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.