• 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

  • The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, is calling for caution and transparency after the federal government gave its approval of the proposed open-pit Sisson Mine near Stanley.

    Corbett told CBC Radio’s Information Morning Fredericton on Monday, June 26 that many details surrounding the project — such as the specific design of the tailings dam needed to protect the Nashwaak watershed and surrounding communities from toxic mine waste, or who would pay for the costs of replacing drinking water and repairing stream habitat in the event of a leak or breach like we saw at Mt. Polley, B.C. — have yet to be made public.

    Northcliff Resources, the company behind the Sisson project, was given 40 conditions to meet during the provincial environmental assessment process last year. Corbett said there was talk at Friday’s announcement that the company had met all the conditions, but “I’ve yet to see any evidence of that. There’s not a spot on the website where you can go and download a detailed tailings dam design, for example.

    “Perhaps the company has provided some material, so someone could check a box on a long list of conditions. I haven’t seen any evidence of that, and I would hope the government would let us all see soon, sooner as opposed to later,” she said.

    Listen to the full interview with host Terry Seguin here.

    For more coverage of CCNB on the Sisson Mine project, check out:

    • Corbett called for greater transparency from the provincial government in this CBC article published Friday, 23, saying “this project is a long way from being complete — a piece of paper from a federal minister saying approval is granted, with no details, doesn’t give me much confidence.”
    • The New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal reported on concerns raised by Corbett and Taymouth Environmental Action’s Jim Emberger about the risks to drinking water, river habitat, and nearby communities.
    • Corbett questioned the logic behind risking drinking water for a limited number of unsustainable jobs in this Canadian Press story, saying “I remain to be convinced that those jobs created over the life of the project are equal in weight to the risk to the water.” The story was shared by Global News, CTV, the Globe & Mail, The Financial Post, Metro News, Nanaimo News, the Red Deer Advocate,105.3 the Fox, 104.9 and K93.
    • Corbett commented on the environmental risks of the project in stories by L’Acadie Nouvelle and L’actualite.
    For more information on the Conservation Council’s concerns about the Sisson Mine, see:

  • The public has until October 3, 2011 to comment on the Sisson Brook Mine Draft Terms of Reference. Review the linked documents and then vocalize your opinion!!

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB