New Brunswick residents are paying private forestry corporations more than ever to apply herbicides on public lands.
Documents obtained by Stop Spraying New Brunswick through the right to information process show that in 2015, the government spent $2.3 million to subsidize herbicide application on public land, with an additional $419,498 spent on spraying private lands.
In 2016 the costs were about the same, with $2.29 million spent to spray public land, with a program total of $2.77 million
Last year, the total subsidy increased to $2.86 million.
“The increased costs make no sense, given the public demands to end the practice of herbicide spraying,” said Vern Faulkner, the communcations director for Stop Spraying New Brunswick. “This taxpayer subsidy is one of the many reasons more and more people each day call for an
end to herbicide spraying.”
In 2017, some 15,841 hectares of public land were sprayed with herbicides despite a petition from more than 35,000 residents calling for an end to this practice.
Glyphosate – the main ingredient in the herbicides applied to Crown land – has been scientifically linked to reproductive defects, liver issues, cancers and a wide array of other health concerns. Further, it has been shown to cause long-term damage to aquatic species and insects, including pollinators like bees. Many in the province also believe the spraying program is part of a larger mismanagement of forests that has led to diminished deer populations.
Herbicides are applied to Crown lands to eliminate hardwood species that forestry companies do not consider valuable, despite business cases showing that harvest of maple and birch products could take place with benefit to the economy.
“The government is not only ignoring calls to end spraying, it is spending more each year to have a dangerous chemical applied to our forests. It’s a slap in the face to the thousands of citizens who have asked their government to do the right thing,” said Faulkner.
Representatives of SSNB will be on hand at the Moncton Sportsman’s Show at the Moncton Coliseum, running Friday to Sunday.
The board of Stop Spraying New Brunswick today approved a new logo. The simple, clean design features a leafless tree and the name of the organization.
Several designs were displayed on the SSNB Facebook page with a poll seeking input, and the tree-and-name design proved the most popular, with a similar design coming second.
“The logo that won captures the main concern of our supporters: the loss of hardwood trees and our biodiverse forests, with the resultant loss of wildlife and economic opportunities in rural New Brunswick,” stated SSNB president Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.
The new logo, created in-house and unveiled shortly after the decision, provides SSNB a modern-looking logo that expresses its fundamental concerns in a simple fashion. It retains the black-red-white colour theme of the former logo.
The organization will soon launch a campaign where it will create videos featuring citizens of the province expressing their concerns about herbicide application.
The government has refused to end its spraying program – which costs $2 million per year – despite some 35,000 signatories to a petition calling for the end of such activity on Crown Land.
Today, Stop Spraying New Brunswick, Inc. (SSNB) filed an official request seeking to learn how much the taxpayer pays to have forestry companies spray glyphosate-based herbicides on Crown forests.
“It’s important for the public to know how much they are subsidizing big forestry companies,” stated Vern Faulkner, a director with the non-profit advocacy group.
The Right to Information and Privacy Protection Act request, better known as a freedom of information request, asks for total costs spent in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In 2015, the Auditor-General filed an official report where she revealed the government spent approximately of $2 million each year to fund glyphosate-based herbicide spraying on Crown forests.
This support given to private forestry amounted to $2.05 million in 2009, $1.92 million in 2010, $2.25 million in 2011, and $2.09 million in 2012.
Many of the supporters of SSNB believe the province, by allowing the application of glyphosate on Crown forests, has not done enough to protect the environment. This view is supported by a growing number of peer-reviewed scientific studies, but SSNB also wishes to highlight the costs the taxpayer incurs.
“Simply put, the government spends taxpayer’s money supporting private forestry company activity on public land,” said Faulkner. “It’s a subsidy, nothing less, and the voter – as we approach an election – should know how much we’re paying.”
The government now has 30 days to respond to the Right to Information and Privacy Protection Act request.
Former Maritime-area talk-show guru Todd Veinotte today interviewed new Stop Spraying board member, Vern Faulkner.
Faulkner, formerly the editor of the Saint Croix Courier, built a reputation as a hard-hitting, call-it-like-it-is journalist. He has joined the board of SSNB to assist in promoting the board’s causes. In this podcast, he speaks with Todd about the three critical factors underlying the need to end glyphosate spraying on Crown land: health and the environment, taxpayer subsidies, and the fact it has become part of a forestry management system that doesn’t make the best use of hardwoods.
Here’s the full podcast: drop in at about 18:30 to hear the SSNB section.
PRESS RELEASE: THE BOARD OF STOP SPRAYING NEW BRUNSWICK BELIEVES A COMPLAINT LODGED WITH THE CBC OMBUDSMAN IS LITTLE MORE THAN ABUSE OF PROCESS IN ORDER TO STIFLE LEGITIMATE CRITICISM AGAINST THE USE OF GLYPHOSATE
Fredericton, NEW BRUNSWICK. On Monday, SSNB was made aware of a complaint filed with the ombudsman following CBC coverage of presentations by renowned expert Dr. Thierry Vrain.
Vrain provided SSNB with an email from CBC’s Darrow MacIntyre, in which MacIntyre points to complaints made in wake of CBC’s coverage of Vrain (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/glyphosate- thierry-vrain-1.4388887) and challenges the scientist to defend some of his claims.
Vrain directed MacIntyre to several published news articles, peer-reviewed journals and court documents – of which there are man – to support his claims. Vrain said he is used to such opposition. “I am well aware that the information I convey goes against big money interests so I definitely expect a push back. I have had quite a few opponents and complainants in attendance at my lectures … so I am not too surprised.”
Vrain is just one of many scientists facing challenges for making demonstrable, fact-based claims about the dangers of glyphosate. Rod Cumberland, an outspoken critic of the use of the herbicide as part of the province’s standard forestry practice, has also come under heavy criticism from industry – J. D. Irving in particular – for his views that glyphosate use is directly linked to the
province’s plunging deer populations.
SSNB director Vern Faulkner, a veteran journalist, called the invesigation “highly irregular”. “A media ombudsman generally exists to rule on matters of ethical principle, not on questions of accuracy,” said Faulkner. “The accuracy of Vrain’s claims cannot be disputed, and it is unbelievable that any ethical or moral boundary was challenged by CBC’s coverage of a public presentation by an expert of impeccable credentials.”
The board members of Stop Spraying New Brunswick can only conclude that a third party is abusing the office of the ombudsman in an attempt to stifle legitimate conversation, and expresses its alarm at such action.
Asks Faulkner, “Should SSNB now demand the CBC Ombudsman investigate the repeated and fallacious claims of glyphosate safety made by government and industry?”
SSNB repeats its call for government to heed the weight of both scientific evidence and public opinion – as evidenced by the 35,000 signatures on SSNB petitions – and end the government-funded use of glyphosate on Crown forests.
For more, see www.stopsprayingnb.ca and Facebook: Stop Spraying in New Brunswick.
November 8, 2017: Great SSNB event in Juniper hosted by the Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation:
80+ people in attendance ( full house). Great response from the audience. More signs and stickers were sold, andpetition signatures collected. SPEAKERS: ( in order of appearance)
– Caroline Lubbedarcy ( SSNB Chair: Facts about public/Crown Forest Herbicide spraying)
– Donald Bowser ( SSNB Vice-Chair: Corporate Capture of our natural resources)
– Fredericton MLA David Coon ( NB Forestry issues and spraying)
Other politicians in attendance:
– Kris Austin
– Local PC candidate Margaret C. Johnson.
– Andrew Clark, past President of Private Woodlot Owners Federation was also in attendance and in support of our cause.
September 13 2017
Doaktown, New Brunswick
Stop Spraying New Brunswick (SSNB) participated in a PUBLIC EVENT on FOREST SPRAYING on September 12, 2017, at the Salmon Museum in Doaktown. The event was organized by the Doaktown Health Alliance.
The Doaktown Health Alliance invited local MP Pat Finnegan and local MLA Jake Steward. Both could not attend but sent responses.
Featured Speakers were:
– KRIS AUSTIN Peoples Alliance of N.B. (PANB)
– KEVIN SHAW Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation
– KEN WALKER NB Green Party Provincial Council
– Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, Stop Spraying New Brunswick Inc. (SSNB)
Rod Cumberland, retired NB deer biologist, also attended and answered questions.
After an introduction by event organizer Mary Delavalette, a couple of short video-clips, by Fredericton South MLA David Coon, were shown on the state of our forests:
35 years of Forest Management: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEUGB2AzZ90&list=PLZ37R2EtaQtKotc-_x7xATEvAXH-RM2U-&index=3
Are Woodlot Owners the Last Frontier Against the Corporatization of NB Forests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gWhwNnjbtM&list=PLZ37R2EtaQtKotc-_x7xATEvAXH-RM2U-&index=1
Kris Austin spoke next and gave PANB’s position on Forest and NB Power spraying, “The People’s Alliance is committed to end the use of glyphosate on our forests by both industry and NB Power. With the questionable effects of this substance on the environment, wildlife, and human health, we believe it is imperative to halt it’s use. We also know that by ceasing glyphosate spraying in our forests the province would see a return to manual labour in our silviculture industry, thus creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”
Kevin Shaw, Director of Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation spoke candidly why his group is no longer silent, “Ensuring Future Habitat for Salmon is on our logo. We cannot ignore any longer what is happening”.
The group is concerned about a loss of way of life for rural New Brunswickers, who once enjoyed living off the land. Kevin continued by saying that in the past, 2200 deer would be registered in his hunting area, whereas now maybe 12-20 is the norm. Like many others, Kevin, no longer bothers getting a hunting license, and with runaway clearcutting and spraying along NB roads and forests even picking berries has become a thing of the past.
Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy closed with a short statement about a rapidly growing movement to stop spraying New Brunswick Forests, led by the recently incorporated group, Stop Spraying NB which was born out of a Facebook group started in 2015 dedicated to this issue.
“SSNB Inc.’s prime objective is to influence policy and legislation that will halt or dramatically reduce the use of glyphosate and other herbicides by industry and public bodies in New Brunswick. We are focused on researching and producing information on the properties of herbicides and their alternatives; networking with other groups and individuals; educating the people of New Brunswick regarding the properties of herbicides, the dangers of their uses to people and wildlife, and is committed to carrying out public information campaigns on the above.”
Dr. Lubbe-D’Arcy reminded the audience that tax payers are funding the spray program on public forests at $2.5M a year. Instead, 800-1000 brush cutters could be hired to do the job at around $8M per year. NB Government is ignoring the fact that employing 1000 people would give a return to NB’s economy that has been estimated at $6-8M.
A lively Question and Answer period followed with an audience of around 40 local residents, who all are in support of a ban on spraying on NB’s public forests and NB Power hydro-lines and right-of-ways.
Attendants bought signs and bumper stickers, signed the petition and took petition sheets home to gather more signatures.
The written petition is on-going and there is also an electronic letter-writing tool available to citizens who wish to participate. Links to the petition pdf and the letter-writing tool can be found on SSNB’s website: www.stopsprayingnb.ca
or the Facebook Group: Stop Spraying New Brunswick.
ForestInfo.ca’s Open House: NB Government and industry are out of touch with Citizen’s concerns around the Forest and NB Power Herbicide Spraying.
Last Wednesday night the ForestInfo.ca group, which encompasses researchers, scientists, government and industry held an open house format session in Petitcodiac, after Mayor Gerald Gogan requested a public meeting for his constituents.
Many people in Petitcodiac and Albert County are concerned about the forest and NB Power spraying close to their homes and recreational areas.
One hundred and fifty people showed up at the meeting, and it quickly became clear that the open house format (different stations with government., industry representatives and some scientists) was unsatisfactory to the attendants. The noise in the room was overwhelming and people found it difficult to hear. They also felt that they didn’t receive answers to their questions.
Ange Mazerolle and her husband Marc from Petitcodiac felt very frustrated, “None of us can raise our voices to be heard in this format. We asked four questions; what is the half life of the spray, how many applications does it take to achieve your goal, how long will the chemical stay in the ground and water and has long term testing been done on the soil? And each time we were directed to go speak to someone else.”
Ange Mazerolle continued, “I did overhear a woodlot owner asking about how they kept from spraying his hardwood lot, when they had sprayed the area beside it earlier in the week. He was told that they use a specialized sprayer nozzles that allows for a 100 foot buffer. The man did call him on this, and had to walk away. It was a very tense conversation.”
Mayor Gerald Gogan attempted to change the format of the meeting to a traditional, sit-down, open mike, question and answer public session. After spending some time to do this, the representatives from Forest Info were not prepared to participate and opted for a continuation with the one-on-one discussions. When the format was not changed, people started leaving in frustration.
Local resident Liz Mallet decided to walk up to a microphone that had been standing unused and spoke to the crowd, “I have not run into anyone for years who is in favour of forest spraying. How many of us need to be against this forest herbicide spraying until we are heard?” Her comment was met with a loud applause.
SSNB thanks to Mayor Gogan’s for his efforts to inform his constituents. We hope that Mayor Gerald Gogan succeeds in holding a public meeting, where the residents of Petitcodiac and surrounding areas can hear each other’s questions answered by
both sides of this very important issue.
– August 2, 2017: Press Conference in Fredericton, NB held by SSNB and other groups opposed to Crown land and NB Power herbicide spraying. One participating group received a call from JDI employee John Gilbert the evening before with a warning to stay home or else. Read about this here: http://nbmediacoop.org/2017/08/03/we-wont-be-intimidated-miramichi-salmon-group-on-forest-spraying/
Coverage of the press conference:
“Stop Spraying group in New Brunswick urging public to speak up” http://globalnews.ca/news/3640120/stop-spraying-group-in-new-brunswick-urging-public-to-speak-up/
Acadie Nouvelle posted 2 articles.
– The people of Petitcodiac in the news: A representative from JDI was scheduled to address Village Council but the meeting was postponed when many residents showed up to voice their concerns
– ÉCOVIE in the news ( Écovie is a member group of the Coalition to Stop Spraying NB): Ecovie and the happy campers had had a fantastic weekend near Mount Carleton, one of the most beautiful corners of the province. Volunteers had a chance to make many new allies against forest and NB Power spraying.
Les opposants au glyphosate continuent de gagner des appuis
Le groupe Ecovie a érigé un campement sur le chemin conduisant au parc du Mont Carleton, en fin de semaine. – Acadie Nouvelle: Béatrice Seymour
Une opération de trois jours a été menée contre l’arrosage de pesticides sur les terres publiques, près du parc du Mont Carleton.
Le groupe Ecovie a érigé un campement sur le chemin conduisant au parc durant la longue fin de semaine de la fête du Nouveau-Brunswick, pour sensibiliser les gens à la cause et recueillir des signatures pour sa pétition contre cette méthode.
Pour les opposants, les herbicides à base de glyphosate représentent un risque pour la santé et nuisent à la biodiversité dans la forêt.
«Le produit a été déclaré possiblement cancérigène le 20 mars 2015. C’est notre santé qui est en jeu ainsi que l’habitat des animaux. Ce sont des terres qui nous ont été léguées et dont nous avons remis la responsabilité au gouvernement. Si le gouvernement n’est pas capable d’en prendre soin, qu’il nous laisse les reprendre. Sinon, nous ferons du changement aux prochaines élections», prévient Francine Levesque, la porte-parole du regroupement.
«Il faut comprendre qu’on tue les érables. Dans cette région (RestigoucheOuest), nous sommes le troisième plus grand producteur de sirop d’érable au monde et 28% des terres forestières arrosées au Canada sont au NouveauBrunswick. Notre province représente pourtant 0,7% de la superficie du pays», explique Mme Levesque.
Rosaire L’Italien, le chef par intérim du NPD provincial, s’est rendu sur les lieux, en appui avec la position de cesser la pulvérisation de pesticides. Au moins jusqu’à des résultats plus tranchés sur l’impact du produit sur la santé.
«Notre parti a voté le 11 juin, pour la suspension de ce produit parce qu’il y a des études qui disent que c’est dangereux, cancérigène. D’autres études sont contradictoires. Nous disons que nous ne devons pas à attendre qu’il y ait des morts à cause de cela», affirme-t-il.
«Soyons proactifs en arrêtant l’arrosage le temps qu’on complète les études sérieuses. À ce momentlà, on prendra une décision éclairée. Si c’est pas nocif, on pourra l’utiliser. Sinon, on arrêtera définitivement. Protégeons avant tout l’être humain», ajoute M. L’Italien.
Cet enjeu trouve écho chez plusieurs citoyens. Plus de 30 000 personnes ont signé la pétition d’Ecovie contre l’arrosage depuis un peu plus d’un an et demi.
«On est en train de nous détruire, détruire la province, détruire la faune et la flore. Je peux vous dire que j’ai signé la pétition à deux mains», a lancé Benoît Castonguay, de Saint-Quentin.
«Je ne ramasse plus de champignons comestibles, car tu peux t’empoisonner», avance Jason Leclair, un autre habitant de Saint-Quentin.
L’endroit choisit pour cette manifestation pacifique n’était pas anodin pour les manifestants, qui dénoncent que c’est la région la plus touchée par l’épandage au cours des quatre dernières années.
Glyphosate opponents continue to gain support
Acadie Nouvelle 8 août, 2017
The Ecovie group erected a camp on the road leading to Mount Carleton Park this weekend. – Acadie Nouvelle: Béatrice Seymour
A three-day operation was conducted against pesticide spraying on Crown land near Mount Carleton Park.
The Ecovie group erected a camp on the road leading to the park during the New Brunswick Day long weekend, to raise awareness of the cause and collect signatures for its petition against this method.
For the opponents, glyphosate-based herbicides pose a health risk and harm biodiversity in the forest.
“The product was reported to be possibly carcinogenic on March 20, 2015. It is our health that is at stake as well as the habitat of the animals. They are lands that have been handed over to us and given to the government. If the government is not able to take care of it, let us take it back. Otherwise, we will make the change in the next elections, “warns Francine Levesque, the spokesperson for the group.
“We must understand that we kill maple trees. In this region (Western Restigouche), we are the third largest producer of maple syrup in the world and 28% of Canada’s forested land sprayed is in New Brunswick. Yet our province accounts only for 0.7% of the country’s surface area, “explains Levesque.
Rosaire L’Italian, acting leader of the provincial NDP, went to the scene, backing with the position to stop spraying pesticides. At least until more definite results on the impact of the product on health.
“Our party voted on June 11 for the suspension of this product because there are studies that say it is dangerous, carcinogenic. Other studies are contradictory. We say we do not have to wait for deaths because of this, “he says.
“Let’s be proactive in stopping the spraying the time we complete the serious studies. At that point, we will make an informed decision. If it’s not harmful, we can use it. Otherwise, we will definitely stop. Let us protect above all the human being, “adds L’Italien.
This issue is echoed by many citizens. More than 30,000 people have signed the petition against spraying for just over a year and a half.
“We are destroying ourselves, destroying the province, destroying fauna and flora. I can tell you that I signed the petition with both hands, “said Benoît Castonguay of Saint-Quentin.
“I do not collect any more edible mushrooms, because you can poison yourself,” says Jason Leclair, another resident of Saint-Quentin.
The place chosen for this peaceful demonstration was not insignificant for the demonstrators, who denounced that it is the region most affected by the spreading over the last four years.
Media Coverage of SSNB’s Dec.06, 2016 event: Over 27,000 written petition signatures have now been tabled at the NB Legislature in three batches, today’s batch of over 13,000 being the latest one.
November 9, 2017: CBC Political Panel on Crown Forest Herbicide (Glyphosate) Spraying.
Political parties discuss glyphosate, a chemical that’s caused controversy in the province (Crown Forest herbicide spraying) and around the world.
MLA Andrew Harvey (Liberal Party) Riding: Carleton-Victoria
MLA Ross Wetmore (PCNB) Riding: Gagetown-Petitcodiac
MLA David Coon (NB Green Party) Riding: Fredericton South
Kris Austin (Leader, People’s Alliance Party NB)
Jennifer McKenzie (Leader, NBNDP)
The Dr. Vrain tour (Oct. 30-Nov.2 2017) was put together by SSNB and hosting community groups Écovie; Right Not To Be Poisoned; Notre Environnement, Notre Choix. There were four well attended events in;
– St. Louis-de-Kent
– Fredericton Junction
CBC article Nov.6’17 (incl. podcast of CBC Infoam interview of that day): http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/glyphosate-thierry-vrain-1.4388887
“In most soil it takes weeks and months. There’s a study done in Sweden where they still found the glyphosate three years later.” “Once introduced into the environment, glyphosate is remarkably stable, he said. Although Vrain believes glyphosate is a risk to human health, he said no research has been done on humans.” “In recent years, research on animals, including rats and pigs, has found they become chronically diseased even with small doses of glyphosate, Vrain said.” “He said the animals have developed cancer, kidney and liver disease and obesity.” ALSO, mentioned in the podcast: The EPA increased increased permissible limits in food content without any research to support this increase.
Radio Canada: “Un Spécialiste du glyphosate en tournée au Nouveau Brunswick” Interview with Dr. Thierry Vrain, molecular biologist, this morning at radio-Canada radio // interview with Dr. Thierry vrain this morning at radio-Canada “the awakening” with Michel Doucet. http://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/emissions/Le-reveil-Nouveau-Brunswick/episodes/393258/audio-fil-du-mercredi-1-novembre-2017/16
Wed. August 2: Interview with Todd Veinotte with SSNB spokes person Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy . It is a 30 minute interview which allowed Caroline to touch on spraying, our coalition with other groups, the GLARING ABSENCE of CBC, the TJ journalist but no article yet (although a very slanted article did finally appear in the Times & Transcript on August 8’17), and zero interest from nbpoli. Caroline highlighted the farce that is ‘NB Forest Management’, and the job numbers that are low. Here’s a link to the show (the interview starts at 22 minutes): https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-rraea-6df039
August 11’17: In the studio with Buzzlocal.tv (7 minutes) about SSNB, why we should be concerned about forest and NB Power spraying, the suffering deer population and how a Facebook group became a registered ngo.