Updates

Does the world need more electric vehicles? More Canada?

RAVEN collaborator Tracy Glynn published a thought-provoking article today in the NB Media Co-op. She begins by challenging a commentary in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner that advocates intensifying mining in Canada to meet the demand for the minerals required for electric vehicle batteries.

Tracy’s analysis continues with descriptions of the impacts of mining on communities in Canada and globally. Definitely worth a read, HERE.

Environmental groups call for action toward a sustainable New Brunswick

RAVEN and other environmental groups across New Brunswick issued a call for action today. The climate emergency requires radical improvements in our treaty relationship and our relationship with nature and the environment, the way we produce and consume energy and food, and our approach to education and health services and management of our forests, waters and coastlines.

Read the article published by the NB Media Co-op, here.

Letters from the Future New Brunswick

Our new book is published! Letters from the Future: How New Brunswickers Confronted Climate Change and Redefined Progress features 37 authors from different backgrounds with many different ideas.

There’s info in the NB Media Co-op story about the book and where to buy or order it. Help us get the word out by sharing this info with your networks, including on your social media. The awesome book launch video link is also below.

Launch story, Letters from the Future New Brunswick: https://nbmediacoop.org/2021/11/01/29241/

Launch video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSTcn_IQHes&t=3s

The book is in bookstores now. We are also having an in-person book launch and discussion with the editors and local authors at the Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 3 to 5pm. Everyone is welcome to join us there!

Registration open: panel and workshop on climate action

RAVEN, an associate member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), will be active in the NBEN Eco-Confluence and AGA on Oct. 16 (by zoom). Register or find more info for the NBEN event HERE.

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell will moderate a panel on “Collective climate organizing in NB post-pandemic.”

Susan will co-lead a panel with Louise Comeau from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick: “A holistic approach to reducing carbon emissions in New Brunswick: electrification, the Atlantic Loop, coal-phase out, and why new nuclear is not a solution.”

Hope you can join us for this engaging NBEN event!

State of Rural Canada report: New Brunswick

Friend of RAVEN Tom Beckley (University of New Brunswick) wrote the New Brunswick chapter of the 2021 State of Rural Canada report. The report is published by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.

Tom writes: “My contention is that much of what is good about New Brunswick and resilient about this place and its people, is its high proportion of rural residents.”

You can read the New Brunswick chapter:
http://sorc.crrf.ca/nb2021/

Or the full report on Canada:
http://sorc.crrf.ca/fullreport2021/

Rally Sept. 24 – Climate Emergency: This is Not a Drill

Rally for a safe climate and equitable world! Stand in solidarity with people most affected by the climate crisis. Co-hosted by a broad coalition of groups including the RAVEN project.

Friday, September 24 @noon at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton.

Optional: 10:30am meet at Conserver House, 180 St. John Street (near the Legislature) to make signs.

Hear from climate activists, Indigenous land defenders, youth, scientists, trade unionists, energy policy experts and elected representatives on what a just energy transition looks like for Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and beyond.

“Not a drill”: Fredericton rally to call for climate justice

Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick and partner organizations, including environmental groups and labour unions, invite everyone to assemble at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton on unceded Wolastoqiyik territory on September 24 at noon to demand that all levels of government take immediate and effective action on the climate emergency that respects climate justice.

Participants are asked to wear masks and stand six feet apart in a visual display of safety and solidarity with everyone around the world affected by climate change and the global pandemic.  

“Our Indigenous Elders have told us for decades that humans have lost their way by neglecting to uphold the original teachings on how to respect and live in balance with Mother Earth. Hence, we are presently in a state of emergency facing global climate disasters and it will only worsen if we as humans don’t stop the greed of corporations and colonial governments,” says Wolastoqewi Grand Chief spasaqsit possesom – Ron Tremblay. 

“Climate justice goes beyond advocating for renewable energy, recognizing that injustice is linked to social, economic, and political systems and that climate change has its roots in capitalism, colonialism, the patriarchy and other systems of oppression,” says Susan O’Donnell, one of the climate rally organizers and lead researcher with the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick. 

With New Brunswick refusing to close the Belledune coal plant in 2030 as part of Canada’s transition off coal, advocates for a just energy transition point to the need to include all affected workers and communities in climate solutions and future economic planning. 

“Now is the time to be talking about a just energy transition for workers in the fossil fuel and nuclear sectors and their communities in New Brunswick as well as in Colombia where NB Power has been sourcing coal from the Cerrejón coal mine since the 1990s. It’s not the time to keep yesterday’s fuel sources like coal and nuclear on the table,” said Tracy Glynn, one of the rally organizers and who has worked with Colombian coal miners and affected community members to tell their stories for more than a decade. 

“The coal burned in Belledune comes from Colombia where its extraction is linked to the forced displacement and starvation of Indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Colombian farmers and children and repression of coal miners and unionists. Climate justice is migrant justice. It’s reproductive justice. It’s housing justice,” says Glynn. 

Climate activists, Indigenous land defenders, youth, scientists, trade unionists, energy policy experts, and elected representatives will share their thoughts on what a just energy transition looks like for Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and beyond. Ron Tremblay, the Wolastoq Grand Chief, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South, Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers, Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, and Danny Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour are among the speakers.

This rally is supported by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, Council of Canadians Fredericton Chapter, Council of Canadians Saint John Chapter, Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Conservation Council of New Brunswick, CUPE NB, Fredericton Club of the Communist Party of Canada, Leap4wards Saint John, New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), New Brunswick Federation of Labour, NB Media Co-op, No One Is Illegal Fredericton, RAVEN, Reproductive Justice NB and Solidarité Fredericton.

Global Launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 11am to 1pm Atlantic

Link to join at start time:
https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/ezzsrhaf

Here’s the link to the report:
https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2021-773.html

We’re pleased to announce that RAVEN at the University of New Brunswick and the Environment & Society Program at St. Thomas University are the Canadian co-hosts of the global launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report! The WNISR is an independent expert assessment of nuclear industry developments globally. 

What: Global Launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021

Date: Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Time:11am – 1pm Atlantic

10h–12h Washington D.C. Time (EDT)

16h–18h Paris Time (CET)

Where: Virtual https://primetime.bluejeans.com/a2m/live-event/ezzsrhaf

The event is hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Washington D.C. co-hosted by the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and the Environment & Society Program at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

We will have a diverse line-up of distinguished speakers:

Geoffrey Fettus (Lawyer, NRDC) – Introduction/Moderation 

Mycle Schneider (WNISR) – Global Overview

Tatsujiro Suzuki (Nagasaki University, former Vice-Chair of Japan Atomic Energy Commission) – Fukushima+10

Mariana Budjeryn (Harvard Kennedy School) – Chernobyl+35

M.V. Ramana (University of British Columbia) – SMRs

Ali Ahmad (Harvard Kennedy School) /Thibault Laconde (Consulting Engineer) – Nuclear Power and Climate Change Resilience

Mathilde Le Moal (Master in Global Crime) – Nuclear Power and Criminal Energy

Antony Froggatt (Chatham House) – Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy Deployment

In addition, we are planning an SMR-focused event hosted by the University of British Columbia in early October 2021.

Background: The annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production and construction. The WNISR assesses the status of new-build programs in existing as well as in potential newcomer nuclear countries. The report also compares the development of nuclear power and renewable energy globally.

WNISR2021 contains several focus chapters, including a first assessment of Nuclear Power and Climate Change Resilience. A special Fukushima Status Report 10 Years After provides an overview of ongoing onsite/offsite challenges, health impacts, judicial decisions and cost estimates of the disaster. Chernobyl – 35 Years After the Disaster Began looks at advances in the cleanup and remaining challenges. For the first time, WNISR dedicates a chapter to the problem of Nuclear Power and Criminal Energy.

For more information and past reports, published annually since 2007 see: http://www.worldnuclearreport.org/

Party election platforms: Should new nuclear reactors be part of Canada’s climate action plan?

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and collaborator Dr. Gordon Edwards in Montreal analyzed the election promises of the major parties. The parties have widely divergent plans for nuclear in climate action. Read the article here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Rural and suburban voices to be heard in the local governance reform debate

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder writes again about the local governance reform process. This story was written after the release of a report by the New Brunswick Local Service District Association, a group Kim is supporting during the process. The Association’s report is: Blueprint for Rural and Suburban Governance. You can read Kim’s article here.

A missed opportunity for true collaboration in local governance reform

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder has been working with local advocates for rural local governance reform. She published a commentary today in the NB Media Co-op. Read it HERE.

For many New Brunswickers, local governance reform could have been an exciting and celebratory process. However, the government’s biased public surveys, multitudes of technological challenges, and mixed messaging have reinforced public distrust of the reform process.

Growing a Better Future Project Updates

Amy Floyd, Rural Food Security Policy Analyst

For more information on any of these activities: amypfloyd@gmail.com

Agricultural leases for small farmers

RAVEN is excited to announce that we are working with a legal firm in New Brunswick to adapt an agricultural lease for small farmers. The template will be available in Fall 2021 on the RAVEN site. The document will help small farmers prepare to lease agricultural land to start their own small farm. Stay tuned for details!

“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. https://www.nashwaakcommunitygrowers.com/local-business-directory

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.

More news about NB’s plutonium plan

An article co-written by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was published today by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. You can read it HERE.

The article focuses on a letter written by nine US non-proliferation experts concerned about Canada’s support for the plan by Moltex Energy to extract plutonium from the used nuclear fuel at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy.

From an international perspective, the government grant to Moltex can be seen as Canada sending a signal—giving a green light to plutonium extraction and the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel.

The plans for new nuclear reactors in New Brunswick are delaying real climate action and do nothing to address the climate crisis.

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. RAVEN 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.

Build your own rain garden

RAVEN’s Amy Floyd published her new article today in the NB Media Co-op: Build your own rain garden: Using nature’s elegant designs to clean up New Brunswick’s waterways. You can read it HERE.

Amy’s article explains why rain gardens are important and things to consider when deciding if you should build your own. Links to organizations that can provide further resources are also included. Have a look!

Winning the Race to the Bottom: New Brunswick Forestry in Historical Context

The video is now available of the Tertulia co-hosted by RAVEN featuring Bill Parenteau and Mark McLaughlin sharing their political economy and historical insights about how our forest came to be managed the way it has been in New Brunswick. You can view the video published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op, 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: fredericton.tertulia@gmail.com.

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.

The nuclear projects proposed for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action and do nothing to address the climate crisis.

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:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/field-trip-farm-co-operatives-with-la-cooperative-ferme-terre-partagee-tickets-150795169411

This event is organized by Amy Floyd:

Food Security Policy Analyst
The Raven Project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) https://raven-research.org/

Founder and Administrator
Permaculture Atlantic Network
www.permacultureatlantic.com

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.

The nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action because they do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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 hmkxn@stu.ca. 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.

Videos: Bay of Fundy – natural wonder or nuclear industry test site?

The RAVEN project and seven co-hosts organized two webinar panels, with presenters from Canada and the United States, on the theme: The Bay of Fundy: Natural Wonder or Nuclear Industry Test Site?

Access the videos published by the NB Media Co-op, here.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

‘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:

https://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofCanada/videos/934857067289154/

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action.

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.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

Who is minding the nuclear file?

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell continues her investigation with colleagues into the plans to develop experimental nuclear reactors beside the Bay of Fundy. In this article co-written with Gordon Edwards and published by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op, the lack of oversight into the proposed used fuel “recycling” plan is explored.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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.

Briefing paper: The proposed nuclear reactors (SMRs) for New Brunswick

You can read or download the briefing paper on this page.

RAVEN became engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

Briefing paper on more nuclear reactors for New Brunswick

The RAVEN project is supporting climate action. In our ongoing efforts to share information about the proposed “small modular nuclear reactors” for New Brunswick, we teamed up with nuclear experts and produced a briefing paper for the government, discussed at a meeting with Minister Mike Holland on February 24. You can read the briefing paper here.

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:

$20 million for proposed nuclear reactor in NB

RAVEN lead investigator continues her interest in the proposed nuclear reactors for New Brunswick with another article published this month in RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op: New Brunswick gives a $20 million gift to our American nuclear company. Read Susan’s article here.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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:

https://unbvirtualclasses.zoom.us/…/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:https://unbvirtualclasses.zoom.us/…/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.

Video: More nuclear reactors for New Brunswick?

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell was invited by the New Brunswick Environmental Network to make a presentation about the proposed nuclear reactors for New Brunswick. The NB Media Co-op published the video, here.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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.

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 Rankandfile.ca.

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.

RAVEN is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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 is engaged in this issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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:
https://raven-research.org/ravens-2020-cell-phone-music-video-contest-winners/

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.

RAVEN is engaged in the nuclear issue because the nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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.

Commentary in The Hill Times on radioactive waste in New Brunswick

Nuclear expert Gordon Edwards teamed up with RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell to write a commentary published in The Hill Times, a news outlet read by MPs and decision-makers in Ottawa. You can read their commentary here.

The nuclear projects planned for New Brunswick are delaying genuine climate action. They do nothing to address the climate crisis and divert resources and attention to the need to rapidly increase our reliance on renewable energy.

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.