured by the Conservation Council family when she was
presented with a Milton F. Gregg award for environmental activism in 2011.

Beth, a retired school teacher, encouraged her students to be active
citizens and to write letters to government. Beth earned a Masters of
Environmental Studies degree at the Université de Moncton in 2001. Her
thesis was on the topic of sustainable communities. Beth wrote a weekly
column for the Times & Transcript as well as plays and fiction with
environmental themes. She also ran an educational business focused on
sustainable communities with Françoise Aubin.

“From a young age, I always seemed to be aware of environmental issues,
if perhaps only in a peripheral way. My father loved to fish and he
would try to make weekly excursions to our family camp in the northwest
New Brunswick woods. We loved the outdoors,” Beth said as she recalled
the devastation caused by a spruce budworm outbreak and the widespread
spraying of insecticides over New Brunswick's forest in the 1970s,
during an interview for a story that honoured St. Thomas University alumna.

Beth was also a founding board member of Crossroads for Women, a shelter
for women and children living with family violence in Moncton.

Deepest condolences to her partner Helene, to our board members who were
such good friends of hers, and to all those who were blessed to know her
witty humour, tenacity and passion in the many fights that mattered.

Let's honour Beth's memory by renewing our commitment to protecting the
Acadian forest that she so loved and to building healthy communities in
this province.

MEDIA RELEASE

Today, Wednesday, February 18, 2015, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South, introduced a bill to the Legislative Assembly called 'An Act to Return to the Crown Certain Rights Related to Wood Supply and Forest Management.'

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick looks forward to the debate that will now occur over this bill. The way our forest is managed needs to change. Clearcutting and herbicide spraying are outdated practices. Woodlot owners and workers need a fair shot at making a living here and treaties with First Nations must be respected.

We encourage everyone to follow the debate that will now occur between our MLAs about our forest. Now is the time to make our voices heard for forest conservation and twenty-first century forest management.

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The Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Established in 1969, the Conservation Council serves as the province’s leading voice for conservation and environmental protection. A leading public policy advocate, CCNB works to find practical solutions to help families and educators, citizens, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forests, that support us.

To arrange an interview, contact: Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

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


Halifax, NS — Business leaders, commercial and recreational fishing associations, scientists, lawyers and environmentalists are calling on Prime Minister Harper to halt the implementation of the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations. The changes will exempt the aquaculture industry from the Fisheries Act provisions that “prohibit the release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.” Despite broad-based opposition since the beginning of the regulatory change process, which started in 2011, the government of Canada has moved ahead in implementing these changes.

“These regulations will set back Canadian aquatic environmental protection measures several decades,” states Bill Ernst, a retired Environment Canada toxicologist. “They will eliminate Environment Canada’s role in enforcing the law with respect to aquaculture and hand responsibility over to Health Canada who do not have an undivided environmental protection mandate.”

The 120 signatories of an open letter sent today, including the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, contend that the proposed changes will lead to increased environmental risk through the discharge of increasingly powerful pesticides, and other potentially damaging substances into the aquatic ecosystem, significantly reduce government regulatory oversight, and damage Canada’s commercial interests as a provider of untainted seafood.

“We have been fishing alongside the aquaculture industry for decades and we know the impacts open-pen salmon farms can have on the traditional fishery. When the salmon aquaculture industry is poorly regulated it places our industry and livelihoods in jeopardy.  We have grave concerns about the contents of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations, particularly the emphasis on aquaculture industry self-monitoring and regulation, and the capacity of DFO to enforce the proposed regulations,” says Maria Recchia, Executive Director of Fundy North Fisherman’s Association based in Southwestern New Brunswick.

 “The value of our industry is based on a pristine, non-polluted marine environment,” says Stewart Lamont, owner of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia. “We have already dealt with the impacts of pesticides, and see federal fines levied on something that would now become legal. To have DFO authorize pollution from a coastal industry is simply baffling.”

A newly-released scientific study by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the impacts of two pesticides used to treat sea lice, Salmonsan and Alphamax, shows that there are lethal effects on lobster and the risk from one of those, Alphamax, exists up to ten kilometres from sites of use and concludes that there is a general lack of data on pesticide impacts on a wide variety of other marine species.

“We already know that our oceans and coastal ecosystems are suffering from far too much pollution. With these proposed regulatory changes, we are actively allowing further pollution of our coastal waters.  Our coastal industries, particularly those that rely on a healthy marine environment will be put at risk,” says Dr. Susanna Fuller, Marine Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.” In addition, our international reputation on environmental protection will be impacted – something we can’t afford, particularly given the importance of the export markets to our fisheries.”

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For More Information:

Matt Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, matt.abbott@conservationcouncil.ca c: 506-321-0429 w: 506-529-8838 twitter @MattAbbot @FundyBaykeeper

Maria Recchia, Executive Director, Fundy North Fishermen’s Association e: mariarecchia@nb.aibn.com c:506-469-4191

Stewart Lamont, Managing Director, Tangier Lobster e: stewart@tangierlobster.com 902.456.0712

Bill Ernst, retired toxicologist, Environment Canada e: wrernst1@gmail.com cell 902-999-5771, home 902 865 5771

Susanna Fuller, PhD. Marine Conservation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre e: marine@ecologyaction.ca c: 902-483-5033 twitter @sdfuller @EAC_Seamouse

Background Information:

Click here for the open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

Consultations were held starting in 2011 on proposed changes to the Fisheries Act regarding treatment of sealice in the open net pen finfish farming industry. Proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette on August 23rd, 2014. http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2014/2014-08-23/html/reg1-eng.php

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 ::  www.conservationcouncil.ca
MEDIA RELEASE
Energy East oil pipeline: Back to the drawing board


FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick says TransCanada Corporation has to head back to the drawing board to patch all the holes that have surfaced in its plans for the proposed Energy East oil pipeline.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that the Alberta-based oil giant had ruled out Cacouna, Que. - a beluga nursery ground - as the site of an export oil terminal.

TransCanada’s original plans for the 4,600-kilometre-long oil pipeline involved shipping crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta to export terminals in Cacouna and Saint John.

Following the report from La Presse, company spokesperson Tim Duboyce denied claims that a decision had been made on the Cacouna terminal. Duboyce was quoted as saying “the reality is we’re just not there yet,” stating all options were still on the table.

“Those kind of statements only firm up our point that this project should not be undergoing a review at this time,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council.

“If all options are still on the table, how can regulators be expected to make an informed decision? Perhaps more importantly, how is it fair to ask the public to spend their time, effort, and money today reviewing and commenting on the pipeline’s environmental impacts when, because of the project’s state of flux, they aren’t fully known at this time?”

The National Energy Board began accepting applications for public participation in the hearing process on Feb. 3. People looking to submit comments to the board must apply by March 3.

“How can anyone making his or her living from providing whale watching tours in the Bay of Fundy feel confident participating in the energy board process, when they have no idea exactly how much of the 1.1-million barrels of oil will end up in nearby Saint John, or how many supertankers will be coursing through the world’s highest tides?” Corbett says.

“The company can’t even answer these questions yet, and when it comes to our water, fisheries, tourism and wildlife like the endangered Right Whale, New Brunswickers can’t afford to be left guessing.”

The Cacouna question hasn’t been the only snag in the pipeline proposal.

Earlier this week, TransCanada came under fire from Francophone communities for failing to provide its official filings in French. At the same time, First Nation leaders in Ontario demanded the National Energy Board halt its review until they are properly consulted.

“In our view, TransCanada only has one option before them right now: withdraw its application to the National Energy Board and rethink the need for this project,” Corbett says. 

To arrange an interview, contact:

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

 

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

Open letter to the Minister of Natural Resources




 


February 11, 2015

Minister Denis Landry

Chancery Place, 675 King Street

Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 1E9

Dear Mr. Landry:

This is to express grave concerns about the lack of our government’s intervention on the forestry strategy introduced by the Alward government. With every passing day, more wood is being cut from our Crown Lands without the permission of its owners—the people of New Brunswick.   

Seven years ago, in February 2008, the results of a comprehensive public survey (1) on forest management practices commissioned by DNR provided empirical evidence that industry was already harvesting too much fibre off Crown Lands and had too much control over our forests.  As a cabinet minister at the time, you may recall that a tour organized to inform people about the results of this survey was cancelled by Donald Arsenault, then Minister of Natural Resources.

That survey represented how New Brunswickers wanted their forests managed. Those findings still apply, until proven otherwise, using a survey of the same scientific rigour. 

New Brunswickers expected, then, as they do now, that our forests would be managed for the following, and in the order prescribed: water protection, wildlife habitat, fire protection, protection against thefts, disease and insect protection, biodiversity, and as a source of fibre for industry. A key finding, too, was that the public wanted more and better opportunities to provide input on the management of their forests. Clearly, this public opinion survey demonstrated that the Alward government had no social license to negotiate the type of forestry agreements that are now in place.

The choice is clear. On the one hand, our government may opt to abide by the new forest management agreements.  On the other hand, however, our government can choose to accept the will of the majority of New Brunswickers.  And it’s not as if industry had no other source of fibre.  To paraphrase Morris Green, ex-Minister under the McKenna government, private woodlot owners have the wood to meet industry requirements.  According to this view, there would have been no need to increase the annual allowable cut from our forests because it was already available from private woodlot owners.  In sum, then, the issue is whether to allow industry or the owners of the forests to dictate how the people’s forests are to be managed.

Our own standpoint is that the forestry strategy must be halted.  We maintain that other forest governance models, like community forests, as suggested during the hearings organized by the Legislative Select Committee on Wood Supply in 1999, would be more beneficial in terms of long-term job creation and developing our local economies.  In fact, a recent study done by researchers at Simon Fraser University provides tangible evidence that “community forests perform better overall than other forms of tenures for selected indicators of local benefits” (i.e., diversification, local employment, and local value). Although some, like the four licensees might object to having their forest management agreements cancelled, we would argue that these agreements were made behind closed doors and without the involvement of the owners of this resource.

If the new Liberal government is to establish its credibility on this important issue, the forest strategy must be retracted immediately.

We look forward with great anticipation to hearing from you soon on this important file.

Links to New Brunswick Conservation Council productions 'Beau Bear' and 'Forbidden Forest'


*****
Lettre ouverte à le ministre des Ressources naturelles



Monsieur le ministre des Ressources naturelles,

Nous vous écrivons pour vous exprimer nos vives préoccupations face à l’absence d’intervention de notre gouvernement concernant la stratégie forestière introduite par l’administration Alward.  Chaque jour, plus de bois est coupé sur nos terres de la Couronne sans permission de son propriétaire, la population du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Il y a sept années, en février 2008, les résultats d’une enquête publique exhaustive (1) sur les pratiques de gestion forestière, commandée par le ministère des Ressources naturelles, ont fourni des données empiriques qui démontraient que les entreprises récoltaient déjà alors trop de fibres des terres de la Couronne et qu’elles exerçaient un trop grand contrôle sur nos forêts.  Comme membre du cabinet à l’époque, vous pouvez vous souvenir qu’une tournée organisée pour faire connaitre à la population les résultats de cette enquête avait été annulée par Donald Arsenault alors ministre des Ressources naturelles.

L’enquête démontrait comment les Néobrunswickois voulaient que les forêts soient gérées.  Ces résultats sont toujours valides jusqu’à des preuves du contraire proviennent d’une enquête scientifique aussi rigoureuse.

Les Néobrunswickois s’attendaient alors, comme maintenant, à ce que nos forêts soient gérées en tenant compte des facteurs suivants et dans cet ordre de priorité : la protection de l’eau, la protection des habitats de la faune, la protection contre les incendies, la protection contre le vol, la protection contre les maladies et les insectes, la biodiversité, et la forêt comme source de fibres pour les entreprises.  Une autre conclusion importante de l’enquête était que la population voulait avoir de plus nombreuse et de meilleures occasions de donner son opinion sur la gestion de ses forêts.  Clairement, cette enquête sur les opinions de la population a démontré que l’administration Alward ne possédait pas l’autorisation sociale de négocier le type d’entente forestière qui est présentement en vigueur.

Le choix est clair.  D’une part, notre administration provinciale peut choisir de respecter les nouvelles ententes de gestion forestière.  Par ailleurs, toutefois, notre administration peut choisir d’accepter la volonté de la majorité des Néobrunswickois.  Et ce n’est pas comme si l’industrie n’avait aucune autre source de fibres.  Pour paraphraser Morris Green, l’ancien ministre de l’administration McKenna, les propriétaires de lots boisés possèdent le bois pour satisfaire les besoins de l’industrie.  Selon cette autre option, il n’aurait pas été nécessaire d’accroitre la valeur des coupes annuelles permises des forêts de la Couronne parce les propriétaires privés de boisés auraient pu suffire à la demande.  Donc en somme, l’enjeu consiste à permettre soit aux industries ou soit aux propriétaires des forêts de dicter comment les forêts doivent être gérées.

Selon nous, c’est la stratégie forestière qui doit être abandonnée.  Tel que suggéré lors des audiences organisées par le Comité spécial de l’Assemblée législature sur l’approvisionnement en bois en 1999, nous soutenons que d’autres modèles de gouvernance comme les forêts communautaires seraient plus bénéfiques en termes de création d’emplois à long terme et de développement de nos économies locales.  En fait, une récente étude préparée par des chercheurs de l’université Simon Fraser fournit des preuves concrètes que « les forêts communautaires donnent un meilleur rendement dans l’ensemble que les autres formes de tenure lorsque l’on considère les indicateurs des bénéfices locaux (comme la diversification, l’emploi local, la valeur locale).  Bien que certains comme les quatre détenteurs de permis pourraient s’opposer à l’annulation de leurs ententes de gestion forestière, nous pourrions argumenter que ces ententes ont été conclues à huit clos et sans participation des propriétaires de la ressource.

Si la nouvelle administration Libérale veut établir sa crédibilité sur cet enjeu important, la stratégie forestière doit être désavouée immédiatement.

Nous attendons avec grand intérêt votre prompte réaction à cet important dossier et nous vous prions, monsieur le ministre, d’accepter l’expression de notre haute considération

Maggie Connell & Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, Co-Chairs

Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter

Pamela Ross, Chair, Council of Canadians Moncton Chapter

Leticia Adair, Chair, Council of Canadians Saint John Chapter

cc: Premier Brian Gallant
     Media

Liens au Nouveau-Brunswick Conservation Council productions 'Beau Bear' et 'Forbidden Forest'
.

.
MEDIA RELEASE

Attention News Editors: Today the National Energy Board begins accepting applications for public participation in the Energy East oil pipeline hearing. The Conservation Council of New Brunswick has produced a video to help New Brunswickers learn how they can get involved in this process. Our staff is available to speak to media about the National Energy Board hearing and our instructional video.


Key Points:
  • In 2012 the federal government introduced changes to the way pipeline projects are reviewed which made it harder for the public to participate. The Conservation Council wants to make it easier for New Brunswickers to get involved so the National Energy Board understands how this project will affect our water, whales and the Bay of Fundy.
  • People have 30 days to apply to participate in the National Energy Board’s hearing on Energy East. The deadline to apply is March 3, 2015.
  • The proposed Energy East oil pipeline would be the first oil pipeline built the length of New Brunswick. Its proposed route crosses hundreds of acres of farmland, woodlot, and private property, and crosses several important provincial watercourses, including rivers and streams in the St. John River basin, the Miramichi, Tobique, Salmon and Madawaska rivers, Coal Creek (which drains into Grand Lake), and the Bay of Fundy.

The Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Established in 1969, the Conservation Council serves as the province’s leading voice for conservation and environmental protection. A leading public policy advocate, CCNB works to find practical solutions to help families and educators, citizens, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forests, that support us.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Officer | 458-8747 | 261-1353 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 :: www.conservationcouncil.ca
Petitcodiac Riverkeeper is recruiting volunteers for its Board of Directors. 
We encourage you to indicate your interest and to share this information in your networks. The AGM will be held on March 20th 2015. 
Info: 
http://petitcodiac.org/would-you-like-to-help-revitalize-the-petitcodiac-memramcook-and-shepody-rivers/
Check out this great initiative carried out in Pemba, Zanzibar by Community Forests International: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scaling-innovation

Pembans have built massive rain water storage systems, wired solar micro-grid, and worked alongside nature to grow over 1,000,000 trees spanning 30 different species!  Now we want to help expand these innovative approaches and technologies and share them far and wide.  Join with us, as we take rural innovation to the next level.
MEDIA RELEASE

Conservation Council congratulates Premier Gallant for leadership on fracking moratorium

(Fredericton, NB) — The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is congratulating Premier Brian Gallant for his strong leadership and commitment to protect New Brunswickers and our water by imposing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province.

“We’re proud of Premier Brian Gallant and his cabinet for standing firm to protect water and clean air,” said Stephanie Merrill, Freshwater Protection Program coordinator with the Conservation Council. “Placing a moratorium on shale gas development shows that Premier Gallant is serious about protecting the environment, particularly our water."

The Conservation Council was among the first organizations in the province to raise awareness around the potential health and environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, a process which uses large amounts of water mixed with chemicals to break up shale rock formations and release natural gas reserves held below ground.

CCNB’s Freshwater Protection Program spearheaded grassroots opposition to the practice, prompting one of the broadest and widest-ranging coalitions in the province’s recent history, a support network that included First Nations, doctors, scientists, clergy, labour unions, municipal politicians, farmers, and more.

“The conditions placed on the moratorium are strongly worded and significant,” said Merrill. “It gives us time to develop clean energy jobs instead of being under constant pressure from the fossil fuel lobby.”

“The premier’s announcement heralds a new day for New Brunswick,” added Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council. “Today, we’re celebrating this milestone for progressive environmental and economic policy.”

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To arrange an interview, contact:

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

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 :: www.conservationcouncil.ca
December 8, 2014 By

Without a Paddle

Documenting the failure—and the potential—of New Brunswick’s Water Classification Program. Posted on December 8, 2014 in Water Canada’s November/December 2014 issue.

During the height offishing season in New Brunswick, as anglers lured Atlantic salmon on the famous Miramichi River and kids navigated through thickets to seek out their favourite summer swimming holes, a report came forth casting a stark and sobering reality for the rivers so enjoyed in the province. On August 15, 2014, Charles Murray, the New Brunswick ombudsman, an independent authority of the provincial legislature, released the details of his investigation into the Department of Environment’s handling of its Water Classification Program. The program was the first in Canada to take a proactive, watershed-based approach to river protection when it was introduced in 2002. But the ombudsman determined the program was, in effect, nothing more than an illusion, giving New Brunswickers a woefully false impression about the safety of their rivers for more than a decade.

In the 12 years since it was established, not a single waterway has been protected under the classification system. The program was instead plagued by bureaucratic confusion, lacklustre political will, and misuse of power from the elected officials charged with overseeing it.

New Brunswick’s Department of Environment had all the required documentation to classify the Nashwaak River by no later than 2003—but classification never came. Credit: Paul McLaughlin, Nashwaak Watershed Association.
New Brunswick’s Department of Environment
had all the required documentation to classify
the Nashwaak River by no later than 2003—but
classification never came. Credit: Paul McLaughlin,
Nashwaak Watershed Association.

“Like a smoke detector without batteries,” Murray wrote in his report, “[the regulation] appears to address and remedy a problem when in reality it does nothing of the sort.” The classification program, he concluded, “exists primarily as a mirage, misleading observers to their detriment.”

That’s certainly a far cry from what was expected by conservationists and departmental officials alike when the program was first unveiled. The Water Classification Program was brought forth under Regulation 2002-13 as a progressive attempt to set water quality standards for New Brunswick rivers. The regulation allows community-based organizations to collect water samples, analyze water quality, and set goals to maintain or improve the water quality of rivers. It was the final piece of a progressive regulatory regime put in place by the provincial government, complementing the Wellfield Protected Areas Designation passed in 2000 and the Watershed Protected Areas Designation enacted in 2001.

Over time, the department received 19 separate proposals for classification from groups across the province. Among them was an application from the Nashwaak Watershed Association, which had been exceptionally proactive on the file, having secured funding from the government to conduct water quality tests before the regulation had even been passed.

In his report, the ombudsman noted the department had all the necessary documentation required to classify the Nashwaak by no later than 2003. What followed were years of correspondence between the department and the Nashwaak association, during which officials described the river and other provincial watercourses as being “provisionally” classified, giving the impression that full classification was just around the corner.

Frustrated by the lack of movement on the program, the Nashwaak Watershed Association and its supporters, including the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, filed a complaint to the office of the ombudsman in February 2013, spearheading Murray’s investigation.

“I think New Brunswickers were blindsided and even surprised to learn our rivers were not being protected,” said Stephanie Merrill, freshwater protection program coordinator for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “And we should be. It’s a shame that in a province like New Brunswick, where so much of our culture, heritage, and recreation is based around our rivers, that we do not have fundamental protections for our waters. It’s so basic. New Brunswickers have assumed that’s covered.”

In an interview with the Conservation Council for this article, the ombudsman said the most troubling finding from his investigation was simply that government gave citizens a false impression for so many years that watercourses were being protected.

“That speaks to a really fundamental failure,” Murray said. “It can’t really be a larger failure than that.”

His report offered some explanations—citing confusion within the Department of Environment over the legal authority of the regulation and the troubling misuse of ministerial discretion by successive ministers to avoid approving the applications—but above all else, Murray said a lack of focused political will is primarily 
to blame.

But therein lies the hope for New Brunswick’s waterways moving forward.

A new provincial government, under the leadership of Liberal Premier Brian Gallant, was sworn into power on October 7. During the fall election campaign, the Liberal Party of New Brunswick pledged to “take steps to help ensure the health of our rivers and drinking water.” What better opportunity, Murray said, then moving swiftly to approve the 19 rivers submitted under the Water Classification Program?

“Why not be proactive and make yourself the champion of that change?” Murray said of the new government. “To me, this is an opportunity for the Minister of Environment to demonstrate competence, good faith, and to rebuild some bridges of trust between the department and the communities.”

With some focused attention and priority, by the time New Brunswickers set out with their fishing rods or swimming suits to indulge in our waterways next summer, they’ll hopefully do so with the full confidence that regulations are in effect to ensure rivers will remain safe and healthy for them to enjoy.  WC

Jon MacNeill is the communications officer for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. This article appears in Water Canada’s November/December 2014 issue.

Running with the current:

A workshop for watershed groups in NB

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


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

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

Interested? Come to the workshop and:

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

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

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

Register today!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

More info:

- 350.org/EnergyEast

- http://canadians.org/energyeast

- http://bit.ly/MOOWmP

Media contacts:


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

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

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

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

Patrick Bonin - Greenpeace Canada, 514-594-1221

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


                                                               MEDIA RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                             -30-

To arrange an interview, contact:

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

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

November 19, 2014



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

- 30 -

Contact:



Bonnie Hamilton Bogart

bonniehb@nb.sympatico.ca

(506) 488-1888 landline

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

IMG 0023 IMG 0024 IMG 0025 IMG 0026IMG 0030 IMG 0032IMG 0036 IMG 0037 
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --- PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

******

POUR PUBLICATION ---- IMMÉDIATE COMMUNIQUÉ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCTOBER 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is how to download cards.

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

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

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


MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Fredericton joins largest climate march in world history

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- 30 -


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

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

Sam Arnold and Keith Helmuth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.


Parties reveal position on environment and conservation



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

See the complete survey results from respondents here.


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




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








Moncton, NB (17 Sept 2014)

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

First, the economics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About NBASGA

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

Website: www.noshalegasnb.ca

Email: shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com

Contact Information

Jim Emberger (English)

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

Denise Melanson (French)

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

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