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Terry Wishart, Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter

Terry Wishart, Council of Canadians - Fredericton Chapter

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PEACE & FRIENDSHIP ALLIANCE DEMANDS GALLANT SUSPEND
FORESTRY 
CONTRACTS AND CONSULT WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             PRESS RELEASE              23 MARCH 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- 30 -
Council of Canadians, Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John Chapters

Open letter to the Minister of Natural Resources


 

February 11, 2015

Minister Denis Landry

Chancery Place, 675 King Street

Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 1E9

Dear Mr. Landry:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Monsieur le ministre des Ressources naturelles,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter

Pamela Ross, Chair, Council of Canadians Moncton Chapter

Leticia Adair, Chair, Council of Canadians Saint John Chapter

cc: Premier Brian Gallant
     Media

Liens au Nouveau-Brunswick Conservation Council productions 'Beau Bear' et 'Forbidden Forest'
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --- PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

******

POUR PUBLICATION ---- IMMÉDIATE COMMUNIQUÉ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PROPOSAL: Community-organized 'All Candidates Meetings'

in ridings around the province prior to the election


Proposal from: Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter


To: All NBEN member and associate groups and all interested individuals

We are asking groups and individuals to host all-candidates meetings in their ridings. This is easy to do!

Citizen engagement is the key to these meetings, where the citizens in the audience ask the questions. The public meetings provide constituents with an opportunity to publicly ask questions of their MLA candidates on issues which concern them. These meetings will be citizen-led and non-partisan.

These meetings are extremely easy to organize. We simply need an individual, a community group, or a union to book a venue in their riding for the first week of September.  Invitations would then be delivered or e-mailed to all the candidates [see sample letter below that was used in Fredericton South] at least two to three [2-3] months in advance of the meeting.

For the meeting, only one moderator is necessary to introduce the candidates, and also to keep track of the time limit that candidates have to answer each question from the audience. A donation jar can be circulated at the meeting to pay for the cost of the venue plus advertising posters.

Here is the simple outline of the meeting:

• At the start of the meeting each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce himself/herself to the audience.

• Following these introductions, the main portion of the meeting will give an opportunity for constituents to ask questions directly from the floor.

• After each question, each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond.

• At the end of the meeting, each candidate will have 2 minutes to address the public with closing remarks.


The best time for the meeting in each riding would be the 1st week in September, after people return from vacation, and before the advance polling starts. According to the Elections New Brunswick website - FAQ Information, it says that "The first advance polling day is 9 days prior to the election. The second advance polling day is the Monday, 7 days prior to the election." This means that the advance polling for the Sept. 22nd election will start sometime in the 2nd week of September.


Where possible, we would like to have All Candidates meetings broadcast live [live streamed] on the Internet. Each meeting would be saved and archived on YouTube for future viewing, to allow as many people as possible an opportunity to view proceedings and hear the candidates’ positions on the issues.


SAMPLE INVITATION ONLY


April 30, 2014 

                                                                           

To [MLA Candidates in Fredericton South]:



RE:  INVITATION TO ‘MEET THE CANDIDATES Q&A’, THURSDAY, SEPT. 04, 2014


As citizen organizers of the Voice Of The People tour, we are pleased to offer a valuable opportunity for all candidates in the upcoming provincial election to engage and interact with their constituents.  Meet the Candidates Q&A town hall meetings will be organized for a number of ridings around New Brunswick, where candidates from each political party will have the opportunity to present their positions prior to the elections.  These citizen-led meetings will be non-partisan and described as a “Meet the Candidates Q&A – A Town Hall Meeting”.


For Fredericton South, the Meet the Candidates Q&A will be held on September 4, 2014 at Christ Church Memorial Hall, 168 Church Street from 7:00-9:00 pm.  This event will be well advertised in advance as a chance for the public to clarify each candidate’s perspective on a variety of issues, to better inform their decision later that month in the provincial election.


This is a formal invitation for you, as the announced candidates for Fredericton South, to attend and participate in this debate.  Invitations will go out to all other candidates for Fredericton South when they are announced.


At the start of the meeting each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce himself/herself to the audience.  Following these introductions, the main portion of the meeting will give an opportunity for constituents to ask questions directly from the floor.  After each question, each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond.  At the end of the meeting, each candidate will have 2 minutes to address the public with closing remarks.


All candidates are asked to confirm attendance at this event by May 15, 2014 by sending a reply to [Email Address].  We trust that you will appreciate the generous lead time to prepare for this event.



Respectfully,

____________

Fredericton NB
Member Council of Canadians-Fredericton Chapter
Constituent Fredericton South


Print friendly version - English
http://nben.ca/en/get-involved/action-alerts/item/download/122_f8d61ef9633b7f24ad5518d665827564


Print friendly version - French

http://nben.ca/en/get-involved/action-alerts/item/download/123_d89eb9485acb1b42501e2d9b3eceebd6

‪Online Petition: Give Energy East a People's Intervention‬ - Follow the link and share it widely
http://act.350.org/letter/energy_east/

Stephen Harper and Big Oil have gutted Canada’s environmental review process -- cutting people's voices and climate change out of the National Energy Board review of the largest tar sands pipeline ever proposed.

Harper and Big Oil know they can only build this pipeline if they ignore the facts and ignore the people. It's time for a People's Intervention... Read more
This video examines the JD Irving and Government of New Brunswick
Crown Land Forestry Plan and explains why it must be stopped.


‪- produced by the Green Party of New Brunswick‬


Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYHsfxjQ0n0

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Stanley NB May 27 2014


70 people attended the  Stanley Voice of the People Town Hall Wednesday evening. Here are the Red Dot Poll results:

1) Need community meetings to generate ideas about creating our own industries, just like at this town hall meeting

2) Our water must be protected!

3) Stop the centralization of power and industry in NB ( lack of democracy)

4) Moratorium on shale gas

5) We want long term jobs for our children and a clean future

6) Bring back sustainable forestry not plantations

7) Business opportunities for wind energy in NB

8) Need more tools to create small, local economies

9) Keep our children here by rural development 

10) Home owners need incentives to generate own power i.e. Solar, biogas, windmill
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Perth Andover NB May 21 2014

1. Government should represent people not the Irvings (18)

2. Create local jobs that stay in the community (10)

3. (tie)
- Stop media control by Irving (9)

- Kick the Alward government out (9)

- Pressure government to kick-start renewable energy (9)

4. (tie)
- Give back control of our forests to NBers. Remove control by Irving (8)

- No pipeline (8)

- Elect politicians who don't want shale gas (8)

5. (tie)
- Create your own job - more opportunity for small business, self sufficiency (7)

- Cultivate Hemp (7)

6. Promote food products from our forests, ecotourism, native medicines (6)

7. (tie)
- Keep big logs and trees and process them here, add value (4)

- Community owned and run forestry (4)

- Policies to replace imports with domestic goods (4)

Study successful plans in Vermont, Nova Scotia, etc and implement here in NB (4)

8. (tie)
- Community gardens (3)

- Maintain good jobs, education and health care (3)

- People need to get informed (3)
 
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR: Red Dot Poll Results for Rexton NB and area May 14 2014

Two hundred and more enthusiastic and engaged people from the Rexton and Kent County areas attended a standing room-only Voice of the People Tour stop at the Bonar Law High School Wednesday evening.

Aboriginal, Acadian, English and other friends and neighbours spoke their minds on the issue of fracking and how they choose to take a stand in rejecting the shale gas industry while pursuing viable and locally-based solutions and alternatives to our 'Dig it Up, Cut it Down, Ship it Out' economy.


Below are the results of the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE TOUR Red Dot Poll for Rexton NB

1. People of NB will not stand by and allow this (fracking) to happen (112 dots)

2. Boycott Irving (83 dots)

3. More emphasis on food security for Kent County (64 dots)

4. On election day make a statement by voting for a party opposed to fracking (59 dots)

5. SLAPP suits by SWN (South Western Energy) are unacceptable and will be challenged by individuals and by class action (53 dots)

6. Honour Aboriginal land and rights (51 dots)

7. Exploration test wells need to be opposed/stopped. "We have to stop before they drill" (36 dots)

8. We need to get behind local & provincial politicians who have opposed shale gas (33 dots)

9. Tools and incentives (e.g. community economic development investment funds) need to be made more available to assist communities to develop renewable energy programs (29 dots)

10. Greater transparency from government regarding costs incurred from shale gas industry (impacts to air quality, water quality, public health, road maintenance, etc.) (18 dots)

11. Organized tours of Penobsquis are available. It is important that we see and smell what the industry creates (17 dots)

12. Speak out not only for yourself but for your wider community (11 dots)

13. Phased environmental impact assessments (EIA) will be ineffective tools of a regulatory process (9 dots)

14. Make personal submissions or complaints if medical conditions are potentially at risk by operations that may be planned to happen near or around your community (4 dots)

15. Challenge the establishment and their use of words to obscure the truth & take away our rights (2 dots)
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