Call for Nominations: Environmental Journalism Award


The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is pleased to announce nominations are open for our 4th annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award. By recognizing the best environmental reporting, this award seeks to inspire journalists in all media, and showcase reporting that addresses important environmental issues in New Brunswick.

To be eligible for this year's award, entries must be predominantly about an environmental subject occurring in or affecting New Brunswick, and must have been published, broadcast, or posted in 2018.

Submit nominations to the CCNB Southeast Chapter Environmental Journalism Award Committee at ccnbsoutheast@gmail.com by July 31, 2019.

Full details: https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/en/call-for-nominations-2019-beth-mclaughlin-environmental-journalism-award/
The Conservation Council's Pathway to a Cleaner Future Eco Buildings Tour is tomorow June 1st from 10:00 am to 4:30 with locations in the greater Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton regions.  Whether you want to visit New Brunswick's first solar farm or see an off-grid micro brewery in action or speak with homeowners who have built or converted their homes to be completely off-grid, net zero or to passivhouse standards, or find out more about a four season greenhouse where you can grow your food year round, visit Saint John's largest rooftop solar project, learn more about Saint John Energy's community renewable energy projects and so much more.....be sure to register today at https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/en/reserve-your-ticket-to-a-low-carbon-future-today/

Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

[A slightly edited version of this appeared in “The Telegraph-Journal” and ”The Daily Gleaner” on May 17, 2019, under the the title ‘Public not well-informed on climate change’.]

I recently met a crew from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who were installing a new structure to count salmon smolt on the Tay River. In recent years the count has been disappointingly small, so new and better information is needed.

It’s always heartening to see dedicated people working to save our environment, but this morning I was left feeling that their task was like trying to hold back the tide.

I had just read the United Nations report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It concluded that human activities have pushed one million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

The reporting agency’s chair stated, "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide."

Seems like the kind of consequential information everyone needs to know. But mainstream media barely covered it. Since most people still get their news from mainstream media, the citizens, politicians, pundits and publishers who will shape our future will do so in ignorance of the real world.

We just witnessed a similar failure of the press in the debate over carbon pricing, which took place with hardly any discussion of the essential context of the climate crisis.

Carbon pricing began simultaneously with the release of a momentous scientific report showing that Canada is warming at two or three times the rate as the rest of the world. One of the consequences is increased precipitation.

Days later another study reported that the arctic, as we have known it, is gone. High temperatures, that crush records by double digits, have altered almost every part of the arctic ecosystem, pushing it into a new state of existence.

This will seriously impact global weather patterns, especially in our Northern hemisphere. One researcher warned, “What happens in the arctic does not stay in the arctic.”

Other studies note that feedback loops, like melting permafrost (twelve times faster than thought), are increasing the speed and intensity of warming, and that the latest climate models show that former ‘worst case’ scenarios may, in fact, prove to be the norm.

These reports each contained enough important news on causes, effects, and necessary actions to provide daily news stories for weeks.

Actual media coverage lasted one or two days for the Canadian story, while the other stories received essentially no coverage.

These studies were all released as eastern Canada was enduring the second ‘once-in-a-generation’ flood in two years. A responsible media could have informed the public of the connection between these stories and events.

Instead, week after week, media climate news consisted solely of variations of the PC party’s political narrative, that a modest price on carbon pollution was somehow an assault on our freedom.

This ‘debate’, consisting almost entirely of conjecture, crowded out the factual context of the climate crisis. One would think that carbon pricing, rather than a climate crisis, was threatening our world.

Another missing story was that new audits of the emission targets of the Paris climate treaty reaffirmed that “any production from new oil and gas fields, beyond those already in production or development,” will take us beyond safe limits.

This means that exploiting new tarsands or shale gas will render our other climate plans meaningless.

Perhaps, not knowing this explains how Premier Higgs, pundits, publishers, and economists can express concerns for flood victims in one breath, while in the next breath promote new fossil fuel projects whose development will help to ensure a growing supply of future flood victims.

If they had good climate information, politicians might be aware that raising roads won’t help us, unless we do something to keep future floodwaters from rising even higher.

The media’s failure to provide context has consequences.

The effort necessary to slow climate change is often compared to fighting World War II. It will require universal consensus that recognizes the vastness of the problem, the substantial work required, and that some sacrifices may be needed, but also that the task is necessary, we can do it, and that any hardships are justified by guaranteeing a liveable future for ourselves and our children.

The climate crisis is the definitive ‘we are all in this together’ issue.

The press has made getting this necessary consensus much harder. The outrage fostered by its focus on the politics of carbon pricing, was not balanced by sober reasoning about limiting fossil fuels.

Angry people, whipped into a divisive frenzy by a one-sided argument, are not easily drawn back together.

In one of the least reported parts of the Appeals Court carbon pricing decision, the five justices unanimously agreed that, “climate change has emerged as a major threat, not just to Canada, but to the planet itself.”

We all need to be privy to the same proof that convinced the Court of that conclusion. Providing it should be the daily job of the press.

Otherwise, the press simply becomes the enabler of ignorance. And as Mother Nature keeps reminding us, “what we don’t know can hurt us.”

Le RENB est très excité de partager ce que nous espérons accomplir cette année ! Voici un bref aperçu de notre plan pour appuyer des groupes environnementaux au cour de l’année à venir. Jetez-y un coup d'oeil !

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OUR 2019 CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN IS NOW LIVE!

As we get ready for our 2nd season on the farm and the new-and-improved Regenerative Farming Certificate program, we need YOUR help to continue doing this work.

We need your help to create a new generation of community-led farms, one person at a time. Help us train people to feed their communities as part of a new food and climate paradigm.

As a community-based farm, we are changing our focus from maximizing profit to maximizing production for greater community impact. With reduced revenue and public funding in 2019, we are asking for the crowd’s continued help in funding our current shortfall, so that this next cohort of farm learners (15 participants for the 2019 season!!) can get a meaningful education in feeding our (their) communities without taking on an undue burden.

Please give generously, or share the campaign widely, whatever gift you may be able to offer. No donation is too small and every effort is deeply appreciated.

We are here for community, and we need you to be here for us!

Hayes Farm - A project of NB Community Harvest Gardens Inc.

24 avril 2019 : Pour diffusion immédiate

Le Nouveau-Brunswick est en transition vers une économie à faible émission de carbone. Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour les emplois dans la province ? Comment nos tâches contribuent-elles à aider les gens à mener des vies de façon durable ? Une coalition de groupes environnementaux et de syndicats se rencontre à Saint-Jean le samedi 27 avril. Ensemble, nous allons démontrer notre solidarité et notre engagement à travailler conjointement pour trouver les solutions pour réussir une transition vers une économie à faible émission de carbone au Nouveau-Brunswick.

Pourquoi marcher le 27 avril ? Comme d’autres Néo-Brunswickois, nous aimons notre province et croyons qu’investir dans une économie à faible émission de carbone est la voie à suivre. Le Réseau pour une économie verte a calculé que le Nouveau-Brunswick pourrait créer presque 25 000 années-personnes d’emploi en cinq ans. Des investissements stratégiques dans l'efficacité énergétique et dans les économies d'énergie, l’énergie renouvelable et le transport en commun, et une transition juste pour les travailleurs fourniraient des emplois qualifiés qui ne pourraient pas être transférés à d’autres provinces ou territoires, jetant les bases solides d'une croissance et d'une prospérité continues ici dans la province.

La Marche pour les emplois de demain débutera à 13 h le 27 avril au King's Square à Saint-Jean.

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Partenaires :
Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Nouveau-Brunswick (FTTNB)
Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB)
Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada - Atlantique (AFPC)
Sustainable Energy Group - Carleton County
Rural Action and Voices for the Environment (RAVEN)
Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association

Contact (entrevues en français et en anglais) :
Lynaya Astephen, Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association, lynayam79@hotmail.ca | 506-653-7959

Page Facebook de l’évènement :
https://www.facebook.com/events/1013807895476875/

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From intense rain, wind and ice storms bringing flooding and power outages, to hotter days and seasons bringing dry summers and ticks, a lot of us are feeling anxious and on edge about climate change in New Brunswick.

We need strong leadership from our provincial government to do everything it can to protect our families’ health and communities’ safety from the effects of climate change and extreme weather we’re already seeing today.

This year, make your Earth Day count a little extra by writing Premier Blaine Higgs about your concerns and your call for serious action on climate change.

We’ve made it easy for you to speak out. Use our letter-writing tool below to let the Premier know where you stand and what you want. Our pre-written letter includes recommendations for smart climate solutions. We strongly encourage you to add to this letter with your own personal story of how climate change makes you feel and how it has affected you and your family.

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Let’s tell Fredericton City Council it’s time to move beyond plastic bags.

Waste is an ever-growing issue that far too long has been shrugged off. From New Brunswick’s lack of a household composting program, recyclables that are diverted but not actually being recycled, to the acceptance of excessive packaging or use of single-use plastics such as cutlery, straws or plastic bags, we know we can do better — and the time is now.

Last year university students launched a petition for a province-wide ban on plastic bags following polling that showed more than 70 per cent of respondents in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John are in favour of the move. New Brunswick’s Minister of the Environment, Jeff Carr, recently told CBC he’s watching how other jurisdictions are tackling the issue and that he wants to see more conversation on the topic in N.B. before moving forward. The conversation has already started in Moncton, so, Frederictonians, let’s get talking about it!

Sign our petition to Fredericton City Council today and join us in calling for a ban on single-use plastic bags in Fredericton. An excerpt of the petition is below, followed by the full text and the form where you can add your name electronically.

Want to help us collect signatures? Download your own print version and ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign, or pick one up at our office, Conserver House (180 St. John Street, Fredericton) or at participating businesses across town.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION TODAY!

You may have noticed some curious posts about the federal carbon tax on the Government of New Brunswick’s Facebook Page and website.

Premier Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative government’s materials on the carbon tax and what it will mean for New Brunswick cherry-picks facts about the issue, misconstrues how we got here, and (until recently, after pushback from New Brunswickers and groups like your Conservation Council), didn’t even tell us how to claim the federal Climate Action Incentive in our 2018 taxes (an incentive which, for the majority of New Brunswick households, analysis shows will more than cover the extra costs associated with a carbon tax).

Between the Higgs government’s misleading information on the carbon tax, and Andrew Scheers robo-texting campaign, there is a lot of politics dominating what should be a serious ‘all-hands-on-deck’ conversation about tackling climate change — what Canada’s leading health professionals call the ‘greatest public health threat of the 21st century.”

Climate change is already affecting New Brunswickers. An issue this serious and this urgent should go beyond politics. Protecting the places we love should be something we all get behind and give our best, honest effort.

But, slowing climate change is complicated business. And it’s made all the more confusing by stubborn and disconnected leaders who would rather deny climate change and abandon their duty to slow it and protect us from its effects.

How did we get here? How does a carbon tax work? Why is it important? What more should we be doing to protect families from increasingly severe flooding, devastating ice storms, and flipped, unpredictable weather?

Our Dr. Louise Comeau has prepared science-based, non-partisan fact sheets to help answer these important questions. If you are worried about climate change, but not sure where to get a sincere explanation of what all this is about, these resources can help. Give them a read. Share them with friends and family. And please, reach out to us if you have any questions (506-458-8747; info@conservationcouncil.ca).

For the love of New Brunswick, we can — and must — prepare for a future with less pollution and safer communities.

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“Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript - March 11, 2019

The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.”

Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

There was little doubt why the Justice asked this question. The Court had received overwhelming evidence about climate change and its calamitous effects. 

Our group submitted judicial decisions from courts around the world, based on the principle that increased greenhouse gases emissions from anywhere, no matter how small the amount, add to the global totals that threaten everyone. 

Clearly the courts are now recognizing the obvious about climate change and the elemental part fossil fuels play in it. 

Saskatchewan and its co-plaintiffs, realizing that being “deniers” is no longer politically acceptable, proclaim concern about climate change. But their claims ring hollow, as all these provinces have recently elected Progressive Conservative governments whose climate policies belie their words.

Sadly, New Brunswick is a case in point. Its signature energy policies of a new shale gas industry and a resurrection of the Energy East bitumen pipeline contradict concern about climate change, despite official rhetoric to the contrary.

The first necessity to slow climate change is to stop creating additional greenhouse-gas emissions from new fossil fuel sources. This is the very thing that carbon pricing is designed to deter.

How could New Brunswick meet any greenhouse gas limits while starting a shale gas industry that would create huge volumes of emissions from leaking methane and from burning large quantities of diesel fuel and gasoline?

Reviving Energy East is a fantasy few experts consider viable, not least because its approval would have to consider the climate effects of its upstream and downstream emissions. It didn’t face that requirement last time around, but would now.

By misreading climate change considerations, and fossil fuel market forces, our government’s policies both suffered setbacks.

After promising that Corridor Inc. had millions of dollars to immediately invest in local shale gas, the premier appeared to be blindsided when Corridor said it wouldn’t be drilling new wells until 2021, and only if it found a financial partner.

This should not have been a surprise. The gas market is flooded. Shale gas has never been profitable for lenders and investors, who are now demanding long-delayed paybacks. The easy money spigot is closing, making it tougher to get financial backing.

A recent Supreme Court decision, finding environmental clean-up obligations have precedence over repaying loans, has made banks warier about fossil fuel investments.

Mr. Higgs has countered with the position that local shale gas could replace gas from Nova Scotia’s about-to-close Sable Island facility. However, gas suppliers, noting that a new local shale gas solution was years away, announced they would supply the Maritimes with western gas via the pipeline that was the centrepiece of Energy East. 

With Energy East dead, and with no apparent market justification for local shale gas, Mr. Higgs now gives us a truly convoluted policy rationalization for both.

He would have us believe a local shale gas industry (years in the making) would convince gas pipeline companies and western producers to give up their Maritime business, and once again go through the near-impossible task of Energy East approval.

Besides needing dozens of things to go exactly right, the many years required would bring this plan to fruition at the very time when fossil fuels must be reduced by nearly half, and when carbon pricing would be at a maximum. It strains credulity.

Readers should note these setbacks to the premier’s plans are not due to political opposition, or environmental activism, but rather to business decisions and market forces in the industry. 

Climate change, by necessity, will be a major market force in reducing fossil fuels, while cheap renewable energy is another. 

Energy planners and pundits should begin recognizing the obvious, as Alberta just did in contracting three new solar farms to provide 55 per cent of the government’s electricity, at nearly half the cost of natural gas.

The U.S. Permian Basin, the heart of shale oil, produces so much accompanying gas they pay to get rid of it. Yet, plans for the industry’s electricity needs include a solar farm and the world’s largest battery.

Despite many similar examples, Mr. Higgs maintains renewable energy is still too expensive, and continues dealing in the false hopes of fossil fuel riches. Both ideas are from a bygone era.

The climate threat and market forces clearly indicate there is no future in a local shale gas industry. We, too, need to recognize the obvious.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, an organization intervened in the recent court challenge over carbon pricing in Saskatchewan.

2019 RFC applications now open

Our 18-week full time program begins April 29, 2019.

Visit https://www.hayesfarm.ca/education to read the full program description and APPLY FOR OUR 2019 REGENERATIVE FARMING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM! 

We've been working hard through the last few months to refocus our program and make improvements based on the 2018 pilot. We are feeling strong and excited and can't wait to meet a whole new group of learners and growers this year. Please help us spread the word by checking us out on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HayesFarmFredericton/
Pour diffusion immédiate : le 6 février 2019

FREDERICTON — L’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAGSNB) a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’elle avait obtenu le statut d’intervenant devant la Cour d’appel de la Saskatchewan dans le renvoi portant sur la contestation de la tarification du carbone imposée par le gouvernement fédéral. L’Alliance appuiera le gouvernement fédéral et s’opposera à la position du gouvernement du N.-B.

« Les changements climatiques sont d’ores et déjà manifestes et la risposte doit être immédiate, juste et efficace » déclare le représentant de l’Alliance, Jim Emberger. Les inondations en hiver et en été, les vagues de tempête causées par la montée du niveau de la mer et les tempêtes intenses, les sécheresses, les vagues de chaleur et autres changements climatiques perturbent déjà la vie, les moyens de subsistance et le bien-être des Néo-Brunswickois et ils vont s’aggraver.

Ces phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes mettent les populations à risque et font des changements climatiques une question de santé publique. C’est pourquoi en 2018 les médecins canadiens qui participaient à l’évaluation Lancet sur les changements climatiques et la santé ont incité les gouvernements à «utiliser les outils de tarification du carbone le plus rapidement et le plus largement possible, en augmentant progressivement les cibles de façon prévisible.» (1)

« Aucun gouvernement ne peut se soustraire à sa responsabilité de diminuer la pollution par le carbone et de protéger sa population contre les effets dévastateurs des changements climatiques » affirme Jim Emberger. L’intention du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick de ressusciter l’exploitation du gaz de schiste et de soutenir la construction d’oléoducs démontre bien qu’il ne comprend pas l’urgence et les menaces majeures que les changements climatiques font peser sur nos communautés. Qui plus est, il n’a pas élaboré son propre programme de tarification du carbone afin de se conformer aux normes minimales canadiennes.

Le gouvernement fédéral possède le pouvoir constitutionnel de mettre en œuvre les ententes internationales et d’imposer aux provinces les normes minimales nécessaires au respect de ces ententes. De plus, l’article 7 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit le « droit à la vie, à la liberté et à la sécurité de la personne ». Par conséquent, l’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick maintient que le gouvernement fédéral a le pouvoir, le devoir et l’obligation d’imposer de telles normes minimales.

Sans égard à l’endroit où elle est faite, la combustion du pétrole, du charbon et du gaz a des effets nocifs sur notre santé et elle déstabilise le climat. Les émissions polluantes ne respectent pas les frontières politiques dressées sur une carte. Toutes les provinces doivent appliquer le principe du pollueur-payeur également. C’est l’approche la plus juste.

Le renvoi de la Saskatchewan sera entendu par la Cour d’appel de la Saskatchewan les 13 et 14 février 2019.

- 30 –

Voir le résumé des arguments présentés dans le mémoire de l’AAGSNB (Francais) : http://www.noshalegasnb.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Carbon-pricing-summary-FR.pdf

Pour plus amples renseignements ou pour organiser une entrevue :
Jim Emberger (English) 367-2658, 440-4255 (cell), shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com
Denise Melanson (Francais) 523-9467, 858-0321 (cell), inrexton2013@yahoo.ca

(1) https://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/selon-le--compte-a-rebours--du-lancet-il-est-temps-de-reduire-davantage-les-emissions-sinon-des-vies-humaines-et-la-survie-des-systemes-de-sante-seront-menacees-701488542.html

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Join the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Atlantic Canada Chapter (SCCF-ACC)

We are gathering people interested in serving on the Executive Committee of the Chapter (Executive Committee, Ex Com for short). These are the people who will lead our chapter and make decisions on everything from what campaigns we take on in our region to building capacity by growing our member and supporter base to where to hold our annual meeting. We need your help in finding the right people to lead our chapter.

The Atlantic Canada Chapter has members in all four Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), the territories of Innus (Montagnais), Nunatsiavut, NunatuKavut, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Wolastokuk (Maliseet).

Its activities include nature immersion and forest school programming (Wild Child), wildlife protection and collision prevention (Watch for Wildlife), stopping offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and protecting marine life, reducing the impacts of mines and quarries on the environment and communities, and engaging in energy policy and solutions with the aim of addressing climate change.

All members are invited to make a nomination of any member (including yourself) to be a candidate for positions on the Executive Committee of the SCCF-ACC. Nominations will be used by the nominations committee to put together a slate of candidates for this year.

The term of office for these positions will be two years, and is limited to three consecutive two-year terms (i.e. 6 years). On a practical level, being an Ex Com member means taking part in at least 10 meetings per year. These are usually about once per month (most by conference call) to organize and run the activities of the SCC-ACC, including the Annual General Gathering.

This may also involve taking on a position as an officer (Treasurer, Secretary) and/or chair of a committee, and there will be continuous opportunity to be active in various campaigns and projects.

As described in our bylaws and Chapter Policy, the Executive Committee comprises the volunteer leadership of its Chapter, and acts as the decision-making body for the Chapters, and in accordance with overall policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation and cooperation with its Board of Directors and National Staff.

Specifically, as outlined on our bylaws, the Ex Com is responsible for:

a) compliance with the by-laws and policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation;

b) engaging in any such activities within the territorial area which further the interests or objects of the Corporation, including the operation conservation or environmental programs, and media outreach;

c) developing a budget and raising funds for its own operations, as needed, and contributing to annual fundraising efforts; and

d) coordinating its activities through Staff, members and volunteers.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 is the deadline for receipt of names for candidates to be considered by the Nominations Committee.

Please send nominations to atlanticcanadachapter@sierraclub.ca or call Tony Reddin, co-chair of the Atlantic Ex Comm at 1-902-675-4093.
 

OPEN LETTER TO NEW BRUNSWICK MPs
by Jim Emberger

I am writing on behalf of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, a collection of Anglophone and Francophone groups with members in every constituency of the province.

I am writing to address two separate but closely related issues. The first is to voice our displeasure in the federal government’s actions in the matter of the recent RCMP assault on the checkpoints established by the traditional Wet’suwet’en Clan Leaders in British Columbia.

Resorting to militarized action against peaceful protectors over an issue that involves basic unresolved issues, such as relationships between the government and indigenous people, is not only poor policy, but also anathema to our values, our stated intent for reconciliation, and our international obligation to honour the terms of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

While the actions in question took place a continent away, they have resonated strongly with those of us in New Brunswick who experienced the similar action of the RCMP raid on Elsipogtog over five years ago.

It too appeared to be a case of government employing the RCMP as an enforcement arm of fossil fuel interests; elevating commercial interests via an injunction over the larger and fundamental issues of civil rights, indigenous rights and international obligations at play.

We have two requests to make of you.  The first is to make the federal government aware of our position and our support for the We’suwet’en Clan Leaders. The larger issues must be addressed and resolved before any further action to remove indigenous peoples from their unceded lands, and before any commercial activities continue.

The second request is for you and the federal government to put pressure on the RCMP Commissioner to release the CRCC investigation report on the events at Elsipogtog to the public.  It has been over 5 years in preparation, and via our communications with the CRCC we know that it has been completed and is only awaiting a decision to be released.

It is doubly important to release it now. First, it may contain lessons that would be applicable to the current situation in BC, and thus of immediate importance to all parties.

Secondly, the Conservative government in New Brunswick (including those in power at the time of the Elsipogtog raid) are planning a repeat of the actions that led to the debacle in Elsipogtog by lifting the moratorium on shale gas and bypassing consultations with indigenous peoples.

Our continual entreaties over the last 5 years have not hastened the release of the report, so we are asking for your assistance.

Recently a scholarly book called, ‘Policing Indigenous Movements, was published, which concluded with a chapter on Elsipogtog.  Suffice it to say that the portrayal of the government and the RCMP was not flattering, but it is the image that Canada continues to show to the world.

The citizens of New Brunswick and Canada, especially its indigenous people, need to see what actually transpired at Elsipogtog, so the actions taken there will not continue to haunt us and we can get along to the real business of reconciliation in all its forms.

Thank you for assistance.  Please let us know what responses or news that you receive.
Jim Emberger, Spokesperson
New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

Commentary by Jim Emberger / Telegraph Journal
11 January 2019

Just before the holidays, Brunswick News interviewed Steve Moran, CEO of gas producer Corridor, Inc. This interview, and conversations that followed it, contradicted everything that Premier Higgs told us about lifting the shale gas moratorium.

Mr. Higgs has justified lifting the moratorium because, he said, jobs and $70 million in investment would follow.

However, Corridor said it won’t be doing any drilling or investing in New Brunswick until 2021 at the earliest, and then only if it finds a financial partner, and if gas market conditions are promising, and if the province eases some gas regulations. So even if everything falls into place, investment and jobs are years away. If Corridor can’t find a partner, or if market conditions are bad, or if New Brunswick chooses not to alter its regulations (which protect residents), there may not be jobs or investment.

A fracked well is shown in this file photo. PHOTO: MARK DIXON/FLICKR

Mr. Higgs also said our gas supply from Nova Scotia would stop at the end of 2018, and that we needed local shale gas to fill that void.

But pipeline owners and gas suppliers were already on record that there would remain plenty of gas supply, though there would be a price increase. Local shale gas wasn’t an answer to an immediate supply problem.

If exploration doesn’t begin until 2021, it could still be years beyond that before Corridor would be able to fill any local supply void.

So with years before any gas activity, why is the premier rushing to lift the moratorium? Even deciding to do it without legislative involvement? What about the concerns raised by the former chief medical officer’s award-winning report on shale gas, the conclusions of the Commission on Hydrofracking, and the five conditions implemented by the last government in its moratorium?

Isn’t there plenty of time for a sober and scientific discussion of those issues? What exactly is the public policy wisdom of acting in haste?

Mr. Higgs has also stated his government wouldn’t trade special favours for corporations in exchange for jobs. Does that apply to Corridor’s demands to weaken New Brunswick’s regulations? Is putting people at increased risk part of the “responsible” development of resources that gas proponents constantly tout?

Confronted with the contradictions to his campaign rhetoric, Mr. Higgs has switched his rationale and now suggests shale gas is needed to supply a potential liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Saint John. The facility was built years ago to import gas, but is now underused.

But even if he is right – and it’s a big “if” – we are still looking at years before any jobs or royalties accrue to the province.

It’s time for Mr. Higgs to tell us what the basis of his shale gas policy truly is, who will benefit from what he is proposing, and why he has rushed to act before any discussion of events that lie years in the future.

What is certain is that his reasons to lift the moratorium have been inconsistent, at best. How do citizens – both pro and anti-fracking – feel about promise of jobs and investment that won’t happen for many years, if ever?

Will we learn why we’re lifting the moratorium in Sussex, when Corridor said it wants to drill in Elgin? Will Sussex determine whether Elgin gets fracked, or did the premier simply use Sussex as a tool to show that somebody wanted shale gas?

How will the People’s Alliance react to having spent much of its newly won political capital on saving a government by supporting its throne speech amendment on fracking?

Were PC MLAs themselves blindsided by Higgs’ actions and haste? Do they feel embarrassed when defending these actions to constituents?

Most importantly, what will the legislature do? Will it wait years to see if Corridor’s wish list comes true, while the province drifts without cogent energy, climate, employment and economic plans?

The previous legislature’s all-party climate plan already contains a roadmap to a clean energy economy that needs only to be implemented. A recent study by Dunsky Energy Consulting, commissioned by Clean Energy Canada, indicates New Brunswick could replicate the successes of similar jurisdictions and create hundreds of jobs almost immediately, leading to thousands over the years.  Perhaps, moving gas customers to increasingly inexpensive renewable energy could be a priority.

Amazingly, in spite of all of this, there are those calling to broaden the consensus for shale gas. But no consensus can be built without a foundation built on truth.

Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.

Frack Letter BY
We need to speak up for the health and safety of New Brunswickers.

Premier Blaine Higgs says his minority Progressive Conservative government will end the province-wide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and allow the controversial and risky process in the Sussex region. And Premier Higgs wants to do it fast — before the New Year.

Use your voice to let the Premier know this is bad public policy. The Conservation Council has launched an easy-to-use letter-writing tool so you can have your say on fracking to your local Member of the Legislative Assembly, Premier Higgs, and all political party leaders.

Click here to send our pre-written letter (which you can edit freely) today.

Why should I send my #noshalegas letter?

New Brunswickers know that climate change is here, now, and already impacting our communities. It is time to diversify our energy toward the huge potential of renewable sources and turn the page on the fossil fuels causing climate change and impacting our health.

Fracking is not worth the risks it poses to our drinking water, our environment, or our health and safety.

There are now more than 1,300 scientific studies, journalistic investigations and government regulatory reports on every aspect of shale gas extraction. The overwhelming majority of them substantiate the threats that the industry poses towards public health, water and the environment, and climate change.

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*Picture: Families, farmers, and New Brunswickers of all walks of life rally to protect their health and water from the threat of shale gas development.

Climate change

Burning oil, coal and gas is not good for our health. These energy sources pollute the air we breathe, contaminate the water we drink, and unbalance the climate we depend on. Renewable energy using solar, wind, hydro or other technologies is a clean way to deliver the power we need. Renewing our energy system lowers air pollution, protects water, and helps slow climate change.  The good news is that we have what it takes to renew our energy system.

This is where the good jobs are headed. Canadians know energy, and we have the can-do attitude and skills needed to build the renewable energy system almost all Canadians want. The most competitive economies are heavily investing in their clean energy sectors. Shifting to more energy-efficient and clean forms of renewable energy to power our economy is the surest way to maintain Canadian jobs and create new economic opportunities for New Brunswickers. Our province can accelerate the renewal of its energy system by developing its abundant renewable energy sources. And, in doing so, we join the growing group of forward-thinking jurisdictions creating opportunities for workers, businesses and communities.

Water and air pollution

Methane, fracking fluids and other drilling chemicals have been proven to enter waterways via leaking wells, spills, pipeline breaks, well blowouts, truck accidents and floods.  In addition to making water wells undrinkable and causing illnesses, contaminated waters have killed farm animals, wildlife, fish, vegetation and have left farmlands unusable. Many studies have linked airborne illnesses to density and nearness of gas wells, some documenting problems up to 4km from wells.  Because airborne pollution can be inhaled, swallowed, and also reach the skin, it has emerged as one of the primary public health concerns.  Other shale gas chemicals have created ground-level ozone over 300 km from the source, aggravating asthma, respiratory diseases and causing irreparable lung damage. These are just a few of the risks fracking poses to New Brunswickers. To learn more, check out these helpful resources:

Recommended resources:

Moncton, NB – Plus de 1000 jeunes Néo Brunswickois ont participé au quatrième défi Branchez vous, Faites des vagues, organisé par le Réseau Environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick. Ensemble, des jeunes, des écoles, des groupes environnementaux et des groupes communautaires de toute la province ont planté 1510 arbres indigènes et ont nettoyé 26 hectares de rivage.

« Branchez-vous, faites des vagues » est un défi lancé aux jeunes et aux groupes communautaires pour travailler ensemble sur des projets de conservation de la nature dans leur communauté locale. Suite au défi, les écoles ont été invités à participer à un défi photo afin de sensibiliser le public et illustrer leurs efforts. Leurs photos ont été affichées en ligne et le public a été invité à voter pour leur projet préféré. Les photos peuvent être visionnées sur le site web : https://nben.ca/fr/branchez-vous-faites-des-vagues

Le Grand gagnant du défi cette année est l’école secondaire régionale de Dalhousie avec plus de 600 votes et 3000 vus. Les élevés de M. Justin MacCurdy ont planté 50 arbres et nettoyé 3 hectares de rivage avec la ville de Dalhousie comme partenaire. Comme l’explique M. MacCurdy, « Air fraîche! Air salée! [Ce défi] a donné la chance aux élèves de 6e, 7e et 8e de DRHS la chance de poursuivre une expérience d'apprentissage en-dehors d'une salle de classe traditionnelle... La journée fut une superbe leçon en intendance, ce qui a donné aux élèves la chance de démontrer leur souci inné de notre environnement naturel local. Tout comme les roches qui ont sauté à travers de la baie cette journée-là, parfois nous nous retrouvons à sauter le long des trajectoires de la vie, mais il est important de prendre le temps de s'asseoir et de jouir de nos environs naturels, dans toute leur splendeur, afin de se trouver ancré et connecté.»
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Photo : Étudiants de l’école secondaire régionale de Dalhousie.

Contact : Raissa Marks, Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick, nben@nben.ca, 506-855-4144
The Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB SE) is pleased to announce that Simon Delattre of l'Acadie Nouvelle is this year's winner of the 3rd annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism award.

“Simon Delattre broke an important New Brunswick story that made everyone, including political decision-makers, aware of our growing use of glyphosate and the dangers it poses to human health and the environment,” said the judges of this year’s award.Delattre’s two-part series, published in August 2017, revealed that the forest company J.D. Irving was spraying the glyphosate-based product Weed Master in the protected area of the Turtle Creek watershed, which supplies drinking water to more than 144,000 residents in Greater Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe.Upon receiving his award at the Southeast Chapter’s meeting on Nov. 14, Delattre, who is from France, said he is asking more questions about how closely the New Brunswick government is aligned with the forestry industry. He said he is interested in covering more environmental stories.

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Simon Delattre (R) of l’Acadie Nouvelle accepts this year’s Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award at the Dieppe Public Library  on Nov. 14 from Dave MacDonald, president of the Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. (Photo by Serge Robichaud)

The judges also selected the Red Dot group to receive an honourable mention for their work over the past four years in publicizing the poor water quality at Parlee Beach, as well as threats to coastal wetlands in the Shediac area.

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Arthur Melanson, speaking for the Red Dot Group at the Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award Presentation on October 14 at Dolma Food in Moncton. (Photo by Nancy Arsenault)

During their campaign, the Red Dots were constantly in the media, writing scores of letters to the editor, granting interviews to reporters, filing multiple Right to Information requests, and communicating directly with the provincial politicians responsible for protecting the environment and New Brunswickers' health.By April 2017, the group had more than 2,000 members, among them such familiar names as Arthur Melanson, Tim Borlase, Brenda Ryan, Michael Sullivan and Dr. Scott Mawdsley, who wrote a 100-page letter to then-Premier Brian Gallant pointing out that the government knew about fecal contamination at Parlee Beach for well over a decade, but did nothing to fix it.

The call for nominations for next year’s Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award will be out in the coming months. The Award for environmental reporting in New Brunswick comes with a $500 prize. The judges of this year’s award were Roland Chiasson, Erin Steuter, and Bruce Wark.
The CCNB SE Chapter thanks the judges, nominators, and the many other volunteers who make this award possible.

 
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Media contact:  Anita Cannon (506) 364-2572  ccnbsoutheast@gmail.com

Pour diffusion immédiate
Le 21 novembre 2018

FREDERICTON — Après avoir pris connaissance du discours du Trône du premier ministre Blaine Higgs, M. Jim Emberger, porte-parole de l’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAGSNB), a déclaré que son organisation fait preuve d’un « optimisme prudent concernant la volonté et la capacité du gouvernement minoritaire d’agir judicieusement dans son approche vis-à-vis de nos mandats d’empêcher la production de pétrole et de gaz non classiques dans notre province et de ralentir le changement climatique par l’instauration d’une économie verte.»

Dans son discours, M. Higgs s’est fortement prononcé en défaveur d’un « vol intergénérationnel », qui reviendrait à voler l’avenir de nos enfants. M. Emberger relève, cependant, que « l’exemple le plus flagrant de cet enjeu n’est pas le lègue d’un fardeau fiscal, mais le laisser-aller face au changement climatique, l’utilisation de ressources non renouvelables et d’autres problèmes liés à la dégradation de l’environnement qui priveraient nos enfants et nos petits-enfants de la moindre chance de bénéficier d’une vie de qualité ». À cet égard, il a cité de nombreuses poursuites judiciaires intentées dans le monde entier concernant le changement climatique par, et pour, des enfants en vue de défendre le droit des prochaines générations de jouir d’une vie décente.

Dans son discours, M. Higgs reconnaît que le changement climatique est un problème causé par les humains, et que nous devons travailler à y remédier, notamment en passant à une économie « verte » viable et susceptible de créer des emplois; des positions que l’AAGSNB soutient depuis longtemps.

Il réclame, en outre, la désignation d’« un fonctionnaire de l’Assemblée législative responsable de la science et du changement climatique, qui serait également chargé de rétablir l’indépendance du système de santé public récemment démantelé ». M. Emberger, qui partage ces positions, a déclaré que « l’examen des données scientifiques et des connaissances sur la santé public liées au climat et au gaz de schiste va pleinement dans le sens de nos positions concernant ces enjeux ».

Finalement, M. Emberger a affirmé que les membres de son organisation étaient heureux de constater l’attention accordée à notre relation avec les peuples autochtones, ainsi que la mise en place de la Commission de vérité et de réconciliation, mais a toutefois relevé que « comme toujours, il est difficile de savoir dans quelle mesure le gouvernement est sérieux, ou jusqu’où il est prêt à aller ».  

Le ton conciliant du discours ainsi que la volonté affirmée de travailler avec les législateurs de tous les partis politiques pourraient constituer un bon moyen de gouverner, mais seulement si l’on permet la liberté des votes.

En conclusion, M. Emberger a estimé que le ton du discours et les valeurs présentées étaient positifs, mais que les mesures qui en découleraient devaient être à la hauteur des balises établies; à cet égard, il a rappelé que « nous avons poursuivi en justice le gouvernement Alward sortant pour n’avoir pas tenu compte des données scientifiques, ni de la santé et de l’avenir de nos enfants, et que nous pouvons également poursuivre un autre gouvernement, y compris celui de M. Higgs. Nous espérons sincèrement que ce ne sera nécessaire ».

Personnes-ressource
Jim Emberger, porte-parole : cellulaire : 506 440-4255; courriel :shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com
Denise Melanson, porte-parole (francophone) : cellulaire : 506-523-9467 ; courriel : inrexton2013@yahoo.ca

Pour diffusion immédiate
Le 19 novembre 2018

Samedi le 17 novembre 2018, trois prix environnementaux ont été attribués à des citoyens du Nouveau-Brunswick et à un groupe communautaire pour souligner leurs services exemplaires à leur collectivité.
Eco confluence awards 2018
Gauche à droite : Raissa Marks, Directrice, Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick ; Lois Corbett, Directrice, Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick; Chris Rouse, PEACE-NB; Arthur Melanson, Janet Gordon, Warren Redman, Sauvons Marecages Eaux et Tourisme. Photo : RENB.

Lois Corbett fut honorée par le prix Phénix en reconnaissance de la « contribution de son expertise signifiante en communications, en revendication et en développement de politiques au mouvement environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick, nous permettant tous d’amplifier notre impact sur des enjeux environnementaux aux niveau local, provincial et national. » Le prix Phénix est accordé à ceux et celles qui ont consacré leurs efforts aux politiques et à la législation et qui ont été dans le feu de l’action.

Le groupe communautaire Sauvons Marecages Eaux et Tourisme fut honoré par le prix Samaqan « pour avoir sonné l’alarme sur les menaces aux écosystèmes et aux communautés côtières le long du détroit de Northumberland et pour leur revendication de la transparence et la responsabilité du gouvernement en adressant ces menaces. » Le prix Samaqan est accordé annuellement à ceux et elles qui ont consacré leurs efforts aux eaux et aux espèces qui les habitent.

Chris Rouse fut honoré par le prix Gaia « pour son environnementalisme basé sur les solutions qui a mené à des améliorations en lois et en règlements et, plus récemment, à des modèles détaillés techniques et économiques qui visent à faciliter la transition du Nouveau-Brunswick vers une économie à faible carbone. » Le prix Gaia est accordé annuellement à ceux et elles qui ont consacré leurs efforts à la terre et aux espèces qui habitent la terre.

Les prix ont été présentés lors de la réunion annuelle du Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick, Éco-confluence, qui a eu lieu à Fredericton au cours de la fin de semaine. Chaque année, les efforts importants déployés par les citoyens et les groupes de citoyens pour protéger et restaurer l’environnement au Nouveau-Brunswick sont reconnu durant une cérémonie spéciale.

Le Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick est un réseau de communication sans but lucratif comprenant plus de 100 groupes environnementaux de citoyens et de citoyennes de toutes les régions de la province. Le but du Réseau est d’encourager les communications et la collaboration parmi les groupes et entre les groups, le gouvernement et d’autres secteurs.

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Contact:
Raissa Marks, 506-855-4144, nben@nben.ca
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB