MEDIA COVERAGE of SSNB’s 5th annual Report Card Event

Global News NB:


Acadie Nouvelle:

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.

SSNB Issues 5th Annual Report Card to Elected Political Parties at the GNB Legislative Assembly on July 22, 2022.

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.”

Replanting one type of tree is not enough to stop clearcutting harm, study finds

In New Brunswick we are experiencing too large-scale intensive forestry practices for our landbase. NB born researcher Matt Betts wrote this article about his peer-reviewed research on fores degradation and bird populations in the Maritime provinces.

“Given that the total area of plantations and intensive forest management is increasing worldwide, and that plantations may be increasingly relied upon to satisfy “nature-based climate solutions” globally, it will be critical to examine the impact of these practices at broader scales. Do other areas in North America with rapid forest loss, then forest gain (see Figure 2) also exhibit forest degradation and reductions in biodiversity, or is this most apparent in the Acadian forest? What about Scandinavian and Brazilian forests where intensive management is common? We encourage others to more closely examine the role of forest degradation, not just deforestation, as a driver of biodiversity loss worldwide. We need solutions that balance providing wood for human communities with the conservation of the roughly 4 million species that inhabit forest systems.”

Forest Degradation: a hidden driver of biodiversity loss?

Betts et al. 2022 Forest degradation drives widespread avian habitat and population declines.

Nature Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1038/s41559-022-01737-8 LINK:

Research paper:

CBC article:

Énergie NB n’a pas reçu de directive pour réduire son utilisation du glyphosate/( NB Power has not received a directive to reduce its use of glyphosate)

Acadie Nouvelle article:

English translation:

NB Power has not received a directive to reduce its use of glyphosate

By Jean-Francois Boisvert

Despite a recommendation to the government that NB Power stop using herbicides this year to control vegetation under its power lines, the Crown corporation plans to go ahead and spray some 1,000 hectares this summer.

Last November, the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship made some 20 recommendations regarding the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in the province.

This all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly proposed, among other things, that the crown corporation NB Power begin now to phase out the application of pesticides under its power lines. This recommendation will not be followed. At least not this year.

According to company spokesperson Marc Belliveau, NB Power plans to use this method again this summer to control vegetation over an area of ​​approximately 900 to 1,000 hectares. This is about the same area as last year. The affected areas will be announced by the end of the month.

At the same time, Mr. Belliveau indicates that NB Power has not received any restrictive instructions from the government concerning its herbicide application program.

“It is the Legislative Assembly that must decide the question, which recommendations of the report it intends to implement. Being a state-owned corporation, if the government forces us to change our practices, we will take action accordingly. But we are still waiting for this directive, we have not received anything so far asking us to change our approach to the use of herbicides”, he underlines, confirming in passing that in the absence of a change of guideline, the program continues.

He also wishes to point out that NB Power scrupulously follows the rules established with respect to the spreading of herbicides.

In addition to its recommendation for NB Power, the committee also suggested that the areas where landspreading should be prohibited double near dwellings (500 meters to one kilometer) and that they be established 100 meters from protected natural areas, courses of water and wetlands.

We also advocated the launch within a year of the tabling of the report of a major cost-benefit study to compare the use and non-use of herbicides in the management of tree plantations in New Brunswick, and that the impacts of landspreading on wild game and flora be monitored more closely (water and sediment samples taken on a regular basis).

What about these suggestions? In fact, six months after the tabling of the report, it is maintained that it has still not completed its review process.

“The government is still reviewing the recommendations,” confirms a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Vicky Lutes.

The herbicide program will continue this year. Permit applications have already been submitted to the ministry for approval.

During the filing of the report, the spokeswoman for the environmental group Stop Spraying New Brunswick, Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, was rather lukewarm. She was hoping for much tougher measures, or even a complete cessation of spreading.

Six months later, she is sorry to see the government’s slowness in responding to the committee’s recommendations, especially since the committee’s work had already been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some recommendations could have been put forward this year. It is in May and nothing has been done. NB Power is moving forward with its spraying program and the provincial government will soon be issuing licenses to forestry companies. In short, nothing has changed, the New Brunswick forest has just lost another year,” she said.

According to the environmental activist, this slowness confirms the lack of political will to tackle this issue.

“However, the population has spoken loud and clear and the government continues to turn a deaf ear. She no longer wants this practice in the public forest. At some point, I believe that a government must do what the population demands. Other jurisdictions in the country have done so,” she points out.

She adds that the publication of a recent study showing the degradation of the Acadian forest and the great decrease in certain species of birds should nevertheless raise a red flag with regard to the use of herbicides as well as forestry practices. in New Brunswick.

“It is very concerning, and the nonchalant attitude of the government in this file is disconcerting”, adds Ms. Lubbe-D’Arcy”

GNB Standing Committee submits its report with recommendations on forest glyphosate use on November 2, 2022

The Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship, a legislative committee, submitted its report with 20 recommendations on glyphosate use in New Brunswick on Novemeber 2, 2021.

Link to the report:

The 20 recommendations:

Pesticides Advisory Board
1. THAT the Minister of Environment and Climate Change re-activate the Pesticides Advisory
Board and ensure it remains active.
2. THAT the Minister task the Pesticides Advisory Board with investigating issues and gaps in
information regarding the use of pesticides, which includes herbicides, in the Province as
identified by the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship.
3. THAT, within six months of the tabling of this report, the Minister review the composition of
the Pesticides Advisory Board as prescribed in the Pesticides Control Act to determine whether
any amendments are needed to ensure adequate independent expertise is represented.

Crown Lands and Forests Advisory Board
4. THAT the Crown Lands and Forests Advisory Board be re-activated within six months of the
tabling of this report.
5. THAT the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development review the composition of
the Board to ensure diversity of expertise.
6. THAT the Board ensure stakeholders who use Crown Lands are doing so in a responsible
manner to meet stated objectives established by the Minister and/or in legislation.
Forest Management and Ecosystem Protection
7. THAT, for the purpose of evaluating the impact of eliminating herbicide spraying, the
government initiate a comprehensive cost-benefit economic study comparing the usage and
non-usage of herbicide in managing tree plantations in New Brunswick within 12 months of
the tabling of this report.
8. THAT remaining old hardwood, mixedwood, and softwood forest be maintained (not
converted). This would require (1) ecologically based forestry, and (2) additional protected
natural areas (reserves).
9. THAT the government ensure protected natural areas have connected corridors, where needed,
and minimize edge habitat for the purpose of biodiversity.

Increased Restrictions on Spraying
10. THAT setbacks for aerial spraying be increased from 500 metres to 1 kilometre from
11. THAT the government require a spraying setback of 100 metres from protected natural areas.
12. THAT the government require a minimum 100-metre aerial spraying setback from water and
wetlands and/or require spray plans that may vary depending on the landscape and the
hydrological characteristics of the land.
13. THAT the government ban spraying of pesticides in protected watersheds as designated under
the Clean Water Act.
14. THAT the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development request of NB Power that
it immediately begin phasing out spraying of pesticides under transmission lines.

Further Monitoring and Research
15. THAT the Legislative Assembly appoint a Legislative Officer charged with the responsibility
for Crown Lands and Waters with an appropriate budget beginning in the next fiscal year.
16. THAT the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development partner with
educational institutions and non-governmental organizations, where applicable, to study the
effects of spraying pesticides in forestry on wild game, other food and Indigenous medicines
in New Brunswick.
17. THAT the government request that Health Canada evaluate the registration of glyphosate every
five years and with research conducted in and applicable to New Brunswick.
18. THAT the Department of Environment and Local Government be mandated to routinely
sample and test water and sediment for glyphosate and related components adjacent to areas
where glyphosate has recently been applied, and to report annually.
19. THAT for the purpose of evaluating the impact of eliminating glyphosate, the government
undertake a comprehensive cost-benefit economic study comparing the usage and non-usage
of glyphosate in the agricultural sector in New Brunswick within 18 months.

Public Education and Awareness
20. THAT, within six months of the tabling of this report, the Department of Natural Resources
and Energy Development create a public dashboard regarding all aspects of Crown forest
utilization, including pesticide spraying, for the purpose of increasing public education and