PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Fredericton — (August 1, 2017)


Resist spraying, groups tell rural New Brunswickers

An alliance of 12 groups is calling on members of the public to be on the lookout for industrial-scale spraying of herbicides in their areas and to ask the spray crews to leave the area, states a press release from The Alliance to Stop Spraying NB (TASS-NB).

As spray season gets fully underway on plantations and powerlines around the province, Stop Spraying NB Inc. spokesperson Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy says there is nothing illegal in rural residents politely asking sprayers to not spray, out of concern for deer and other wildlife habitat and their family’s health.

Most, but not all, spraying will take place on Crown/unceded land during the months of August and September.

Lubbe-D’Arcy says people should not put themselves at risk by approaching crews while they are actually applying the glyphosate herbicide, or get directly under spray planes or helicopters. Several incidents already this season have seen individuals who breathed in spray that drifted towards them sent to hospital for nausea and dizziness. Rather, people should try to go up to them before the spray begins.

Timber companies J.D. Irving, AV Cell, Acadian Timber and Fornebu as well as NB Power start actively carrying out their annual “vegetation management” programs this month. These involve both aerial and ground spraying of plantations and in the case of NB Power, transmission lines, dams, substations and other energy-related facilities.

Lubbe-D’Arcy notes there is much concern in the rural areas where alliance groups have been speaking with landowners and distributing signs opposing herbicide spraying.

“We are hearing from hunters that their hunting territories have been destroyed and the deer populations have vanished.  Also, moose livers often cannot be consumed, leaving doubts about the quality of the meat they are feeding to their family. We strongly suggest hunters call their MLAs and the Department of Energy and Resource Development (DERD) in their area to tell them to stop spraying their hunting zones,” she said.

Maps showing the proposed locations for spraying were released by the DERD last week and are available at http://geonb.snb.ca/herbicide/index.html. Stop Spraying NB had to file a “Right to Information” request in order to acquire maps showing spraying that took place from 2013-2016. In the past four years, more than 60,000 ha of New Brunswick Crown/unceded land has been sprayed at a total cost of $10 million in taxpayer funds. People who do forest thinning and brush clearing for a living are losing jobs due to this practice.

“The herbicide glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” according to the World Health Organization, and New Brunswick has the highest application rate in all of Canada when it comes to forestry,” Lubbe-D’Arcy says.

Volunteer Joan Goodwin Price is one of a dozen or so volunteers out talking with rural people about spraying. “At first we weren’t sure how we were going to be received. But the reception we’ve had has been completely overwhelming. People embrace us and the signs because they [signs] express their outrage” against the spraying and the government which permits it to go on, she says.

Signs have started popping up in the Rogersville, Blackville, Doaktown, Petitcodiac, Elgin, Parkindale and Moncton areas over the past several weeks.

Alliance member group Écovie (Kedgwick) is taking their objections to spraying outside — to an area where glyphosate is slated to be applied — in order to make their point.  This year, the "Happy Campers" of Restigouche West will be camping in an area where spraying is planned, beside the road leading to Mount Carleton Wilderness Park, an important protected area and park.

This action will draw attention to their demand that the spraying stop. Organizers expect campers will erect tents, distribute literature and explain the alternatives to spraying to anyone wishing to learn about it.

Écovie spokesperson Francine Levesque said, “We are being drowned in spray in our region. The map of the past four years of spray activity we have shows the intensity with which lands in the Saint Quentin-Kedgwick area are getting clearcut and sprayed. It is a catastrophe.”

The campers will be on-site August 5, 6 and 7, on Route 385 near the Tobique River.


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Media Contacts:


Dr. Caroline Lubbe D’Arcy, Stop Spraying NB Inc. (506) 292-7503 (cell) carolinelubbedarcy@gmail.com

(French)Ms. Francine Levesque, Écovie, canot@xplornet.ca (506) 284-2769 (landline)

alternate: Denise Melanson, Council of Canadians, inrexton2013@yahoo.ca (506) 523-9467.

Kevin Shaw, Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation, Juniper (506) 245-1960 (landline)
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