Exploring the natural world in the Belledune region

For the last number of months, the RAVEN project has been working with and supporting a talented young writer, Brandon Corcoran who lives in a rural area near Belledune in Northern New Brunswick. Brandon writes about the natural world surrounding him, and his talent is bringing small stories to life. Many of his stories are illustrated with his beautiful photographs.

To access Brandon’s articles, click HERE. This link will bring you to a page with three stories published in September. Scroll down for the links to more stories published since March. Thank you Brandon for bringing these stories to life!

Elder leads medicine walk for young minds

Kirsten Leclaire-Mazerolle, from Natoaganeg First Nation, is a researcher and writer working out of the Human Environments Workshop (HEW) funded by RAVEN. Today she published “Elder leads medicine walk for young minds,” in the NB Media Co-op, about students learning about Mi’gmaq culture, traditional healing plants on cultural teaching hike.

Read Kirsten’s article HERE.

Fate of internationally educated nurses in post-pandemic New Brunswick uncertain

“Nurses were the arrowheads in the fight against COVID-19 in New Brunswick. They were (and are) the province’s first and most important line of defense. They were (and are) victims of the virus. The virus has taken a toll. By April 2022, nearly 700 nurses, many needing medical care, had been out of work at some point because of being infected with COVID-19.”

Read the full article HERE, in the NB Media Co-op, written by Faith Timipere Allison. Faith is a doctoral student at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick working out of the Human Environments Workshop (HEW) funded by RAVEN.

Bird habitats are being destroyed. It’s time for a change

“At its best, the Acadian forest, with its mix of softwood and hardwoods, makes a home for diverse plant and wildlife communities, including lynx, moose, deer, flying squirrels, and many, many species of birds, even though only a tiny fraction of the original Acadian forest remains. As our forests have been degraded, so have the habitats for the birds that find a home there.”

Read the full article HERE by Christine Jean, working out of the Human Environments Workshop (HEW) funded by RAVEN.

Time to rethink the common burdock, a ‘nuisance’ plant that’s actually a viable food option

As food prices rise, we may need to assess the way we look at our food. This includes looking into alternative, viable food options. Burdock, normally seen as a nuisance by the common gardener or landscaper, is a surprisingly versatile plant. It’s astonishing to most that it is a completely edible plant.

By understanding the growing cycle of the plant and what parts are most choice and when, burdock can easily find its way on to your dinner table.

Read the article HERE by Dallas Tomah in the NB Media Co-op. Dallas is currently working out of the Human Environments Workshop funded by RAVEN.

Land ‘buy back’ at Whaelghinbran Farm is protecting the Acadian forest

In New Brunswick, we don’t just need access to land for today, we need access to land for future generations, writes Amy Floyd, in one of her last articles for RAVEN published in the NB Media Co-op.

The owners of Whaelghinbran Farm near Penobsquis) found a creative solution to this challenge through an arrangement with the New Brunswick Community Land Trust. Read Amy’s article HERE.

Green thumbs share harvest at urban communal garden in Moncton

Since 2020, a communal garden has been set-up in a well-established residential neighbourhood, very close to downtown in the City of Moncton. The site is easy to reach by bike or foot for folks in the area, writes Amy Floyd. Read her article HERE published by the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN book featured on CBC radio

Letters from the Future: How New Brunswickers Confronted Climate Change and Redefined Progress was featured on the CBC radio program Shift this week. The clip includes an interview with RAVEN co-investigator and book editor Daniel Tubb. Listen 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.

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network that published Greenprint 2021 today. RAVEN supported the publication development and we’re pleased to promote it.

HERE is the link to Greenprint 2021: Towards a Sustainable New Brunswick.

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:

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!

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:

Or the full report on Canada:

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.

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.

New Brunswick’s local governance system is not inclusive

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder continues her analysis of rural governance in New Brunswick. In her latest article, Kim reports how some Local Service Districts (LSDs) are considered by the province to be “defunct” and how this label is preventing citizen engagement in LSDs. You can read the article here.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

RAVEN at Espace Maritime Spaces

Writing this from Beresford on the Baie des Chaleurs, looking forward to tomorrow morning and the start of the Espaces Maritime Spaces event, Belledune edition, with our RAVEN partner Projet Aulnes. RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, Susan O’Donnell and Amy Floyd will be participating. After a day of workshops, the broadcast show will be produced in the evening and feature a range of topics, including the RAVEN project.

Rural New Brunswickers talk about home through photovoice

RAVEN’s work with photovoice is led by researcher Tracy Glynn. In this new story published by the NB Media Co-op, Tracy presents the photo stories of rural residents Beth Nixon, Stephanie Coburn, Teri McMackin, Cheryl Johnson, Deborah Carr and Rick Roth. Check out the stories and photographs here.

RAVEN and Maritime Spaces / Espace Maritime

RAVEN’s partner the Aulnes Projects is a community development cooperative in Pointe-Verte on the Baie des Chaleurs near Belledune. We are collaborating on their new project, Maritime Spaces, with the first show scheduled for February 28-29. From the website:

Maritime Spaces
Maritime Spaces, a road show program, offers discussions in formulas that are outside the box for a sustainable and clean future in New Brunswick. The topics covered are under the three themes dear to Aulnes Projects: sustainable socio-economic development, preservation of the environment and social justice.

The first edition of this Maritime Spaces program will focus on a collaborative project taking place in the Belledune region. Components of this project will explain how they are using research, arts and environmental sustainability education to promote sustainable communities and healthy environments, even in a region marked by heavy industry.

Visit to South Knowlesville

Friends of RAVEN Amy Floyd and Leyland Wong-Daugherty organized a learning event in the South Knowlesville community today. The visit began with a pot-luck followed by a sharing circle at the Knowlesville Art and Nature Centre. Visitors to the community, including from the RAVEN project, learned about the history of the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust, the legal options for forming community land trusts, and the experiences of community members in intentional communities in a rural environment.

We also visited the off-grid straw bale round house in the community, and the ARK – Arts Republic of Knowlesville, located in an old farmhouse undergoing a retrofit with straw bale insulation.

On the first weekend of June, South Knowlesville is the site of the Praxis festival, a Permaculture-Inspired Art Festival. Praxis and South Knowlesville are also involved in an ongoing RAVEN project to produce a video about rural activism and rural environmental projects in New Brunswick.

Thank you to the South Knowlesville community for hosting the visitors today!

Action on glyphosate spraying

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story today about the new bill introduced in the NB Legislature to end the practice of spraying the poison glyphosate on Crown lands and waters. The bill also provides for a fair deal for private woodlot owners that will contribute to more sustainable development in rural communities in the province. You can read the story here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

More developments on Upham Mountain

“The New Brunswick government has given a conditional approval to a J.D. Irving-owned gypsum mine near the Hammond River in Upham leaving rural residents upset by the government’s lack of attention to how the mine could affect their well water and roads.” So begins the update by RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn on the ongoing struggle of residents in the area to protect their local water supply and local roads. You can read Tracy’s story here.

And then, faster than we thought possible… A letter from New Brunswick’s future #17

Erin Seatter writes the Letter from the future NB this week, dated 2040, from Vancouver. In that year, people have re-built our society after realizing that nobody else was going to do it for us. You can read Erin’s letter here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Shannon Elizabeth Bell’s visit to UNB

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invited professor Shannon Bell to visit us. Shannon is with the department of Sociology in Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

You can meet Shannon at two other RAVEN events: the RAVEN project birthday party on Thursday evening and the Friday panel, the Women Resisting Extractivism. See the Voices for the Environment week in the paragraph below for details of those events. At the Friday panel, Dr. Bell will also be displaying photovoice panels from her work in rural coal-mining communities in West Virginia.

If you are interested in Dr. Bell’s work, please check out her paper: Bridging Activism and the Academy: Exposing Environmental Injustices Through the Feminist Ethnographic Method of Photovoice

You can read and download her paper here. The abstract is below.

The neoliberal rejection of a strong role for governmental regulation of industry has led to increasingly negative consequences for the environment and the people who are forced to bear a disproportionate share of the health and safety hazards created by corporate polluters. The voices of the victims of environmental injustice often go unheard in the policy arena, while an arsenal of paid industry lobbyists exerts undue influence and power over legislative and regulatory agency processes. In this paper, I argue that we as social scientists are frequently positioned in such a way that we could serve as links between the people we study and policymakers, providing an avenue for exposing the ways that neoliberal policies negatively affect the health, safety, and well-being of disenfranchised groups. Through presenting a “Photovoice” project I conducted with 54 women living in five coal-mining communities in southern West Virginia, I demonstrate how feminist activist ethnography, as a distinct type of activist research, can be used for social science inquiry while simultaneously providing an opportunity for research participants’ stories to be heard—and acted upon—by those with political power.

Continuing the slow decline, but that’s okay – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #16

Cheryl Johnson writes the latest Letter from the future NB, dated 2049. In that year, different groups of people “are working together and sharing their knowledge and compassion. We have to be united, or life is too hard otherwise.” You can read Cheryl’s letter here, published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op.

Water in New Brunswick: rights and the environment versus big business

In his final story as RAVEN’s environmental action reporter, Abram Lutes wrote about water infrastructure in New Brunswick. You can read Abram’s article here. Privatization of water infrastructure is a very contentious topic, with CUPE in particular speaking out against it. As Abram’s article relates, both Moncton and Saint John operate their water infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

Flooding highlights support system disparities in rural New Brunswick

RAVEN’s Lauren R. Korn published another article today about rural New Brunswick, this one about the impact of flooding on mental health in the province’s rural communities. She interviewed Julia Woodhall-Melnik, who is working with her research team at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. You can read Lauren’s article here.

The tale of Skutik – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #12

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder and her collaborators in Charlotte County wrote this week’s Letter from New Brunswick’s future: The tale of Skutik, written from the perspective of Skutik, the St. Croix River. You can read the story here.

“What was their name again?” Letter from NB’s future #11

Alain Deneault writes about a future NB when people in rural communities are using as community centres the abandoned gas stations once owned by … what was their name again? You can read his letter here, published by the NB Media Co-op in English and by the publication Astheure in French, as part of RAVEN’s Letter from the future NB series.

The joys of rural life – Letter from NB’s future #10

Teri McMackin wrote this week’s Letter from NB’s future, from Petitcodiac in August 2030. She describes a wonderful rural lifestyle that could be possible in 20 years if the right choices are made now. You can read Teri’s letter here.

RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes are the series editor. The letters are published by RAVEN partner the NB Media Co-op.

Environmental Impact Assessment for Milltown Dam project

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder writes about the EIA for the Milltown Dam project. NB Power is proposing to remove the generating station and dam, which will open up new possibilities for the St. Croix River. The EIA will be interesting for several reasons, including that the river is on the international boundary with the US. Read Kim’s article here.

More on the Milltown dam story

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder is following the story of the end of the NB Power Milltown Generating Station and the removal of the dam on the St. Croix River. Her second story for the NB Media Co-op on this issue discusses the issues raised in the Open House meeting in St. Stephen with the local community on July 11. You can read her story here.

Milltown plant closure has environmental impacts

The NB Power generating station in Milltown is the oldest operating hydro-electric station in Canada. In June, NB Power announced it was closing the plant. RAVEN’s Kim Reeder wrote an article about the potential positive impacts on the environment. You can read her story here, published in the NB Media Co-op.

RAVEN at the Sackville EOS Eco-energy home show

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Brian Beaton learned about the latest thinking and practices for sustainable homes at the show in Sackville on July 6. Brian Beaton wrote a story about the event published in the NB Media Co-op. You can read Brian’s story here.

Rural community development success in Newfoundland

During his visit with the RAVEN team to St. Andrews, Brian Beaton attended a presentation by Bonavista, NL mayor John Norman. Afterward, Brian wrote this story for the NB Media Co-op about how the community rallied from the loss of the cod fishery to build a strong community identity and revitalize heritage and community spaces. You can read his story here.

La Barque + Projet Aulnes

The RAVEN team returned yesterday from our visit to Belledune, Pointe-Verte and the beautiful Baie-des-Chaleurs. We were pleased to spend time with the local hosts for our visit, Projet Aulnes, located in La Barque cooperative in Pointe-Verte. Our visit this week is a follow-up to our earlier visit in April.

RAVEN is pleased to announce that Projet Aulnes has agreed to be a partner in the RAVEN project moving forward. We will share more news in future as we develop our common project of work. Stay tuned!

Belledune Community Meeting: June 18

Everyone is welcome to join a community gathering at La Barque Co-operative in Pointe-Verte on Tuesday, June 18 from 5 to 7pm. La Barque is hosting visitors working on a collaborative project focused on the Belledune region. The project is using research, art, video, digital media and sustainability education to promote sustainable rural communities and healthy environments in a region with heavy industry. At the gathering at La Barque, the visitors will share information about their project and their impressions of their tour of the Belledune industrial facilities earlier in the day. The gathering is organized by project members at Productions Aulnes in La Barque for visitors from the NB Environmental Network (NBEN), Université de Moncton, and RAVEN at the University of New Brunswick.
Tout le monde est invité à se joindre à la réunion communautaire de La Coopérative la Barque à Pointe Verte, le mardi 18 juin de 17 à 19 heures. La Barque reçoit les visiteurs qui travaillent sur un projet collaboratif qui se concentre sur la région de Belledune. Le projet utilise la recherche, les arts, des vidéos, des médias numériques et l’éducation à la viabilité pour promouvoir les collectivités rurales durables et des environnements sains dans une région avec des industries lourdes. Lors de la rencontre avec les membres de La Barque, les visiteurs pourront échanger des renseignements sur leurs projets et leurs impressions de la tournée des installations industrielles de Belledune plus tôt dans la journée. Cette rencontre est organisée par les membres du projet Productions Aulnes de La Barque pour les visiteurs du Réseau environnemental du Nouveau-Brunswick (RENB), de l’Université de Moncton, de l’université du Nouveau-Brunswick et le Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Learn, love, act

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn wrote an article for the NB Media Co-op: Learn, love, act: An interview with NatureNB’s Vanessa Roy-McDougall. Lauren’s interview highlights how everyone can make a practical contribution to decrease the degradation of our environment: appreciate our wild spaces, understand how ecosystems work, and protect and sustain them. NatureNB is an organization that provides the resources to help people do just that. You can read the article here.

NB Power’s “blood coal”

As a follow-up to his story earlier this month about the strike at the Belledune smelter, RAVEN’s Abram Lutes published this story about the Belledune NB Power plant’s use of coal from Columbia. The coal is mined in ways dangerous for the miners and local communities. This story aims to help us understand how the energy we use here in NB has consequences for other rural people living far away. RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn, a mining activist, is quoted in the story. You can read it here.

Rural innovation: using technology to keep schools in communities

RAVEN is studying the broadband infrastructure in rural New Brunswick. We plan to produce a report describing the limits and opportunities of telecommunication services across the province to support rural communities, including identifying the gaps and producing recommendations to address local needs. In future, moving to a green economy will mean that rural community members will have a choice where and how they can access education and health services. These choices will be essential to move beyond a fossil fuel economy. RAVEN’s Brian Beaton wrote a story to kick off this study in the NB Media Co-op. You can read the story here.

RAVEN visit to Knowlesville

Members of the RAVEN team made a follow-up visit to Knowlesville on May 25-26, a rural community we first visited in March. Similar to RAVEN’s first visit, we enjoyed a potluck supper with community residents and friends, and we discussed plans for the upcoming community festival.

The PRAXIS project festival, June 7-9 in Knowlesville, is a permaculture-inspired art festival with music, workshops and many other events. The RAVEN team will be participating this year with a video crew. We hope to capture the excitement and vision inspired by this unique rural community in New Brunswick. Everyone is welcome to participate – look out for the RAVEN crew!

The festival will take place on the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust. Community members are developing a rural neighborhood “where urban and rural sensibilities can be brought together to create a wellspring of opportunities for the inhabitants and surrounding community.”

Belledune strike over health and safety concerns

RAVEN’s Abram Lutes published a story today with our partner the NB Media Co-op about the strike and lock-out at the Belledune smelter. You can read the story here. Our focus on Belledune is part of an information-gathering exercise about the Belledune area, following our visit to Pointe-Verte last month.

We are considering an in-depth study of the rural communities in the Belledune region and how they are surviving and in some cases thriving in the context of a large-scale extractive and polluting industrial area in their midst. Stay tuned for more Belledune stories this summer, as part of the RAVEN Summer Institute work.

Why is the RCMP watching a rural action group?

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote a follow-op article to her piece earlier this week that was also published by the NB Media Co-op. The group, Protect Upham Mountain, is questioning why the RCMP is conducting a surveillance operation on their group. Tracy’s article includes interviews with experts on these kinds of surveillance operations. RAVEN will continue to monitor this story as it has implications for rural champions and activists for the environment across the province. Link to the article here.

Is it a quarry or a mine? Upham residents challenge J.D. Irving project

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn is working with Upham residents who have created the Facebook group Protect Upham Mountain to share information about a new development. The Upham group members are rural residents who love their way of life. They are trying to find out how the company got the go ahead with their project – a gypsum mine / quarry – seemingly in contravention of provincial government regulations. You can read the story here.

Establishing a healthy community in rural New Brunswick

In this video made by the RAVEN project, David Perley, director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick and RAVEN collaborator, speaks about what it will take to ensure that rural communities, including his home community of Tobique First Nation, are healthy and sustainable. You can watch the video from this page.

Rail safety and rural community security

Starting in May, the RAVEN project will start a new study of rail safety and rural community security in New Brunswick. This project was prompted by discussions with Bruce Campbell during his tour of New Brunswick as part of RAVEN’s Earth Week events. The study fits into our RAVEN theme: sustainable rural communities and infrastructure.

The NB Media Co-op published two articles related to Bruce’s tour:

RAVEN visit to Pointe-Verte

La Barque Co-op in Pointe Verte is a non-profit community-run innovation, learning and training centre situated in a former school. Members of the co-op live all across the Chaleur. Organizations based in La Barque include Productions Aulnes, run by a team with significant experience in community television and radio production.

Today, Productions Aulnes’ team Renelle LeBlanc and Danis Comeau hosted a visit by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell. After a tour of the dynamic La Barque spaces and activities, the group joined a zoom meeting with colleagues from the University of Moncton’s ECHO project, the RAVEN project at University of New Brunswick, and the Sustainability Education Alliance (SEA) of the NB Environmental Network.

The focus of the meeting, and the reason for the visit, was to develop a collaborative project about Belledune. SEA will be taking the lead to support the group with next steps. We will continue to post updates as they become available. Anyone wanting to join the group is welcome to contact RAVEN: raven.unb@gmail.com.

Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry

RAVEN is supporting our partner, the NB Media Co-op, to produce and share more stories about environmental issues important to rural communities in New Brunswick. There’s a new story today about spraying glyphosate, a topic of considerable concern to many rural residents in the province.

The story, Stopping glyphosate spraying in a province captured by industry” was written by RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell about a public meeting in Plaster Rock. The meeting was co-organized and chaired by RAVEN’s Rowan Miller. You can read the story here.

Bruce Campbell speaking in NB April 23-26: Lac Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op and partners will be hosting a visit by author Bruce Campbell to New Brunswick. Bruce is launching his book: The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied and RAVEN is facilitating community gatherings (bilingue) on the topic of “Rail Transport and Safety for Jobs, Communities and the Environment.” Mark your calendars:

For a copy of the poster, click here.

Background story and book theme: The July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster is a tragedy unparalleled in Canadian history. It resulted in major loss of life, massive environmental destruction and the evisceration of a small Quebec town. Blame landed squarely on the shoulders of three front-line employees of the Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic Railway Company. But a jury acquitted them. Lac-Mégantic is the story of a rail industry writing its own rules subordinating safety to profit, a booming US oil industry based on fracking, fighting any obstacles to selling their dangerous product, and a rogue US railway operator cutting costs and cutting corners.

Author and special guest: Bruce Campbell is currently Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, and Senior Fellow, Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression. He is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think-tanks, and the author of three major reports and numerous media commentaries on the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, for which he was awarded a Law Foundation of Ontario Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship. Bruce spent 2016 as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

Hosts: RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) is an activist research project at the University of New Brunswick. We promote the voices of rural champions working to build sustainable environments and communities in New Brunswick. The NB Media Co-op has membership and contributors province-wide, voluntarily writing and sharing news and opinions and facilitating dialogue on issues concerning New Brunswickers that are all too often marginalized in corporate media, including the environment, social justice, women, Indigenous issues, labour, etc.

Beautiful and bountiful Wolastoq

Today – World Water Day – we are celebrating with an article and a video about Wolastoq, produced in collaboration with RAVEN and published by the NB Media Co-op.

The video features David Perley, RAVEN team member and director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, telling the story of the traditional importance of Wolastoq and why we need to bring it back to health. The short video, Wolastoq: a healthy river is necessary for survival, was a collaboration with several RAVEN team members including Shanthi Bell, Tracy Glynn and Rodrigo Gutiérrez Hermelo.

The article, Wolastoq: a beautiful and bountiful teacher, written by David Perley and friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton, recalls the history of the degradation of the river and the work involved and underway to restore it to health. The story also identifies many of the groups working on restauration projects.

Take Nashwaak’s fish-bearing brooks off the list for Sisson’s mine waste

RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn wrote this article in the NB Media Co-op on Feb. 27 about a coalition Indigenous leaders, scientists and conservationists who are organizing to protest the federal government’s move to allow Northcliff’s Sisson mine project to use two fish-bearing brooks as dumping grounds for its toxic waste. The article, here, includes information about why there is widespread public opposition to this move. The article also includes this link to send a letter of protest by the March 18 deadline through the website of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Living the good life in rural New Brunswick

In a story for the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Tracy Glynn spoke with rural residents living in Taymouth. Like many rural communities, Taymouth faces many challenges but newcomers choosing to make their home in its rolling hills are part of a different, more hopeful story about rural New Brunswick. Read Tracy’s story here.

Video: Nashwaak residents see a future in farming, not fracking

In a video produced by the NB Media Co-op, the RAVEN team spoke with Nashwaak residents Jim Emberger and Amy Floyd. They talked about the need to create clean rural economies in New Brunswick. Emberger is the spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance and Floyd is a volunteer with the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm. Watch the video here.

Pay equity and fracking debated

After the recent provincial election resulted in a historic four-party minority government, the NB Media Co-op stated it would write stories about decisions made in the new Legislature that impact those ignored or misrepresented in the corporate media. For the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell covered the recent debate about fracking and pay equity, both issues of interest to many rural residents in the province. Read the story here.

Big pay equity win for rural postal workers

For the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story that will affect more than 350 rural postal workers in New Brunswick. The rural workers and their union are celebrating a legal decision in September that will give them a big pay raise and better benefits. Read the story here