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

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

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

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

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

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

To sign-up for the webinar and/or find more information:  https://raventrust.com/we-are-unfrackable-webinar-series/
We have also put up an event on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1269560153248578
Contact https://raventrust.com/we-are-unfrackable-webinar-series/
This is an open letter to the Members of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick of New Brunswick, the leadership of N.B. Power, the Energy and Utilities Board and various news agencies.
To all concerned;
Leap4wards as an organization is interested in sustainability. We understand from their website that N.B. Power has a goal to obtain 40% of NB electricity from renewable sources by December 2020. This is an effort we support, but have some concerns.
It has come to our attention that in New Brunswick there are a number of municipal power utilities and private entrepreneurs developing proposals to produce their own power from proven renewable energy sources. These parties are running into roadblocks extending from the N.B. Electricity Act. Concerns include:
-Who is allowed to produce the electricity used by N.B.Power
-Who decides the sources of power which are bought
-Compensation rates for independent producers
-where a community can produce their power
We expect there are more roadblocks.
Meanwhile N.B. Power and the Province of New Brunswick seem to be preoccupied with less practical projects. New Brunswick tax payers/ratepayers have had their money invested in a questionable electrolysis project in Florida. Now we are also investing in a small scale nuclear project which would not be able to produce power for at least 10 years. These timelines do not match the expectations presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
Leap4wards questions why we can’t work with New Brunswickers interested in renewable power generation who have projects ready to go. Simply by altering the legislation in the N. B. Electricity Act we could allow a range of proven renewable technologies to be brought forward fairly quickly. 
This is the path that Germany took in 1991 when Herman Scheer initiated their Electricity Feed In Act which required grid companies to connect all renewable power plants. The passing of this act paved the way for Germany to become the world leader in renewable energy it is today.
Localization, in all its forms is considered by many to be one of the most effective approaches to climate change. Allowing local municipalities and entrepreneurs to produce their own power from renewable sources would go a long way towards helping N. B. Power reach its admirable 40% renewable energy by December 2020 goal.
 
Kindest regards;
Norma MacKellar  180 Britain St, Saint John, E2L 1X6
Paula Tippett         4273 Loch Lomond Rd, Saint John, E2N 1C7
 
For Leap4wards, Saint John
 

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

How long before climate emergency gains traction?

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

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

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

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

What would declaring a climate emergency change for Fredericton?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Margo Sheppard

Fredericton

Ditching fossil fuels is like a ‘monkey trap’

The Daily Gleaner, Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations! Have a banana! They’re irresistible.

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

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

Pour diffusion immédiate
Le 18 novembre 2019

Samedi le 16 novembre 2019, cinq prix environnementaux ont été attribués à des groupes et citoyens du Nouveau-Brunswick pour souligner leur service exemplaire à leurs communautés.

L’Alliance du bassin versant de la Petitcodiac a reçu le prix Samaqan pour ses efforts constants pour protéger et restaurer les habitats d’eau douce des bassins versants de la Petitcodiac et de la Memramcook grâce à la science, l’éducation et l’engagement de la communauté. Le prix Samaqan est accordé à ceux et celles qui ont consacré leurs efforts à l’eau et aux espèces qui habitent dans les eaux.

Le prix Phénix était présenté à Symbiose, le groupe environnemental de l’Université de Moncton, pour la mobilisation non seulement des étudiants mais aussi de la communauté du Grand Moncton sur les changements climatiques en lien avec le mouvement mondial pour le climat. Le prix Phénix est accordé à ceux et celles qui ont consacré leurs efforts aux politiques et à la législation et qui ont été dans le feu de l’action.

Le prix Gaia a été présenté à Megan de Graaf, écologiste forestière de Community Forests International, pour sa profonde compréhension des liens entre les gens et les forêts, pour son dévouement au renforcement des capacités rurales pour la conservation et la restauration de la forêt acadienne et pour son souci des détails, sa curiosité et son respect. Le prix Gaia est accordé à ceux et celles qui ont consacré leurs efforts à la terre et aux espèces qui habitent sur terre.

EOS Éco-Énergie a été honoré par le prix Zéphyr pour son leadership communautaire et ses efforts assidus pour dynamiser des solutions locales aux changements climatiques dans la région Tantramar-Memramcook. Le prix Zéphyr est accordé à ceux et celles qui ont consacré leurs efforts à l’air et aux espèces qui habitent les airs.

Le Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick a reçu un prix spécial en reconnaissance de ses 50 années d’activité et de leadership environnemental au Nouveau-Brunswick.

Les prix ont été présentés lors de la réunion annuelle du Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick, Éco-confluence, qui a eu lieu à Fredericton au cours de la fin de semaine. Chaque année, les efforts importants déployés par les citoyens et les groupes de citoyens pour protéger et restaurer l’environnement au Nouveau-Brunswick sont reconnus durant une cérémonie spéciale.

Le Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick est un réseau de communication sans but lucratif comprenant plus de 110 groupes environnementaux de citoyens et de citoyennes de toutes les régions de la province. Le but du Réseau est d’encourager le réseautage et la collaboration parmi les groupes et entre les groupes, le gouvernement et d’autres secteurs.

- 30 –

Photo:
Award Winners NBEN 2019
Photographe : RENB.

Contact:
Raissa Marks, 506-855-4144, nben@nben.ca
Chers amis et collègues,

Le 16 septembre, le juge Richard Petrie a rejeté notre demande de procéder à une révision judiciaire de la décision du gouvernement d’aménager un centre de services pour motoneiges au parc provincial Mont-Carleton. Nous pouvons soit porter en appel la décision du juge, soit abandonner les procédures judiciaires. Le but de ce message est de vous demander votre avis quant à la meilleure chose à faire maintenant.

La raison invoquée par le juge Petrie pour rejeter notre demande de révision judiciaire est que,  selon lui, aucun des requérants  - le Grand conseil malécite, le Grand Chef Ron Tremblay et moi-même – n’avait qualité pour agir, c’est-à-dire n’avait le droit d’exercer une action en justice dans ce cas.  Le juge Petrie a expliqué que seuls les chefs élus en vertu de la Loi sur les Indiens sont les vrais représentants des Autochtones et peuvent agir en leur nom. Comme ni le Grand conseil ni son Grand Chef n’ont reçu l’autorité d’agir d’un chef élu selon ces termes, ils ne peuvent pas exercer une action en justice au nom des Autochtones.  Aucune loi ne vient corroborer cette assertion et, en plus, le Traité de Mascarene de 1726 sur lequel reposait notre argumentation en cour contredit les allégations du juge Petrie. Le traité dit que tout Indien peut avoir recours aux tribunaux. Autre fait : puisque je m’étais rangé du côté du  Grand conseil, un organisme autochtone,  je n’ai pas pu obtenir qualité pour agir comme représentant de l’intérêt public même si je suis le co-fondateur et un des directeurs en poste des Amis du parc provincial Mont-Carleton, inc.  

Ceux d’entre vous qui ont participé au processus de révision de la Loi sur les parcs se souviendront que nous avions demandé que des plans de gestion soient élaborés pour chaque parc provincial avant qu’aucun projet de développement comme celui d’un centre de services pour motoneiges proposé ne soit accepté. Ces plans devaient s’appuyer sur un plan de zonage propre à chaque parc. Le zonage des parcs se fait en fonction de la protection des habitats. Notre nouvelle Loi sur les parcs reflète cela. De tous les parcs provinciaux, celui du mont Carleton est le seul qui a un plan de zonage, et ce plan ne prévoit pas d’aménagement de sentiers et de centre de services pour motoneiges tels qu’envisagés par le ministère du Tourisme, du Patrimoine et de la Culture. Le plan de zonage du parc n’a pas été non plus inclus dans l’Évaluation d’impact environnemental  pour le projet de centre de services. Pourtant, plus tôt cet été, le Ministère a reçu le feu vert pour aller de l’avant avec le projet de centre de services.  Nous alléguons dans notre demande de révision judiciaire que la Loi sur les parcs et l’Évaluation d’impact environnemental n’ont pas été respectées. En rendant une décision appuyée uniquement sur la qualité pour agir, le juge Petrie a ignoré tous ces autres éléments importants. La décision du juge Petrie a donné carte blanche au gouvernement pour aller de l’avant avec le projet de centre de services sans que rien ne puisse y faire obstacle puisque la période de 90 jours pendant laquelle quelqu’un d’autre aurait pu soumettre une demande de révision judiciaire a pris fin il y a longtemps.   

Grâce à la générosité du public, nous avons recueilli presque 30 000 $ (https://www.gofundme.com/f/27ru624) jusqu’à maintenant, ce qui est suffisant pour payer les honoraires de notre avocat pour les services déjà rendus, en plus des frais judiciaires encourus par le gouvernement. En effet, non seulement avons-nous échoué dans notre tentative de forcer le gouvernement à respecter ses propres lois et règlements tel qu’énoncés dans la Loi sur les parcs et la règlementation sur les évaluations environnementales, mais en plus nous sommes pénalisés pour avoir fait appel aux tribunaux en étant maintenant obligés de couvrir les frais judiciaires du gouvernement.  Cela laisse entendre que si vous échouez dans vos efforts pour protéger la nature devant les tribunaux, vous devrez vous acquitter des frais du gouvernement en plus de couvrir les honoraires de votre avocat.

Notre avocat nous recommande d’en appeler de la décision du juge Petrie et nous offre de s’occuper gratuitement des tâches administratives nécessaires. Il faudrait tout de même que nous lui payions ses honoraires pour  défendre notre cause à la cour d’appel et, si nous perdons aussi en appel, s’ajouteront alors de nouveau les couts additionnels du gouvernement.

Alors nos options sont soit d’accepter la défaite et de limiter nos pertes, soit de trouver d’autres fonds pour pouvoir demander à la cour d’appel de renverser la décision du juge Petrie afin d’obtenir justice pour les plantes et les animaux. Veuillez m’informer de ce que vous pensez être le mieux à faire maintenant en me contactant d’ici le 30 septembre à deveaujl@gmail.com.

Jean Louis Deveau

ALL FIFTEEN NEW BRUNSWICK FIRST NATIONS COME TOGETHER OVER CONSULTATION CONCERNS WITH HIGGS GOVERNMENT

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

Media contacts:

Jennifer Coleman, Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn, 506-292-1241 or at jennifer@migmawel.org

Kenneth Francis, Kopit Lodge, 506-523-5823 or at imw.legalfund@gmail.com

Gillian Paul, Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick, 506-461-1187 or at gillian.paul@wolastoqey.ca

Climate emergency: health and cost 

Sam Arnold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flood 2019

The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

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

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

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

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

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

This is just life now.

An (un)real scenario 

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

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

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

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

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

The bad news

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

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

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

CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF NB FREDERICTON FLOODING 19 of 34 720x480
How’s the weather out there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But don’t get excited yet.

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

More intense rainfall events, more extreme floods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feeling down and out

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

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

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

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

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What’s this all mean?

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

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

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

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

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

The good news — a better scenario 

The sky is clear and the sun is punishing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You smile. This is just life now.

A new way on

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

Today, it’s a choice we must demand.

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

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

Yes, the science-based projections are dire. 

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

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

So what can you do right now?

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

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

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

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

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Click here to send your #climateaction letter

Recommended links:

Paddle for Facebook 2.0

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

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

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

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

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Event details

  • Registration is $25 for individuals and $35 for families. Register below, call 506-529-8838 or email Matt Abbott at matt.abbott@conservationcouncil.ca. You can pay online or on site with cash or cheque (made payable to Conservation Council of New Brunswick) the day of the paddle.
  • Boat rentals can be obtained through Osprey Adventures.
  • The paddle starts just above the Highway #1 Bridge crossing at Musquash and goes to Black Beach. A map indicating the launch site can be found here, or on //www.google.ca/maps/@45.1784395,-66.2980495,13.75z/data=!4m2!6m1!1s1L52Quibdx6UOONYpKFZqhdIGIWg">this Google Map.
  • Our goal is to be on the water paddling at 9:30 a.m. rain or shine!
  • For those who may not wish to complete the full paddle, there will be a stop-off at Five Fathom Hole Wharf approximately 6 km along the route. We will continue through Musquash Harbour to Black Beach weather permitting.
  • There will be shuttles from both Five Fathom Hole and Black Beach to take people back to their cars.
  • All paddlers must wear life jackets. Please bring your own.
  • No motorized boats allowed.
  • Dress for changing weather and bring sunscreen, a hat, water and an en-route snack.
  • We will be holding a BBQ and celebration reception at Black Beach after the paddle.
Buy a ticket button

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call for Nominations: Environmental Journalism Award


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

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

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

Full details: https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/en/call-for-nominations-2019-beth-mclaughlin-environmental-journalism-award/
The Conservation Council's Pathway to a Cleaner Future Eco Buildings Tour is tomorow June 1st from 10:00 am to 4:30 with locations in the greater Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton regions.  Whether you want to visit New Brunswick's first solar farm or see an off-grid micro brewery in action or speak with homeowners who have built or converted their homes to be completely off-grid, net zero or to passivhouse standards, or find out more about a four season greenhouse where you can grow your food year round, visit Saint John's largest rooftop solar project, learn more about Saint John Energy's community renewable energy projects and so much more.....be sure to register today at https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/en/reserve-your-ticket-to-a-low-carbon-future-today/

Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The media’s failure to provide context has consequences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Le RENB est très excité de partager ce que nous espérons accomplir cette année ! Voici un bref aperçu de notre plan pour appuyer des groupes environnementaux au cour de l’année à venir. Jetez-y un coup d'oeil !

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OUR 2019 CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN IS NOW LIVE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 avril 2019 : Pour diffusion immédiate

Le Nouveau-Brunswick est en transition vers une économie à faible émission de carbone. Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour les emplois dans la province ? Comment nos tâches contribuent-elles à aider les gens à mener des vies de façon durable ? Une coalition de groupes environnementaux et de syndicats se rencontre à Saint-Jean le samedi 27 avril. Ensemble, nous allons démontrer notre solidarité et notre engagement à travailler conjointement pour trouver les solutions pour réussir une transition vers une économie à faible émission de carbone au Nouveau-Brunswick.

Pourquoi marcher le 27 avril ? Comme d’autres Néo-Brunswickois, nous aimons notre province et croyons qu’investir dans une économie à faible émission de carbone est la voie à suivre. Le Réseau pour une économie verte a calculé que le Nouveau-Brunswick pourrait créer presque 25 000 années-personnes d’emploi en cinq ans. Des investissements stratégiques dans l'efficacité énergétique et dans les économies d'énergie, l’énergie renouvelable et le transport en commun, et une transition juste pour les travailleurs fourniraient des emplois qualifiés qui ne pourraient pas être transférés à d’autres provinces ou territoires, jetant les bases solides d'une croissance et d'une prospérité continues ici dans la province.

La Marche pour les emplois de demain débutera à 13 h le 27 avril au King's Square à Saint-Jean.

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Partenaires :
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Nouveau-Brunswick (FTTNB)
Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB)
Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada - Atlantique (AFPC)
Sustainable Energy Group - Carleton County
Rural Action and Voices for the Environment (RAVEN)
Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association

Contact (entrevues en français et en anglais) :
Lynaya Astephen, Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association, lynayam79@hotmail.ca | 506-653-7959

Page Facebook de l’évènement :
https://www.facebook.com/events/1013807895476875/

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

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

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

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

Letter button

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION TODAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 © 2018 NBEN / RENB