Maya and I are the new interns at the NBEN as part of CIDA’s international youth internship program. During the past 3 weeks at the NBEN, we had the chance to participate in different interesting projects, one of them is the “Branch Out, Make Waves” challenge that will soon be launched! We are now getting ready to leave for Costa Rica. For the next 6 months we will have the opportunity to develop new skills and to put what we learned at the NBEN into practice while working for the International Analog Forestry Network. You can follow our adventures on this blog, where we will keep you informed about all the exciting projects being undertaken by NBEN’s partner in Costa Rica. ¡Hasta luego!

This year's Bioblitz is taking place in Grand Lake Meadows Protected Natural Area, and Mira is blogging about the event as per an understanding between Nature NB, Cape Jourimain Nature Centre and the NB Museum.

As we discover exciting creatures in New Brunswick's Grand Lake Meadows Protected Natural Area, she will be updating this blog, posting pictures and stories about the work done during these exciting two weeks.

Please visit and subscribe to the blog for updates and check out the facebook and twitter pages.


Le Bioblitz de cette année a lieu dans la région de Grand Lake Meadows, et Mira écrit un blog au sujet de l'évènement en conformité à une entente entre Nature NB, le Centre d'Interprétation de Cape Jourimain et le Musée du N.-B. 

Alors que nous découvrons des créatures excitantes dans la région de Grand Lake Meadows, elle va mettre à jour ce blog en y affichant des photos et des histoires au sujet du travail qui sera fait pendant ces deux prochaines semaines.

SVP visitez notre blog (qui a une section avec des articles en français) et souscrivez- vous afin de recevoir des nouvelles. Également, visitez notre page facebook et notre compte de twitter.


Today’s the second day of training at the NBEN office! There are lots of new people to get to know and lots to learn. My fellow co-workers, Annie, Lisa, Sidney, Anne-Marie, Maya, and I have a lot on our plates, but it will certainly be a fun and rewarding experience!


Annika Chiasson - Health and education programs assistant

Annie Guérard – Programs coordinator

Lisa J. Griffin – Programs coordinator

Anne-Marie Dufour– Intern

Maya Irwin – Intern

Sydney Wood – Communications and special projects

First Response to NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas

[In response to Shale Study Finds Opportunities for NB and report comissioned by the New Brunswick Business Council:]

Fredericton NB - The communications committee for the alliance of community groups opposed to shale gas asked Jim Emberger for a first response to the NB Business Council Report on Shale Gas.

Jim Emberger, a resident of Taymouth NB and a retired software developer says: “The most striking point is that this report proves that if you pay a consulting firm they will produce a positive report for you regardless of how weak and conditional the conclusions are. “

"Below are my first comments to the questionnaire that was used, the supporting data they used, the conclusions that were drawn, and their review of current regulations and their lack of assessment of costs incurred by road damage” Mr. Emberger continues.

On the questionnaire and subsequent conclusions:

Right off the bat, there was a response rate on their questionnaire of 16% and they calculate the report has an 11% margin of error on those few points where the report can even make a comment, because of the small response rate. I’m not a pollster or statistician, but I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on that foundation.

On the supporting data:

The report uses some outdated data to support some of its statements. On the outlook of unproven technically recoverable gas, it cites a 2010 EIA report showing 1,931 trillion cubic feet in North America – the source of the famous 100 years of natural gas comment. However, the EIA recently revised that figure downward by 42% in the US, meaning at best a 24-year supply.

I don’t have figures on Canada itself, but it is undoubtedly similar. The revisions mirror the actual production figures recently calculated for 65,000 shale wells by Canadian energy analyst David Hughes (Drill, Baby, Drill Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance – David Hughes, 2/13)

The real life accounting of wells by David Hughes, (also Deborah Rogers and Art Berman and others) show that existing shale plays peak in about 4 years on average, with individual wells depleting by 79% to 95% in three years. Entire plays deplete at an annual average of 30% to 50%. So despite drilling thousands of new wells, terminal decline starts rather quickly and it is inconceivable that shale plays will last anywhere near the 6-25 years mentioned in the report. Remember that shale gas is barely a decade old, and that the figures used for longevity are based on conventional gas wells. Virtually all plays older than 5 years are in decline.

The report also cites consulting firm IHS CERA for predictions about how much royalty money will flow by the year 2030. Unfortunately, IHS CERA has one of the worst records of long term predictions anywhere. It’s long term predictions for oil from their reports of the early 2000’s stated that oil production would soar to millions of more barrels a day, and that we would now be paying between $30 and $40 a barrel. Instead, the price has been $100 a barrel or more for many years, and supply has not increased since 2005.

The use of GDP as a measure of benefits is flawed as things like road repair, environmental clean-up and legal action would all increase GDP, while actually illustrating negative consequences for NB citizens.

The Conclusions:

The figures for Full time equivalent jobs (FTE) per well based on a One Well model can be misinterpreted. One cannot simply take the figure of 21.5 FTE jobs per well and multiply it by the number of wells to get how many people will be employed. Most jobs are portable, meaning that a few drilling crews go from well to well, thus not increasing the number of employees, only the FTE statistics.

Since they did not explain the one-well model in the paper, I may have misinterpreted it, but it is something that the press should question.

The report also supports our contention that except for a few geologist type jobs, most jobs for NB’ers would be truck driving and security type jobs.

The conclusions note that gas companies have many existing relationships with existing suppliers and trained employees. This confirms what we have been saying about the benefits to NB.

Regulatory review:

They compared NB to BC, Alberta, Colorado and Arkansas. First, BC and Alberta’s gas plays are in the boondocks generally – many miles from anywhere. Alberta, as noted by the report, is new to shale and is only now addressing new regulations for it. For example, they do not currently require testing of water wells for a frack.

Arkansas, one of the first shale plays, has been playing catch-up, as production started with few regs. Correspondents from there have told us to stop shale before it starts, because regulations always lag damages.

Colorado – the only long-term health study from the Univ. of Colorado showed the states regs to be inadequate to protecting public health. As extraction moves into populated areas, friction between local governments and state government is increasing.

Geologically, none of these areas resemble NB. Pennsylvania is probably the closest analogue, but was not considered. The main point continues to be that all those areas continue to have widespread problems despite a variety of regs.

Road repair paid for by companies?

It is interesting to note that the report claims the cost estimate for road damage cannot be determined yet, but that the government regulations “contemplate” that companies will be responsible for these costs. We haven’t found any direct reference to this in the new government rules. Furthermore, shale oil and gas income from royalties have been shown in other jurisdictions to be way less than the costs incurred by accompanying road damage.

For example, since 2009, Arkansas has taken in approximately $182M in royalties but estimates its road damage from drilling to be $450M. This is not surprising, as it takes over 1,000 loaded trucks to bring one gas well into production, plus 350 loaded trucks per year formaintenance, and another 1,000 loaded trucks for each additional frack.



The UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) comes to an end next year. What have we accomplished in Canada to support the Decade? What challenges did we face? And where do we go from here? It was these questions that shaped the discussion at a national ESD workshop I attended at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO annual meeting recently. In general, the workshop provided an interesting discussion, although it was a bit too much of listening to ourselves talk and not quite enough of concrete action items for my liking.


Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking comments included the best definition of ESD – more often called sustainability education here in NB! – that I have ever heard. Here it is: ESD is about figuring out the kind of future we want and then preparing people with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to make that future a reality.


The workshop helped me think about our various ESD initiatives in New Brunswick in terms of international priorities and those in other provinces. UNESCO has developed three priorities for ESD internationally; these have been adopted provincially in Manitoba. Should we in NB be focusing on these priorities also? The priorities are:


  • All schools have an ESD or sustainability plan by 2015,
  • Faculties of Education incorporate ESD into their teachers’ education programs, and
  • Vocational education (e.g., community collges) re-orient their programming to help us move from a “brown economy” to a “green economy.”


There is research underway internationally that may help our cause here in the province. We, as “believers” know that ESD improves the quality of education. However, research is needed to demonstrate this to non-believers. This research is being undertaken by a number of countries working together to explore the links between ESD and quality education and to find qualitative and quantitative data to support these links.

This workshop was attended by 29 representatives from organizations across the country. The official minutes can be found here.

Did you know that the middle class will grow from 25% of the world’s population to 50% of the world’s population between now and 2030? This stat was put forward by one of the keynote speakers at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s AGM that I recently attended. If true, the implications are quite amazing. Many national governments that now represent mostly poor people will soon represent mostly middle class people – people whose basic needs are met and who can focus on broader issues such as environmental sustainability and social justice. Is our world about to change for the better?

On the other hand, what is happening to national governments that now represent mostly middle class people? If the Canadian context is any indication, it seems as though the people’s concern for the environment and social issues does not translate to our politicians.

A recent UNB study found that, given climate predictions, we can expect lots of changes across the New Brunswick landscape. The researchers interviewed more than 40 New Brunswick climatologists, biologists and other scientists on ecological changes they expect to see in the province by 2050 and 2100. “Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will be vastly affected as climate change influences, both directly and indirectly, the ecological parameters that present limitations or favourable conditions for specific organisms.” states the report. Expected changes include decline of balsam fir and white spruce and increased red oak and red spruce. Similarly, lynx will be out-competed by bobcat but deer will be happy campers. Atlantic salmon and brook trout are both likely to decline. Study authors are Tom Beckley, Arielle DeMerchant and Shawn Dalton.

And is climate change happening? This month the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at their Mauna Loa Observatory has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). For comparison, before the industrial revolutions levels were 280 ppm. On their website, check out the animated graphic showing disaster on the rise.

In the Arctic, ice cracks are increasing and according to Paul Beckwith of the Sierra Club, the ice cap will be gone in 6 to 30 months.

On the “trying-to-do-something-about-it” front, there is a report from the Trottier Energy Futures Project reviewing low-carbon energy research from 8 countries that shows that Canada can achieve 80% reduction in fossil fuel use by 2050 through a boom in clean energy technologies. And then, there are the interesting letters in the Globe and Mail. Dan Harvey of the University of Toronto published an article with a title that says it all, “Forget pipelines – Canada must prepare for a post-carbon world”. Twelve climate scientists sent a letter to Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, alerting him to the dangers of increasing Canada’s fossil fuel infrastructure.  And Joe wrote them back.

Seems like this issue is getting hotter all the time. Stay posted.

Published in the Telegraph Journal April 29, 2013

Original title “Our Energy Dilemma.”

Title below used by the editor

Why Extreme Energy Won’t Last

Keith Helmuth

The historical facts of our energy situation are clear. Since the early days of the 20th Century the development of modern societies has been based on a huge injection of hydrocarbon energy. This sudden and unusual injection of energy must realistically be understood as a temporary subsidy.

At the beginning of this hydrocarbon era, large deposits of oil and natural gas were easily accessible. The energy return on energy investment for early oil wells was often 100 to 1. This means 100 barrels of oil could be extracted using the energy of only l barrel of oil.

This ratio steadily dropped as the deposits of easily accessible oil were depleted. In recent years the ratio has plummeted. Increasing amounts of energy are required to produce new oil as it becomes harder and harder to extract from deeper, less accessible, and lower quality deposits. The ratio is now down to approximately 18 to 1 worldwide. The ratio for North America is down to 15 to l. Alberta oil sands extraction is down to 5 to 1, and perhaps much lower; some calculations put it at 1 to 1.

This rapidly declining ratio of energy return on energy invested is the fundamental reality of our energy situation. Energy science analysts and biophysical economists now calculate that 5 to 1 is about as low as the ratio can go before oil extraction is no longer a profitable investment. At 3 to 1 they calculate the oil industry will come to a stand still. Energy corporations will no longer be able to earn a profit and investment will stop. This is simply the logic of our economic system.

There is no obvious work-around for this future energy scenario. There is simply nothing in the energy picture that can replace the oil subsidy on which our society now runs. As this subsidy is depleted and becomes economically inaccessible, the whole energy basis of our society will  change. The big question is, change to what?

Meanwhile, the push is on to forestall the sunset of the hydrocarbon economy by moving to extreme energy. Extreme energy is defined by the extraordinary measures required for its extraction compared to conventional energy. These measures include deep-ocean drilling, drilling in remote sites such the Arctic, surface mining of tar and oil sands, and horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of deep shale formations. This extreme energy extraction includes both oil and natural gas.

Extreme energy is to conventional energy what extreme sports are to conventional sports. Extreme energy, like extreme sports, involves high risk. Failure is often catastrophic. In extreme sports the individual participant suffers the damage of failure. With extreme energy, however, the damage of failure is suffered by the larger environment, economy, and society.

Extreme energy requires a complexity of technology and a level of risk management that must necessarily become more and more intense as hydrocarbon resources become increasingly difficult to extract. Technology and risk must be pushed to more and more extreme levels in order to keep up the flow of oil required by our current economy.

Some experts in the field now warn that extreme energy systems are being pushed beyond operator capacity for safe and effective management, and significant failures can, therefore, be expected. (See Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma by Joseph A. Tainter and Tadeusz W. Patzek.)

We are currently locked into a rapidly ascending spiral of complexity and risk, that will likely   lead to more events like the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the BP Macondo Gulf well blowout. More pipeline failures, more oil and LNG tanker accidents, and more surface and ground water contamination from fracking can be reasonably expected. Evidence is accumulating that fracking can trigger earthquake activity. Fracking and natural gas extraction routinely leak significant amounts of raw methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Habitat and health damage is increasingly associated with extreme energy installations.

The intensity of this extreme energy spiral will continue to mount as we approach the limit of its economic profitability. When energy return on energy investment no longer returns a profit, the spiral will subside, or perhaps collapse. An unforeseen shock to this extremely complex and highly vulnerable energy system could trigger a collapse. Hopefully, we can manage a subsidence, but the possibility of a collapse cannot be dismissed.

Is the path of extreme energy our only way into future? Both the current Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick are acting as if it were. Alberta now has everything riding on the oil sands. A pipeline bringing Alberta crude to the Bay of Fundy is seen as a good way for New Brunswick to cash in on the economy of extreme energy while it lasts.

The current NB Government is fully engaged with the prospect of shale gas fracking and the royalties it hopes to realize, even though the long-term aftermath costs to Government may largely offset, or even wipe out, the royalty gains. Short-term rationality may be trumped by long-term costs, but we don’t know because Government has not done the risk analysis or made the calculations on aftermath costs – costs that will continue long after the last well is pumped dry.

The short-term view on oil and natural gas is easy to understand, but it treats the question of extreme energy as if it was here to stay, and we know for sure it is not. We don’t know how  much longer we can depend on it, and we don’t know if we should prepare for a gradual subsidence or a catastrophic collapse. But we do know we better start preparing.

Herbert Stein, a noted economist and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under US presidents Nixon and Ford, once said, “If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.” This bit of folk wisdom has become known as Stein’s Law, and is often expressed as, “Trends that can’t continue, won’t.”

As we launch more and more into the era of extreme energy, Stein’s Law increasingly confronts us. We can run extreme energy right out to the end and then hope for the best, or we can start now to scale back while we still have a cushion that enables us to make different energy plans for the future. The big question is will civic, political, and business leadership raise their sights from making the most of extreme energy in the short-term to making the most of sustainable energy for the long-run?

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group

Government has released its “Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint” for New Brunswick. It reads like an election platform, with vagaries and cheerleading for the bright future we will all have if we just close our eyes and open our hearts and arms.
The Blueprint promises “responsible development” all the while hoping we’ll forget about all of the previous policy commitments for environmental protection and a resilient economy that have been reneged or recently stalled:
Read Full Article:

New Brunswick Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint

Wishful Thinking about Our Future

The government’s blueprint is not a plan for the future; it is the history of a past to which we cannot return. It was forged in an alternate reality created by fossil fuel companies, banks and PR firms. No outside information may pass into this reality. How else can we explain the following about the plan?


It ignores the worldwide alarms from scientists, global financial and energy institutions, and the world’s military and intelligence establishments that climate change is the most serious threat to our existence, our financial systems, and our security. Yet, the blueprint bases our future on shale gas and tar sands, two of the worst emitters of greenhouse gases.


It ignores the lack of public health studies about shale gas, and disregards the serious warnings raised from the studies that do exist.


It ignores implementing many of its own Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for baseline health studies, and relegates others to a ‘will be considered in the future’ status.


It ignores adequately addressing some recommendations by simply claiming they are answered in the ‘Rules for Industry’. Those concerning fracking fluid disclosure, well testing and setbacks clearly are not.


It ignores the fact that insinuating the newly created Energy Institute into matters formerly handled by health professionals will only deepen public mistrust.


It ignores the calls from New Brunswick health professionals, including doctors, nurses and cancer and lung associations, for a moratorium until studies can be done.


It ignores the extensive record of air and water pollution that has occurred everywhere shale has been produced, regardless of regulations, including ignoring data from industry’s own records showing a high frequency of well failures.


It ignores the facts that alternative energies such as wind and solar are the fastest growing parts of the energy sector and are supplying increasing amounts of energy and good long-term jobs at competitive costs - everywhere else in the world but here.


It ignores the growing number of economic studies that show that local communities do not profit from shale gas, and that most fare worse than similar non-shale communities on virtually every socio-economic measure.


It ignores the growing number of financial and petroleum analysts who have taken the measure of shale gas through industry records and judged it to be a bubble that will soon burst. They question its longevity and its business plan.


It ignores the growing number of countries, states, provinces, regions and municipalities (including many in New Brunswick) that have instituted bans or moratoriums on shale gas.


And, most troubling of all, it has ignored the voices of its own citizens.


It ignored a 2011 petition with 20,000 signatures, and a recent letter from groups representing more than 50,000 people calling for a halt to shale exploration.


It ignores the growing number of diverse social, labor, professional, environmental, health, political and citizen groups that continue banding together to oppose shale gas.


It ignores its treaty duty to do real consultation with First Nations, and ignores its own call for public meetings. It even ignores the well-researched public comments from the alleged ‘listening tour’ conducted by Dr. LaPierre.


Instead it has listened to the shale industry exclusively, and kowtowed to its needs, whether by not punishing lawbreakers like Windsor Energy, or by improperly granting license renewals to SWN on the flimsiest of excuses.


It has listened to industry trade groups like the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, whose language, deceptive advertising, disinformation, and meaningless phrases like, ‘best practices,’ show up in the government’s blueprint and website.


It has listened to Dr. LaPierre, a biologist with no demonstrated expertise on shale gas, who sits on the board of NB Power and channeled their wishes in his report. In return he was rewarded with the patronage job of chairmanship of the publicly funded Energy Institute that he, and he alone, had proposed a new government entity that will cost taxpayers a million dollars in its first year.


It has listened to the self-interested banks via former premier Frank McKenna, who represents TD Bank – a major investor in Transcanada’s pipeline business, and a bank that makes fortunes from oil and gas mergers and acquisitions.


It has listened to Hawk Communications, a public relations firm it hired with at least $200,000 of taxpayer money, not to improve communications, but to help sell the LaPierre report.


In short, to govern in New Brunswick is to live in a self-contained universe with no links to the outside world. Only in such a place could the government’s blueprint be deemed a serious approach to the issues facing both New Brunswick and the earth.


Therefore, we call again for a halt to any exploration and production of shale oil or gas, until such a time that the citizens have had a chance to examine in depth all the factors surrounding it. Only then can they explicitly reject it, or proceed with it after understanding all of its implications.

A delegation representing 27 community groups, organizations and unions publically presented the attached letter to SWN Resources in Moncton on April 30, 2013. It was also sent to all other companies conducting shale gas exploration in New Brunswick. The letter points out that the companies do not have a social license to operate in the province, and advises them to halt their exploration activities.

Since the time of the presentation, two additional groups have signed the letter: Friends of Tantramar Marsh and the Elsipogtog Band Council.



Moncton, April 30 2013


To shale oil and gas companies and supporting operators in New Brunswick1:


We are a group of 27 associations, organizations and unions representing tens of thousands of New Brunswickers, urban and rural; Anglophone, Francophone and Aboriginal.


We are writing today to advise you that you are operating in New Brunswick without a social license. Furthermore, for those companies whose license was renewed after November 2012, we consider your current exploration license invalid.



We are writing today to advise you that you are operating in New Brunswick without a social license



In winter 2011, petitions to ban shale gas exploration and production totaling nearly 20,000 signatures were delivered to the New Brunswick Legislature. On November 27, 2012, groups representing a wide cross-section of both rural and urban New Brunswickers rallied in front of the Legislature and demanded our government to immediately stop ongoing shale gas exploration, the granting of any new licenses, and the renewal of existing ones. These demands were restated in an open letter to Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard delivered on February 28 2013, which was signed by organizations representing more than 50,000 New Brunswickers.



Most New Brunswickers do not want exploration and further development of shale hydrocarbons



As evidenced by the results of several polls, and as indicated by continued public protests and the increasing number of municipalities that have passed bans on fracking, most New Brunswickers do not want exploration and further development of shale hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the current provincial government has neither a mandate nor the consent of the aboriginal and non-aboriginal people of New Brunswick to allow hydrocarbon extraction in our shale formations.



The government has neither a mandate nor the consent of the Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people of New Brunswick to allow hydrocarbon extraction in our shale formations



If your license was renewed after our petition of November 2012, and since the renewal was only made possible by a questionable amendment to our Oil and Gas Act, please note that we do not accept as valid your current exploration license, and neither will a democratic government, formed after the provincial elections next year, grant its conversion to a lease.



We urge you to reconsider your plans and stop any further exploration and drilling in this province until proper public consultation has taken place



We, the people of New Brunswick, do not want to become a sacrifice zone for extreme energy extraction. We have come to realize, through scientific and economic studies, that mining for shale gas and oil is detrimental to human prosperity here and anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact, several leading organizations (e.g. International Energy Agency, World Bank) have warned that we must keep unconventional fossil fuels in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.


Given all the above, we urge you to reconsider your plans and stop any further exploration and drilling in this province until proper public consultation has taken place.


Sincerely concerned about health, water, and climate change,


27 organizations, associations and unions of NB


1. Including, but not necessarily limited to: SWN Resources Canada, Corridor Resources Inc., Contact Exploration Inc., Windsor Energy Inc., and Geokinetics Exploration Inc.



Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick (CUPE NB)

CCNB Action

Citizens Coalition for Clean Air

Cornhill and Area Residents Association

Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter

Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter

Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk

ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc.

Fredericton & District Labour Council

Friends of Mount Carleton

Hampton Water First

Maliseet Grand Council

Memramcook Action

New Brunswickers Against Fracking

New Brunswick Senior Citizens Federation

National Farmers Union New Brunswick (NFU NB)

Notre Environnement, Notre Choix

Parents Against Everyday Poisons

Penniac Anti-Shale Gas Organization

Sierra Club Atlantic

Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition

Stanley Area Action Group

Sustainable Energy Group

Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking

Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance

Upriver Environment Watch

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County


Have you been wondering if the proposed bitumen pipeline passes by your door? Or perhaps your favourite wild haunts? Here’s a map of the route through New Brunswick to Saint John.

The Pembina Institute has done an interesting analysis of the climate implications caused by increased tar sands production that would result from the Keystone pipeline. These climate implications would also apply to an eastern pipeline. According to David Coon, Leader of the Green Party, “It looks like the pipeline to the Port of Saint John would support a 27% increase in tar sands production which in upstream emissions alone would be akin to equivalent to those from building 4 coal-fired power plants or putting 4.6 million more cars on the road.”

Conservation Council announces 2013 eco-heroes


For Immediate Release

April 22, 2013


Fredericton – The Conservation Council of New Brunswick will present its annual Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards in Fredericton on Saturday, April 27th.


The award for lifetime achievement will be presented to Alma Brooks, a Maliseet grandmother and long-time activist for the Wulustuk River, also known as the Saint John River.


Charles Theriault who uses the power of film to engage New Brunswickers on the threats facing our forest and people will receive the award for environmental activism.

The Taymouth Community Association will be recognized for their organization's work over 10 years since they purchased the community school and transformed it into a centre of community capacity building, local economic initiatives and social cohesiveness.


The recipients will be honoured on the evening of Saturday, April 27th at the Conservation Council's annual fundraiser and awards nights. This year, CCNB is excited to announce an Eco-Soirée with popular Acadian indie-folk trio, Les Hay Babies. The special event will be held at Memorial Hall, UNB, Fredericton, beginning at 7:30pm.


The Gregg Conservation Award winners are selected by CCNB's Board of Directors from nominations submitted by their membership. The Milton F. Gregg Conservation Awards have been presented annually by the Conservation Council since 1981.


Tickets to the event are available for purchase online, at Conserver House (180 Saint John St, Fredericton), Westminster Books, True Food Organics or by emailing




Contact: Celine Delacroix, Executive Director, 506 458-8747

(Letter available for download here. Ici en Francais)

Fredericton, February 27 2013

Honourable Craig Leonard
Energy and Mines Minister

Honourable Bruce Fitch, Environment and Local Government Minister
Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick
Dear Minister Leonard,
We are a group of 29 associations, organizations and unions representing [tens of] thousands of New Brunswickers, rural and urban; Anglophone, Francophone and Aboriginal.

"Your release of new rules for the oil and gas industry on February 15 2013 presumes that you have a mandate from the public"
Your release of new rules for the oil and gas industry on February 15 2013 presumes that you have a mandate from the public. We believe that you have no such mandate and are not entitled to release these rules or take any further steps to proceed with the extraction of shale gas in New Brunswick. We base our claim on the following REASONS:
“Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in your Party‘s 2010 electoral platform”

(1) Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in your Party‘s 2010 electoral platform. You cannot claim that your voters were aware that you were using the term ‘natural gas’ as a synonym for the above.

(2) You have a responsibility to protect the public from environmental harm. There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm. Therefore, you cannot allow such activity until the risks are fully assessed. Such assessment can be done without exposing the public to the actual risks, which is what you are in fact doing by allowing exploration and drilling. Ignoring your responsibility to protect the public cannot possibly be called ‘responsible’. Therefore, your current plans cannot be reconciled with the statement in your 2010 platform that you will “support the responsible expansion of the natural gas sector in New Brunswick”.

“You have a responsibility to protect the public from environmental harm”
(3) The two points above clearly show you do not have a mandate to renew existing licenses related to shale gas exploration or drilling, or to grant new ones. We believe doing so is undemocratic and irresponsible, for the aforementioned reasons.
 (4) You have never held public meetings to consult with your constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas, even though you have been requested to do so. Shale gas licensees have conducted open houses, and you hired Dr. LaPierre to solicit feedback on an earlier version of the new rules. However, industry marketing exercises and Dr. LaPierre’s pro forma consultation, where no elected officials were present, are no substitutes for a meaningful two-way consultative process.
“You do not have a mandate to renew existing licenses related to shale gas exploration or drilling, or to grant new ones”
(5) You do not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the First Nations in this province to explore, license or mine for shale gas, which is a requirement under Canada's own rule-of-law.
“You have never held public meetings to consult with your constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas”
(6) You have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims. Specifically, in your Statement to the Legislative Assembly on the future of the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick made on November 28th 2012, you claimed that both Dr. LaPierre’s and Dr. Cleary’s reports came to the same conclusion – a moratorium on shale gas exploration is neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick. This claim has no basis in fact, as shown in the next three points.
"Consult on the question of whether the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples of New Brunswick want the shale gas industry to operate within provincial boundaries"
(7) You did not give a mandate to Dr. LaPierre to make recommendations on a moratorium on shale gas. We understand this decision, since we perceive he may be in a conflict of interest on this subject, given he is a Director of NB Power. The latter has expressed interest in converting some power generation facilities to natural gas and hence has a vested interest in the development of a local shale gas industry.
“You have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims”
(8) Yet Dr. LaPierre created his own, ethically questionable, mandate and ruled out a moratorium on shale gas, and you made his conclusion yours. You seemingly did not pay attention to the fact that he did not derive such conclusion from the content of his report or the input he received from the public. Rather, he derived it from fallacious arguments such as that a moratorium is incompatible with a science-based approach and would leave the issues undefined. Therefore, you cannot claim that his report came to that conclusion, or that the conclusion is based on sound evidence or perceived public will. The conclusion is rather Dr. LaPierre’s biased and flawed personal opinion.
“Any inferred comment on a moratorium was not the intention or the point of my report”

- Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eilish Cleary

(9) Dr. Cleary’s report drew no conclusions on a moratorium, and does not even contain the word ‘moratorium’. When asked about this, Dr. Cleary has stated that “any inferred comment on a moratorium was not the intention or the point of my report”. Furthermore, some of us brought to your attention the falsehood of your claim about Dr. Cleary’s report and asked you to retract it, a demand that you ignored. Therefore you cannot claim you were not aware of this misrepresentation.
“You have not substantiated your claim that the benefits for the people of New Brunswick will outweigh the risks you intend to subject them to”

(10) You have not substantiated your claim that the benefits for the people of New Brunswick will outweigh the risks you intend to subject them to. The experience of people living in various shale plays across North America is that the purported benefits do not trickle down to the society at large, while extensive environmental, health and social problems do.
Considering the above, we DEMAND that your government:
(1) Bring the following to an immediate stop: ongoing shale gas exploration, the granting of any new licenses for exploration or wells, and the renewal of existing ones.
(2) Reopen the case for a moratorium and commission an independent panel of scientists with no conflict of interest with industry to review it.
(3) Apologize to the public for the false claims ruling out a moratorium and publicly retract them.
(4) Consult on the question of whether the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples of New Brunswick want the shale gas industry to operate within provincial boundaries. We believe the consultative process should not start until (i) the risks are fully assessed; and (ii) a credible scenario-based business case is developed to assess potential benefits.
We kindly ask that you reply promptly and publicly to this letter.
29 organizations, associations and unions of New Brunswick

(please see alphabetical list below)

Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick (CUPE NB)
CCNB Action
Citizens Coalition for Clean Air
Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis
Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter
Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter
Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk
ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc.
Fredericton & District Labour Council
Friends of Mount Carleton
Friends of the UNB Woodlot
Hampton Water First
Maliseet Grand Council
Memramcook Action
New Brunswickers Against Fracking
New Brunswick Senior Citizens Federation
National Farmers Union New Brunswick (NFU NB)
Notre Environnement, Notre Choix
Parents Against Everyday Poisons
Penniac Anti-Shale Gas Organization
Quality of Life Initiative
Sierra Club Atlantic
Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition
Stanley Area Action Group
Taymouth Community Association
Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking
Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance
Upriver Environment Watch
Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County

NEWS RELEASE - Council of Canadians, Fredericton, NB Chapter, 25 February 2013

New Shale Gas Rules A Red Herring Diverting From Real Issue

FREDERICTON – Rather than paving the way for the government plans, the new rules for the oil and gas industry released on Friday, February 15th 2013 by Ministers Leonard and Fitch are becoming the object of a growing controversy. Today, 17 community groups came to the same conclusion that the new rules are a red herring trying to deflect attention from the worrying fact that they have ruled out a moratorium on shale gas based on false claims.

“Moreover, the media have a duty to prevent government from deceiving the public. It is high time to set the record straight”

In a statement made November 28th, 2012 in the Legislature about the future of the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick, Energy Minister Leonard claimed that both Dr. LaPierre’s and Dr. Cleary’s reports came to the same conclusion – a moratorium on shale gas exploration is neither required nor desirable in New Brunswick.

“This claim is fraudulent”, affirms Dr. Castilla, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary. “The remarks about a moratorium appearing in the conclusion section of Dr. LaPierre's report do not stem from the content of his report or the input he received from the public. Rather, they are based on fallacious arguments such that a moratorium is incompatible with a science-based approach and would leave undefined the issues. But then how can a moratorium ever finish if the issues that prompted it are not defined?” asks Dr. Castilla.

“The remarks about a moratorium appearing in the conclusion section of Dr. LaPierre's report do not stem from the content of his report…”

“We also have to remember that Dr. LaPierre is a Director of NB Power, which has expressed interest in converting to natural gas some of its power generating stations. Hence it is possible that the flaws in his reasoning are intentional”, speculated Dr. Castilla. “In any case, when someone tells you that a report came to this or that conclusion, you expect something that follows from the report itself and not from a personal opinion which on top of that is biased”, explained Dr. Castilla.

“Even more striking is the misrepresentation of the conclusions of Dr. Cleary’s report, which does not even contain the word moratorium. How can you reach a conclusion on something you don’t even mention?” Dr. Castilla asks.

“The misrepresentation of Dr. Cleary’s report is clearly intentional”

“The misrepresentation of Dr. Cleary’s report is clearly intentional”, argues Mark D’Arcy, a spokesperson for the Friends of the UNB Woodlot. “On November 30, 2012 I sent an email to Mr. Leonard bringing to his attention the falsehood of his claim and asking him to publicly retract from it, but he never got back to me. This is very relevant, because this claim is a center piece in the government’s rationale to move ahead with shale gas”, Mr. D’Arcy continued. “Moreover, the media have a duty to prevent government from deceiving the public. It is high time to set the record straight”, concluded Mr. D’Arcy.

The Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians and 16 organizations and community association across New Brunswick are demanding that the case for a moratorium be reopened and revised by an independent panel of scientists with no conflict of interest with industry.

 NEWS RELEASE - Council of Canadians, Fredericton N.B. Chapter, 21 February 2013


New shale gas rules put the cart before the horse

FREDERICTON– The new rules for the oil and gas industry released on Friday, February 15th 2013 by Ministers Leonard and Fitch are starting to backfire on the government. Today, 17 community groups all agreed that the Alward government is putting the cart before the horse by hastily moving the shale gas file ahead without having obtained or sought the consent of Aboriginal Peoples and the rest of the people in New Brunswick.

"There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm”

“Premier Alward’s claim that New Brunswickers had their say on the issue during the 2010 provincial election is stretching the truth”, commented Dr Jean Louis Deveau, a social scientist and chair of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians. “Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing were never mentioned in the PC Party platform. The PC’s statement was that they would support the responsible expansion of the natural gas sector in New Brunswick. This cannot be taken as a carte blanche for developing a shale gas industry”, asserts Dr Deveau. “The government has the responsibility of protecting the public from environmental harm. There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence that shale gas extraction is an activity that can potentially cause significant harm. Ignoring this responsibility by moving ahead without having thoroughly assessed the risks and without a credible business case cannot possibly be called ‘responsible’; therefore their current plans cannot be reconciled with their 2010 platform statement”, concluded Dr. Deveau.

“We maintain that proper duty to consult with Aboriginal Peoples has not been executed and so this development cannot proceed under Canada's own rule-of-law”

“Our Government has never held public meetings to consult with their constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas, even though they have been requested to do so”, argues Jim Emberger of the Taymouth Community Association. “Oil& Gas companies like SWN Resources have been by with open houses, and Dr LaPierre toured the province asking for feedback about an earlier version of the new rules, but this marketing exercise and Dr LaPierre’s pro forma consultation, where no elected officials were present, are no substitutes for a meaningful two-way consultative process.”

“Our Government has never held public meetings to consult with their constituents about the decision to move ahead with shale gas even though they have been requested to do so”

Consent from Aboriginal Peoples could even be a harder nut to crack for the Alward government. “We maintain that proper duty to consult with Aboriginal Peoples has not been executed and so this development cannot proceed under Canada's own rule-of-law”, emphasized Brian Francis, spokesperson for the Sikniktuk Mi'kmaq Rights Coalition.

"The government of New Brunswick does not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the Maliseet People to explore, license or mine for shale gas"

"The government of New Brunswick does not have the free, prior, and informed consent of the Maliseet People to explore, license or mine for shale gas", asserted Alma Brooks of the Maliseet Grand Council. Chief Candice Paul of the Saint Mary’s First Nation is even more stringent: “Under our Peace and Friendship Treaty, we have not ceded any land. We have not given up title to any land in this Treaty area. So, this is the basis from where we need to talk before anyone can move ahead with any type of resource development in the province of New Brunswick”, she said shortly after Minister Leonard’s and Fitch’s press conference.

Can We Follow Germany’s Route to Renewable Energy?

Keith Helmuth

In the early 1970’s I attended a conference on long-term agricultural planning at the federal Research Centre in Fredericton where I had a memorable conversation with a soil scientist from Ottawa. He was as frustrated with the conference as I was but for a somewhat different reason.

I was stymied by an almost contemptuous dismissal of organic agriculture. He was out of sync with his fellow professionals on long term planning because, as he put it, “All they want to talk about is how to increase production in the next five or ten years, and I want to talk about how we are going to feed ourselves when we can no longer feed our combine-harvesters.”

This man already knew something about the end of the road for oil and the crisis it portends for industrial civilization. The science and practice of organic farming has come a long way since then, but, unfortunately, the governments of Canada and the US have not yet taken seriously what it will mean for the energy source on which our economies now run to become less and less available and more and more expensive.

Since 1981 the rate of discovery of new oil deposits worldwide has fallen steadily below the rate of increase in demand. According to oil industry analysts, the new drilling technologies that can now tap previously inaccessible sites have not changed this scenario. Not only are oil reserves rapidly diminishing, industrial civilization is burning oil at a steadily increasing rate.

If we don’t plan for an orderly transition from oil dependency to renewable energy, we will likely be left in the lurch not only by a supply crunch and a price spike, but by other nations and regions of the world that have already gone into overdrive with their public policies and infrastructure planning for the transition to renewable energy.

I know there are those who scratch their heads and say it can’t be done, not here in New Brunswick, and not here in Canada. It’s too cold, too cloudy, the wind is too intermittent, and above all (perhaps) people want their electricity as cheaply as possible.

Others argue that fossil fuels are the life-blood of our economy and we have to make maximum use of then to generate more economic growth and more wealth. Otherwise, how will we ever get ourselves out of our current debt and deficit hole, both provincially and nationally? Everyone seems to agree that economic growth is the David for our debt Goliath.

I am happy to say there is plenty of evidence that New Brunswick is not too cold, too cloudy, or insufficiently windy to make a combination of renewable energy technologies a rapidly growing feature of our energy system and a significant factor in economic growth. The best case study for New Brunswick and for Canada is Germany.

Germany is less sunny on average than New Brunswick, yet during midday on May 24th and 25th of 2012 its solar capacity supplied 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour to the national grid. That’s equal to the output of 20 nuclear power stations. This was close to 50 % of the nation’s midday electricity needs. Of course, this is just a peak which is why the German system combines wind (8.6%), biomass (6%), and solar (6.1%) along with hydro to now have 26% of its electricity generated by renewable energy. Solar is the rising star of this system. Solar power installation and electricity production in Germany grew more than 50% in the first nine months of 2012.

The first key to this growth is the feed-in tariff that provides a powerful economic incentive for anyone with a building and power bill to install solar electric panels. All renewable electricity producers are paid a premium for the power they supply. Individuals, cooperatives and communities own an amazing 65% of the nation’s renewable energy capacity. This change is being driven by private investment because Germany’s energy policy has got the incentives right.

The second key to this success is that the vast majority of the German people understood that to make this feed-in tariff and renewable energy system work, the amount they pay for electricity service needed to increase. Because they want their country to make this transition to renewable energy, they accepted this increase in cost. Honest information, public education, political leadership, and both private and public investment have combined to make Germany a world leader in renewable energy. This has taken broad cooperation and a keen sense of the common good.

It’s true there are people in Germany who have opposed the increased costs of electricity and some special interests that disagree with the national energy policies, but they are marginal to the general support that has rallied behind this growing transition to renewable energy.

Germany now has over 1/3 of the world’s solar electric capacity and they are bounding ahead at an astounding rate. In 2000, 6% of their electricity came from renewables. They set a target of 30% by 2020, but they are now ahead of their projections and expect to make to 35 to 40% by that date. By 2050 they expect to be at 80 to 90%. Some folks might say only the Germans can pull this off, but the fact is other nations in Europe and around the world are following this example and making it work. Why not New Brunswick? Why not Canada? (For further study see the new book, Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation by Osha Gray Davidson.)

The final point to this story is that the switch to renewable energy is also a boost for economic development at the grass roots level. The move to renewable energy is a job creator. It creates jobs in the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy systems. The recent announcement by Premier Alward that wood pellets will heat two new schools being built in Woodstock is perhaps a small step in this direction. New Brunswick may not yet be manufacturing the furnaces, but it is manufacturing the pellets, and the greater the demand for pellets the more jobs in the industry.

It’s a good sign that the government now has the German firm, Siemens, working on a smart grid for the province. If the government would begin installing solar electric on public buildings, it would be taking a step that would help create good jobs and lower the long-term costs of operating government infrastructure. And if it put a feed-in tariff system place for electricity generated with renewable energy, it would be taking another important step to boost the industry and create still more, good, long lasting jobs. When we see this kind leadership, we will know we are on the way to serious growth in renewable energy, and to a renewal of job creation in the economy.

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group (SEG). SEG has just published From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy: An Energy Transition Guidebook for the Woodstock Region; Assessment, Planning, Resources. Complimentary copies may be obtained by contacting">

January 26, 2013

World Bank Says: “Turn Down the Heat?”

Keith Helmuth

A line of demarcation is falling across our society that has on one side those who believe it is a good thing for Canada to allow and encourage the production and consumption of fossil fuels for as long as we can, and those on the other side who think the extraction and burning of all fossil fuels should be scaled back as rapidly as possibly.

Two recent reports from mainstream international sources have now put a big stick in the wheel of fossil fuel production and consumption. They both come down on the side of those who see the future of sustainable economic development and prosperity in the rapid shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

On November 12 the International Energy Agency released its annual flagship publication, World Energy Outlook, in which it writes, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 20 C goal.” Two degrees centigrade is the scientifically based, internationally recognized limit for average global warming in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.

On November 19th the World Bank released a new report, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 40 Degree Warmer World Must Be Avoided, in which it writes, “Humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases are breaking new records every year. Hence we’re on a path towards 4-degree global warming probably as soon as by the end of this century. This would mean a world of risks beyond the experience of our civilization – including heat waves, especially in the tropics, a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, and regional yield failures impacting global food security.”

“If we venture far beyond the 2 degree guardrail, towards 4 degrees, we risk crossing tipping points in the Earth system. ….  The only way to avoid this is to break with the fossil-fuel-age patterns of production and consumption. …. Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today….. we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations….”

Take note: This is the World Bank speaking, not a so-called “radical environmentalist organization.” Where does this leave our Provincial enthusiasm for the oil sands pipeline project?

We could say, “Well, this oil is going to be produced and consumed anyway, so why shouldn’t NB get a piece of the action and benefit financially by helping route it to the world market? Why shouldn’t Alberta maximize the production of its oil sands resource and create as much wealth for itself as it can? Why shouldn’t Canada create a national energy policy for ramping up its fossil fuel resources to serve the world market?”

These questions appear quite rational, until you begin to plot them against the scientific risk assessment that informs the IEA and the World Bank reports, and until you begin to factor in moral responsibility.

Admittedly, the thought of leaving two thirds of known fossil fuel deposits in the ground is, perhaps, the most difficult thought we can imagine. How can this calculation possibly be taken into account? Yet, if we don’t take it into account how can we possibly run the risk that the IEA and the World Bank now lay before us?

This is a huge question that goes to the heart of both business and political leadership. How it is answered will determine whether global warming will rise to a level that renders a large a part the earth humanly uninhabitable.

At the moment, it seem unlikely that either business or political leadership in Canada will do anything except maximize the wealth that can be created from the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. The enthusiasm of NB political, business and labour leaders for the oil sands pipeline to Saint John is perfectly in sync with this wealth maximizing strategy.

Unfortunately, this strategy can be employed only by radically discounting the long-term wellbeing of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren both at home and around the world. Is this acceptable? If not, what is the option?

A good start would be a scaling up of renewable energy development comparable to the industrial strategy and social cooperation that enabled the winning of World War Two. In the light of the IEA and World Bank reports, responding rationally to the global climate crisis requires something like this historic effort. In addition to helping mitigate long-term global warming, a national and provincial energy policy that goes full tilt for solar energy would create significant employment opportunities and long lasting economic benefit.

The window is closing on fossil fuels, one way or the other. Burning them out to the end of available supplies, according the IEA and the World Bank, will be a disastrous closing that will, for example, turn a large part of the planet’s best farmland into desert.

Winding down the fossil fuel era by shifting rapidly to solar energy is the rational alternative. Those who doubt this can be done in our climate should check out what is happening in Germany – a place that has less solar energy potential than NB, but is bounding ahead in making this shift.

Why the difference? Leadership, smart policy, incentives, investment. Put “Germany solar energy 2050” into Google for an eye opening look at what is possible.

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group (SEG). SEG has just published From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy: An Energy Transition Guidebook for the Woodstock Region; Assessment, Planning, Resources. Complimentary copies may be obtained by contacting">

January 2, 2012

Have you checked out the changes to the provincial election ridings? The CBC has a link to a great map which will show you any riding in the province – as it is now and as it is proposed to be. The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission is currently holding public meetings and accepting comments on its proposal. There has been back-lash from some small communities across New Brunswick who feel that the new boundaries do not respect their community ties.

From my point of view, it seems that our democratic institutions are being steadily eroded. Alex Himelfarb,a former Clerk of the Privy Council, has written a great commentary on how we are moving from a democratic society to a market society and “bargain basement citizenship.”

The Canadian Labour Congress has just published its report, “What Did Corporate Tax Cuts Deliver?” In 2011, January 20th was “Corporate Tax Freedom Day.” By that date, corporations had already had enough income to cover their share of provincial and federal taxes for the rest of the year. Corporations also managed to hoard $72 billion more in 2011 than the previous year.

And the proof of all of this is in the pudding. In October 2012, “How are Canadians Really Doing?” was published by the Canadian Index of Well Being Network out of the University of Waterloo. The index measures eight factors of well-being such as environment, education, leisure and living standards. The findings in this report show that “from 1994 to 2010, while Canada’s GDP grew by a robust 28.9%, improvements in Canadians’ well-being grew by a considerably smaller 5.7%. Despite years of prosperity, our economic growth has not translated into similarly significant gains in our overall quality of life. Even more concerning is the considerable backslide Canadians have experienced since 2008. Following the recession of 2008, Canada’s GDP dropped by 8.3%, but shows signs of slow recovery in 2010. In contrast, the impact of the recession on the CIW was a stunning 24% decline and shows no such sign of recovery to even the modest gains made up to 2008.”

If you are interested in ongoing discussions about democracy in Canada, the Samara Institute has just released a report on the House of Commons and how well they are doing in addressing the priorities of Canadians. This month they are also hosting a blog series “Redesigning Parliament”.


Here’s the scenario. The NBEN office is on the third floor of the tower in the Peace Centre in Moncton. Due to electrical problems resulting in no electricity (read: no lights or elevators), on Sunday afternoon the Peace Centre announces that they are closed. Meanwhile, on Monday, the NBEN is scheduled for a big meeting on climate change adaptation. Guess the venue? You guessed right - the Peace Centre.

Lynne to the rescue! Not only does she find a new venue for 30 people on Sunday night, she climbs and re-climbs the dark stairwell of the Peace Centre, flashlight in hand, to haul out the NBEN supplies, flip chart stands, projectors, etc. What a woman!






Gull Identification Workshop

Gulls are present in virtually all habitats in southern New Brunswick yet often don’t receive the same level of attention of many other bird groups. Identification of even our most common gulls can be challenging as they take from two to four years to attain their adult plumages. Would you like to learn more about our gulls and improve your identification skills? If so, Nature Moncton is offering a comprehensive workshop led by NB naturalist, Nelson Poirier of Moncton. The workshop will take place at the Tankville School, 1665 Elmwood Dr. in Moncton. For those coming on the TCH take exit 459 going north on Elmwood Dr. on Rte. 115 with the Tankville School 3.4 km from the exit ramp.

This workshop will include:

  • Specie by specie accounts concentrating on the commonly encountered gulls and brief overviews for what to watch for with rarer gulls that may be encountered in the region

  • Background on gull behaviour, life history and ecological roles

  • Information on how to identify gulls in their various immature and adult plumage


Seating is limited: please pre-register with Judi Berry-Steeves at 387-4778 or email Judi at"> Registration is $6 payable at the door to cover costs.






Economic fear mongering is alive and well

The Daily Gleaner - Letters to the editor, 23 January 2013



Re: Shale gas development


Curiously, Minister of Health Ted Flemming, Dr. LaPierre, geologist Adrian Park and some letter-to–the-editor writers use identical language to claim that opponents of shale gas rely on inaccurate data from the film Gasland, and indulge in hysterical fear mongering.


How dishonest, hypocritical and desperate! Unable to convince the public about the wonders of shale gas, they attempt to discredit the opposition.


Gasland served as a wake-up call several years ago, but has been superseded by much history and science. I can’t remember any public forum in two years where it was cited as a reference.


Shale opponents cite Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, international expert in rock fracturing, peer-reviewed scientific studies in prestigious journals, the US EPA, the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, government records of violations, and the industry’s own reports of failure.


We cite the only long-term public health study by the University of Colorado, and The Endocrine Disruption Exchange on the toxicity of fracking chemicals. We point to the scholarly report done by New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Eilesh Cleary, which notes that we know almost nothing about shale’s public health threats.


Recent peer-reviewed studies from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado are cited showing that shale worsens climate-change.


Economists, financial analysts, science-based non-profit organizations, and the testimonies of people affected by shale gas from across North America are our sources. We’ve brought many expert speakers to the New Brunswick public.


Where are the voices for the pro side? We hear only from gas-producing interests. Where are the independent studies proving that wells don’t leak, that water doesn’t get contaminated and air isn’t polluted, that there are no health problems, that methane isn’t leaking, that fracking chemicals aren’t toxic/carcinogenic, that roads aren’t destroyed, that quality of life doesn’t suffer, that shale gas’s boom and bust economic shell game doesn’t leave a place worse off? The silence is deafening.


We offered to debate publicly, but government and industry were no-shows.


The government merely repeats the totally false and unsupported idea that shale gas is our only economic hope. Talk about fear mongering propaganda.

Jim Emberger
Taymouth, N.B. 

Is the Pipeline a “Game Changer?”

by Keith Helmuth

Like a shooting star bursting into the gloom of New Brunswick’s economic life, the prospect of a pipeline bringing Alberta crude to the Irving oil refinery in St. John has caught the attention of political leaders and pundits.

There seems to be a deep conditioning in our culture for pinning our hopes on the coming of a miracle-like economic transformation that will, in the words of Frank McKenna, be a “game changer.”

This is not the first time NB has looked to development of this kind for a great economic boost. The building of the Mactaquac hydroelectric dam was accompanied by the promise that the Saint John Valley would become like the Ruhr Valley in Germany – a site of intense industrial development.

Then the Point Lepreau nuclear plant was sold to the Province in the fading days of the nuclear industry’s promise of producing electricity “too cheap to meter.” It has turned out to be more expensive than any other generating source and has spawned no noticeable spin-off of industrial development.

Then came the first “McKenna miracle” with a great influx of call-centers. But they rose and fell like the passing of the seasons. Then came the Graham government’s dream of a “great energy hub” centred in southern NB that included a second nuclear plant at Point Lepreau to serve the New England market. The market disappeared and so did the dream.

Next up on the roster of “game changers” we have the potential of shale gas, which may or may not be a goose with a golden egg for the Province. It may turn out to be short term gain with long term environmental costs and damaged property values.

And now we have the promise of 6000 construction jobs delivered by the mega-project of pipeline construction for bringing bitumen from Alberta. And then what? When the construction is done, will the workers have to go back to Alberta to help dig up more bitumen until it’s gone? Is this a “game changer” or just another version of the same old game of looking for a mega-project miracle.


Is there a way New Brunswick can develop an economy that is not continually in search of a “game changer?”

Maybe, if we start thinking like Wayne Gretzky. When asked about the secret of his success, he replied, “I skate where the puck is going to be.” If we translate that strategy into thinking about energy, we might get a lead on where a new platform of sustainable economic development could come from.

Historically, every society has been based on a dominant energy resource. Our society is now based on the “miracle” of oil. Petroleum came into the economic life of North America, and then the whole world, like a shooting star, fueling great swaths of technological innovation and virtually miraculous economic growth.

Those of us old enough to have lived through the great transformation of the oil era, know how “miraculous” this energy resource has been. Those born into the high point of its trajectory just think of it as normal, and now, being in charge of the economy, see continuing to maximize its benefits as a rational course of action. But is it?

Like a shooting star, the oil era has a trajectory and it is now bending toward the horizon of depletion. Oil that is now being found through fracking does not reverse this depletion. Oil production worldwide is flat-lining, yet global demand for oil is increasing at almost a million barrels annually. And the faster we collectively burn it, the steeper the curve to depletion.

In this context, a new pipeline is not so much a game changer, as it is part of an endgame for the decline of the oil era. The more we ramp it up, the quicker the era of easy and inexpensive oil will fade. Is this the best way to invest our resources and prepare for a different energy future? It’s time to skate where the next energy “puck” is going to be.

No one disagrees that the next energy future is in renewables, and especially in solar energy. The question is, are we planning to burn all the fossil fuels we can before getting serious about solar and other renewable energy technologies? If so, the term “game changer” takes on an ominous new meaning. Climate scientist, James Hansen, along with others, has calculated the effect of completely exploiting the Alberta oil sands and advises that this source of fossil fuel alone is enough make it “game over for the climate.”

A report just released by the highly respected International Energy Agency has startled everyone by saying that two-thirds of the world’s known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground if we expect to retain a liveable climate for human civilization. This is a real head shaker.

The “game changer” we need – that the whole world needs – is a shift to renewable energy as rapidly as possible so most of what’s left of earth’s fossil fuel deposits can be remain safely in the ground. This shift is obviously needed at a global level, but the political jurisdictions and the industrial capacity of highly developed regions must take the lead in this transformation – and this includes New Brunswick.

You might ask, but what can we do? For one thing, the NB government could immediately mandate all new public building to not only be energy neutral, but, in so far as possible, be energy producers. There is no mystery about how be to do this. Germany is doing it.

Second, the government could begin a program of retrofitting all public buildings toward energy neutral and energy producing standards. This leadership would begin the build up of renewable energy businesses and increased employment across the Province. This is not flashy development, but it would result in solid, incremental gains that would help move our Province into the renewable energy future, and, in the long term planning perspective, save the government a whack of money on future energy costs.

Third, a no-cost-to-government financing plan for home and business owner conversion to renewable energy could be put in place in every community. Again, this financing innovation has been well developed in other jurisdictions and needs only to be copied and implemented. (Google Energy Financing Districts for further information.) Good, long lasting employment would be increased by the steady conversion of home after home and business after business to renewable energy.

Fourth, the NB government and NB Power could reset their policy and planning priorities around the creation of a smart grid that helps build up and serve a distributed energy network moving more and more to the link up and coordination of renewable energy generating sites.

These steps may not have the feel of a dramatic, “game changing” miracle, but they would help get NB in sync with the coming energy platform on which continued prosperity will more and more depend.

Keith Helmuth is a member of the Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group (SEG). SEG has just published From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy: An Energy Transition Guidebook for the Woodstock Region; Assessment, Planning, Resources. Complimentary copies may be obtained by contacting">

The federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughn, has resigned effective April 1, 2013. Mr. Vaughn has been the Commissioner since 2008 and his term does not end for another 2 years.  The Commissioner’s office is within the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. During his time as Commissioner, he has released numerous reports auditing the government’s effectiveness in achieving its environmental obligations and objectives. His portfolio includes environmental petitions, obligations under the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Environment Canada. At the NBEN, we have found Mr. Vaughn and his staff to be very approachable and proactive in ensuring that Canadians have access to the environmental petitions process. Mr. Vaughn has accepted a position as President and CEO at the Manitoba-based International Institute for Sustainable Development.

News article on

There is a series of short videos currently under production that explores the under belly of what is happening on Crown lands in NB. Wondering about the pre-Christmas news item about clearcutting all around the scout camp in the north of the province? And the protected area proposed for the Irving family fishing camp? Charles Thériault, the producer of the video series, doesn’t pull any punches. His interviews also include viewpoints from academic experts and ideas on how to do things differently. There is also a petition calling for a revamped Crown Lands and Forests Act. The series is called “Is Our Forest Really Ours?” Check it out

January 03, 2013

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper

Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2


Fax: 613-941-6900


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

We are a diverse group of community committees and organizations representing many thousands of New Brunswickers who are actively concerned about the quality of their environment. We are writing you today to express our alarm concerning the direction that you have taken Canada with respect to recent legislation impacting our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

Bill C-45 has become the latest focus of Aboriginal discontent. The Idle No More protests sweeping our nation and the Chief Theresa Spence hunger strike attest to the level of anger and frustration felt not only by First Nations people but by many other Canadians as well. We agree with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters that much of the legislation in Bill C-45 will repress Aboriginal rights, remove environmental protections and thereby facilitate the irresponsible exploitation of Canada’s natural resources. We would argue that the Bill C-45 legislative process lacked the required “meaningful consultations with indigenous peoples on issues that concern them” as supported by the Supreme Court of Canada. We would also argue that the process circumvented Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada has endorsed and which provides that

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislation or administrative measures that may affect them.

We sincerely hope that your government will endeavour to make new attempts at meaningful consultation and new attempts to cooperate in good faith with our Aboriginal population.

Given the grave circumstances and great potential for irreparable harm to First Nations people and their way of life as a consequence of this legislation, we request that you consult with First Nations leadership, including traditional leadership, and rescind those objectionable policies that will be enacted by Bill C-45. We also strongly urge you meet with Chief Theresa Spence and all Aboriginal leadership and embark on a policy of inclusion, reconciliation and renewal of our First Nations communities.

Otherwise we strongly believe that we will have missed a very important opportunity to address past injustices and abuses and failed to ensure the healthy physical and spiritual environments that our First Nations people require to survive and thrive peacefully in Canada.


Citizens Coalition for Clean Air

Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis

Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Corn Hill and Area Residents Association

Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter

Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter

Friends of Mount Carleton

Hampton Water First

Harvey Environmental Action Team

Memramcook Action

New Brunswickers Against Fracking

Parents Against Everyday Poisions

Taymouth Community Association

Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking

Notre Environnement, Notre Choix

Upriver Environment Watch

Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance

Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk

Friends of UNB Woodlot

Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization

Quality of Life Initiative

Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance

Stanley Area Action Group

Sustainable Energy Group

Sierra Club Atlantic

Maliseet Grand Council

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County


Copied to:

Chief Theresa Spence

Attawapiskat First Nation

Attawapiskat ON P0L 1A0

(705) 997-1101 Fax: (705) 997-2116

Media release:">

Chief Shawn Atleo

National Chief

Assembly of First Nations

Trebla Building 473 Albert Street

Ottawa, ON K1R 5B4

Tel: (613) 241-6789 Fax: (613) 241-5806">

His Excellency the

Right Honourable David Johnson

Governor General of Canada

Rideau Hall

1 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A1


Fax: 613-998-8760

The Honourable John Duncan

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern

Development Canada

Terrasses de la Chaudière

10 Wellington, North Tower

Gatineau, Quebec

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H4


Fax: 1-866-817-3977

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of


House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6


The Honourable Thomas J. Mulcair

Leader of the Official Opposition

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario, 1A 0A6

Telephone: 613-995-7224

Fax: 613-995-4565


The Honourable Bob Rae

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6


Ms. Elizabeth May

House of Commons

518 Confederation Building

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-996-1119

Fax: 613-996-0850


Professor James Anaya

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples


Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Palais Wilson

1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Fax: +41 – 22 917 90 06


At long last, the minutes from the NBEN’s Annual General Assembly, which took place on October 13 in Sackville, are now available for members and associates.  The annual report, which outlines all the great accomplishments of environmental groups working together under the umbrella of the NBEN, is also available. 

Only members of NBEN member and associate groups have access to these documents.  You must first log in to the Eco-Community, click on Member and Associate Section and go to the Minutes and Reports.   

Dear NBEN members and friends,

The holidays are a season and time for reflection. In a flash, the New Year arrives and with it comes resolutions and many a change. Here at the NBEN there will be one change that some of you (I hope) will notice. After two and a half years with the NBEN, I have decided to accept another position that starts in January. Don’t worry, I am not going far! I am the new coordinator for the Westmorland Albert Community Inclusion Network Co-operative.


This would be a sad little blog entry if I were saying goodbye, but it is not a sad note because I am not saying goodbye, just - see you around and SOON. It has been a pleasure working with everyone over the last few years and I look forward to our future working and social relationships.


See you all soon!

Warmly, Joanna

Fredericton —Mary Majka, one of Canada’s pioneering conservationists, has been honoured as the first recipient of The Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Land Conservation. His Honour Graydon Nicholas presented Majka with the award at Government House during a reception co-hosted by The Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Land Conservation was established to mark

the 25th anniversary of The Nature Trust. As Honorary Patron of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Lieutenant Governor initiated the award to recognize individuals and organizations that have had a significant impact on land conservation in New Brunswick through leadership, direct action, and long-term involvement as well as other significant contributions.

Lieutenant Governor Nicholas said Majka’s commitment and actions “exemplify this award and the mission of the Nature Trust. For the past 60 years, since her arrival in New Brunswick, Mary has devoted her time, energy and knowledge to educate, especially the younger generations, in greater understanding, protection and conservation of our environment.”

He hopes Majka’s contribution to preserving the province’s natural heritage will serve as a model to others. “Perhaps others, in learning what Mary has achieved, will be inspired by her leadership.”

Don Dennison, past president of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick, chaired the selection committee, which included representatives of The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Environment Canada, First Nations, and the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources.

He said the committee received several excellent nominees and these deserving individuals and organizations will be considered for future awards. “But we felt it fitting that Majka, who has inspired so many with her dedication and leadership be the first to receive this award.

Dennison spoke about Majka’s role the formation of several conservation and environmental organizations in Canada and New Brunswick, such as the Canadian Nature Federation, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and the Nature Trust itself. Early on she recognized how much could be accomplished by working together and forming partnerships.

He referred to her efforts to protect birds and bird habitat, especially along the Fundy Coast.

“She defined commitment to the natural world long before it became popular to do. She helped raise awareness of concepts such as ‘overfishing’ our stocks or logging without reforestation practices and their importance to the environment.”

Majka, who has received many honours, said she will
“value this prestigious award especially because it represents the Nature Trust's desire to honor individuals who have devoted themselves to protect and defend, as well as to educate New Brunswickers on the values of our natural world.”

She added that from its beginning the Nature Trust has been focused on the immense natural wealth of our province. “In my work, I could not but support, admire and encourage the steady development and important activities of the Trust.”

Majka said her dedication to conservation is fuelled by her passion for nature. "What could be more important than to guard and to protect what is most precious in one's life? For me it is The Natural World around us!”

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is dedicated to identifying, promoting, protecting and maintaining the province's finest remaining ecological landscapes. The Nature Trust stewards 35 preserves representing a diversity of ecosystems, and promotes in New Brunswickers respect for and knowledge of their natural surroundings.

Media inquiries:

His Honor, Graydon Nicholas, (506) 453-2505

Mary Majka, Award Recipient,">,

Don Dennison, Past President and Nomination Committee Chair, The Nature Trust of New Brunswick,">; (506) 440-1144

Mary Majka Background

Mary Majka was born almost 90 years ago in Poland. During World War II, she was captured by the Nazis and worked as a forced laborer on an Austrian farm. After the war, she remained in Austria to pursue her medical studies completing her studies for a medical degree.

In 1951 she immigrated to Canada together with her husband Mike, a Polish colleague. She was married for 60 years and had two sons Chris and Marc. Her husband passed away five years ago. For many years, they made their home on Caledonia Mountain, where they studied their natural surroundings and developed an appreciation for the richness and beauty of their surroundings.

As result of her early successes in protecting bird habitat and other efforts, she became recognized as a leader within the emerging environmental movement in the Province.

She continues to be active and is working with the City of Moncton on relocating a covered bridge to create a park on the city water reservoir.

She and her adopted son (her co-worker and now her caregiver), David Christie, live on Mary's Point, New Brunswick.

Education Initiatives
For the past 60 years, since her arrival in New Brunswick, Mary has devoted her time, energy and knowledge to educate, especially the younger generations, in greater understanding, protection and conservation of our environment.

She hosted a television program on nature for seven years (1967 -1974), called “Have You Seen?” The program was broadcast throughout New Brunswick, and in adjacent parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

She took school classes outdoors, and conducted workshops for teachers on nature education across the province during the late 1960s and 1970s. She also wrote articles in several publications.

Children’s Nature Centre: In 1969, she established a children’s nature centre in Fundy National Park to educate children about national parks and their role in protecting nature. The Centre was the first in a Canadian national park.
More recently, she helped to develop the exhibits at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre in Bayfield.

Protecting Birds
In the early 1960s eagles were hunted and rapidly declining as a species. (The provincial Endangered Species Act was not adopted until 1973.) Mary gathered a number of specialists from universities, the Canadian Widlife Service, and the New Brunswick Museum and drafted a brief requesting protection for birds of prey in New Brunswick. Three years later, in 1967, the provincial Game Act was updated to protect all birds of prey.
Through her efforts, the black-capped chickadee became New Brunswick’s provincial bird.

Bay of Fundy
There were many instances where she came to the defense of birds. She was able to stop logging on Grindstone Island in the Upper Bay of Fundy, which later became a Nature Preserve of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

Majka was the driving force in the establishment of the Mary’s Point Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve on the Bay of Fundy.

She and her family donated 100 acres of Fundy Shore for conservation.

Founding and Serving on Organizations for Nature
Early on Majka realized the value of working together and forming partnerships. Some examples

  • In 1971, attended the founding meeting of the Canadian Nature Federation - later served terms as New Brunswick provincial director and Atlantic region vice-president
  • Served six years as a trustee of the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada
  • Pivotal in establishing the New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists. President from 1980-1984. With her leadershp, the Federation developed recommendations on management of Mount Carleton Provincial Park, promoted nature preserves, and greater protection of nesting seabirds at the bird sanctuary on Machias Seal Island, in the Bay of Fundy
  • Organized the Fundy Hiking Trail Association Inc. and the Fundy Guild
  • Took part in the founding of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (Board member from 1976-1985) and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick
  • President of the Albert County Hertiage Trust from 1985 to 2011

Awards and Honours

Among her many recognitions, she has been honored with the Order of Canada (Member 2006) and the Order of New Brunswick.

She has been the subject of two CBC-TV documentaries.   Her life is chronicled in Sanctuary – the Story of Naturalist Mary Majka by Deborah Carr.

Mary is author of a book on Fundy National Park and contributes articles to various publications.
Her accomplishments are not only in the field of Nature. Another chapter of great activity concerns her very successful work in the field of preservation and protection of NB Heritage for which she is equally known. One example is her work on commemorating an historic shipyard at the mouth of the Shepody River.

Shale gas development is being discussed by a multitude of folks: neighbours, politicians, youth, health care providers, farmers, and investors. Yet, I find it surprising that there is very limited discussion in the media about the fact that groups and citizens continue to take precious time out of their lives to go directly to the legislature doors to express their concerns. There have been two years of active public outcry by citizens and groups working to ensure that the shale gas conversation is not cut short.

New Brunswick is full of tenacious people who will continue to publicly share their concerns at the NB legislature steps until true dialogue and active citizen-engaged decision-making occurs. Both sides of the shale gas debate deserve the chance to not only discuss concerns, but share their fears and ideas of a vibrant New Brunswick.

Citizens and groups are engaged and invest their time into because they love this place. These people are also a resource that needs to be tapped as a way to help propel NB into the future.

Check out some of the online media:

-         Facebook images of NB Legislature opening

-         N.B. to weigh in on shale gas development, Halifax Herald

-         NB premier promises to deliver shale gas blueprint, CTV news

-         CBC News report

-         Toward a Green Power Grid & Financing a Green Power Grid, Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group

Pour publication immédiate              COMMUNIQUÉ                           21 novembre 2012

Marche pour interdire la fracturation – Cessez de spéculer avec notre eau et notre air

FREDERICTON NB ---- Une marche à Fredericton qui se terminera par un rassemblement à l’Assemblée législative aura lieu le mardi 27 novembre pour demander de mettre fin à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel au NB.

Au mois de novembre l’an dernier, plus de 20 000 NéoBrunswickois ont demandé d’interdire l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste en présentant des pétitions à la Législature.  Par ailleurs, durant l’année dernière plusieurs différentes associations au Nouveau-Brunswick ont adopté des résolutions pour soit interdire ou soit imposer un moratoire à l’exploitation non traditionnelle du gaz naturel.  Celles-ci incluent :

1)   L’Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 51 membres (octobre 2011);

2)   Le Syndicat des infirmières et des infirmiers du Nouveau-Brunswick comprenant 6 900 membres (décembre 2011);

3)   Le Syndicat national des agriculteurs NB regroupant 150 fermes (mars 2012);

4)   Le synode des Maritimes de l’Église unie du Canada (mars 2012);

5)   Le Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique regroupant 30 000 membres (avril 2012);

6)   Le Collège des médecins de famille du Nouveau-Brunswick regroupant 700 membres (avril 2012);

7)   Le personnel médical de l’hôpital Mémorial de Sackville (mai 2012);

8)   Les médecins de l’Hôpital de Moncton (juin 2012);

9)   La Fédération des NéoBrunswickois des zones rurales (FoR NB);

10)   Les médecins de l’hôpital Georges Dumont Moncton (septembre 2012);

11)  Un nombre de municipalités incluant (Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, Minto, Stanley, Bathurst, Sussex Corner, Quispamsis).

Marilyn Lerch de l’Alliance de Tantramar contre la fracturation hydraulique constate que : « Le gouvernement du NB n’a donné aucune indication qu’il écoutait tous ces appels pour un moratoire ou une interdiction. »  « Au contraire, la toute première proposition à la deuxième session de l’Assemblée législative a ignoré les pétitions et confirmé que la politique de l’administration conservatrice était en faveur de l’exploitation « responsable » des réserves de gaz naturel au Nouveau-Brunswick. »

« Les réserves de gaz naturel au NB ne sont pas traditionnelles, c’est-à-dire qu’elles doivent être extraites par une technologie relativement nouvelle appelée fracturation hydraulique massive fracking, » explique Stephanie Merrill d’Action CCNB.  « La fracturation hydraulique est essentiellement un processus industriel contaminant qui injecte des milliards de milliards de litres d’eau mélangés avec des produits chimiques toxiques à des pressions énormes pour faire éclater la pierre et laisser échapper les hydrocarbonés des formations souterraines comme les schistes ou les grès rouges. »

« Des preuves provenant d’autres juridictions ne cessent de démontrer que les risques sanitaires, sociaux et environnementaux sont majeurs et que les avantages économiques sont exagérés, » souligne Guillermo Castilla, professeur adjoint de l’Université de Calgary.  « C’est pourquoi notre gouvernement a le devoir de prévenir les dommages et mettre fin à toute exploitation jusqu’à ce l’on puisse démontrer que cette technologie est sécuritaire et qu’un plan d’exploitation complet est présenté. »

« Le but de la marche et du rassemblement de mardi est de se rappeler à la mémoire les pétitions des 20 000 NéoBrunswickois qui ont été ignorées, mais qui demandent la cessation immédiate de l’exploration et de l’exploitation par méthode non traditionnelle du gaz naturel, » affirme Julia Linke du chapitre Fredericton du Conseil des Canadiens.  « Cela veut dire l’arrêt immédiat des explorations pour les gaz de schiste, la fin des émissions de tous nouveaux permis et du renouvèlement des permis existants, » précise Dr. Linke. 

« Les groupes et les organisations qui se sont déjà joints à cette manifestation ou qui l’ont endossée constituent un véritable échantillon des populations rurales et urbaines du Nouveau-Brunswick, » observe Jim Emberger de l’Association communautaire de Taymouth.  « L’opposition à la fracturation ne peut que s’accroitre dans la province, parce que l’administration ne réussit pas à présenter une analyse de rentabilité pour appuyer ses prétentions concernant les emplois et les redevances tout en continuant à affaiblir la protection environnementale de nos zones humides, de nos bassins versants et de notre atmosphère pour faire place à cette industrie. »

Conseillère municipale à Sackville, Margaret Tusz-King prévoit : « L’exploration non traditionnelle du gaz naturel va affecter l’ensemble du Nouveau-Brunswick, ses villes comme ses collectivités rurales »  « C’est pourquoi il est intéressant de noter le grand nombre de NéoBrunswickois qui manifestent leur solidarité en s’assemblant pour protester en solidarité lors de l’ouverture de l’Assemblée législative.  Ces citoyens montrent clairement qu’ils sont en faveur de l’arrêt d’une entreprise qui pourrait modifier notre paysage à jamais. »

Le mardi 27 novembre, des groupes et des citoyens vont se rappeler le rassemblement de l’an dernier et démontrer leur solidarité avec les 20 000 personnes dont les signatures ont été ignorées, en participant à une marche à Fredericton pour interdire la fracturation.  Cette marche pacifique va commencer à 11 h au vieux cimetière et se terminera avec un rassemblement entre midi et 13 heures devant l’édifice de l’Assemblée nationale.  De brèves discours seront présentées.

Voici les noms des groupes/organisations qui se sont joints à la manifestation et/ou qui l’ont endossée :

A) Groupes des collectivités :  1) Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, 2) Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis, 3) Friends of Mount Carleton, 4) Hampton Water First, 5) Harvey Environmental Action Team; 6) Memramcook Action, 7) New Brunswickers Against Fracking, 8) Parents Against Everyday Poisons, 9) Taymouth Community Association, 10) Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking, 11) Notre Environnement, Notre Choix, 12) Upriver Environment Watch, 13) Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance, 14) Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk, 15) Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 16) Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization, 17) Quality of Life Initiative, 18) Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, 19) Stanley Area Action Group, 20) Sustainable Energy Group, 21) Maliseet Grand Council, 22) Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, 23) Cornhill Area Residents Association and 24) The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (ForNB)

B) ONG: 1) CCNB Action, 2) Association pulmonaire du NB 3) ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc., 4) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Saint-Jean, 5) Conseil des Canadiens, chapitre de Fredericton et Sierra Club Atlantic

C) Organisations professionnelles/Syndicats : 1) Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP), 2) Syndicat national des fermiers NB (SNF NB), 3) Conseil du travail de Fredericton & District

D) Partis politiques :  Parti vert et NPD

E) Jeunes et jeunes adultes : 1) 5e année, classe du chef Harold Sappier École élémentaire Memorial, Première nation St. Mary’s, Fredericton 2) Étudiants et étudiantes de l’université Saint Thomas & de l’UNB, 3) Éco-action groupe de l’université Mount Allison 4) Élèves du Collège des métiers du NB.

F) Groupes Facebook : “New Brunswick is NOT for sale”, “SAY NO TO SHALE GAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK”, “NoShaleGasNB”, “Upriver Environment Watch” et “Ban Hydraulic Fracturing (hydro-fracking) In New Brunswick

For Immediate Release
22 November 2012

Toughest shale gas regulations in North America? – Not anymore

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – New Brunswick government introduces a loophole that exempts all shale gas operations from the provincial Clean Air Act.

The Alward government has proposed exempting certain businesses from the Clean Air Act implemented in 1997 to protect New Brunswickers from the harmful effects of air pollution. Air pollution results in premature deaths, as well as tens of thousands of hospital administrations and emergency room visits by Canadians experiencing respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.

“The Alward government pledged to develop world-class regulations to oversee the shale gas industry – to strengthen existing regulations and not dismantle them,” says Mark D’Arcy, a member of the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.
In a speech to the Moncton Chamber of Commerce on October 3rd 2011 Premier David Alward said, “We actually have a strong set of policies and regulations already. But we need them to go further to ensure New Brunswickers and our environment will remain protected. And we’ll make sure they do go further. As a matter of fact, we’ll make sure New Brunswick has some of the toughest regulations governing exploration and development on this continent.”

“By relaxing these standards the Alward government is doing exactly the opposite of what it continually promises the public,” says D’Arcy.

Under the current classification (Clean Air Act, 1997), shale gas companies fall under a Class 4 designation. Class 4 criteria require emissions less than: 1) 10 tonnes per year of either sulphur dioxide or particulate matter and 2) 30 tonnes of gas per minute.

The proposed amendment, allegedly targeting small heating plants, reads as follows: ‘if the sulphur dioxide emissions released into the environment are less than 10 tonnes per year and the particulate matter emissions released into the environment are less than 10 tonnes per year, no approval is required…’

Note that the only criteria being targeted for exemption coincidentally relate directly to the manner in which the shale gas industry is currently classified.

“This is like saying that to get your driver’s license you must be 16 or over and pass both written and road tests. However, in another superseding section of the Motor Vehicle Act it would state that anyone 16 or over is exempt from all driving tests. Does this make any sense?” says D’Arcy. “First wetlands, next watersheds, and now air sheds are available for deregulated development.”

Response to Proposed Amendment to the Air Quality Regulation 97-133 under the Clean Air Act

 For Immediate Release                PRESS RELEASE                       November 21, 2011

Walk for a ban on fracking – stop ”fracking“ with our water and air

FREDERICTON NB ---- A citizen march through downtown Fredericton, culminating with a rally at the Provincial Legislature, will take place on Tuesday November 27th to demand a stop to unconventional natural gas development in NB.

In November of last year, over 20,000 New Brunswickers demanded a ban on shale gas development and production with petitions to the Legislature. In addition, many different New Brunswick associations have passed resolutions for either a ban or a moratorium on unconventional natural gas development over the past year. These include:

  1. 1)  Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick with 51 members (Oct. 2011)
  2. 2)  New Brunswick Nurses Union with 6900 members (Dec. 2011);
  3. 3)  NB National Farmers Union with 150 farms as members (March 2012);
  4. 4)  Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada (March 2012);
  5. 5)  Canadian Union of Public Employees with 30,000 members (April 2012);
  6. 6)  New Brunswick College of Family Physicians with 700 members (April 2012)
  7. 7)  Medical Staff at Sackville Memorial Hospital (May 2012);
  8. 8)  Medical Doctors of the Moncton Hospital (June 2012);
  9. 9)  The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (FoR NB)
  10. 10) Medical Doctors at Georges Dumont Hospital, Moncton (Sept. 2012) and
  11. 11) A number of municipalities (Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, Minto, Stanley, Bathurst,Corner, Quispamsis).

“The NB government has not given any indication that it is willing to listen to any of these calls for a moratorium or ban,” says Marilyn Lerch of the Tantramar Alliance against Hydrofracking. “On the contrary, the very first motion of the Second Session of the Legislative Assembly ignored the petitions and confirmed the Progressive Conservative policy for ’responsible‘ development of New Brunswick’s Natural Gas reserves.”

“Natural gas reserves in NB are unconventional, meaning that they can only be extracted with a relatively new technology called high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking)”, explains Stephanie Merrill of CCNB Action. “Fracking is an inherently contaminating industrial process that injects trillions of liters of water laced with toxic chemicals at enormous pressure to break apart rock and release hydrocarbons from underground formations such as shale and sandstone.”

“There is mounting evidence from other jurisdictions that the health, social and environmental risks are serious and the economics are hyped” states Adjunct University of Calgary Professor Guillermo Castilla. “Therefore, our government has a duty to prevent harm and stop any further development until this technology is proven safe and a comprehensive business case is developed”.

“The goal of Tuesday’s walk and rally is to commemorate the 20,000 New Brunswickers whose petition for a ban on fracking was ignored, and to demand an immediate stop to unconventional natural gas exploration and permitting”, says Julia Linke of the Fredericton chapter of The Council of Canadians. “This means an immediate stop to: ongoing shale gas exploration, the granting of any new licenses, and the renewal of existing ones” Dr. Linke itemized.

“The groups and organizations that have already joined or endorsed this event are a real cross-section of both rural and urban New Brunswick” states Jim Emberger of the Taymouth Community Association. “The opposition to fracking is only increasing in this province, as the government fails to produce any business case supporting their claims about jobs and royalties, while it continues to relax environmental protection of our wetlands, watersheds, and air to make way for this industry”.

”Unconventional natural gas exploration will affect all of New Brunswick, cities, towns and rural communities” says Sackville Town Councillor Margaret Tusz-King, “and it is significant that so many New Brunswickers are coming together in solidarity at this Legislature Opening protest, and showing their public support for a stop to a development that could change the face of our picture province forever.”

On Tuesday November 27th, groups and citizens will commemorate last year’s rally, and show solidarity with the 20,000 people whose petition was ignored, with “a walk for a ban on fracking” through Fredericton. The peaceful walk will begin at 11am at the Old Burial grounds and will finish with a rally between noon and 1 pm in front of the Legislature Building with a number of brief speaker presentations.

The groups/organizations that have already joined and/or endorsed this event is as follows:

A) Community groups: 1) Citizens Coalition for Clean Air, 2) Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis, 3) Friends of Mount Carleton, 4) Hampton Water First, 5) Harvey Environmental Action Team; 6) Memramcook Action, 7) New Brunswickers Against Fracking, 8) Parents Against Everyday Poisons, 9) Taymouth Community Association, 10) Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking, 11) Notre Environnement, Notre Choix, 12) Upriver Environment Watch, 13) Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance, 14) Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk, 15) Friends of the UNB Woodlot, 16) Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization, 17) Quality of Life Initiative, 18) Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, 19) Stanley Area Action Group, 20) Sustainable Energy Group, 21) Maliseet Grand Council, 22) Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County, 23) Cornhill Area Residents Association and 24) The Federation of Rural New Brunswickers (ForNB)

B) NGOs: 1) CCNB ACTION, 2) NB Lung Association 3) ecoFredericton Sustainable Living Inc., 4) Council of Canadians – Saint John Chapter, 5) Council of Canadians – Fredericton Chapter and 6) Sierra Club Atlantic

C) Professional/Trade Organizations: 1) Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), 2) NB National Farmers Union (NFU NB) and 3) Fredericton & District Labour Council

D) Political Parties: Green Party and NDP

E) Youth and Young Adults: 1) Grade 5 Class of Chief Harold Sappier Memorial Elementary School, St. Mary’s First Nation, Fredericton 2) Saint Thomas & UNB Students, 3) Eco-action group of Mount Allison University and 4) NB Craft College Students

F) Facebook Groups: “New Brunswick is NOT for sale”, “SAY NO TO SHALE GAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK”, “NoShaleGasNB”, “Upriver Environment Watch” and “Ban Hydraulic Fracturing (hydro-fracking) In New Brunswick”

Link: Marche Pour Interdire la Fracturation



Energy affects how we live and with increasing concerns surrounding energy resources there exists a need for energy literacy. EOS Eco-Energy is seeking project proposals for an energy efficient retrofit project from non-profit community groups or educational centres. The retrofit project must be made visible and used as a tool for energy literacy in the Tantramar region (Dorchester, Memramcook, Port Elgin and Sackville).

This funding is available on a 50/50 match basis, up to $3,100.00 for the selected project of their choice. To be eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:

- Non-profit community or educational group (i.e.: faith groups, food banks, environmental groups, family groups, youth groups, school group, etc.)

- Based in the Tantramar region

- Own or manage facilities


Application's are available online at:  

Deadline: November 30, 2012

Applicants may submit in person or electronically.

131 Main St, Unit D

Sackville, N.B.

E4L 1G6

Sincerely yours,

Joni Fleck Andrews

Executive Director, EOS Eco-Energy

Congratulations to this year’s Environmental Leadership Award winners!

I want to add a special shout out to Meagan Betts, who has taken an active role in the Youth Environmental Action Network, acting as the chair and representative for Fredericton High School Green Team and now EcoAction. I have seen Meagan in action and feel this is a much deserved honour.

Government text here

Winners of Environmental Leadership Awards

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A presentation was held today in Fredericton to honour the 2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients and poster contest winners.

“Through this initiative, we are able to recognize these achievements as we highlight the importance of protecting our environment,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch. “Sharing these initiatives will encourage further environmental stewardship and will have a positive impact on our province. Others can be motivated to follow in the footsteps of those recognized today.”

This year's recipients are:

●    Individual Youth – Meagan Betts, Youth Environmental Leader;
●    Youth Group – The Sacred Garden Team, Devon Middle School;
●    Individual – Pamela Fowler, Municipal Nature Park;
●    Business – Rhoda Welshman, ReAction Events;
●    Communities, Groups and Organizations – Tobique River Team, Tobique First Nation Community Clean-Up; and
●    Lifetime Achievement – Ralph Simpson, Youth Mentorship.

Fitch also announced the winners of the poster contest who illustrated an environmental theme. The winners are:

●    Sophie Landry, Save the World; and
●    Natasha Barna, Je suis ta Terre.

The awards are presented annually to individuals, communities, groups and businesses that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the enhancement and protection of the environment. A panel of independent judges selected the recipients.

Information about the awards is available online.

2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients

Individual Youth

Meagan Betts – Fredericton

Youth Environmental Leader: A former student of Fredericton High School, Betts dedicated much of her time to enhancing environmental awareness at her school and in her community. She led the school Environmental Club and introduced such ideas as Motorless Mondays, vermiculture composting and a reduced car prom. Outside of school, Meagan chaired the Youth Environmental Action Network.

Youth Group

Devon Middle School – Fredericton

The Sacred Garden Team: In 2011, the Sacred Garden Project was established at Devon Middle School. While promoting a sustainable organic garden, this Outdoor Classroom aims to educate the students and the community about the importance of traditional First Nations' medicines. As students move through the process of germinating the seeds, maintaining and tracking their growth, and transplanting their seeds into the Garden Classroom, they also discover, through traditional teachings, a connection to the Earth, agriculture, history and sustainability.


Pamela Fowler – Riverview

Municipal Nature Park: An environmental science teacher at Riverview High School, Fowler is committed to teaching her students about the environment while using applied approaches to help them identify with the high school curriculum. She initiated the Mill Creek Project, which had her class propose a nature park in Riverview that would connect to the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Her students surveyed the proposed park, completed water testing and botanical surveys, and presented their findings to the town council.


Rhoda Welshman – Saint John

ReAction Events: Concerned for the environment and seeing a niche that needed to be filled, Welsman launched a business, ReAction Events. Focusing on environmentally-friendly parties and events, she aims to reduce the use of plastic products while providing unique, personalized party supplies for her clients. Welshman offers eco-friendly products that are handcrafted and sustainable. Not only are the decorations, table ware, and treat bags environmentally friendly but her parties promote both creative and physical activity.  

Community, Group and Organization

Tobique Riverbank Team – Tobique First Nation

Community Clean-up: The Riverbank Team of Tobique First Nation was formed after a need for riverbank stabilization work was identified. Following this project, the team started to look at the community as a whole, and when an opportunity to work with the Valley Solid Waste Commission arose, they led the way. Working together, the team and the commission cleaned up illegal dumpsites in the community, posted signs discouraging dumping and cleaned streams and banks along the river. This spurred the community to promote a clean environment and to hold community clean-up days as well as the clean-up of the demolition site of an old school.

Lifetime Achievement

Ralph Simpson – Fredericton

Youth Mentorship: An ecologist and forest pathologist, Ralph Simpson is committed to environmental restoration and youth mentorship. For more than 20 years he has volunteered to develop, obtain funding, lead and execute environmental projects. He has been involved with The Fredericton Backyard Composters, the Fredericton Area Watersheds Association, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Canadian Environment Awards Community Award. Simpson also worked on the Bur Oak Project, where he trained and worked with youth to restore at-risk native species of trees, and the Children's International Summer Villages, where he was an environmental mentor, leading annual trail and stream clean-ups.

If you’ve been wondering how the changes to the Canadian Navigable Waters Protection Act affect us in New Brunswick, here’s the scoop. Since 1882, Canadians lakes, rivers and streams have been protected from development that would impede navigation (pipelines, bridges, power lines, dams, mining and forestry equipment, etc.). Now a body of water has to be listed on Schedule 2 to be protected by the Act. And for NB, what is on Schedule 2? The Saint John River. Open season on all the rest.


Check out NBEN’s Annual General Assembly photos!


NBEN RENB - View my 'AGA 2012' set on Flickriver

[Letter to Editor, The Daily Gleaner October 26 2012]

LaPierre Report Is More Opinion Than Science


I take issue with the recent Gleaner editorial – In our view: Shale gas report is a welcome dose of rationality, science.


First, I don’t see the report itself as any kind of science. There are no references included and the main content of the report does not even accurately reflect the conclusions.


Even a high school science report must include references and have a conclusion that consolidates the information in the body of the report. All one has to do is compare the Cleary health report, with Dr. LaPierre’s, to see how a credible science based government report should be written.


Second, just like our government, the conclusion does not propose any alternatives to not going down the boom bust fossil fuel path. These alternatives were briefly mentioned in the body of the report and talked about by many at the public sessions.


Some of the most successful countries in the world are well on the way to a successful carbon free sustainable economy. It is only a matter of time before every jurisdiction will need to go down this path as fossil fuels – by definition – will not last forever. Early adopters will be in the advantaged position of being world leaders that others will come to as they try to catch up.


Third, we still have no proof that there are any financial benefits to New Brunswickers (or anyone for that matter) for going down this path. The government has no business plan for this industry that considers all the costs including regulation, health and social costs. We have no clue if the revenue potential will cover all of the costs. This is remarkable considering the business approach that is being used to rationalize continual government cost cutting.  


Until this costing is done do we want to spend any more public dollars on something that may very well cost us big? A credible report would task the government with first costing this industry before any more development dollars are spent.


I therefore do not consider Dr. LaPierre’s report to be either rational or scientific.

Garth Hood

Community Forests International is hosting a mushroom growing workshop Saturday November 3rd from 10am-4pm at 10 School Lane in Sackville N.B.


In this workshop participants will explore fungi and the edible mushrooms certain fungal species produce (e.g. shiitake, oyster mushrooms). Mycologist and mushroom enthusiast David Boyle will guide a discussion on the essential roles these organisms play in stimulating plant growth, degrading pollutants, and controlling unwanted insects. This will be followed by a hands-on exploration of several methods for coaxing fungi to produce edible and/or beautiful mushrooms.  After this workshop, participants will have a greater understanding of how fungi live and behave and be well on their way to growing their own mushrooms at home or on the farm!

Please dress warmly, as a portion of this workshop will be held in an outdoor classroom space.

The cost is $25.00  Please bring your own lunch.  Register here.

For more information, call 506 536 3738 or send us an email

Ken Maybee passed away on October 17, 2012. As CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association, Ken was a dedicated leader and an advocate for the building of strong links between environmental and health issues. Ken was named to the Order of Canada in July 2012 for his efforts to improve air quality and the health of Canadians. In New Brunswick, Ken was involved in the development of the NB Clean Air Act and the Smoke-free Places Act. He helped to develop air quality standards, including the air quality health index used in many cities. Our condolences to Ken’s wife, his family and friends and to all the staff at the NB Lung Association who have lost a champion.

From the New Brunswick Lung Association
No words can express how devastated and sorry the New Brunswick Lung Association family is at the recent passing of Kenneth Maybee, our past President and CEO. Across the country the Lung Association staff and all those who knew Ken through his clean air advocacy work are mourning this loss.

Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to Ken's wife and family.

Ken left an amazing legacy both in terms of his professional work and in terms of the many lives he touched in such positive ways.
From the Conservation Council of New Brunswick
Conservation Council of New Brunswick is saddened by the passing of our respected and dedicated colleague Ken Maybee of the New Brunswick Lung Association

Ken put the NB Lung Association on the national map, with leading, high profile campaigns on clean air, anti-smoking and other environmental issues. As President and CEO of the NB Lung Association, Ken was a leader, innovator and tireless advocate for the Lung Association and the causes he championed. This is typical of the man he was.

Ken was named to the Order of Canada in July 2012. He was due to receive this prestigious award, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, on 23 November from the Governor General at Government House in Ottawa. Ken was named to the Order of Canada in the category of Social Services, for his efforts to improve air quality and the health of Canadians. His efforts have been described as follows "Mr. Maybee’s personal crusade to make human health the driving force for air quality policies and legislation has been extraordinary". He helped develop air quality standards, including the air quality health index used in many cities. He was instrumental in the introduction of the NB Clean Air Act and the Smoke-free Places Act, which, among other things, bans smoking in vehicles containing children under the age of 16. Locally, he helped the City of Fredericton organize the Canada Day parade and made the parade green by not allowing motorized vehicles to take part.


MAYBEE, KENNETH H. - (1937 – 2012) - On Wednesday, 17 October, Ken Maybee passed away in tragic circumstances. Ken’s family is totally devastated at his sudden passing. Born Kenneth Hendrie Maybee in Montreal on 15 June 1937, he is survived by his wife Joan (Ingram) of 50 years and his two children, son Larry (Megan) living in Australia and daughter Kim (Gord) living in Nanaimo, BC. and four dearly loved grandchildren; Ryan, Nicole and Erin Maybee (Australia) and Molly O’Brien (Nanaimo). He also leaves behind his beloved cat, Mikey “they were buddies”. Ken was the youngest of seven children – four boys and two girls – Donald, Theresa, George, Floyd, William and Edna. He is survived by brothers Floyd (Joan) of Alberta, William (Gladys) of California and Edna (John) Tyler of Victoria, BC. He was predeceased by his parents Harry Jacob and Lillian, brothers Donald, George and sister Theresa. He is survived by his many nieces and nephews. Ken lived a 39 year career in the Canadian forces. He joined the Armoured Corps as a boy soldier in 1954. He quickly rose through the ranks, excelling at every course he attempted and appointment he was given. He served with distinction with the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) in Petawawa, Germany and CFB Gagetown and with the 12e Regiment Blinde du Canada (12e RBC) in Valcartier, Quebec. During his military career, Ken served three different tours with NATO in Germany, four in Egypt and one in Cyprus. His notable appointments included Sergeant-Major of several Squadrons, in 12e RBC and at the Armoured School at the Combat Training Centre, CFB Gagetown. He was Regimental Sergeant-Major of 12e RBC, Chief Warrant Officer at Army Headquarters in St. Hubert, Quebec, and Command Chief Warrant Officer of Canadian Forces in Europe and the Middle East. In the latter stages of his career, Ken took his commission to move back to NB and as a Captain was appointed Detachment Commander of all Cadets in NB and PEI. Ken received many awards for his accomplishments in the military. In 1977 he was appointed to the Order of Military Merit, the second highest order administered by the Governor-in-Council, at the grade of Member (MMM), for distinctive merit and exceptional service. He was later upgraded to the level of Officer of the Order of Military Merit (OMM), a rare occurrence. Both awards were presented by the Governor General at Rideau Hall. Ken Maybee retired from the Canadian Forces in 1993 and took up the position of Executive Director (later President and CEO) of the NB Lung Association, one week after his retirement from the Canadian Forces. In typical fashion, Ken took the Lung Association to new heights, re-defining its focus and direction. He put the NB Lung Association on the national map, with leading, high profile campaigns on clean air, anti-smoking and other environmental issues. As President and CEO of the NB Lung Association, Ken was a leader, innovator and tireless advocate for the Lung Association and the causes he championed. This is typical of the man he was.

Ken was named to the Order of Canada in July 2012. He was due to receive this prestigious award, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, on 23 November from the Governor General at Government House in Ottawa. Ken was named to the Order of Canada in the category of Social Services, for his efforts to improve air quality and the health of Canadians. His efforts have been described as follows “Mr. Maybee’s personal crusade to make human health the driving force for air quality policies and legislation has been extraordinary”. He helped develop air quality standards, including the air quality health index used in many cities. He was instrumental in the introduction of the NB Clean Air Act and the Smoke-free Places Act, which, among other things, bans smoking in vehicles containing children under the age of 16. Locally, he helped the City of Fredericton organize the Canada Day parade and made the parade green by not allowing motorized vehicles to take part. Ken was an avid sportsman. In his younger years he enjoyed playing basketball, volleyball, tennis and curling at a competitive level, and he was a long-standing regular at the Fredericton YMCA. More recently, he enjoyed playing “Texas hold’em” poker with the boys twice a week. Ken was a long-time resident of New Maryland, a proud Frederictonian and a pillar of the local community. He was a fine New Brunswicker and an outstanding Canadian. He was charity-minded and always active in community organizations. In his earlier years, he was active in the Lions Club in Oromocto. Throughout his life he was very active in the Masonic Order, the Shriners and was a member of Royal Canadian Legion. Ken was a friend and mentor to many; he constantly looked to help those less-advantaged members of the community. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and the many people who admired and respected him.

Ken was cremated at McAdams Funeral Home. A memorial service to honour Ken’s memory will be announced at a later date. Donations in Ken’s memory may be made to a mental health charity, if so desired. On-line condolences may be made at ADSUM 21 October 2012

October 16, 2012

(Fredericton)  The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) is urging New Brunswickers to have their say on what New Brunswick’s protected areas future should look like.  Government recently released a map of proposed protected natural areas and is seeking public input until November 15.

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB, said, “New Brunswick citizens have a chance right now to show their support for permanent protection of wilderness areas that the New Brunswick government has identified for potential protection.  While this is a good step towards a protected areas network, much more is needed to truly protect New Brunswick’s wilderness heritage.”

“Near Fredericton, candidates include natural areas in the Nashwaak River watershed, which has recently faced an increase in pressure for industrialization.  Candidates in southeastern New Brunswick include forests that protect the Turtle Creek drinking water supply for Moncton.  Natural areas along the Magaguadavic River and the Piskahegan Stream are the largest candidates in the southwest.  In northern New Brunswick, large forested areas along the Dungarvon River, the Tabusintac River, the Portage River and the Restigouche River have been included in the list.  The candidate protected areas are important old forests, headwaters of significant fish streams, or sensitive wildlife habitats.

“Unfortunately, not all of the proposed areas will make the actual protection list, so it is important that people who have on-the-ground knowledge of any of the candidate protected areas provide that information to government.   Government will choose which areas will go forward for full protection as a result of these public consultations.”

Clowater said, “These potential protected areas will move us from having 3% of the province protected, to having about 4.7% protected.  New Brunswick would still be 2nd to last in Canada in the proportion of our land that is permanently protected from development, with only half the proportion that is, on average, protected in the other provinces and territories.  We’ll need to protect all of these areas, and many more, if we’re going to do our fair share to protect the wilderness and wildlife that is so important to our culture, tourism and regional economies.”

Five open houses are planned over the next two weeks, starting with one in Fredericton on Oct.16, 6:00 pm, Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre.  CPAWS NB is providing links to the maps, background information, the schedule of open houses, and more at canoeing small2


For Immediate Release


LaPierre’s report is opinion, not science

Dr. Louis LaPierre’s report on public feedback about the New Brunswick government’s shale gas industry proposals was released on October 15th, and is already attracting comments and criticisms. A retired biologist, LaPierre was commissioned by the provincial government to hold public meetings and gather public reaction concerning the government’s 116 recommendations for regulating a potential shale gas industry. In his report, Dr. Lapierre wrote that there were few comments about the government’s regulations at those meetings. Instead, the public spoke mostly about matters concerning the environment, health, water, and so on. In the concluding remarks of his report, Dr. LaPierre makes recommendations about a moratorium, a phased-approach to development, and outlines a structure for managing gas distribution.

Today, 18 community groups supported a statement suggesting that LaPierre’s recommendations and conclusions were based on opinion, not science.

Dr. Jean Louis Deveau, a social scientist with the Fredericton Chapter of the Council of Canadians, says that while LaPierre’s report appears to contain a fairly accurate representation of the concerns expressed at the public meetings, the report’s conclusions and recommendations are unfounded.

“Dr. LaPierre was directed to report on people’s concerns about the government’s recommendations for regulating the industry,” Deveau explains.

“People spoke and wrote to him. Those words and textual submissions were his data. In a proper scientific analysis, his conclusions should have been derived from the actual data he received and might have read something like this: ’New Brunswickers were faced with too many unknowns about the shale gas industry to be in a position to provide meaningful input on the government’s recommendations for regulating the industry. Therefore, they chose to voice their concerns about water, the environment, health, and so on.’ However, instead of linking his conclusions to those data, Dr. LaPierre chose to debate the pros and cons of a moratorium, a phased approach to industry development, and a management structure for a future shale gas industry in New Brunswick. In short, there is nothing in his data to support any of those concluding remarks.”

Deveau suggests that LaPierre has actually failed to follow the science-based approach advocated in his own report and that his report amounts to little more than an opinion piece.

Conservation Council of New Brunswick—Stephanie Merrill

Council of Canadians, Fredericton Chapter—Jean Louis Deveau

Council of Canadians, Saint John Chapter—Carol Ring

Darlings Island Fracking Intervention Naguwigewauk—Doug Foster

Friends of UNB Woodlot—Mark D’Arcy

Hampton Water First—Chris Rendell

Harvey Environmental Action—Terry Wishart

Memramcook Action—Patricia Leger

Maliseet Grand Council—Alma Brooks

New Brunswickers Against Fracking—Stan Donovan

Our Environment, Our Choice—Mike McKinley

Parents Against Everyday Poisons—Michael Stoneleigh

Penniac Anti-Shale Gas Organization--Eric Hadley

Quality of Life Initiative—Otty Forgrave

Tantramar Alliance—Marilyn Lerch

Upriver Environment Watch—Ann Pohl

Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance—Brad Wood

Water and Environmental Protection for Albert County—Deborah Carr


Colleen Brown and her beautiful voice singing "Tumbleweed" with the nesting birds of Dick's Island in the background. 

You can see this, and many other NB Nature Session videos, at


New Brunswick Citizens and Groups

Presented with Environmental Awards

This past weekend two environmental awards were presented to New Brunswick citizens and environmental groups in honour of exemplary service to their community. The prizes, awarded by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), recognize significant efforts by citizens and citizen groups toward the protection and restoration of New Brunswick’s environment.

Community Forests International, an organization based in Sackville with a mandate to promote community-based ecological forestry both in New Brunswick and internationally, was honoured with the the Gaia Award. According to Mary Ann Coleman, Executive Director of the NBEN, “Community Forests International received the award for their determined effort to maintain stewardship of Whaelghinbran Farm and to develop an on-site training centre to inspire youth and future generations to work towards achieving the health and diversity found within the Acadian Forest Eco-region prior to European settlement.” Recently, Community Forests International purchased Whaelghinbran Farm a unique 650-acre farm and Acadian forest woodlot in the Sussex area on which they will be farming organically and practicing ecological forestry. The multi-stakeholder community-based ecological forestry practiced at Whaelghinbran will be an example of alternative approaches to woodland management in the region.

The Phoenix Award, dedicated to those who have been “through the fire,” was presented to Mark D'Arcy, of the Friends of the UNB Woodlot. Coleman stated, “Mark received this award in recognition of his bold leadership, creative strategies, and tireless devotion to raising public awareness about and mounting resistance to shale gas exploration.”

The awards were presented during the Annual General Assembly of the New Brunswick Environmental Network, which was held in Sackville on October 13, 2012. During the assembly, member groups of the NBEN participanted in various workshops, discussions, and field trips in the area. As well, participants enjoyed the Soup Fest fundraiser hosted by local Sackville community groups in which Sackville-area potters donated bowls that Soup Fest participants took home as keepsakes. Soup Fest participants also enjoyed the music of two Sackville musicians, Michael Duguay and Steve Haley.

EOS Eco-Energy

Go Transpo: Connecting Southeastern New Brunswick

October 9, 2012

Transportation has been a long-standing issue in Southeastern New Brunswick for many people in our community. A regional initiative has been launched in response to this issue. Go Transpo is an initiative led by EOS Eco-Energy Inc. in partnership with the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation (ESIC) and the Westmorland Albert Community Inclusion Network Co-operative Ltd.. Its aim is to work with communities to create a model for accessible and sustainable transportation in Southeastern New Brunswick.

The first stage of the Go Transpo project is to develop a feasibility study. The feasibility study will help identify what sort of transportation is needed in our communities and how to efficiently meet those needs in a way that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. 

Go Transpo is well into its community engagement process and is looking for input from across the community. Surveys are available in both official languages at various organizations throughout the region and can also be found at most municipal offices. The survey can also be completed online at

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to contact the project coordinator, Meggie, with transportation related concerns and inquiries:


EOS Eco-Energy / Éco-énergie Inc.

Phone: (506) 536-4487


EOS Éco-énergie

Option Transpo : Un choix pour les gens du Sud-Est du N.-B.

Le 9 octobre 2012


Pour de nombreux habitants de la région, le transport est un problème de longue date dans le sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick. Une initiative régionale – Option Transpo – a été lancée pour trouver une solution à ce problème. Menée par EOS Éco-énergie, en association avec la Société de l’inclusion économique et sociale (SIÉS) et le Coopérative réseaux d'inclusion communautaire Westmorland Albert ltée, cette initiative a pour but de collaborer avec les collectivités concernées pour créer un modèle de système de transport durable et accessible à tous dans le sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick.

La première étape du projet Option Transpo consiste à réaliser une étude de faisabilité. Celle-ci aidera à déterminer le ou les genres de transport dont on a besoin dans nos collectivités et comment répondre efficacement aux besoins définis, d’une  manière économiquement, socialement et écologiquement durable.

Le processus, entamé sur la base de la participation communautaire, en est au stade de la consultation des membres de la collectivité. Des questionnaires dans les deux langues officielles sont disponibles partout dans la région, dans divers organismes et dans la plupart des bureaux municipaux. Le questionnaire du sondage peut aussi se remplir en ligne à

Les organisations et les personnes intéressées qui auraient des questions ou des préoccupations au sujet du transport sont invitées à prendre contact avec Meggie, la coordonnatrice du projet :

EOS Eco-Energy / Éco-énergie Inc.

Téléphone : (506) 536-4487

Courriel :

NBCC Woodstock will be the site of the 2nd Richard Olmstead Sustainable Living Expo (ROSLE) on Saturday, October 13, 2012, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.The Expo will feature speakers, workshops, displays and booths to showcase goods and services that relate to living locally in a sustainable lifestyle. (See Attached)

The Expo is an opportunity for those who produce or provide goods and services that make the Woodstock Region more self-reliant and energy efficient to share their resources, knowledge, and expertise with the wider community. Exhibitors include individuals, businesses, and organizations that provide goods and services, including arts, recreational, and educational services, in the greater Woodstock region.

From crafts people to passive solar homebuilding, from local food to energy efficiency experts, from healthy eating to products for sustainable living, the Expo showcases the many ways businesses and community organizations are working to build a stronger, more resilient region.

Dr.Wayne Groszko ( Chemical Oceanography, Dalhousie University) is the Key note speaker. His topic is"Solar Energy: AWorldTour – Learn about exciting new developments in solar energy around the world, with connections to how you can use solarenergy here at home in New Brunswick."

Speakers and work shops include:

10:00 am  Dr. Donald Wood - Geothermalenergy

11:00 am  Peter Steeves - Heatpumpsoptions

12:00 pm  SimplyforLife-..Cookingdemonstration

1:00 pm    Dr.Wayne Groszko - Keynote address

2:00 pm    Sara Mudg - Efficiency New Brunswick Opportunities

3:00 pm    Garth Hood – Passive solar Houses Web:

Breakfast with healthy local foods is being provided by Simply for Life for $7

from8:00 to 9:30 am

The local sponsor the Sustainable Energy Group will release its free new booklet at the Expo called ‘From Oil Dependency to Renewable Energy – An Energy Transition Guidebook, Assessment, Planning, and Resources’.

The guide book demonstrates many practical ways how people can reduce their own environmental footprint while living healthier lives, with numerous examples of local

people already doing this.

Richard Olmstead (1954 - 2010), one of the founding members of SEG in 2004, was passionate about educating people to consume less and to be mindful of our impact on the environment. The Expo was Richard's idea, and is in his memory.

Falls Brook Centre – Activities for all ages. Admission to the Expo is only $2, children under 12 free.

(Submitted on behalf of the Sustainable Energy Group)


Hurray! New NB Nature Session video!

This one comes from Pickerel Pond Nature Preserve, a 78 hectare preserve adjacent to Maquapit Lake in Queen’s County, donated to the Nature Trust in 1993 by 9 anonymous donors! (learn more:

Enjoy LES HAY BABIES with their new song "My Love".
September 28, 2012

“I just spent my 79th birthday spraying bleach under my house because the moving ground has caused the septic lines to sag and pull apart, allowing sewage to leak into the ground.”

- Georgia McCabe

Residents of Penobsquis, New Brunswick began seeing damages to their properties in 2004 caused by what residents believe are mining related ground movements. Since 2004, water wells went dry, walls developed cracks, roofs began to buckle, and septic and sewage lines have separated.

In July of 2010, a complaint was lodged with the New Brunswick Mining Commissioner against Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. This began a legal battle that has lasted more than two years. Twenty four residents were asking for Justice for their community. Most of the 24 residents withdrew their complaints on September 10, 2012, but Georgia McCabe, Heather McCabe and Beth Norrad are continuing with the Hearings.

“How can a company call itself a responsible citizen when a senior in the community where they operate is living in a home with a buckling roof, sagging walls, and leaking sewage? Potash Corporation experts admitted there has been almost a meter of sinking beneath our home in a 10 year period. How could it not cause damage?” says Heather McCabe.

On Monday, October 1, 2012 at 9:30am, the Hearings, being held at the All Season’s Inn in Sussex, will come to a close when the three remaining complainants give their closing arguments.

Media Contact: Heather McCabe Tel. (506) 433-3390


The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is proud to present * New Brunswick Nature Sessions *! Musicians from across Canada were invited out to some of the Nature Trust's beautiful nature preserves this summer to participate in "take-away" shows. Take-away shows are performances that are recorded in one single take, no do-overs or editing. All the Nature Sessions were filmed by Joseph Crawford, a student from Renaissance College who helped the Nature Trust design our Youth in Nature Campaign with his classmates. Please enjoy this NB Nature Session video by Oh No, Theodore performing at Clark's Point Nature Preserve near St. Stephen, NB.


Follow us on Twitter: @NatureTrustNB

Like and Share on Facebook:

Like and Share our videos on YouTube:


More NB Nature Session videos are available on the Nature Trust's website at: with new releases every week! Please write to with your comments. Enjoy!

(Personal Submission to Dr. Louis LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group, June 19 2012 Hillsborough, New Brunswick by Margo Sheppard)

 (Page 1 of 4)

Dr. LaPierre and members of the Shale Gas Group, I would like to express my concern with shale gas development as informed by my experience assessing the environmental impacts of major infrastructure projects from both the proponent’s and regulator’s perspectives


After twelve years in environmental assessment and policy in the Ontario government, I moved here and since 1996 have worked for the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, fourteen of which as Executive Director. I currently chair the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, an umbrella group for conservation trusts across this country. I am on the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Protected Natural Areas in New Brunswick because I care about the future of this province’s wild spaces and species. I speak as an individual, not as a representative of any group.


“The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home”


As a fresh-faced environmental planner back in the early 1980s, I studied and consulted the public on new highways. Walking pastoral landscapes I made lists of flora and fauna, knowing that a four-lane expressway would soon flatten it all. I assured people that the effects would be small; the forests and farms soon to be bisected would heal or just cease to be. The need for the highway, the sustainability of the highway or the urban sprawl and loss of countryside it caused I never questioned.


How blithely my ministry paved over Class I agricultural land in the interest of cars and development; how irreverently we dismissed the public’s concerns-- about homes lost, villages split in two—mostly, as facilitators of this upheaval, in order to be able to sleep at night. To address the true impacts would have meant to listen to people and actually prevent the destruction before it started. From the perspective of today, how I wish I had questioned authority and challenged all we did. Alas I did not. I was a few years into an environmental planning career when I discovered my role was to simply minimize, or downplay the damage in the public’s eyes, not actually prevent it.


That was in 1984; global population was 4.8 billion and C02 levels in the atmosphere were 340ppm. Environmental concern worldwide was growing, but there was not the vast store of scientific fact, understanding of the threats or their causes that we have today.


“…but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly”


Fast forward to 2012, global population is 7 billion according to the United Nations and the C02 concentration in the atmosphere is close to 400ppm. The cumulative effects of 160 years of industrial activity supercharged by fossil fuels and unconstrained consumption have caught up with us in the form of climatic changes that are going to eclipse any remediation that could, but likely won’t, be administered. At least we now know how to avoid causing further harm, don’t we?


Yet here we are tonight, discussing the merits of still another emissions-intensive fossil-fuel development: shale gas. Clearly we have learned nothing from our current predicament and past failures. Or perhaps we have learned, but the lure of short-term profits, temporary jobs and delusions of budget surpluses militate that we proceed blindly down this path, unquestioning and uncritical of its folly.

I do not criticize the shale gas group. I criticize its political masters who, encouraged by industry representatives and growth advocates, are willing, no, eager, to sacrifice the clean environment and landscapes of New Brunswick to further their careers and twisted ideas of what it is to have true prosperity. The waste of time, money and human energy that this shale gas misadventure has caused, when we should be focusing on clean, green, sustainable activities and business ventures to actually benefit New Brunswick and bring our children home, is so huge it makes my head spin and my heart break. […]

 [Please Note: Download attachment Hillsborough Shale Gas Presentation]


The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is proud to present * New Brunswick Nature Sessions *! Musicians from across Canada were invited out to some of the Nature Trust's beautiful nature preserves this summer to participate in "take-away" shows. Take-away shows are performances that are recorded in one single take, no do-overs or editing. All the Nature Sessions were filmed by Joseph Crawford, a student from Renaissance College who helped the Nature Trust design our Youth in Nature Campaign with his classmates. Please enjoy this NB Nature Session video by Goshawk (aka Scott Mallory) performing "Play the Fool" at Minister's Face Nature Preserve on Long Island.

More NB Nature Session videos are available on the Nature Trust's website at: with new releases every week! Please write to with your comments. Enjoy!

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Including official preserve opening ceremony (outdoors) and

field tour by boat of Southern Wolf Island Nature Preserve (weather permitting)

Please join the Nature Trust of New Brunswick for their annual general meeting. Following the meeting there will be an official preserve opening ceremony on Pea Point and a tour, by boat, of nearby Southern Wolf Island Nature Preserve.

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Blacks Harbour School

800 Main St.

Blacks Harbour, NB

E5H 1E6

12:45pm – 1:20pm:

Annual General Meeting

1:30pm – 2:00pm:

Presentation: Official opening ceremony of Connors Bros. Nature Preserve at Pea Point (outdoors)

2:15pm – 5:00pm:

Field tour by boat of Southern Wolf Island Nature Preserve (weather permitting)



Please RSVP to or phone (506) 457-2398

Alan Weatherley passed away on September 1, 2012. Alan was a leader in environmental work in Cambridge Narrows for a number of years as a member of the Washademoak Environmentalists and a founder of the Canaan-Washademoak Watershed Association. Alan authored two novels and a non-fiction book on conservation. Alan will be greatly missed by all those who knew him, particularly those working to protect Washademoak Lake. Our condolences go out to Robena, his wife and partner in environmental work, and his family and friends.




Alan Weatherley passed away on September 1, 2012 at  Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton, NB, Canada after a brief illness.  He was born on March 28, 1928  in  Sydney, Australia, and was a third generation Australian. In his childhood Sydney was already a city of a million and a half, but with its warm temperate climate, its airy spaces, the proximity of its great Harbour and splendid ocean beaches it provided a uniquely open environment. Like many boys of his time, Alan roamed the spacious parklands and hills of its eastern suburbs. He loved the outdoors and developed an early fascination with nature and with sports. His career as a zoologist began when he attended Sydney University, from which he graduated in 1949 with a BSc. He received an MSc from the University of Tasmania in 1959 and a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1961. He began his major scientific research in freshwater biology (especially on fish) in Tasmania (1951-57), continued in Scotland (1958-60) and subsequently at the Australian National University from 1961-73 where he became a Reader in Zoology. He continued fish investigations as Professor of Fishery Biology at University of Tromsø, Norway (1974-75) and as Professor of Zoology at the University of Toronto (1975-93). He was a co-founder of the Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) and its President in 1965. He was also Secretary of the Ecological Society of Australia and a member of the Executive Committee of the Great Barrier Reef Committee. He was active for many years in teaching and supervising students in numerous aspects of animal biology. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the ASL in Australia and the Publication Award of The Wildlife Society in North America for his scientific research and writings. He and his wife Robena Weatherley were active members of Science for Peace for ten years in Toronto. He also became involved in nature conservation problems beginning in 1961, and continued to work seriously in conservation with Robena, centred on the area where they lived in New Brunswick following his retirement from the University of Toronto. Alan and Robena were early members of Washademoak Environmentalists and later were co-founders of the Canaan-Washademoak Watershed Association. Alan was keenly interested in the arts of writing and painting and during his retirement became a serious painter and published two novels as well as a nonfiction book on conservation. In all intellectual matters that interested him Alan maintained a critical and often skeptical approach and looked for strong, reliable evidence. During his life he was active in recreational sports, including cricket, tennis and squash, and remained very interested in participating as a spectator  when unable to participate actively.  His love of the outdoors, nature and scenery continued.

 Alan Weatherley is survived by his wife Robena of Cambridge-Narrows, NB, his stepdaughter Lisa Jeffrey  of Toronto (Robena's daughter) and his two children from his first marriage to Jacqueline Robin (Katherine of Canberra and Robert of Sydney, Australia) as well as his granddaughters Kylie of Canberra (Katherine's daughter) and  Eleanor (Lisa's daughter).

According to Alan's wishes, there will be no funeral service or formal visiting. A memorial will take place on Monday, September 17 at 7 pm at the  Cambridge-Narrows Municipal Building. No flowers by request. For those wishing to make donations in Alan's memory, we suggest that they  may be made to the following organizations:

1. Everett Chalmers Hospital Foundation, Fredericton, NB">

 2.  Conservation Council of New Brunswick

      180 St. John St

    Fredericton, NB E3B 4A9

3. Canaan-Washademoak Watershed Association

    c/o 25 Colonial Heights, Fredericton, NB E3B 5M2

McAdam's Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences may be made online at

(Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations

To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association


(Page 11 of 11)

Our Remaining Important Questions


The government’s position has been that it is okay to continue exploration, because if we find shale gas development to be unsafe for either the people or the environment, we can simply stop it at that point. SWN had a three-year license to explore during which it pledged to spend $47 million dollars. The government recently passed a new regulation to grant them extensions of that license.
"If a large portion of the medical profession in
the province… says it is not safe to continue…
can they be overridden by a political decision?"
It is hard for us to conceive that after allowing the company to explore for 5 years and spend $47 million dollars that the government would say, ‘Sorry SWN, we don’t think it’s safe, you’ll have to go.’ Even if the government did say that, we suspect the action would be followed by costly lawsuits and extreme damage to the province’s reputation.
The only sane approach is for a moratorium or ban to be started immediately before industry invests millions more. However, if the government wants to persist in what many consider a reckless policy, we want to know several things:


- First, what will be the legal instrument used to deny leases to companies who have lawfully fulfilled their license agreements?

- Secondly, who will decide on what is safe, what will be the decision-making process and who will provide the criteria to decide the standard of ‘safeness’?

- Will the entire decision making process by open to public comment?

- If a large portion of the medical profession in the province, backed by other medical societies around the world and supported by studies, says it is not safe to continue, given their commitment to the ethic of “first do no harm”, can they be overridden by a political decision?

- What percentage of leaking gas wells or water well contaminations will our ‘safety standards’ allow as ‘acceptable’? How will that be decided?

- If local communities have different conceptions of what is safe, what can they do?

We need answers to these basic questions before we can give any serious consideration to the government’s current position.




(Posted on behalf of the Taymouth Community Association)

A Response to the New Brunswick Government’s White Paper on Recommendations
To Govern the Development of Shale Gas From The Taymouth Community Association
(Page 1 of 11)

We wish to make it clear at the start that we do not believe any regulation or current technology can make shale gas and oil extraction safe enough to justify its presence in New Brunswick, or elsewhere. Public consultation on the issue of shale gas extraction is critical, as the risks to health and economic and political well being touch every New Brunswicker.
"We ask you to recognize us as the serious
and intelligent citizens we are"
Rural New Brunswickers who are careful observers of their surroundings provide useful perspectives on environmental health.Our proximity to Fredericton’s universities, government offices and scientific businesses means that we count among our residents highly qualified researchers in all the areas relevant to the issue of shale gas, including geologists, ecologists, hydrologists and more. Many, of course, have labored for us in anonymity, because of their fear that their jobs or businesses may suffer retribution.
Our views have sometimes been characterized as mere ‘emotional’ responses. It is not the word ‘emotional’ that offends us, since one would be a fool not to have an emotional response to threats to one’s health, family, and way of life. It is the ‘mere’ part that is troubling our multigenerational experience with local land and water issues and the countless hours spent researching this issue by those of us with academic training. We ask you to recognize us as the serious and intelligent citizens we are. [...]


The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is proud to release the first of many NB Nature Session music videos. Filmed throughout the summer at Nature Trust of New Brunswick nature preserves across the province, these videos feature some of Canada's talented musicians performing in take-away shows. A take-away show is a music video filmed in a single take (no cuts, edits or re-trys). These videos happened to be filmed in untraditional locations, like on top of a mountain, in an abandoned cabin, overlooking a lake or out in a canoe.


Check out these NB Nature Session videos by

1. Owen Steel, Mike Trask & the Park St. Elementary School Choir   2. Ingrid Gatin and   3. Pirate Soul

on the Nature Trust's newly updated website!


More videos are being released all the time. Check back frequently, or stay in touch with us through our social media or by signing up to be a "Friend of the Nature Trust" (

The federal government is seeking comments on the proposed management plan for the Yellow Rail, a species of special concern.
For more information: Samara Eaton, Canadian Wildlife Service, (506) 364-5060

Hello one and all,

Community Forests International (CFI) is launching our 2012 fall workshop series with a 2 day ecological forestry course led by professional forester and author Jamie Simpson.  We are also offering workshops and short courses on watercourse restoration, chainsaw safety and maintenance, and low impact forestry & horse logging in the month of October. Further workshop information will be posted on our website as it becomes available. We would love if you could join us this fall!

Ecological Forestry: Backyard Woodlot Management with Jamie Simpson / September 1 & 2, 2012

Watercourse Restoration Workshop with Peter Hardie, Daniel Cassie and Estelle Drisdelle / October 13, 2012

Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance Certification with Jeff Williams (Worksafe NB) / October 19, 20 & 21, 2012

Low Impact Forestry & Horse Logging Short Course with Peter de Graaf / October 22, 23 & 24, 2012


For more information on our workshops click here or on the specific courses above.

All the best,


CFI Team

The herbicide spray season is upon us. The aerial spraying of Crown land plantations started on August 8 and continues until September 17. If you are wondering if you are in line for dousing, you can check a great online map at As well, the Conservation Council of NB has more information at

For the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation


The Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Land Conservation was established to mark the 25th anniversary of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick (NTNB). As Honorary Patron of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick will present the award in recognition of an individual or organization’s significant contributions to protection of natural heritage through land conservation in New Brunswick.

Successful nominees will have a significant impact on land conservation in New Brunswick through leadership, direct action, and long-term involvement as well as other significant contributions. Eligible nominees may include those individuals or organizations involved in stewardship, volunteerism, donation of lands, or building effective partnerships and must meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • An individual or entity who has contributed in a sustained manner over a significant period of time
  • An individual or entity who has contributed significantly in a relatively short amount of time
  • A donor of funds or property
  • A volunteer, steward and/or member
  • A corporate or community partner
  • An individual who contributed significantly in the past and should be recognized posthumously
The first award will be given at The Nature Trust of New Brunswick’s 25th anniversary celebration in October 2012. The Award may not necessarily be awarded each year, depending on the recommendation of the award committee.

The Selection Committee shall have five members as nominated by:
  • The Atlantic Regional Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • The New Brunswick Minister of Natural Resources
  • The Regional Director of the federal Department of Environment
  • The Board of Nature NB
  • A Chairperson named by the Board of Trustees of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick
Nominating and Selection Process

  • Nominations may be in French or English, typewritten, and submitted with the following components:
  • Nomination letter – a cover letter including the name, address, telephone number and organization of both the nominee and nominator(s).
  • Biography – a brief summary (not more than three pages) of the nominee’s educational background, positions held, civic and professional involvement and other relevant data.
  • Accomplishments – a narrative based on the selection criteria for the Award (not exceeding three pages) explaining the basis for the nomination that, in the opinion of the nominator(s), qualifies the nominee for the award, with such supporting evidence as may be appropriate for the Selection Committee to consider.
  • References – letters from at least three persons in support of the nomination.
  • The Selection Committee will make the judgment solely on the basis of the information received and will not seek additional information about any of the nominees.
  • Please note that, in making its decision, the Selection Committee attaches considerable importance to the nature and the quality of the documentation submitted by the nominators.
  • Nominations received for the Award in any given year will be considered automatically for the next two years after receipt of a renewal of nomination letter by nominator(s).
  • In any given year, the Selection Committee may decide not to give an award
The names of the nominees and the ranking of the nominees by the Selection Committee shall be treated confidentially
Please contact the Nature Trust of New Brunswick for nomination forms
Or visit our new website which will be launched September 1st, 2012

I am back in the office after my maternity leave and looking forward to talking to everyone and catching up on what`s been going on!

8b072d4f47fa16702f8c7356d2c88ee8 XL

From Milieu Defensie
0692a4e584defe6544ca2abbf7dd2502 M

The NBEN’s staff are taking the challenge will you? June 3- June 9th the National Commuter Challenge gets underway and competitors are asked to try and find active ways to get to work! We here at the NBEN are challenging you as an individual or group to enter today.

Why not join it:

  • Is a week-long event during Canadian Environment Week (June 3 9, 2012)
  • Is a friendly competition between Canadian cities and workplaces
  • Encourages Canadians to leave their cars at home
  • Rewards walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting
  • Celebrates active and sustainable transportation
  • Is nationally hosted by Sustainable Alberta Association
  • Is locally hosted by City Coordinators who support workplaces
Click here for the rules and to enter

For those concerned about maintaining environmental protection, the recent federal decision to deny the applications for 3 species to be included the Species at Risk list is a red flag. The species, 2 plants and 1 dragonfly, might be found only in a few locations, but from my viewpoint that is the whole point of having endangered species legislation - to protect species that are vulnerable to being lost without anyone mounting a defence or, perhaps, without anyone even noticing. Our duty, as a species with big brains, is to ensure that all species are preserved, big and little. On top of this, the Sierra Club is raising concerns that the Species at Risk legislation itself is also on the chopping block.   For more info


For the small community of Stoney Creek, oil drilling has been part of rural life for over 100 years. When water tests revealed methane, diesel and barium in a resident’s well water, local community members were not surprised. Many residents get their drinking water from uncontaminated springs or bottled water. However, interest is rising around the contamination, especially after NDP leader Dominic Cardy called for a moratorium on drilling in Stoney Creek, in response to the test results. The findings of laboratory technicians, who were able to light the water on fire, is consistent with community members’ stories about lighting matches at the faucet.

The story of Stoney Creek is emerging just before New Brunswick Day celebrations around the importance of clean air, land and water. Citizens are coming together in Fredericton on August 6 for a series of events. Click here for more information and to see the full schedule.




Ward 10 Residents Request for Shale Gas Consultation Meeting Shut Down

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – Provincial government officials deny local grassroots residents group request for participation in province wide information and consultation process on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

On June 28th a letter was signed by many residents attending a crowded Ward 10 Residents Association meeting in Fredericton.  The letter responded to concerns by many residents that they were not being sufficiently informed and consulted on shale gas development as originally promised by Premier Alward in recent speeches and the election.

"Over the last several months, Fredericton residents, including those in Ward 10, have expressed concerns about not having been invited to participate in a meaningful conversation about the development and regulation of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick,” said Leah Levac, Fredericton city councillor for Ward 10. “In my conversations with residents, many have expressed a desire to receive more information about the province's plans regarding shale gas development so that they can develop an informed opinion on the matter". 

The letter asked, "Dr. Louis LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group to meet with the Ward 10 Residents Association in Fredericton (before the end of July 2012) so our residents can be informed on shale gas regulations and have a voice in this important process.”

The following morning, the letter was mailed and emailed to the Natural Gas Group as well as copied to provincial and city politicians. On July 20th, the Ward 10 Residents Association was told that it could meet with Dr. LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group for 20 minutes. The group was also told that it would have to share the 20 minutes with the Friends of the UNB Woodlot, and that no more than three Ward 10 residents were allowed to participate.

The group feels that attempts to respond to Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup's announcement which read, “we look forward to hearing from New Brunswickers [during Dr. LaPierre's consultation]” (press release), and to his open invitation to any “groups or associations” to meet with LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group are being undermined.

“The shale gas public consultation tour missed a majority of our population by not even going to Moncton, Saint John or Fredericton,” said Ward 10 resident Taeyon Kim.  “How can even three Ward 10 residents make any informed decision in 20 minutes shared with another group?”

The Ward 10 Residents Association will only participate in a consultation process that is democratic and transparent.  On October 3rd 2011 David Alward gave a speech to the Moncton Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Greater Moncton on shale gas development and the importance of public information and consultation on this issue.  Mr Alward referred to “town hall and information meetings” where MLAs could “hear directly from their constituents on this important issue.”  Later in the speech he added, “It’s a discussion we as New Brunswickers all need to have.”

“I met with my MLA, Brian MacDonald, and he agreed with our request for a meeting with the Natural Gas Group, that allows residents to become fully informed and consulted on shale gas development in New Brunswick,” said Ward 10 resident Garth Hood.  “He said he would do everything within his power to help us get this public meeting.”

The association fully agrees with Mr. Alward that, “It’s a discussion that we as New Brunswickers all need to have.” The association does not agree that Ward 10 residents have been given any open and democratic public opportunity for informed discussion. This is why the Ward 10 Residents Association is repeating the original request:

The Ward 10 Residents Association requests that Dr. LaPierre and the Natural Gas Group hold a public meeting within Fredericton so all residents can be fully informed and consulted on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Posted For Ward 10 Residents Association

Media Contact: Taeyon Kim

Last month, on June 27, Tides Canada launched a new campaign focusing on cooperation and collaboration amongst Canadians. The "Strange Bedfellows" campaign is just that- an unlikely alliance of companies, industry associations, labor unions, governments and citizen organizations, coming together to support the development of a Canadian energy strategy. Participants are now calling on Canada’s provincial premiers to work together to develop a strategy that will ensure energy security and jobs while addressing climate change and environmental protection. The premiers are meeting in Halifax in late July for the Council of the Federation summit, and are expected to address the development of an energy strategy.

Tides Canada is hoping that participants from diverse backgrounds can put aside their differences and work together. After all, according to Sarah Goodman, Tide Canada's vice president of business development and services, "[…] successful partnerships are often built between people from different points of view or different walks of life." For more information, or to get involved, visit their webiste.

Another recent result of people coming together is the online petition to save the Experimental Lakes Area. The petition was a global effort, with signatures from 58 different countries (one for every experimental lake), asking the Harper Government to reverse the decision to close the world-renowned research facility. The petition can be seen on this website,  along with comments from the signatories.

Join us for a clean-up and trail work day on our beautiful Grand Manan Island preserves!

Who: Nature Trust members and volunteers

What: A day of trail maintenance, sign installation and beach clean-up on the Charlotte Isles Preserves of Grand Manan Island

Where: Thomas B. Munro Shoreline & Meredith Houseworth Seashore (Whale Cove) Memorial Preserves

When: August 11th, 9:30am to 3:00pm

Meet at the Long Eddy Point lighthouse (entrance to Munro) for 9:30am. Meet at the Meredith Houseworth preserve for 12pm.

What to Bring: Please bring a lunch & lots of water. Wear work appropriate attire and prepare for the weather!

Ferry Travel: Leaves Blacks Harbour at 7:30am – arrives 9am on Grand Manan. Leaves Grand Manan at 3:30pm – arrives in Blacks Harbour for 5pm.

Scientists staged a mock funeral at Parliament Hill in Ottawa yesterday, July 10 2012, in order to shine a light on the seemingly restrictive political atmosphere to sciencesor really any voice that could raise concerns, ideas, or evidence which goes against the current federal political direction. 

These scientists have hit my emotional nail on the head – I have been mourning this year the loss of our country’s  positive global image and accepting that my idealistic view of Canada as a nation that can debate tough issues by weighing opinions and science is one that has been suppressed by a small unified financial vision.


I know it is horrible to have such sad thoughts on another beautiful day! However, it is the beauty of the people I know, our natural environment, and the small victories that keeps me going, hoping, and contributing to a healthier nation – thanks to those scientists on Parliament Hill for doing the same. 


The 'No Child Left Inside' programme is an initiative of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) that seeks to reconnect New Brunswick's youth with the natural heritage of the places they inhabit. The programme endeavours to facilitate outdoor experiences for New Brunswick students by finding creative ways of teaching existing curriculum in natural spaces on school grounds or nearby. Our pilot project is a partnership with the Keswick Ridge Community School (K-Gr. 8), School District 18, and a number of community groups and organizations. This video highlights activities at the school so far.


Here's a Video from Fundy Baykeeper's Alewife Run 2012, calling for the restoration of gaspereau (alewives) to the St Croix River!

Clark Phillips passed away on June 27, 2012. He was leader in many organizations and on the forefront of social and environmental concerns, including organic agriculture and forestry. Clark was a pioneer in establishing organic farming in this province and across North America. His lifelong dedication to this work had a significant impact and will not be forgotten. He played an equally important role in the woodlot sector, encouraging and practicing forest management techniques that promote and restore the Acadian forest. He was active in developing the working land trust movement and his farm and woodlot are now owned by Community Forests International, to be maintained in a working state and managed in a sustainable manner in perpetuity. Clark was a force for change and will be truly missed.

A memorial service and visioning session for the future of Whaelghinbran Farm will be held on July 15th from 12:00 - 5:00 at Whaelghinbran Farm (2002 Cedar Camp Rd., South Branch, Kings Co., NB E4E 5E7). Please feel free to bring a dish as the event will be a potluck. In lieu of sending flowers please consider making a contribution to Community Forests International or to the New Brunswick Community Land Trust.


From Jeff Schnurr, Community Forests International

On Wednesday, June 27th, between the hours of 4-5 AM, we lost our friend, our mentor and our inspiration, Clark Phillips. There is no question of filling his shoes -- we can’t. They’re too big, too knowing and too meaningful. But we can continue his legacy. We will honour Clark by continuing his work at Whaelghinbran Farm.

We learned from Clark.

We learned that if you believe in something, you stand up for it. For Clark, everything was a protest. Farming was a protest. Cooking was a protest. Living a rich life with his lifelong partner, Susan Tyler was a protest for all that is good and meaningful. There is no one I respected more in this world and as hard as it is to lose him, we were able to make his dream a reality. When Clark left us he was worried about the farm, but he was not worried about succession. His last request was that we finish the second planting of potatoes.

We planted the potatoes. We’ve always wanted our work to count for something and on Wednesday, June 27th it did. It hurt but there was a hidden joy in knowing that we were continuing his belief - we were protesting on those fields for everything Clark believed in.

Somehow, on the farm, life and death makes sense. It seems natural on a landscape that will outlive us all. As the water and sun feed the plants, we care and toil in the earth. We are a temporary part of the landscape and we will work to make our time count. I will not last forever. Community Forests International will not last forever. But together we know that we can work towards something that is greater than ourselves, like Clark did. We can live our beliefs on the land and work with those we love and care for.

Clark, we will miss you.


From ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network)

Dear Organic Community,

I'm afraid I have more sad news to share with you: One of our sector's organic pioneers, Clark Phillips, passed away early Wednesday morning, on June 27th.

Many of us were fortunate to know Clark Phillips, who, with his amazing partner Susan Tyler, first started farming in 1966 near Saint John. The both became enthusiastic organic practitioners in the 70's when they moved to their present location of Whaelghinbran Farm (near Fundy National Park, NB).

Clark was tirelessly involved in all aspects of the organic community. Of particular significance in the Atlantic Provinces is that Clark was involved with the initial organization of a regional organic organization––which of course, became what ACORN is today. The list of his contributions and accomplishments within the organic movement, the co-operative movement, and to ecological forestry is impressive and inspiring:

  • Clark was the foundational president of ACORN;
  • Clark and Susan were awarded the Gerrit Loo Award for outstanding contributions to organic agriculture in Atlantic Canada in 2004;
  • He helped to establish the New Brunswick Chapter of The Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA NB);
  • He served on the Board of OCIA National and International;
  • He served on the Advisory Council for the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada Advisory Council (2002-2005)
  • Clark was also a Board member of the Organic Federation of Canada, representing New Brunswick's interests.

Clark was also involved with the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick, Southern New Brunswick (SNB) Wood Marketing Executive Board, SNB Wood Co-op Board and was the SNB director at the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners, (NBFWLO).

When I detail the list of Clark's life work, I am humbled, amazed, and inspired that he accomplished all of this in addition to his primary occupation: a farmer and sustainable woodlot owner. There is no doubt that he is and has been a shining example to us all in the organic sector of an engaged and dedicated citizen of a better world.

As some of you knew, for the last two or three years, Clark and Susan were preparing to retire from actively farming the land, and embraced the role of mentoring the next generation on the farm and in the forest. Their successors are a group of passionate New Brunswicker’s called Community Forests International, who have been working alongside the duo to transition this tremendously important knowledge to a whole new generation of farmers and forest stewards.



Remembering Clark: An obituary by his partner Susan Tyler














































Last week, the UN conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janiero wrapped up and the world barely noticed. While the Earth Summit of 1992 was an important development on the scene of environmental sustainability, 20 years later the world is more than ever stuck in a political impasse.

Even though this year’s summit was the largest event ever organized by the UN, the end result was a document that satisfied no one. Canada provided no constructive input, rather opting to play the role of saboteur, "furiously pedaling backwards".

One journalist, from the UK guardian, calls Rio + 20 the "greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war". He says that it is becoming evident that governments will not act to protect the planet, and his opinion is echoed by many voices.

But let’s not leave it up to the governments to decide the fate of the planet.   

It has already been 20 years since the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, The Earth Summit. During the Earth Summit, many principles had been adopted

As the tradition wants it, it’s now time to reopen the discussions between industrialized and developing countries, so together, they can look forward for the next 20 years to safeguard the Earth and the human race. The theme for 2012 is sustainable development

Secretary-general of the United Nations Ban ki-Moon thinks it is crucial that the different countries’ leaders agree on a plan for the future. He knows Rio+20 won’t solve all the problems, but he thinks that if we "do not take firm actions, we may be heading towards the end – the end of our future". The United Nations up a list of seven critical issues that will be discussed in the Conference: jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans, and disasters.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government is trying to prevent the other conference members from agreeing to end fossil fuel subsidies, even though it could save the country millions of dollars. 


Here is a very interesting video by the United Nations Development Program for the Rio+20 sustainable developments.  

While all eyes turn to Rio de Janiero as world leaders meet to discuss sustainable development, other things are happening in Canada. With the approval of Bill C-38, a blow has been dealt to environmental regulations and free speech across the country. Parks Canada employees have recently received letters stating that they are now forbidden from criticizing the federal government. Contact with journalists is being restricted to selected individuals, and employees are being told that they have a "duty" to support the Harper government.

While environmental groups and organizations may be being hit hard lately, they are still keeping up their work. The David Suzuki Foundation is hosting a phone-in, or ``telephone town hall`` to discuss with Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age and Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. The questions that will be discussed will revolve around the benefits of being immersed in Nature, such as "Can being in nature make you smarter?". The conference call will be on Sunday, June 24 and it will be nation-wide, and anyone can participate for free. Click here for more information and to register.

The Lieutenant Governor's Award of Excellence in Land Conservation was established

to mark the 25th anniversary of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick

(NTNB). As Honorary Patron of The Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Honourable

Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick will present the award

in recognition of an individual or organization's significant contributions to

protection of natural heritage through land conservation in New Brunswick.


Let us know if you would like to nominate someone or visit our website to fill out a nomination form! 

Bill C-38 is causing a lot of discussion lately, whether it be among environmentalists, unions, politicians, or citizens. Everyone has something to say, or an opinion on the subject. Individuals from across Canada are gathering to work together, despite their differences.

            In New Brunswick, people and groups worried about the changes that the “budget” will bring to environmental regulations are gathering in Fredericton tomorrow, June 14th. The gathering will take place at the office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, at 11am. There will be a press release during which individuals will speak about the impacts of Bill C-38 on marine life and public safety.

            Today, elsewhere in the province, citizens are mobilizing to try to convince their conservative Members of Parliament to vote against bill C-38. Gatherings will take place in Bathurst, Moncton, St Stephen, Hampton, Saint John, Fredericton, Edmundston, Grand Falls and Miramichi.

This protest will also be happening across the country, in order to convince 13 conservative MPs to vote against bill C-38 to stop it from being implemented.

The NBEN hosted 8 member and associated groups at a workshop held on June 11th in the context of the Grand Opening of the Moncton Peace Centre . The groups were invted to present their projects in a short visual presentation, followed by a "Meet & Greet" in the NBEN office located on the 3rd floor of the new Peace Centre tower in Moncton. This was a great occasion for everybody to meet in person, mingle and discuss. The attending groups were:

EOS- Eco Energy inc.

Cornhill Area Residents Association, contact: Jane Bradbrook

CCNB Action, South-Eastern Chapter

Common Front for Social Justice

Moncton Earth Day

Post Carbon Greater Moncton

Community Forests International

Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance

The controversial Bill C-38 is getting a lot of publicity lately, both from opponents doing everything they can to stop it, and from conservative politicians desperately trying to push support for it. Not only will the federal budget slash environmental regulations on land, but it will also affect fisheries. The Fisheries Act is one of the strongest environmental laws, which is going to change with the new Bill C-38. The Fisheries Act is meant to stop the destruction of fish habitat, but also, protect fish stocks and watersheds. With the new bill, the Government could delegate to provinces or industry the rights of the fish habitat: it would be legal to damage the lakes and the rivers of our country. As provinces do not have laws to protect fisheries, this leaves the path open to major development from industries, destroying fish habitat with no law to protect them. This is why ForestEthics is suggesting that Canadians call Minister Ashfield to protest.

LeadNow is calling on citizens to take part in a national day of action, on Wednesday, June 13 2012, 5:30 pm at local MP offices across the country. They are calling their campaign ``13 heroes`` because the goal is to pressure 13 conservative MPs to vote against bill C-38, which would force it to be revised and changes to be made. Visit for more information and to get involved.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been paying a visit to France, to meet the new French president, François Hollande. When he was asked about Environment Canada funding groups who are opposed to energy development projects, Harper answered that if groups don’t share the opinions of the government, their funding will be cut.

This Thursday, June 14th, the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NBSPRN) is hosting a fascinating workshop. It is called "Research on Citizen Engagement: Practices, Processes and Delivery". Participants will have the opportunity to discuss research relevant to citizen engagement, and be part of an important dialogue between researchers, the government, communities, businesses and non-profit organizations. The event will be held at the St Thomas University Conference Center, 368 Forest Hill Road Fredericton, NB.

Inquiries about the NBSPRN and their event can be directed at

Monday’s Blackout Speakout campaign has been deemed a success by organizers. It drew support from around 500 organizations, representing millions of Canadians. In fact, it seems to have been so successful that the conservative government dispatched 10 ministers to hold press conferences across the country to inform Canadians about the “other side of the story”. While conservatives have been pushing support for bill C-38, others have been concocting plans to oppose it. Debate around the new federal budget is escalating, both online and offline, including input from former Fisheries Minister, John Fraser, who has joined the many voices opposed to the bill.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party is leading the debate in parliament with support from some Liberal members. May plans on proposing hundreds of amendments to the omnibus bill, which will slow down the approval process and allow representatives time for discussion and debate. May hopes her amendments will force the Conservatives to revise the bill and remove a considerable amount of items that do not directly relate to the budget. In fact, because the bill includes so many unrelated items, May says that it does not pass the test of being a real omnibus bill- which should have a single central theme. It is estimated that Elizabeth May’s tactics has a 50-50 chance of succeeding.

With May battling bill C-38 inside the house, the public are also vocalizing their opposition on the streets because the bill is seen as a direct attack on democracy. Using pots and pans, people across Canada are standing in solidarity with the oppressed and striking Québec students while showing their disapproval of bill C-38. Evidently, politicians and environmental groups are not the only ones dissatisfied with the budget: ordinary citizens are now joining forces to voice their concerns about the ominous omnibus bill.

Join Jim Goltz, renowned naturalist and conservationist, for a guided nature walk at Shea Lake Nature Preserve! Shea Lake is the Nature Trust’s oldest preserves and an incredibly valuable piece of land for New Brunswick’s endangered plant species, particularly orchids.

     Owned by Acadian Timber, the Nature Trust has managed and monitored Shea Lake since 1992. Jim has been an integral part in the maintenance of this preserve and his passion and ability for understanding each component of the ecosystem while astound and inspire.


When: June 16th, 2012   10am-3pm

Where: Shea Lake Nature Preserve

We will meet at the World’s Largest Fiddleheads, across from the Irving, in Plaster Rock, NB at 10am sharp. We should be back at the Fiddleheads around 3pm.

Bring rubber boots, water and lunch!


You do not want to miss this!

On May 17, the provincial government released documents containing new measures and recommendations on the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick. The documents, prepared by the Natural Gas Group, include 116 recommendations to ensure the environmentally responsible management of the industry, and are divided into short-term (104) and long-term (12). In addition, the government announced it will put in place a maximum fine of $1 million for breaches of the Oil and Natural Gas Act.

The Natural Gas group is now seeking feedback on the new measures and recommendations, and the public is invited to provide comments until July 18, 2012.Led by environmental expert Professor Louis LaPierre, the group will be conducting a citizen engagement tour across the province to collect feedback on the discussion paper. Stopping in selected communities across New Brunswick, they will offer a public open house as well as a public meeting, where citizens will be allowed to ask questions regarding exploration, development or other topics of interest.

The documents are available for download and can be found in the shale gas area of our public consultations page.

Here is a list of host communities for the tour:

●    Wednesday, June 6 - Chipman
●    Monday, June 11 - Stanley
●    Monday, June 18 -Salisbury
●    Tuesday, June 19 - Hillsborough
●    Wednesday, June 20 - Grand Falls
●    Thursday, June 21 - Bathurst
●    Friday, June 22 - Bouctouche
●    Monday, June 25 - Blackville

Feedback can also be made by contacting the Natural Gas Group at 1350 Regent Street, Room 150 Fredericton, NB E3C 1G6 Fax: (506) 453-3671 Email:

The Natural Gas Group is also open to meeting privately with groups or associations, who are asked to e-mail their requests.

May 23, 2012

Premier David Alward

Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement

Centennial Building
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

Dear Mr. Alward:

Our government is not living up to its commitment to engage with citizens. Shale gas mining and development is one of the most important and controversial issues facing New Brunswickers today. During the past 12 months, thousands of urban and rural New Brunswickers have been moved to action. Some have had their well water tested. Many have participated in protest marches for the first time in their lives. Others have sent letters to newspaper editors denouncing our government’s involvement in the promotion of this industry. All of these well-informed people are cognizant of scientific evidence that confirms that shale gas extraction threatens our air quality, surface and groundwater, health, property values, and quality of life.

Despite your promise in a Moncton speech last October, our MLAs have failed to hold town hall and information meetings “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue.” So, on May 10th, a group of citizens organized a debate in Fredericton on the pros and cons of shale gas mining. Eight government representatives, including you, were invited to participate. Based on our government’s booklet entitled Citizen Engagement and Responsible Government (, we fully expected our government’s active participation in this debate. Instead, our government declined the invitation.

The e-mail from Mr. Troy Lifford, PC Caucus Chair, attempting to explain our government’s refusal to participate in this debate, was perplexing. Mr. Lifford said our government has yet to decide whether it endorses the development of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

This statement seems contradictory to the result of the “free vote” last December, in which Conservative MLAs voted unanimously in favour of “responsible and regulated development” of this industry. Moreover, the Dept. of Natural Resources’ Web site, Natural Gas from Shale, declares, “Welcome to our web site dedicated to shale gas exploration and development,and goes on to address only the alleged benefits of this industry. This does not sound like the words of a government that is undecided on the issue. Nor have Minister Northrup’s repeated refusals to place a moratorium on the industry pending further study sounded like the stance of a government that has yet to decide.

In April 2012, when Mr. Northrup gave a new shale gas exploration license to Windsor Energy, a company which had previously ignored exploration regulations, he claimed it was to avoid an expensive lawsuit. But in December 2011, our government showed no such reluctance to pass legislation that breached the province’s agreement with Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, legislation to facilitate the economical distribution and use of natural gas. That does not seem to be the action of a government that is undecided about developing a shale gas industry.

Our government just days ago claimed to have developed “world-class” regulations to control the shale gas industry. That, too, does not seem to be the action of a government that is undecided about developing a shale gas industry.

All of our government’s public statements, actions and attitudes have made it clear that it favours the development of this industry in the province, regardless of the well-known and scientifically verified dangers it presents to our people. In such a context, Mr. Lifford’s declarations of government neutrality on the issue seem a disingenuous dodge to avoid accountability for the government’s approach to this issue, a dodge that disrespects all of our cherished democratic principles of public consultation and transparency on important issues affecting the people.

We believe that it is your responsibility, as Minister Responsible for Citizen Engagement, to guide our government in an honest and open discussion of all of the implications of shale gas development in New Brunswick, and to be straightforward and forthcoming about our government’s standpoint towards this extractive resource industry.


Concerned Citizens of Penobsquis – Beth Nixon

Conservation Council of NB –Stephanie Merrill

Corn Hill Area Residence Association of NB – Jane Achen

Council of Canadians – Carol Ring

Friends of Mount Carleton – Jean Louis Deveau

Friends of UNB Woodlot – Mark D’arcy

Hampton Water First – Chris Rendell

Harvey Environmental Action Team – Terry Wishart

Memramcook Action – Patricia Léger

New Brunswickers Against Fracking – Stan Donovan and Mary de La Vallette

Our Environment, Our Choice –Mike McKinley

Parents Against Everyday Poisons – Stephanie Stoneleigh 

Penniac Anti-Shale-Gas Organization – Eric Hadley

Quality of Life Initiative – Otty Forgrave

Sierra Club Atlantic – Hazel Richardson

Stanley Area Action Group – Robert Valiquette

Sustainable Energy Group – Sam Arnold 

Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking – Marilyn Lerch 

Upper Miramichi Stewardship Alliance - Bradley Wood 

Upriver Environment Watch- Ann Pohl

Corinne Hersey, 724 Irvine St., Fredericton, NB.

Susan Linkletter, 291 Scott Road, Salisbury West, NB

I just have to say it Scott Vaughan is one cool Environment Comissioner! Check out his frank 2012 report on how Canada’s faltering on our climate change commitments and the at times overlooked impacts of contaminated sites. Click here to access the whole report online.

I also included one of his videos here but, click here, if you want to watch some more of his videos – they make his job seem accessible.

In response to the federal government’s recent attacks on environmental groups, through budget cuts and weakening environmental regulations, the country’s leading environmental organizations are planning a black out campaign- vowing to darken their websites on June 4th 2012.


The Sierra Club has called the government’s approach a “war on nature and democracy”, and blacking out websites is one way they are planning to do to fight back. Help spread the word via social networks and visit the website for more information:,


If you want to take personal action consider signing the petition to Save Canada’s Environmental Laws:

On June 9th we will symbolically join the alewife (gaspereau) migration up the St Croix in canoes, kayaks, motorized boats, and on foot to call for the opening of the St Croix River to this ecologically important fish. We will hold a rally on the water between St Stephen and Calais. What better way to support a migrating fish than by joining them!

The Passamaquoddy Alewife Group will be leading a two day, 110 mile, relay run on June 9 and 10. They will run from Sipayik, Maine to Grand Falls (where the alewife are currently being blocked) and on to Mud Lake Stream where 4000 year old alewife bones have been found. If you are interested in participating in the run, contact me directly at 506-529-8838 or and I will pass on your information. The two events will meet at 3pm (AST) / 2pm (EST) at Calais/St Stephen for the rally.

Event details:
Date: rally at 3pm (AST) / 2pm (EST), Saturday June 9th (storm date June 10th)
Location: The rally will occur on the water between St Stephen and Calais. You may participate by canoe, kayak, row boat, or shore side. Closer to the rally you will receive detailed instructions on where to put in your boats and where to park.
Any one wishing to enter a motorized boat please contact me directly at 506-529-8838 or

As you know, Alewife (Gaspereau) have been blocked from over 98% of their historic spawning habitat on the St Croix River since 1991 (with a Maine law enacted to this effect in 1995).The St Croix River has potential to have the largest run of alewives on the Eastern Seaboard, hosting runs up to 2.6 million in the late 80’s. After a low of 900 in 2002, alewife have made a modest comeback to 25,000 last year, still a far cry from the 80’s when they were free to run the whole river.

Restoration of alewife to the St Croix matters for the River, the Bay, and the Gulf of Maine. Alewives play a critical ecological role serving as an important source of food for groundfish, marine mammals, and a host of birds and terrestrial animals along the rivers where they spawn. Abundant alewife runs can also serve as a source of bait for the lobster fishery. They aren’t bad eating for us either!

Nature NB’s Nature Champions
Nature NB and the Charlotte Street Arts Center invite families to become Nature Champions and participate in a Community Planting Day on May 26th (rain date May 27th) in Fredericton. The goal of Nature NB’s Nature Champions program is to offer youth (ages 6 to 12) the opportunity to participate in an action-based conservation initiative by working with the community in creating conservation spaces. These spaces will include a butterfly/bird garden, bird houses and bat houses. Youth will play an active role in the planning and implementation of each space and will work closely with knowledgeable naturalists to understand the importance of these spaces. Additionally, all spaces will include interpretative signs to educate the public on the importance of the spaces and Nature NB will create a green guide that will help engage youth in the long-term. In addition to providing learning and skill development opportunities to participating youth, creating these conservation spaces will helps increase available habitats for various flora and fauna in urban/suburban settings thus enhancing biodiversity at a local scale. Urban communities are often losing touch with their natural heritage. This disconnect leads to apathy when it comes to protecting our important natural areas. Engaging citizens, especially at a young age, can increase support and pro-active participation in conserving our natural biodiversity.

On May 26th, we will be creating a Wildlife Friendly Space at the Charlotte Street Arts Center in Fredericton. We hope to encourage families to participate!

Background of Nature NB: Nature NB (New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists Inc) is a charitable non-profit provincial organization linking naturalists across the province. It has a mandate to celebrate, conserve and protect New Brunswick’s natural heritage through education, networking and collaboration. Nature NB has over 30 years of nature education and conservation experience and represents a strong network of over a 1000 naturalists. In addition to encouraging a better understanding of the natural environment and awakening concern for our province’s natural heritage, Nature NB recognizes the importance of actions to preserve and maintain that natural heritage. Nature NB's Summer Youth Nature Camps (SYNC) offer kids aged 9 to 14 the opportunity to explore nature through interactive programs in a fun camp setting. Nature NB also supports Young Naturalists’ Clubs and leads nature based education in schools around the province. Among other areas of activity, Nature NB leads projects related to Important Bird Areas, biodiversity and protection of species at risk. (e.g.: Piping Plover and Chimney Swifts).

This event is funded through:
NB Wildlife Trust Fund, NB Environmental Trust Fund and TD Friends of the Environment

Contact information:
Vanessa Roy-McDougall
Executive Director, Nature NB
Fredericton -- One year after the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) called on the federal government to create 12 new marine protected areas by December 2012, the good news is that it is making progress in designating many of them as legal entities. However, CPAWS is concerned that the conservation measures the government is proposing once these areas are designated for protection may be too weak to be effective.

Today, CPAWS is releasing a 20-page report, “Is Canada on track to create 12 new marine protected areas by December 2012?” assessing progress over the past 12 months and noting areas of concern.

“We’re giving the federal government low marks on its progress in negotiations with other levels of government, industry and local communities to designate sites in the Bay of Fundy that we’ve highlighted as potential new marine protected areas, “ says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS New Brunswick Chapter.

Progress on 9 of 12 sites in past year

Out of the 12 marine areas CPAWS has highlighted for action by December 2012, CPAWS has observed significant movement by the federal and other levels of government towards designating three as protected areas, some progress in creating another six, and limited or no progress on the remaining three.

Progress towards designating marine protected areas has been most significant for three sites off the coast of British Columbia – in the Southern Strait of Georgia, in Hecate Strait and surrounding the Scott Islands. In each of these locations, the federal government has made significant advances in consultations and negotiations to establish formal marine protected areas within the past year, and is moving on to the next stages required to finalize them.

In six more locations, off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Nunavut and Quebec, some progress towards designating new marine protected areas has been made, although more significant steps are required to move them towards completion rapidly.

No progress on protecting 3 important marine ecosystems, including Bay of Fundy

The areas where no notable progress at all has been made towards protection are in the Bay of Fundy, the South Coast Fjords off Newfoundland, and the “Big Eddy” off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

“We are very concerned with the lack of protection in the Bay of Fundy, which stands in stark contrast to the incredible ecological richness of the Bay, and its international importance for humpback, fin and endangered North Atlantic right whales, migratory shorebirds and seabirds. We would like to see Parks Canada come forward with a proposed National Marine Conservation Area that includes strong conservation measures to conserve these values into the future,” says Ms. Clowater.

CPAWS has assessed progress towards protecting these sites on two sets of criteria: one for steps taken in the process to formally establish them as protected areas, the other for creating meaningful conservation measures to protect the long-term health of these marine ecosystems. The latter measures, based on leading science, include establishment of “no take zones” for fishing and rules against other forms of industrial development such as oil and gas drilling.

In all of the 12 areas CPAWS has identified, rare and important forms of sea life deserve protection, ranging from leatherback turtles, to dolphins, right whales and other types of whales, birds including puffins and Cassins auklets, and fish including cod and Atlantic wolffish.

Canada still has huge catch-up job

“We will be watching progress carefully over the next six months to see how much closer Canada gets to meaningful protection for these 12 marine areas by the end of 2012,” says Sabine Jessen, CPAWS national oceans program manager.

“This will be an important sign of how well we’ve laid the groundwork for more marine conservation in the years ahead. Canada still has a huge catch-up job to reach our international commitment of establishing networks of marine protected areas in all of our oceans,” adds Jessen.


For media interviews, contact:

Roberta Clowater, 506-452-9902;

To view CPAWS’ full progress report, executive summary and more about each of the 12 marine areas, visit

CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1963, we’ve played a lead role in protecting over 500,000 km2 of public land and water. With 13 chapters across Canada, over 50 staff and 50,000 supporters, we work with governments, industry, Indigenous people and local communities to conserve our country’s irreplaceable nature. Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water.

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is very excited to tell you about the launch of our new smartphone application called Deep Map Eco. This application, available for free, lists all our preserves, highlighting the flora and fauna that call these unique New Brunswick landscapes home, and provides detailed maps and directions through your smartphone’s geolocator technology. The people of New Brunswick can also find news and updates to keep them in touch with New Brunswick’s changing face of conservation. Events and outdoor activities are also listed on the app, encouraging modern naturalists to get outdoors and discover what New Brunswick has to offer. And much more!

Now available on iTunes for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch users!;ls=1

There's a great new internet resource that anyone working on climate change issues will find handy.  This look at the global world gives a good idea of exactly what is going on. The intro video is one and a half minutes long and fascinating to watch. 

Check it out by clicking here!


Four million dollars have been awarded in the 2012 Environmental Trust Fund announcements. The projects are divided into six categories:

●    sustainable development (59 projects, $1,609,500);
●    restoration (11 projects, $238,000);
●    protection (36 projects including 20 Environmental Risk Assessments, $444,500);
●    education (70 projects, $1,344,250);
●    conservation (17 projects, $390,500); and
●    beautification (two projects, $36,000).

The media annoucement is at

And a complete list of awards at

The chart below illustrates the awards by sector.



Solid Waste
































































































 © 2018 NBEN / RENB