Building food sovereignty in New Brunswick with a worker-owned cooperative

In June, RAVEN hosted a visit to Pleasant Ridge in unceded Mi’kma’ki territory (near the Village of Rogersville) to learn about agricultural cooperatives at la Ferme Terre Partagée Cooperative. The trip was organized by RAVEN’s Amy Floyd.

Amy’s article about the history of the farm and agricultural cooperatives is a must-read for anyone interested in food sovereignty in New Brunswick. You can read it HERE online published by our partner the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN endorses CCNB letter opposing NB’s plan to delay ending coal power

RAVEN advocates for genuine climate action. Burning coal at Belledune to generate electricity has to stop by the federal deadline of 2030, but our provincial government is lobbying to extend that deadline. The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) wrote to federal Environment Minister Wilkinson with concerns about New Brunswick’s proposed regulation Phasing Out of Coal-fired Electricity Generation – Climate Change Act. CRED-NB was among the many groups endorsing the CCNB letter. Our concerns regard the use of equivalency agreements when Canada is promoting its commitment to phasing out coal-fired electricity by 2030 within the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Read the letter HERE.

New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

Tertulia – Winning the Race to the Bottom: New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Perspective

RAVEN is a partner on this event, organized by Tertulias.

With New Brunswick’s Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship set to discuss glyphosate spraying of the forest, record breaking timber prices and a government unwilling to increase Crown timber royalty rates, environmental historians and Bill Parenteau and Mark McLaughlin will share insights of political economy and historical context to discuss how our forest came to be managed the way it has.

Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30pm (Atlantic time) on Zoom.

Bill Parenteau is a recently retired Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick. His published research is, broadly, on the political economy and environmental history of Atlantic Canada. Additionally, he is a frequent public commentator on forest industry issues and a participant in Indigenous treaty and land rights cases.
Mark McLaughlin is an Assistant Professor of History and Canadian Studies at the University of Maine. Dr. McLaughlin’s research has focused on forestry and natural resource management, particularly the notions of forests as contested spaces and the state as mediator between various user groups competing for access to public resources.

This talk is co-presented by Tertulias Fredericton, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op.

Watch on Zoom here.
Watch on Facebook live here.Stay updated/spread the word on the Facebook event page.

What is a tertulia? A tertulia can be described as a kind of philosophy café where participants talk about big thinkers, artists and ideas. This winter and spring, Tertulias Fredericton has put together a series on activists and social movements that have shaped our lives and allowed us to imagine a better future.

Tertulias Fredericton is supported by the NB Media Co-op, publisher of videos of the Tertulia talks.

For more information, visit Tertulias Fredericton on Facebook or contact:

Your Nuclear Dream May Turn Nightmare

RAVEN researcher Susan O’Donnell was interviewed recently in two articles about the plans by the nuclear industry to add more nuclear reactors on the Point Lepreau site on the Bay of Fundy.

The most recent, published by The Tyee, was prompted after nine US experts in sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau about the nuclear weapons proliferation implications of the federal government’s support for the Moltex project in New Brunswick. You can read it here.

The second article, published by the National Observer, reported on the significant opposition that exists to the nuclear infrastructure development being pushed by the industry and funded by governments. You can read it here.

Invitation to the farm: Field trip June 19

The RAVEN Project invites you to join us for an afternoon on farm and in community to learn about how Farming Co-operatives can work in New Brunswick with La coopérative Ferme Terre Partagée in Rogersville, N.B. The field trip will be on June 19 and is limited to 15 people. Free.

People are becoming more and more concerned with food sovereignty and supporting their local economy. Co-operatives are a tool that small and mid-scale farms can use to lower costs, become more efficient, expand marketing range and offer a wider range of products to customers. Co-ops can also be set-up to mirror the ethics and values of their members.

This event is organized by Amy Floyd, 
For more information and to register:

This event is organized by Amy Floyd:

Food Security Policy Analyst
The Raven Project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment)

Founder and Administrator
Permaculture Atlantic Network

Hampton High students support Wolastoq Grand Council resolution against nuclear development

The Climate Action Team at Hampton High School (HHS) are not only activists but also allies to Indigenous peoples. MLA Megan Mitton (Green Party, Memramcook-Tantramar) tabled a petition from HHS students in support of the Wolastoq Grand Council resolution against nuclear energy development and nuclear waste. Read the story in the NB Media Co-op, HERE.

Voices from New Brunswick’s Future: Call for Young Writers

Photo by Martin Spiske from Unsplash

The RAVEN project is calling upon young voices. This summer, we are starting a new Letters from New Brunswick’s future initiative, written and edited by young people in New Brunswick. The project managing editor is Kelly Green, a student and coordinator of the fossil fuel divestment campaign at St. Thomas University.

The year is 2040 and you are living in New Brunswick. In 2021, New Brunswickers understood that in order to avoid the irrevocable magnitude of what climate change can do to our planet, we needed to take urgent action to shift our current systems. Your community and province have finally taken these measures to get off fossil fuels and to adapt to a changing climate. How do you envision this green future for New Brunswick?

A report prepared by the IPCC in 2018 warned us of a twelve-year time span to change our way of life before the impacts of climate change become an irreversible reality. Although the impending crisis requires immediate action, it seems that everything is running business-as-usual. But what if we made the change? What if New Brunswick transformed to ensure a green future? What would that future look like, and how did we get there?

In 2019 and 2020, the RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) project at the University of New Brunswick collected 20 “letters from the future” from New Brunswickers. People of all ages were invited to be a part of building a new narrative, a vision for a future New Brunswick in 2030, 2040, 2050, or later. The idea was inspired by the video Message from the Future, by US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The original call for writers, written by RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb and UNB student Abram Lutes, can be viewed here. They gathered letters from New Brunswickers to help shape a vision of what a green future would look like when adapted locally. Those letters were published online by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op and will be part of an edited book to be launched this Autumn.

Now we are starting a new Letters project, written by young authors. Other than thinking of our worst-case scenario, which tends to be the narrative when discussing the climate crisis, we want to hear how younger generations envision a progressive and prosperous move to a green future in New Brunswick. All published letters from the previous “Letters from New Brunswick’s Future” series can be viewed here; these included ideas such as low carbon mobility, unified local communities, conservation, and much more.

Letters from the future take a hypothetical look back to envision what New Brunswick could accomplish by 2030 onward if we change our habits, productions, and structures. Looking back from 2030 and beyond, how did New Brunswick respond to climate change? How did we overcome the challenges faced? What were our solutions? What initiatives did New Brunswick take to build a carbon-free province? These are all possible questions that could be addressed in the letters.

We are looking to publish around 20 letters written by authors from 13 to 25 years old. Writers should be from, studying, or residing in New Brunswick, with a plan to stay here for the foreseeable future.

Submissions of between 800 and 1,200 words will be accepted beginning June 1, 2021. Letters should be sent directly to Kelly Green at All accepted letters are subject to edits from RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op editorial board before being published by the NB Media Co-op online.

Authors of letters selected for publication by the NB Media Co-op will receive a $50 honorarium from RAVEN. We are looking forward to highlighting the visions of young voices.

Kelly Green,
RAVEN Research Assistant

Folk schools – Nimble solutions for grassroots education

RAVEN’s Amy Flood works on food security, community development and rural issues. In her latest article published by the NB Media Co-op, Amy discusses folk schools that are adapted to the local culture to create learning that fits lots of ages and backgrounds. You can read the article here.

‘Not in service’ – Province of New Brunswick’s response to many residents of unincorporated areas

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder is currently working on rural governance issues. Kim’s latest article published by the NB Media Co-op highlights a challenge faced by rural residents when attempting to find information about Local Service District governance.

Kim writes: “In many areas of the Province, when LSD residents aimed to answer the call to participate in LSD Advisory Committee elections or to have questions answered, they found that the emails, and in some cases even the phone numbers provided for contact were not in service.

“Whether by design or not, conditions such as these highlight the inequity of the rural condition and do not instill confidence that the Province can reliably host LSD elections. Unfortunately, that concern is compounded by the reality of unreliable internet service throughout many rural regions in the Province.

You can read the full article here.

40 ways to increase food sovereignty this season

“The simplest way to think about food sovereignty is to ask, do people have choice or control about the kind of food they eat? Having sovereignty means choosing to eat food from sources you want to support (like local farms), having access to nutrient dense food, having access to land if you want to grow your own food, and it means having food available that is culturally appropriate and honours our household food traditions.”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd’s latest article for the NB Media Co-op is here.

Bill to ban glyphosate tabled by New Brunswick MP

This week MP Jenica Atwin (Fredericton) tabled a private members’ bill to ban the use of glyphosate in Canada.

In the video of her intervention, made from her Fredericton North constituency office, Atwin stated: “The widespread use of glyphosate over New Brunswick forests and across Canada is a menace to human health, and plant and wildlife diversity.”

Atwin’s bill builds on a growing global consensus against the use of the poisonous herbicide, following the International Agency for Research on Cancer finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.

“Rather than allowing toxic chemicals to be sprayed in Canada until they are proven harmful, we should be exercising greater precaution: banning products until they can be deemed safe,” said the MP. “Canadians have the right to breathe clean air, drink safe water, and harvest healthy foods from the land.”

Read the full story in the NB Media Co-op, written by RAVEN lead investigator Susan O’Donnell.

Panel on Canada’s nuclear policy and SMRs

Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin invited RAVEN’s lead researcher Dr. Susan O’Donnell and Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, to a roundtable discussion by zoom on April 14. The topic was Canada’s Nuclear Policy and SMRs. You can watch the recording of the roundtable here:

Caroline Ennis on the 1979 Tobique Women’s March [video]

Caroline Ennis, organizer of the 1979 Tobique Women’s March to Ottawa, delivered a talk on how she and other Wolastoqiyik women of Tobique First Nation organized to stop gender discrimination in the Indian Act on March 31. RAVEN co-hosted the talk, organized by Tertulias Fredericton. The video of the talk was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op, here.

French presentation: More nuclear reactors for New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was invited by the group Imaginons la péninsule acadienne autrement to present at their Écofestival 2021 event in March. The topic was the nuclear reactor projects planned for New Brunswick. The video of her presentation and Q&A afterwards is here (French language).

The video of Susan’s English-language presentation to the New Brunswick Environmental Network in January is available here.

CBC radio interviews by RAVEN

The day after federal taxpayer handed a $50.5 million gift to Moltex Energy to develop their design for a nuclear reactor on the Bay of Fundy, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was interviewed by the CBC morning radio programs in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. The first two were made available. Listen to the interviews below.

Fredericton – 6 minutes

Moncton – 10 minutes

Rural governance needs local coordination and action now

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder published an article today about the need for a coordinated and strategic approach to rural governance. Kim notes that “The effort toward local governance reform has had a long, and mostly unsatisfying, history in the province.”

Her article focuses on the government’s current local government reform process and the new organization – the Union of Unincorporated Areas of New Brunswick (UUANB) – to give collective voice to Local Service Districts in the reform process underway.

You can read the article here, in the NB Media Co-op.

Video: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick

Chris Rouse: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick: Why public investments are better than incentives.

Chris Rouse, the founder of New Clear Free Solutions, developed an Integrated Resource Plan for New Brunswick that achieves a 95% Renewable energy solution through public investments. In this video presentation, Chris discusses his IRP that offers the least cost sustainable solution to our environmental problems that benefits all New Brunswicker both now and in the future. The event was organized by the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, and the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick.

Video: A fresh food tax credit and food security for New Brunswick

A video of the presentation by University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse on her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here? Watch the video:

Growing a Better Future Project Updates

Amy Floyd, Rural Food Security Policy Analyst

For more information on any of these activities:

“Learn-to-Garden 2021” program for the Nashwaak Valley

In the fall of 2020 surveys went out to shoppers, farmers and home gardeners to get a better idea of projects that people were interested in. One idea that came up several times was engaging seniors as gardening mentors. There are several seniors in the community who have 20 – 50+ years of experience with growing produce, food preservation and raising animals. This seems like a great way to reduce isolation, build inter-generational relationships and teach food security skills. We can do it all with no overhead costs (save a bit of labour time from my position to coordinate)! If the project is successful this year, it would be quite easy for a volunteer to take it on in coming years. Registration began in January and will run until late March.

Community Orchard Regeneration project

There is a very old non-commercial orchard in our community that may contain heritage varieties of apples. The owner gives apples away and hosted our Nashwaak Community Growers group in October for a cider pressing. In return, a group of volunteers will visit the orchard in February and March to share with the hard work of pruning trees. There are over 200 trees and we expect to only get to a handful each year, but that is more than the owner can achieve while working and raising a family. Hopefully this model could be viable for other rural communities.

Expanding the Rural Nashwaak Business Directory

The business directory was started as a volunteer project in 2018. In 2020 it was added to the Nashwaak Community Growers website to allow online access. I put the listing on the site to promote local food vendors, but have had a good response from all kinds of businesses asking to be added.

Other Community Promotion

Many people are moving to N.B from Ontario and other provinces. This is our chance as a community to attract new people to area. We would particularly home to attract young people and families. At the end of December, myself and a volunteer met with the Village of Stanley Council to discuss methods of online community promotion. FB: Moving to New Brunswick: Welcome to the Nashwaak Valley.

Meetings on accessible, rural housing for seniors

On January 12 a mix of stakeholders, including the newly formed Upper Nashwaak Seniors Housing Association met on a call to talk about potential options for purpose-built, affordable, seniors housing in the Nashwaak Valley. This project is relative to food security, because the vision of many seniors in this community is to create housing spaces with gardens for food security and health. The housing will also likely have a cooperative/ communal feel to it while keep with individual units. Another call will be scheduled soon.

Webinar Feb. 23: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick

Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick: Why public investments are better than incentivesFree event, everyone welcome. Register to receive the event link and a reminder:…/tJwpdeGqqTsuE9S63pf…

Chris Rouse is the founder of New Clear Free Solutions and has been very active in the environmental movement for over 10 years. Chris has a very extensive technical background. He has developed an Integrated Resource Plan for New Brunswick that achieves a 95% Renewable energy solution through public investments. The IRP offers the least cost sustainable solution to our environmental problems that benefits all New Brunswicker both now and in the future.

This event is organized by the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, and the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick.

Webinar Feb 17: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security for New Brunswick

February 17 – Webinar presentation by Jess Morehouse: A Fresh Food Tax Credit and Food Security in New Brunswick.

Webinar: Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick

University of New Brunswick and RAVEN Masters student Jessica Morehouse will present the results of her research on Fresh Food Tax Credits and Food Security in New Brunswick. The presentation is open to all. Jess will make a 15-minute presentation and then engage in discussion with participants.

Please join us! Registration is required:…/tJYtfu-tqzMqGtDuxc…

Background: Early in January 2020, the RAVEN project organized a meeting at the Greener Village food bank in Fredericton for local champions working on food security issues. The meeting ended with a request for RAVEN to support research to explore if a fresh food tax credit would work in New Brunswick. Four provinces already have a similar tax credit to support local food producers to donate to food banks. Could this work here?

Why was a book launch in 2018 with university partners investigated by police?

In October 2018, Joan Kuyek visited New Brunswick to launch her book on how to protect your community from the mining industry. The event was supported by the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University, RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick, the Canada Research Chair in Global and International Studies at St. Thomas University, MiningWatch Canada, and the publisher, Between the Lines.

Prof. Dave Thomas at Mount Allison filed an information request to find out why the RCMP were present at the event. Read the story by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn in the NB Media Co-op, here.

Conversations on rural housing in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd has been looking into housing options in rural New Brunswick, particularly for seniors. Read what she’s been finding out in her two stories for the NB Media Co-op:

Seniors open the door for conversations on accessible rural housing in New Brunswick

Accessible, multi-generational and intentional: Alternative housing models on the horizon in New Brunswick

More nuclear reactors for New Brunswick?

Join the webinar on Jan. 14, an online workshop: Calculating the risks and benefits of Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) in New Brunswick. RAVEN is co-hosting this event organized by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). NB Media Co-op is also co-hosting.

The NBEN online risks and benefits calculator is featured in this event. Participants are invited to use it to determine for themselves about the new nuclear reactors (SMRs) proposed for the province.

Student-led fossil fuel divestment campaigns continue

The students leading the fossil fuel divestment campaigns at UNB (Rose He) and STU (Kelly Green) published an article in RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. Their article discussed the campaigns at all four major universities in the province.

You can read their article: Student-led fossil fuel divestment campaigns continue in New Brunswick through the pandemic, at this link.

Preserving harvest and preserving heritage: Making apple cider in the Nashwaak Valley

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd is leading the Valley Grow project in the Nashwaak Valley where she lives. This fall, Amy “had the pleasure of pressing apple cider for the very first time with the Mathis family in Durham Bridge.”

Read Amy’s story in the NB Media Co-op here.

David Bedford on the Marshall Decision Two Decades Later: Emancipation as Oppression [video]

RAVEN partnered with the NB Media Co-op and Tertulias for this webinar event about the Marshall Decision, a milestone in the legal history of Indigenous peoples and the state. In this video, former UNB prof David Bedford looks at the implications for First Nations in New Brunswick. The NB Media Co-op published the video here.

David Bush and Valerie Lannon on the Green New Deal and the socialist case against the carbon tax [video]

RAVEN continues its partnership with St. Thomas University’s Environmental Praxis course and the NB Media Co-op to bring you another interesting lecture. The video was published today by the NB Media Co-op. You can view it here.

David Bush is a Ph.D. student at York University, a labour organizer active with the Fight for $15, contributor to the Spring Magazine, and editor at

Valerie Lannon is one of the co-founders of the Spring Socialist Network. She supports climate justice and indigenous rights and is the co-author of Indigenous Sovereignty & Socialism.

Daniel Tubb on his book, Shifting Livelihoods: Gold Mining and Subsistence in the Chocó, Colombia [video]

RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb recently published a book based on his research with subsistence gold miners in rural Columbia. In his webinar presentation, Daniel talks about his process of ethnographic research. RAVEN teamed up with the NB Media Co-op and Tertulias for this event. The video was published by the NB Media Co-op, here.

Federal government is suppressing dissent on nuclear energy

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell teamed up with Sam Arnold from the Sustainable Energy Group in Carleton County for a commentary in the Hill Times today. The topic is how environmental groups opposed to nuclear energy have been blocked from participating in government processes to make their views heard. You can read their article shared on the CRED-NB website.

Fossil fuel divestment campaign continues at UNB

The UNB divestment campaign continuing in Autumn 2020, led by Rose He, RAVEN research assistant and first year electrical engineering student. RAVEN is also working with the fossil fuel divestment campaign at St. Thomas University, led by Environment & Society student Kelly Green.

For more information about the campaign or to sign the petition, check out our divestment page.

Bob Bancroft: Where have all the good forests gone? [video]

RAVEN, the NB Media Co-op and St. Thomas University’s Environmental Praxis Lecture Series continues its partnership. In this presentation, Bob Bancroft, a wildlife biologist and the president of Nature Nova Scotia, delivered the talk, “Where have all the good forests gone?”

RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op published the video of his talk, here.

Sabine LeBel on Queer Environmental Futures [video]

RAVEN co-investigator Sabine LeBel presented this engaging talk on queer environmental futures, captured on video and published here by the NB Media Co-op. Sabine is an Assistant Professor in the Culture and Media Studies Department at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton. 

The talk was part of St. Thomas University’s Environmental Praxis Lecture Series.

Canada’s support for nuclear reactors and opposition in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell represents the project in the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB). For the NB Media Co-op, Susan wrote an analysis of the federal throne speech and government support for new nuclear reactors. You can read her article here.

RAVEN video contest winners!

The RAVEN project is pleased to announce the winners of our cell phone music video contest on the theme Growing a Better Future:

Youth – $500 prize

  • Grow it Yourself – Tess Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Seeds are for Sharing – Michael Daugherty with Rosie and Arthur, Knowlesville, NB

Adult – $1,000 prize

  • Notre Jardin – Our future – Melissa LeBlanc and Anna Vienneau, Nashwaak Bridge, NB
  • Planted – Ryleigh Hatch and Erin Sawden, Harvey, NB
  • Dig a Hole – Brendan Green, East Brighton, NB
  • Standing Tall – Eric D’s Allain, Moncton, NB

Runner-up – $500 prize

  • Food Creates Community – Adam Weaver, Scotch Lake, NB

You can view the winning videos here:

Congratulations to all our contest winners!

Fredericton climate action rally has renewable energy, anti-nuclear message

Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick a rally in Fredericton on Sept. 25, the Global Day of Climate Action, outside the office of Premier Blaine Higgs. Protesters called on the government to transition rapidly to renewable energy and stop their plans to develop new nuclear reactors in the province. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote this story about the rally for the NB Media Co-op.

Mark McLaughlin on the rise of eco-comics and how the Maritime governments helped shaped environmental education [video]

RAVEN partnered with the NB Media Co-op and the Environmental Praxis lecture series at St. Thomas University on this talk by Dr. Mark McLaughlin. Mark discussed the history of using comics for environmental education and how comics were used in particular by Maritime governments in the 1970s to shape environmental education. The video of his talk was published by the NB Media Co-op. You can view it here.

“Coal is not progress, it is death”: Indigenous Wayuu woman

Indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Colombian communities have long been vocal against the forced displacement, environmental degradation, human rights abuses and increasing death toll caused by the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia. NB Power sources coal from this mine.

RAVEN’s Environmental Action reporter Cortney MacDonnell prepared a video and wrote a story about it for the NB Media Co-op. You can read Cortney’s story here.

RAVEN students Fall 2020

RAVEN is pleased to have three new students working with the project this term:

  • Christine Jean is an Honours student in Anthropology and History at UNB. She is working with Kim Reeder and Susan O’Donnell on the sustainable energy development project.
  • Kelly Green is a STU student majoring in Environment & Society Studies and Communications & Public Policy with a minor in Sociology and Science & Technology Studies. Kelly is working with Janice Harvey and Rose He on the fossil fuel divestment project.
  • Rose He is in the first year Engineering program at UNB. Rose is working with Kelly Green and Susan O’Donnell on the fossil fuel divestment project.

Two new nuclear reactors for New Brunswick with no adequate policy on radioactive waste in place

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell teamed up with Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility to write this article in the Ottawa publication, the Hill Times. In their article, they discuss how the federal government is planning to fund new nuclear reactors for New Brunswick while the radioactive waste policy is inadequate. You can read their article here.

A just energy transition for the communities where “blood coal” is extracted and burned

Environmental action reporter Cortney MacDonnell spoke with people in both northern New Brunswick region and Colombia, where NB Power has been sourcing coal since 1993 when the Belledune plant opened. Read her article here, published by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op.

Building community: new market in Hampton

“The sweet smell of baked goods, fresh food and wildflowers now floods the pavilion on Friday nights in the town of Hampton. The Lupine Market was started by Gillian Cormier and Elizabeth Malatestinic, when they recognized that more could be done to help support local farmers and businesses in their hometown.”

Read Hannah Moore’s latest story for the NB Media Co-op here.

RAVEN’s second academic publication!

Our second research manuscript was published this week by the Journal of Rural and Community Development. The research and writing team for “Leadership for Climate Change Adaptation in a Rural Region in New Brunswick, Canada” was Kim Reeder and Susan O’Donnell from the RAVEN project and Adrian Prado with the Northwest Regional Service Commission. You can read the abstract and publication here.

The garden is coming in! Now what?

“This morning I laid in bed wondering if I should make salsa this weekend or try to wait until there were more tomatoes. The cabbage moth made a strike on my cabbages while I was on vacation and now, I have to either meticulously clean each leaf or I can pick it now and make sauerkraut. My zucchinis and cucumbers are also getting big and need to be processed as soon as possible.”

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd writes about what to do with the produce from your garden this week. Read Amy’s story here.

Hope Blooms: youth-driven food security movement flourishes in Halifax

RAVEN’s reporter Hannah Moore writes this week from Nova Scotia:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This is the motto that drives Hope Blooms, a community project based in the North End of Halifax. It is a space that provides people in the community with opportunities to learn, share, connect and grow.”

Read Hannah’s story here.

Solar Energy in New Brunswick: new video

RAVEN worked as a member of CRED-NB to publish the video of our webinar on solar energy in New Brunswick. The event brought together experts and policy makers on the topic in the province and across Canada. An excellent start to a much-needed ongoing conversation on renewable energy development!

Watch the video from the Video tab on the CRED-NB website.

Planting urban food gardens in New Brunswick

This week, RAVEN’s food security reporter Hannah Moore writes about urban food gardens:

“With crowded neighbours, limited space and bustling roads, urban dwellers may feel discouraged from growing food on their property. For those with greenspace surrounding their homes in the city, the status quo is to maintain a nice green lawn, maybe with some perennials or annual flowers. But lawns in the city have the potential to offer much more than a pretty face.” Read Hannah’s article here.

Are you living in a food desert in New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s summer reporter Hannah Moore writes this week about food deserts:

“A food desert is an area where access to affordable, healthy food is restricted because residents do not have a grocery store within a convenient travelling distance. In a city, neighbourhoods 5km or farther from a supermarket, grocery store, garden or market may be considered food deserts. In rural settings, the radius can be much greater.” Read Hannah’s story here.

NB Power’s renewable energy claims disputed

Cortney MacDonnell writes this week for the NB Media Co-op about claims made by NB Power and their renewable energy use:

“NB Power claims to be supplying New Brunswick with over 40 percent renewable energy but a local solar firm says that is not the case. Megan McCann and Mark McCann are co-owners of MJM Solar Solutions. They have been advocating the use of renewable energy for over a decade. According to their analysis, NB Power is generating closer to 20 percent renewable energy in the province.” Read Cortney’s story here.

Writing for the NB Media Co-op

RAVEN’s research partner is the NB Media Co-op. RAVEN staff member Amy Floyd writes this week:

“When The Brief first began to circulate, I was just finishing university and living near my family in Sussex, NB. What a breath of fresh air it was to find that little broadsheet at Winter Wood Natural Foods. Other people really did care about the things that I had been studying and it was other New Brunswickers!” Read Amy’s article here.

Eel River Bar First Nation’s adaptation to sea level rise

RAVEN’s Cortney MacDonnell writes for the NB Media Co-op about a project at Eel River Bar First Nation:

“In Ugpi’ganjig, also known as Eel River Bar First Nation, Blueberry Point is predicted to be underwater due to sea level rise by the year 2100. To address future sea level rise, the Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Council is sharing a vision for aquatic resources management that combines Mi’kmaq ecological knowledge as well as scientific research.” Read the full article here.

Permaculture in Bayside, NB

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd writes about a permaculture workshop at Mike Humble’s FoodsGood Farm in Bayside, NB. You can read her story here. Humble explained the basic concepts of permaculture: looking to nature to learn design patterns for our daily life, managing water on land, feeding microbes to build healthy soil, learning from Indigenous earth care methods,  inviting predatory insects to control pests in the garden, working in ergonomic patterns, and using clever hand tools in the gardening.

Restoring Acadian forest on private land

RAVEN’s Cortney MacDonnell’s story this week published in the NB Media Co-op, “New partnership forms for restoring Acadian forest on private land in the Maritimes,” features UNB prof Tom Beckley, a RAVEN friend we have worked with on several activities. You can read Cortney’s story here.

RAVEN at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada conference

Last year the RAVEN team was out in force at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, the biggest academic conference in Canada. This year the Congress was cancelled due to the pandemic… except that of the more than 100 academic groups and associations that meet every year at the Congress, four chose to run their conference virtually. Fortunately for us, one was the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) which has been an early adopter of video technology to model how academic work can happen with reduced travel. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was able to do her ESAC presentation today from her home in Fredericton.

Combating environmental racism in Nova Scotia

RAVEN’s Environmental Action Reporter Cortney MacDonnell published her second story for the NB Media Co-op today: “There’s something in the water: meet four women combating environmental racism in Nova Scotia.” Cortney’s story profiles the women who participated in an online panel earlier this month to discuss their work organizing against environmental racism on the spirits, minds, and bodies of Indigenous and African Nova Scotian people. You can read Cortney’s story here.

RAVEN is signatory to letter demanding federal radioactive waste policy

RAVEN is a signatory to a letter from 100 groups across Canada to the federal minister of Natural Resources. The letter expresses our strong support for the development of comprehensive policies and strategies for the long-term management of radioactive waste in Canada that will protect the environment and current and future generations of Canadians. You can read the letter here.

New Brunswick’s tree species and climate change

RAVEN’s new Environmental Action reporter Cortney McDonnell published her first article today with our partner, the NB Media Co-op. Cortney has a background and keen interest in forestry management and for this article she interviewed scientists about the impact of climate change on our acadian forest. You can read Cortney’s article here.

RAVEN joins new CRED-NB Coalition

The RAVEN project today joined with other environmental groups in the province to announce the launch of the new Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick. We are excited to be part of the new Coalition to promote nuclear-free renewable energy in NB! An article about the Coalition was published today by the NB Media Co-op. You can read it here.

Greenprint update meetings

RAVEN team members participated in the second of two meetings to identify what is needed to shift to a low-carbon New Brunswick. The events, organized by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), brought together NBEN members to discuss updating the 2010 “Greenprint” publication. In a COVID twist, the events were organized online, including breakout rooms for small-group discussion and post-meeting online surveys, to give everyone an opportunity to participate safely from across the province.

RAVEN 2020 summer students begin work

We’re excited that during this challenging time under COVID-19 we’ve been able to engage four students for the summer, some of whom have continued from the 2020 Winter term:

  • Lauren Korn will be researching and writing articles on different topics for submission to RAVEN project partner, the NB Media Co-op.
  • Hannah Moore is working at the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm in Fredericton and is our new Food Security and Regenerative Farming reporter.
  • Jessica Wall is working on her thesis research on a potential Fresh Food Tax Credit for New Brunswick that could benefit local farmers and food banks.
  • Cortney MacDonnell is our Environmental Action Reporter, working with Tracy Glynn to develop stories, starting with forestry-related themes. Cortney is hired under the UNB Arts 4000 program.

More information about the students and RAVEN team members and partners is on our People page.

RAVEN’s 2020 Cell Phone Music Video Contest

Get your cell phones out and start filming! You can enter the contest if you live in New Brunswick – even if you are not a musician. We have 4 prizes of $1000 for the winning videos plus 4 extra prizes of $500 for videos made by children and youth 15 years and under.

The contest theme is:

Growing a better future

This contest is running parallel to our project on community food security, Growing a Better Future, details here.

Here’s one definition of community food security developed through research and practice: “Community Food Security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice.” (reference) Note that the focus is on community rather than gardens for individual households (although that’s important too).


  • 10am, August 31, 2020: last date and time to download an application form. The form will be removed after this time. The form is available now from the link below.
  • midnight, August 31, 2020: last date and time to submit your completed application form with the link to your video. We will send a confirmation email when the form is received. No late applications will be considered.

RAVEN contest partners:

This page has links to all the the information you will need to enter the contest.

Important: if you are planning to enter the contest, read the contest guidelines and FAQs first!

For the contest guidelines click here. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on this page are also part of the guidelines.

For the application form, click here. You must use the application form to enter the contest.

The link to the winning videos from the 2019 contest is here.

If you have any questions, read the FAQ below. If you have other questions, email the contest:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and additional guidelines.

Here are some common questions we are expecting and our answers. These form part of the contest guidelines. Check back for more FAQs – we will add them as we receive more questions this year.

Q: I’m using YouTube and cannot make the video password-protected. What should I do? A: Make the video “unlisted” and send the link.

Q: Do I need to write the music? A: We welcome original music. Historical music / songs that are out of copyright can also be used. Sites are available online with music you can use for free without copyright restrictions. Singing songs is fine if you have written the song. Note that the application form includes a statement confirming that the music is not protected by copyright. If you are unsure, do not use it.

Q: Does the music need to have lyrics / words? A: No but words help tell a story and get your message across. A message that inspires or stimulates action is one of the judging criteria.

Q: Does the theme have to be “Growing a better future: community food security in New Brunswick?” A: Yes, it can be anything related to growing a better future and / or community food security in New Brunswick. If you are not sure what it means, google “community food security.”

Q: How are the videos judged? A: Each video will be assigned points by the judges. The information is in the guidelines document.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video file? A: No, we do not accept video files by email. You will need to put the video online somewhere. If the site you choose permits protecting it with a password, do that. YouTube does not permit password protection – make the YouTube video “unlisted” and include the link. The application form has a place for you to include the link to your video that you have uploaded, and the password if you have one.

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group? A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick, except members of the RAVEN team and contest partners.

Q: Can it be a video I made already or does it need to be original for the contest? A: We prefer videos that have not already been shared online. If it’s one you made already, you will likely need to edit it to meet the guidelines.

Q: Can I enter the contest more than once? A: The judges will look at only one video per name listed on the application form. If more than one form is submitted by the same person or organization, the last form received will be entered into the contest.

Q: Is it a cash prize? A: The prize will be a cheque issued to the name of the person on the application form. That person (or group) must have a bank or credit union account to cash the cheque. No substitute names will be allowed, so ensure that the correct name is on the form.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group? A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for the prize will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and has a bank or credit union account you will be able to cash the cheque. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes, including the opening title slide and the closing credit slide (see the guidelines and judging criteria). Videos longer than two minutes will not be entered into the competition.

Q: Does the editing need to be done with a cell phone? A: The video needs to be shot using a cell phone but the editing can be done using a phone, computer or other device.

If you have any other questions, email the contest:

Maritime Spaces promo video launched!

RAVEN project partner Project Aulnes released a video today promoting the Maritime Spaces project. As we reported earlier, several of the RAVEN project team travelled to Pointe Verte in February to participate in an exciting community development and broadcast project to discuss the re-vitalization of the Belledune region.

In the video, the creators of Espace Maritime mark a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer a reflection on the future of the next generations of northeastern New Brunswick and elsewhere.

“Espace Maritime, Belledune edition was filmed on February 29, a few days before the World Health Organization (WHO) announced at a press conference on March 11, 2020 that we are now facing a global COVID-19 pandemic. Hhow will we build the economy after a crisis of this magnitude?” Watch the video below…


The televised version of Espace Maritime’s stage interviews is available on Rogers TV’s YouTube channel: Special Presentation: Maritime Spaces

A poem by El Jones for Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, the 50th anniversary of a day to celebrate our beautiful planet. El Jones, a spoken word poet based in Halifax, collaborated with RAVEN during our Voices for the Environment Week last year. While she was visiting us in Fredericton, El recorded this poem in the UNB Media Lab. Today our partner, the NB Media Co-op, is publishing a video of El’s dynamic performance. You can watch it here.

More nuclear energy is not a feasible energy solution in NB

The fossil-fuel divestment campaign at UNB is led by Rachel Bensler, a student at Renaissance College. Rachel has written several articles about fossil fuel divestment for our partner, the NB Media Co-op. Now she is looking at nuclear energy as an alternative. Read Rachel’s article here about why she believes it is not a feasible solution.

Nuclear energy not a ‘crutch’ in energy transition

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the fossil fuel divestment campaign at St. Thomas University. Hannah wrote this article about another energy source that presents a different kind of challenge: nuclear energy. You can read Hannah’s article here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Farmers require urgent support to ensure food security in New Brunswick

RAVEN’s food security analyst Amy Floyd published a story today in the NB Media Co-op. Her story discusses a recent proposal to support farmers in the province to ensure our food supply this year. Amy also highlighted the work of the Food for All food security network which acted quickly after the COVID-19 outbreak to bring groups together to work strategically on the problem. You can read Amy’s story here.