University fossil fuel divestment – Mount Allison

RAVEN is supporting a fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNB. RAVEN’s environmental action reporter Abram Lutes interviewed Tina Oh, an activist who worked on the Divest Mount Allison campaign and remains committed to advocating to a fossil-fuel free future. His story is published by RAVEN’s partner, the NB Media Co-op. You can read it 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.

How our unknown future is affecting our mental health

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn wrote an article published by the NB Media Co-op today about the mental health impacts of the climate crisis, a topic that is only starting to be explored. Her article includes information from a report released recently by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. You can read Lauren’s article here.

RAVEN calls on UNB to end fossil fuel investments

RAVEN is based at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) which is currently developing its strategic plan for the future. This week, RAVEN’s principal investigator Dr. Susan O’Donnell sent a letter to the UNB strategic planning committee asking the university to include divestment from fossil fuels in its strategic plan.

The key text of the letter states:

The RAVEN project would like to work with the UNB administration on a campaign to end any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest from direct ownership and commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe this campaign at UNB will support not only an ethical financial portfolio but also the wellbeing of its current and future students and rural communities across the province, who deserve to have a future not defined by climate chaos.”

The letter can be accessed here.

Language and the Green New Deal

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn, a UNB M.A. student in Creative Writing, shares her interesting perspective on language and the Green New Deal. The article includes an interview with Margo Sheppard the primary organizer of the Green New Deal meeting in Fredericton in June. You can read Lauren’s story here. RAVEN was a partner in the June meeting event.

Taking back our resources: A letter from NB’s future #7

Chris Rouse is the author of the latest letter from New Brunswick’s future. NB Media Co-op publishes the letters in collaboration with RAVEN. You can read Chris’ letter here. Chris writes his letter from his home in the Kingston Peninsula in July 2050, reflecting on how New Brunswickers took back control of their energy generation… and about his love story.

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.

A just transition for workers at NB Power’s Belledune plant

RAVEN’s Abram Lutes was with the team that recently visited the Belledune industrial facilities. NB Power’s Belledune plant is the last in the province to burn coal as its energy source. The federal government has mandated that burning coal to generate energy must end by 2030. In this article for the NB Media Co-op, Abram writes about a recent task force report on a just transition for workers at the Belledune plant and others across the country. You can read the article here.

More links between fossil fuels in NB and human rights internationally

RAVEN’s environmental activism reporter, Abram Lutes, published another story today in the NB Media Co-op that links oil imported, refined and exported in New Brunswick with human rights violations internationally. You can read his story here.

Abram’s earlier story about “blood coal” from Columbia and the NB Power Plant in Belledune was published in June.

Gagetown community talks climate action

RAVEN’s Lauren Korn visited the Gagetown community event on climate action earlier this week. She wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op, which you can read here. Friend of RAVEN Marilyn Merritt-Gray is co-chair of the rural group VOICES – Voices for Sustainable Environments and Communities. Great to see that space was made at the meeting for students in the community to share their views. So inspiring to see the youth taking a strong stand on their future. The article includes information about a proposed Gagetown youth caucus. Thanks Lauren.

A message from NB’s future

RAVEN co-investigator Daniel Tubb today published an interesting article in the NB Media Co-op today imagining New Brunswick in 2030 “to think about how we met our climate change obligations. It is fiction, but it need not be.” You can read his article here.

Daniel has promised more of these thought-pieces and we’re looking forward to them.

Any friends of RAVEN who would like to contribute an article along these lines is invited to contact RAVEN: raven.unb@gmail.com

Renewable energy bill in the NB legislature

As part of RAVEN’s work to raise awareness and publish stories about environmental issues in our province, we are faithfully covering “opposition day” activities in the legislature and related goings-on by our political leaders. This week on opposition day, MLAs debated Bill 23, an Act to Amend the Electricity Act, that would allow municipalities and First Nations to work with local energy suppliers of green and renewable energy. Bill 23 passed to committee. You can read our story about it here.

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.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy in New Brunswick

Chris Rouse presented his business case for a transition to a low-carbon economy in Fredericton recently. His presentation focused on investment into renewables, efficiency, and fuel-switching, with a goal of transitioning 95% of the province’s total energy needs to renewables by 2040.

RAVEN Summer Institute team member Lauren Korn wrote the story for the NB Media Co-op. You can access it here.

Youth speakers increasing at Fredericton climate strike

We partnered with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the NB Media Co-op to write a story about the student climate strike outside the Legislature building on May 10. RAVEN team members have been present at all three climate strikes to date and we will continue to show our support for the youth going forward. Their actions and words inspire us!

Video: The People vs The Irving Empire

The People’s Mayday rally in Saint John sparked the creation of a 5-minute video, The People vs the Irving Dynasty, about their action in the port city last week. The video was produced by Max Media, edited by Jon Pederson, and supported by the NB Media Co-op and RAVEN.

Read the article and link to the video on the NB Media Co-op page.

Climate emergency vs profits for industry

The provincial government has the power and the responsibility to act on the climate crisis. The IPCC and the UN are urging the world’s government to take immediate action. RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell wrote a story about the situation in the Legislative Assembly in New Brunswick. It’s not a good story. Our premier is not sure how much of climate change is based on human activity and believes that industry should be leading the innovations required for a cleaner environment. Read the story here.

RAVEN 2019 video contest winners

The RAVEN 2019 cell phone music video contest theme was “Moving NB to a Green Economy.” Click here for the contest details, including the partners and judges. On this page are the five winning videos that each won $1,000, and the runner up, followed by a video discussion with the artists. The RAVEN project will be running the contest again in 2020: stay tuned!

Winning videos

Winner, Title: Burning. Music: Anne Hedonia. Videographer: Bre Darlison, Dorchester.

Raven 2019 video contest winner: Burning

Winner, Title: Green Dream, Artist: Leland Wong-Daugherty and Michael, Knowlesville

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Green Dream

Winner, Title: Every Step You Take Makes a Difference: NB Green Economy. Artist: Celtic Kin Canada, Fredericton

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Every Step You Take Makes a Difference: NB Green Economy

Winner, Title: Thrive, Artist: Ryleigh Hatch, Harvey

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Thrive

Winner, Title: The Water’s Rising, Artist: Brendan Green, East Brighton

RAVEN 2019 video contest winner: Water’s Rising

Runner up, Title: Eraser Karaoke, Artist: Jon Pederson, Fredericton

RAVEN 2019 video contest runner-up: Eraser Karaoke

Discussion with the artists: clips from the April 24 webinar with participating video contest winners.

RAVEN 2019 video contest discussion with winners

March for Tomorrow’s Jobs: April 27

Climate • Jobs • Justice – Mark the date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Saint John, a solidarity March for Tomorrow’s Jobs with RAVEN and partner environmental and labour groups. Meet at King’s Square, Saint John, 1pm. Partners:


From the poster: “Why march on April 27? Like other New Brunswickers, we love our province and believe investing in a low-carbon economy is the path forward for our economy. The Green Economy Network calculated that New Brunswick could create almost 25,000 person-years of employment over five years. Strategic investments — in energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and public transit, and a just transition for workers — would provide skilled jobs that cannot be relocated to other jurisdictions, laying a strong foundation for continued growth and prosperity here in the province.

Stay tuned for other events during RAVEN’s Earth Week, April 23-27, 2019. See the full schedule here.

RAVEN 2019 cell phone music video contest details

On this page are the details about the 2019 contest: the contest partners, the contest judges, the scoring process, and a link to all the contest documentation.

Contest partners:

Contest judges:

  • Casey Burkholder, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick
  • Marie Maltais, Art Centre, University of New Brunswick
  • Amy Floyd, Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Scoring process:

  • 0-5 points each for: content, technical challenge, creativity
  • 1 bonus point each for: funny, rural NB scenes, different cultures and languages, Indigenous perspectives, under-represented communities

The cell phone music video contest documentation is here.

Contest poster

RAVEN at the Environmental Studies Association Annual Meeting

Another member of the UNB RAVEN team will represent the project at the biggest academic conference in Canada: the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences.

RAVEN’s Kim Reeder’s abstract was accepted for presentation at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) annual meeting. Congrats Kim! Kim is a Masters in Environmental Management candidate at UNB. Her presentation, “Leadership and mobilization for climate change adaptation in rural communities” is based on RAVEN’s study with municipal leaders and workers in the northwest region of New Brunswick. You can read her abstract here.

Kim’s presentation will be at the satellite ESAC conference at the Memorial University campus in Corner Brook, NL that will be linked with the main ESAC venue at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Other ESAC conference participants will join the event virtually. RAVEN is pleased to see ESAC take the lead in organizing a distributed and virtual conference to allow participants to reduce or eliminate air travel.

Other RAVEN graduate students will be presenting at the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) annual conference

We are planning to present all of our research during RAVEN’s planned Earth Week events at the end of April 2019. Stay tuned!

RAVEN cell phone music video contest – deadline extended!

Get your cell phones out and start philming! The RAVEN cell phone music video contest deadline is extended to encourage more participation. We have five prizes of $1000 to give away for the best videos.

Contest theme: Moving New Brunswick to a Green Economy

New deadlines:

  • March 26: last day to request a registration form
  • April 2: last day to submit your registration form with the link to your video

RAVEN contest partners:

  • Sustainability Education Alliance
  • NB Media Co-op
  • NB Film Co-op
  • JEDI – Joint Economic Development Initiative

You enter the contest using the registration form, available by emailing the contest coordinator Shanthi Bell: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com

This blog post has all the information you will need to enter. For a copy of the contest guidelines, click here. For the contest poster, click here.

For an excellent video on how to make a cell phone video, check out the recording of the webinar by RAVEN’s Casey Burkholder on the contest Facebook page. The video link is here.

Here are some common questions we’ve been asked, and our answers:

Q: What is the maximum length of the video? A: Two minutes.

Q: How do I submit a video, can I email you the video?
A: No, you need to submit on the application form, which includes a link to the video that you have uploaded and password-protected. Please do not send the video to us directly.

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

Q: Does the music need to be original?
A: Yes, however historical music / songs that are out of copyright can be used.

Q: Does the video need to have lyrics / words?
A: No but often words help tell a story. You can use words written on cards if you want. See our “How to make a cell phone video” recording for more ideas.

Q: Does the theme have to be “transition to a green economy”?
A: Yes, it can be anything related to the green economy. Some tips for themes are on the contest guidelines page. Other ideas can be found by searching the web for “green economy.”

Q: Does the person submitting need to be involved with an environmental group?
A: The contest is open to all residents of New Brunswick.

Q: Can a video be submitted by a group?
A: Yes, however if successful, the cheque for $1,000 will be made out to the name on the application form. If your group is incorporated and can cash the cheque, fine. If not, one person will have their name on the application form, the person who will cash the cheque.

RAVEN at Climate Change Adaptation Workshop

RAVEN is a member of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). Today the NBEN co-hosted a workshop: Protect, Accommodate, Retreat: Adapting to a changing climate in New Brunswick. Participants from across the province shared information at the event at the New Maryland Centre, including members of the RAVEN team.

The event featured a compelling keynote address by Robin Bronen, co-founder and executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, about the climate change work in that state where the temperature has already risen by 3.5 degrees and Indigenous communities are planning to re-locate from their traditional communities along the coast.

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell and Kim Reeder participated and met up with Adrian Prado of the Northwest Regional Service Commission (CSRNO). RAVEN is working with Adrian and CSRNO on a study of leadership for climate change adaptation in that rural region. The networking at the NBEN workshop was exceptional and we made new contacts for future activities related to rural alternative media.

Clear the air

Carbon pricing – making polluters pay – is one of the measures being implemented to address the challenge of climate change. Friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton wrote an article about “Clear the Air,” a carbon pricing panel event in Sackville as part of the Tantramar Climate Change Week. You can read his article in the NB Media Co-op here. Tantramar, the rural region of New Brunswick on the border with Nova Scotia, is considered vulnerable to climate change impacts. Earlier for RAVEN, Brian wrote about another panel in Fredericton on this important topic. You can read that post here.

How to make a cell phone video

RAVEN co-investigator Casey Burkholder today delivered a webinar on making cellphilms, aka cell phone videos. This webinar is supporting potential participants of the RAVEN cell phone music video contest.

“Moving NB to a Green Economy” is the theme of a the competition. The winning five videos will each receive $1,000. The competition poster and guidelines can be downloaded from the Facebook site. Also on the site is a link to Casey’s webinar recording.

For a copy of the competition registration form, email: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com. The competition deadline is March 15.

RAVEN cell phone music video contest launched

RAVEN is happy to announce that the cell phone music video contest is launched today! RAVEN’s Shanthi Bell is the coordinator. Please share this info below with your networks.

“Moving NB to a Green Economy” is the theme of a competition for music videos made using cellphones. The five top videos will each receive $1,000. The competition is a joint effort from four groups: the UNB RAVEN project, the NB Film Co-op, the NB Media Co-op and JEDI. The competition poster and guidelines can be downloaded from the Facebook site. For a copy of the competition registration form, email: ravenvideocontest@gmail.com. The competition deadline is March 15.

On February 5, UNB professor Casey Burkholder, a researcher with the RAVEN project, will be giving a webinar on how to make a cellphone video. Sign up at the Facebook site. The video of the webinar will be on the site afterwards.

Brian Beaton, friend of RAVEN, wrote a story for the NB Media Co-op about the music video competition as an outcome of the NBEN Art of Sustainability workshop. You can read his story here.

Poster designed by Cat LeBlanc of the NB Film Co-op. Thanks Cat!


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.

Carbon pricing – Making changes today, taking responsibility and acting

Friend of RAVEN Brian Beaton wrote a story for us about a Carbon Pricing event held in Fredericton in December 2018. Carbon pricing is currently a hot topic across New Brunswick and particularly in rural communities. The panel at the Fredericton event and the lively discussion afterward was an opportunity to share some facts and demystify this useful tool to mitigate climate change impacts. Read Brian’s story here.

Collaboration with CSRNO

RAVEN sent a letter of support and offer to collaborate with the Northwest Regional Service Commission (CSRNO) on a project related to leadership for climate change adaptation in a rural region. Our collaborative initiative will develop and conduct surveys of CSRNO’s member organizations and collaborators, analyze the data and create reports and publications to suit the needs of each of projects. The RAVEN team will also offer our expertise to the CSRNO team as it applies in the context of our shared work. The study will start in January 2019.