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.

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 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. 

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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.

Paddle for Facebook 2.0

Event details

  • Registration is $25 for individuals and $35 for families. Register below, call 506-529-8838 or email Matt Abbott at 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.

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB