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.
September 11, 2017
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.
SSNB in the news August 2017:
– Press Conference in Fredericton, NB: Coalition to Stop Spraying NB August 2, 2017. 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.
CBC Shift NB: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/827194435570
Global news: http://globalnews.ca/video/3110355/protesters-demonstrate-glyphosate-use-in-new-brunswick
Radio Canada: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/l_heure_de_pointe_acadie/2013-2014/archives.asp?date=2016%2F12%2F05&indTime=2976&idmedia=7644356
Acadie Nouvelle: http://numerique.acadienouvelle.com/@canot@xplornet_ca/Z0945Q4PE1W7
– Bruce Livesey – National Observer – June 27, 2016