VIDEO of our Media Conference: https://youtu.be/0EoVdGGqUYM?si=HlXyO3E7D69UbVq6
In late July’23, GNB released herbicide (glyphosate) spray licenses issued for 2023 spray season. The red dots in the image below show all the approved spray blocks for 2023: light green background shows Crown (public) land, pink Freehold forest, and no colour is private forest land. The purple areas are protected watersheds.
We have crunched the data using the spray maps we have generated using GNB data (GNB has not published yet which Crown forest land blocks were actually sprayed in 2022), and you can see that GNB issued a lot more spray licenses for 2023: 14% more on Crown forest land, 345 more on Freehold land (large forest corps own this), and 205 less on private forest land (woodlot owners). In total 39% more licenses issued.
Please note that the 2023 forest herbicide spray license map reflects Crown (public), Freehold and private spray licenses for 2023. LINK: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=b3b16d5f435c43168bd759a361401464&fbclid=IwAR3OOus45rpZTavUD0J978jPQ0UtfhRr2LK3RVMi8-yO9-GrNpxKSz7kJwk
The historic forest spray map for New Brunswick only shows Crown (public) spray blocks because GNB does not release data after spray season on Freehold or private land.
OUR MEDIA RELEASE
JUNE 16, 2023
Stop Spraying NB responds to Federal Minister of Health’s response to Glyphosate petition initiated by documentary maker Jennifer Baichwal and tabled by MP Jenica Atwin on May 2, 2023.
FREDERICTON, N.B. – Stop Spraying NB (SSNB) just learned that the Federal Health Minister has responded to a petition to ban glyphosate initiated by documentary maker Jennifer Baichwal and tabled by MP Jenica Atwin on May 2, 2023. This response was tabled at the House of Commons on June 15, 2023.
SSNB’s mandate is focused on the use of herbicides on Crown (public) land and by NB Power. Therefore our response to the Health Minister’s response is focused on statements made about glyphosate use in forestry.
The Minister of Health claims this: “ With regards to glyphosate use in forestry, Health Canada has concluded that this use is acceptable, when label directions are followed. These findings were based on an extensive review of the available scientific information on glyphosate. A forest cultivation site would receive one or at most two treatments early on in a 50-to-80-year cultivation cycle.”
This statement by the Federal Minister of Health does not reflect the actual pattern of use in New Brunswick’s Crown (public) forests. GNB releases data of sprayed crown land PIDs in a data dump that is accessible to, but not usable by the public. However, SSNB has been able to create an easily usable Historical Spray Map using this government data: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=3e6db7d3e2e94169afd915cadf9028f5 .
Our Historical Spray Map of NB has given us the opportunity to find every spray block and to review how many times it has been sprayed with herbicides (glyphosate) up to now. Our spray map shows all the spray blocks on Crown (public) land since 1969, released by GNB. Crunching all the information is a very large task. So far we have extracted this information about some of the MANY spray blocks:- 1554 blocks have been sprayed twice.- 107 blocks have been sprayed three times.- 8 blocks have been sprayed four times.
One of these blocks was sprayed in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003. This is 4 spray treatments in a span of 6 years.
This is a sample of the information held in the Historical Spray Map, but we at SSNB feel that what we have found so far is enough to raise some serious concerns about herbicide use in our Crown (public) forests.
Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, Chair of Stop Spraying New Brunswick has this to say about the response by the Minister of Health: “The Federal Minister of Health is making assumptions when he quotes what the PMRA has stated around forestry use of glyphosate. Apparently the PMRA is unaware of what is taking place in New Brunswick with regards to the forestry use of an agent (glyphosate) that the PMRA approves with assumptions that are not factual.”
“In New Brunswick we have extremely biodiverse and unique Wabanaki-Acadian forests which comprises 32 native tree species, with a large percentage of hardwood trees” says Dr. Lubbe-D’Arcy. “The amount of clearcutting of these forests on Crown (public) land and the conversion after clearcutting to sprayed softwood plantations with very few species is an issue with regards to increasing concerns around biodiversity. Wabanaki-Acadian forests on Crown (public) land are mismanaged with the permission of our provincial government. This mismanagement escalated in 2014. There are three troubling facts: NB experiences the most intense forest herbicide spraying in Canada, and many blocks are sprayed more frequently than the PMRA assumes. 1/3 of all forest glyphosate use in Canada lands on New Brunswick’s forests (1).”
Québec stopped forest herbicide spraying in 2001 because their MLAs listened to their citizens. While developing their forest strategy, Québec conducted 3 rounds of extensive public consultation between 1988 and 1997. For the last 2 decades, Quebec has successfully managed their public forests without herbicides, but instead managed them with manual silviculture. Their forest strategy is ecosystem-based, has an auction system (so does Maine), plants larger seedlings, and includes careful logging around advanced growth (CLAAG, or CPRS in French).
Both the economy and the environment benefit from this approach. Compared with New Brunswick, Quebec has a much higher job creation per 100,000 hectares of forests. The combination of manual silviculture and selective cutting will decrease and minimize the net amount of carbon dioxide loss when growing and harvesting. And healthy mixed forests also provide an important natural wildfire defence around our rural communities and city suburbs. Hardwood, broadleaf trees such as aspen and birch have a higher moisture content than softwood conifers so they burn at a lower intensity, providing greater protection of homes and businesses from catastrophic wildfires.
(1) page 6 “Pattern of Use in NB” of the Action Plan on Glyphosate by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer on glyphosate https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/h-s/pdf/en/Publications/GlyphosateActionPlanResults.pdf
PLEASE consider sending a letter to your MLA.
Stop Spraying New Brunswick delivered a total of 158 letters to New Brunswick MLAs this week. Each letter is signed by a constituent and addressed to the appropriate MLA.
The constituents included their full address in the letter and their MLA should feel obligated to reply to their two questions:
“Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I look forward to your answer to my two (2) questions.
QUESTION 2: WILL YOU WORK HARD TO CONVINCE YOUR PARTY THAT THIS NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY?”
PDFs of this letter in English or French:CITIZEN-LETTER-TO-MLAs-2-Questions-about-Public-Forests-FINAL-DRAFT-PDF-March-21-2023-1
Stop Spraying NB had a very well attended information booth at the largest hunting and fishing trade show in NB (Moncton Sportsmen Show) from March 24-26’23.
Visitors to our booth told us that Moncton’s Turtle Creek watershed had been sprayed in 2022, even though we were told in 2018 that this was going to stop. This was also to the surprise of Moncton’s Mayor Dawn Arnold, who found out when media followed up on our press release.
We have evidence that spray licenses were issued to spray Turtle Creek in 2022 (map that has been generated using GNB pen data): https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=b3b16d5f435c43168bd759a361401464
The Telegraph Journal interviewed us and reported on this (paywall): https://tj.news/telegraph-journal/102086474
CHMA (in Tantramar) also reported on this news: https://www.chmafm.com/welcome/environmental-group-maps-herbicide-use-in-n-b-forests-tells-province-to-stop-spraying-protected-watersheds/
SSNB has generated two maps that use open government spray data:
Map that shows 2022 spray licenses: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=3e6db7d3e2e94169afd915cadf9028f5
Here are the two licenses:
NB Power switched from using Glyphosate to Garlon-XRT in 2022 to control vegetation. This product is by no means safer than glyphosate-based products.
Another reminder that tunnel vision on glyphosate will not win our fight for better forestry without herbicides PERIOD.
Last fall, GNB bragged in a commitee meeting that glyphosate was no longer being used by NB Power (as recommended by the Standing Committee in their recommendations to the Legislature) but did not inform our MLAs that this new herbicide was being used now.
LINK to the recommendations to the Legialative assembly by the legislative Standing Commitee on Climate change and Environmental Stewardship on Glyphoste-based products use in forestry in New Brunswick: https://www.legnb.ca/content/committees/climate_change_and_environmental_stewardship/reports/60-1/20211102ClimateChangeFirstReport.pdfRead more
This petition by Jennifer Baichwall, director of the documentary “Into The weeds”. The petition opened on September 15, 2022 and closed on Friday January 13, 2023. 18,379 signatures were garnered.https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-4127
The petition was signed and tabled by Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin.
French Media Radio Canada and NB’s Acadie Nouvelle covered this.
In case anyone who reads these article wonders who organized the paper petition in NB…it was Stop Spraying NB (SSNB). SSNB is a registered not-for-profit ngo dedicated to a ban on the spraying of glyphosate and other similar herbicides on Crown (public) forests and by NB Power since 2015.
NB Power switched to another herbicide in 2023, which is no better than glyphosate sadly.
- “In New Brunswick, Jenica Atwin receives support for her crusade against glyphosate”, published Jan. 13’23.
- “Liberal MP calls on Justin Trudeau to ban glyphosate”, Published Jan. 12’23
“The elected Liberal (MP Jenica Atwin) sees among her colleagues the openness to draw inspiration from Quebec and ban the spreading of glyphosate on forests, as we see a lot in New Brunswick”https://ici-radio–canada-ca.translate.goog/nouvelle/1947638/jenica-atwin-ottawa-federal-liberal-glyphosate-pesticides?_x_tr_sl=fr&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp
- “Jenica Atwin’s fight to rid Canada of glyphosate”, Published January 13’23
Acadie Nouvelle: https://www.acadienouvelle.com/actualites/2022/07/23/glyphosate-une-note-de-f-pour-le-gouvernement-higgs/?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR30pqaOVbTWNCaSPmfiBozfZeVkUCU3M1vIdtxoY_KR0rX8-ewUBUEB1Ko#Echobox=1658578511
Translation in English:
Glyphosate: an “F” grade for the Higgs government
By Alexandre Boudreau
Saturday July 23, 2022
Stop Spraying in New Brunswick, which campaigns for a ban on the spraying of herbicides on crown forest land, once again deplores the lack of action on the part of the government in this file. They gave the Progressive Conservative government an “F” grade in its annual report.
The organization’s chair, Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, says no concrete effort has been made during this legislative session to ban the spraying of glyphosate.
Her group also gave the Liberals a D+ and the Green Party a B+.
Glyphosate, which controversial use is authorized by Health Canada, was studied by a committee of MPs last year, which led to the writing of a report with recommendations for the Legislative Assembly.
The Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship submitted its report on November 2.
It did not recommend a ban on glyphosate spraying (on public forests) as SSNB would like, but some of the recommendations were still “a step in the right direction”, according to Ms Lubbe-D’Arcy, who also appeared as witness to the committee.
“So far, we have not seen any implementation of the recommendations.”
“Although the recommendations of the committee were only a step in the right direction, we expected faster progress,” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.
She says all political parties promised to ban or reduce glyphosate spraying on crown land during the 2020 election campaign, except the Progressive Conservatives.
However, the Liberals have not made a clear commitment on the issue since the election.
“In light of these election promises and the November 2 standing committee report, on an issue that is clearly important to many people in NB, it is disappointing to see that there has not been a lot of interventions by elected parties, with the exception of the Green Party”.
In the report, the committee of MLAs recommended expanding setbacks between sprayed areas and waterways, wetlands and homes.
Some of the recommendations included specific timelines.
One called for the creation of an online dashboard to inform the public of crown forest use, including glyphosate spraying – within six months of the submission of the report in November 2021.
L’Acadie Nouvelle has requested an update on the implementation of these recommendations from the Department of Natural Resources. Our request was sent to the Department of Environment and Climate Change.
“These recommendations are complex. Some elements are in progress, while others are still being studied to understand their impacts. We will respond to the Standing Committee in the coming months, ”replied Vicky Lutes, spokesperson for the Department.
Another legislative session has come and gone.
SSNB board members held a press conference on July 22, 2022 to issue their report card.
5th Annual Report on the Efforts of New Brunswick Political Parties on the issue of #StopSprayingNB
Stop Spraying NB’s grades for this year are: An F for the governing PC party for their complete failure to act; a D+ for the Liberals for making explicit election campaign promises in 2020 but back-pedaling after the 2020 election; and a B+ for the NB Green Party for efforts during deliberations by the Standing Committee and after report submission by this committee.
The 2021/2022 sessions of the 60th Legislature have yet to see any concrete action on the issue of banning spraying of herbicides on public lands. The Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship delayed its report on glyphosate and other pesticide use in New Brunswick to November 2, 2021, after hearing another week of presentations. This report contains some specific recommendations regarding glyphosate use on New Brunswick’s public forests and by NB Power. So far, we have seen no implementation of any of the 20 recommendations.
During the 2020 provincial election, every political party in New Brunswick, with the exception of the PC party, promised elimination or a phase-out of glyphosate and other similar herbicides spraying on Crown forests, which is fifty percent of New Brunswick’s forest land-base. In light of these campaign promises, and the submitted report by the Standing Committee on November 2, 2021 on an issue that is clearly very important to so many people in New Brunswick, it is disappointing that we have not heard much said at the Legislature by the elected parties, aside from the NB Green Party, about the recommendations, some of which had recommended timelines.
“Although we participated as a presenter, we questioned the process followed by the Standing Committee for the hearings in 2021” says SSNB Chair Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy. “And even though the recommendations by the Standing Committee were just a small step in the right direction, we expected faster action on at least some of the recommendations. NB Power was low-hanging fruit, and they were quoted by media in a response to questioning of NB Power continuing the status quo, that they need direction from the Department of Environment before stopping herbicide spraying”.
Kim Copp, SSNB board member, states: “Our public forests are very important to many New Brunswickers for hunting, fishing, bird watching and other outdoor recreation. Recently published peer reviewed research of forest degradation bird population loss illustrates that action is needed as quickly as possible. Dr. Matthew Betts concluded in his research that intense forest management in New Brunswick in the period of 1985-2020, with plantations and extensive clearcutting, is driving habitat loss for the 54 most common forest bird species in our forests. The net forest bird declines of the 54 most common species is 33-104 million birds over the last 35 years.”
Aside from not implementing the recommendations by the Standing Committee, the current Progressive Conservative Government so far has not released any documentation to support the following claims and promise made in 2019:
• Increased transparency and a dedicated website on forestry by the Department of Natural Resource
• Enforcement of buffer zones (no confirmation that this is happening); and
• Refusal of spray permits by GNB in municipal watersheds to back up the claim of a 121 hectare reduction
“We need to see concrete action and collaboration between New Brunswick political parties if they are serious about election promises made” says Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy. “We ask this government and all political parties in the province to consider the precautionary principle in light of increased concerns around long-term effects of glyphosate, and to ban the harmful practice of herbicide spraying on our publicly owned Crown forests, which is half of New Bruswick’s forest base. Habitat loss is associated with substantial population declines of forest species.”
An SSNB member created a more easily navigable map to find areas slated to be sprayed: