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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

$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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

RAVEN joins new CRED-NB Coalition

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

Greenprint update meetings

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

A poem by El Jones for Earth Day

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

More nuclear energy is not a feasible energy solution in NB

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

Nuclear energy not a ‘crutch’ in energy transition

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

Why grassroots activism is required to change climate policy

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the St. Thomas University divestment campaign. Today Hannah published a story explaining why divestment campaigns and other activities of grassroots activism are required to stimulate action on the climate crisis. You can read Hannah’s story here.

Gordon Edwards in New Brunswick: “The nuclear industry is desperate”

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published an article in the NB Media Co-op based on the webinar presentation by Dr. Gordon Edwards. The article discusses Dr. Edwards’ assertion that the nuclear industry is behind the government’s current push to fund and otherwise support the development of small modular nuclear reactors. You can read the 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.

Dr. Gordon Edwards on small modular nuclear reactors [video]

RAVEN was part of a team of New Brunswick groups that hosted a visit by Dr. Gordon Edwards to New Brunswick. On March 13, Dr. Edwards’ scheduled talk was moved to a webinar that was published by the NB Media Co-op. You can view 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.

Dr. Gordon Edwards in NB to talk about nuclear energy

RAVEN is collaborating with partner groups to bring Gordon Edwards to New Brunswick. Dr. Gordon Edwards is president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. See the RAVEN event page for more information.

He spoke in Saint John on March 12 and his Fredericton event on March 13 was changed to a webinar. The video of the webinar was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. It can be accessed here.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors : not small, not green, not clean, not affordable

The government of New Brunswick is encouraging us to believe that nuclear power is safe, clean and green, even while the nuclear industry is in a state of decline.

The government is following the advice of a handful of private entrepreneurs and setting the stage for what they hope will be the big economic miracle of 2020: tens of millions in federal funding to top the $10 million already invested by the province to transform New Brunswick into a booming and prosperous Nuclear Energy powerhouse for the entire world.

What are the risks of developing Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in New Brunswick?

Gordon Edwards, Canadian scientist and nuclear consultant, co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. He has worked widely as a consultant on nuclear issues and has been qualified as a nuclear expert by courts in Canada and elsewhere.

Dr. Edwards has worked as consultant for governmental bodies such as the Auditor General of Canada, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. In 2006, Edwards received the Nuclear-Free Future Award. He has also been awarded the Rosalie Bertell Lifetime Achievement Award and the YMCA Peacemaker Medallion.

Sponsors: the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton, Council of Canadians Fredericton, Sustainable Energy Group Carleton County, Council of Canadians Saint John, Urban and Community Studies Institute at the University of New Brunswick Saint John, Sisters of Charity Saint John, NB Media Co-op.

Ending toxic relationships at universities

RAVEN’s Hannah Moore is leading the St. Thomas University fossil fuel divestment campaign. Today Hannah published an article explaining why universities’ investments in fossil fuels are toxic and what it means to shift to a more healthy relationship. You can read Hannah’s article here.

Fossil fuel divestment booklet presented at UNB Board of Governors meeting

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler is leading the UNB divestment campaign. She has produced a booklet “A Guide to the Orange Square” with information about fossil fuel divestment and wearing the orange square. The campaign is supported by RAVEN, the UNB Students Union and the UGSW – union of graduate student workers.

The booklet was presented at the UNB Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 20 by the Board investments committee. The committee is in ongoing dialogue with Rachel and the divestment campaign about how to engage with fossil fuel divestment while being fiscally responsible.

UNB graduate student workers support fossil-fuel divestment

The Union of Graduate Student Workers (UGSW), local 60550 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represents University of New Brunswick graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at UNB. Today the UGSC confirmed it is supporting the UNB fossil-fuel divestment campaign. The UGSW logo will be included in the February information booklet. Thank you for your support!

A call for the University of New Brunswick to show leadership

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler is leading the Fossil-Free UNB campaign. Today she published an article in the NB Media Co-op, RAVEN’s research partner, calling for the University to show leadership and divest from fossil fuels. You can read Rachel’s article here.

Climate action: update

RAVEN’s Rachel Bensler, who is leading the Fossil-Free UNB campaign, was invited to speak at the Nov. 29 climate strike outside the NB Legislature in Fredericton. Susan O’Donnell’s story about the rally and the lack of political action inside the legislature was published by RAVEN partner, the NB Media Co-op. You can read the story here.

The flip to low-carbon mobility – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #19

Matthew Hayes writes the latest letter from the future NB published today. Matthew’s letter is focused on the transit system in Fredericton and offers practical solutions to build a better public transit system based on a decrease in personal vehicle ownership. You can read his article here.

Calling all UNB alumni to support fossil fuel divestment

RAVEN’s Patrick Donovan published a story in the NB Media Co-op about the UNB divestment campaign. The article describes the history and current state of the campaign and notes that the petition is open to all UNB alumni. You can read Patrick’s article here.

Updates on the Fossil-Free UNB campaign

Two updates to share:

  • Good news from the UNB Student Union, the organization that represents the 6,000 undergraduate and professional students at UNB Fredericton. Last night at their meeting, they endorsed the current Fossil-Free UNB campaign, with the caveat that divestment cannot be used as an excuse by the UNB administration to raise student fees. Thanks to RAVEN students Rachel Bensler and Patrick Donovan who made the successful presentation to the student union at their last meeting in September.
  • Today Rachel Bensler (the UNB student leading the Fossil-Free UNB Orange Square campaign) and Susan O’Donnell (RAVEN project lead investigator) met with the UNB Board of Governors investment committee. You can view a copy of our presentation here. Our meeting ended with a commitment by the committee to share information with us about their fossil fuel investments. Here’s the link to the UNB divestment campaign.

If you have a connection to UNB, have a look at Orange Square petition, the list of people who have signed already, and the email to add your signature. The link is here.

The FF UNB campaign’s next step is to create a booklet with information about the contribution of the fossil fuel industry to the climate crisis, the importance of divestment from fossil fuel infrastructure, the investments of UNB in fossil fuels, questions and answers about divestment, and how to get involved in the campaign.

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.

Sept 25: Teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis

During our Voices for the Environment week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Wednesday, Sept 25 event: a teach-in with STU professor Janice Harvey about citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Join us at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

Dr. Harvey will lead the teach-in with her thoughts about actions that activists and social movements take or could take to raise public awareness of the climate crisis, specifically looking at civil disobedience and non-violent direct action. A talking circle format will support participants to share experiences with and reactions to different types of citizen environmental activism.

RAVEN and more than 100 environmental groups in the province are members of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN). As a background resource for the teach-in, participants can download an information booklet from 2004 prepared by NBEN: Legal Information for Environmental Groups:

English:https://www.nben.ca/en/information-and-resources-for-engos-legal

French:https://www.nben.ca/fr/legal

RAVEN student on CBC radio – eco-anxiety and divestment

Rachel Bensler, a RAVEN research assistant, was interviewed by CBC radio in a segment that played this morning. The focus was “eco-anxiety” and she also spoke about the fossil fuel divestment campaign at UNB. You can listen to the interview, on Information Morning – Fredericton, from this link. Rachel you made some excellent points, well done!

Information on the divestment campaign, Fossil-Free UNB is here.

Sept 24: UNB and STU students for fossil fuel divestment

During our Voices for the Environment Week, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op invite you to the Tuesday, Sept 24 event: discussion with the UNB and STU students leading the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at each of the universities.

The campaigns were launched on Sept. 20 at the Climate Strike and rally at UNB.

Join UNB student Rachel Bensler and STU student Hannah Moore at noon in room 120 of Marshall D’Avery Hall (UNB Education Building, 10 Mackay Dr.) It’s the big room inside the main entrance across from the cafeteria. Parking is behind the building. Visitor parking passes are free for all UNB events, from the facilities / security building inside the UNB entrance on King’s College Rd.

University divestment campaigns are happening globally. The RAVEN project is supporting the student-led Orange Square divestment campaign at UNB that is working together with the Orange Square student-led campaign at STU.

Here is the info and update page on RAVEN’s support for the UNB campaign.

Poetry for the climate crisis: a spoken word workshop with El Jones

As part of our Voices for the Environment week, the RAVEN project at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton and the NB Media Co-op have invited spoken word poet El Jones from Halifax to lead a workshop: Poetry for the Climate Crisis. 

The workshop will be held at UNB on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9am to 1pm and Sunday Sept. 22 from 9am to noon. 

The workshop is free of charge and stipends will be offered to participants who need compensation to take time off work or for childcare costs. There will be a $20 refundable deposit to hold your spot, which will be returned at the workshop.

If you are interested to participate, please register at the link below. We are planning to keep registration open until midnight on Saturday, Sept. 14, but will keep it open longer if we need to.

On the following Monday, registrants will receive an email confirming if they have been selected to participate, with further details. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

link to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/climatepoetry

Global week of climate action kicks-off in Fredericton

RAVEN’s Susan O’Donnell published a story in the online NB Media Co-op about the first day in the week of global climate action, Sept. 20. The story focused on events in Fredericton. Read the story here. The events started with Poetry for the Climate Crisis, sponsored by RAVEN and the NB Media Co-op and continued with the Climate Strike organized by Fridays for Future Fredericton and finally, with a march to the premier’s office organized by Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick.

Fossil Free UNB and Orange Square campaign is launched!

The Fossil-Free UNB and Orange square campaign is urging the UNB administration to work with us to divest university investments from fossil fuel companies. More about the campaign here.

On its launch date, Sept. 20, the campaign collected almost 200 signatures! The petition and list of signatories is available on the Orange Square page of the RAVEN site. Stay tuned for further activities and updates in October…

Sept 20: Poetry for the climate crisis

Facebook Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/399570750697094/

RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op began our Voices for the Environment Week with an outdoor poetry event: Poetry for the Climate Crisis, featuring our guest El Jones from Halifax and four dynamic poets living in New Brunswick: Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielsen.

This kick-off event was at noon on Friday, Sept. 20 at the UNB campus in Fredericton at Poets’ Corner at the UNB Quad in front of the HIL library.

The event included the launch of the Orange Square campaigns for fossil fuel divestment at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.

Our event collaborated with the student-led Fridays for Future Climate Strike at the same time and location.

Poets’ Bios

El Jones is a spoken word poet, an educator, journalist, and a community activist living in African Nova Scotia. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax. El was recently named the Nancy’s Chair of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University for the 2017-2019 term. Her book of spoken word poetry, Live from the Afrikan Resistance! (Roseway Press) was published in 2014.

Sue Sinclair is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves, winner of the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poems by a Canadian woman. She edits for Brick Books and teaches creative writing here at the University of New Brunswick, where she is also editor of The Fiddlehead.

Rebecca Salazar is the author of poetry chapbook Guzzle (Anstruther Press), released in 2016. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar in New Brunswick.

Lauren R. Korn is an M.A. student of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick. She was a research assistant for RAVEN during its 2019 Summer Institute.

Emily Skov-Nielsen is the author of the chapbook Volta (Anstruther Press), and an MA in English/Creative Writing graduate from UNB. Her poems
have appeared in numerous literary journals across Canada. Her first full-length book of poetry will be published by Brick Books in fall 2020.

Voices for the Environment week Sept 20-27

This year September 20 to 27 is the global week of action on the climate crisis. As members of the local and global movements for social justice and environmental action, RAVEN and our research partner the NB Media Co-op will be hosting “Voices for the Environment” week.

Below is the list of events with links to the details of times and locations including Keswick Ridge, and the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

Friday, September 20, noon: Poetry for the Climate Crisis with El Jones, Sue Sinclair, Rebecca Salazar, Lauren R. Korn and Emily Skov-Nielson, followed by Fridays for the Future Climate Strike. More info and poster here.

Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22, 9am to 1pm: Spoken word poetry workshop with El Jones – Poetry for the Climate Crisis. More info and registration link here.

Tuesday, September 24, noon: UNB and STU students Rachel Bensler and Hannah Moore speak out about fossil fuel divestment at the universities.

Wednesday, September 25, noon: STU Prof Janice Harvey’s teach-in on citizen responses to the climate crisis.

Thursday, September 26, 4pm: RAVEN’s first birthday party in Keswick Ridge. All RAVEN friends invited to share a harvest meal!

Friday, September 27, 2pm: The Women Resisting Extractivism and Bridging the Scholarship-Activist Divide: Ramona Nicholas, Sherry Pictou, Shannon Bell, Tracy Glynn. Plus a photovoice exhibition!

Local governance and adaptions to the climate crisis – A letter from New Brunswick’s future #14

The latest installment in the Letter from New Brunswick’s Future series is written by Adje Prado. Adje imagines a local governance structured around watersheds, what a brilliant concept! You can read his article here. RAVEN is working in partnership with Adje on a project about rural community adaptations to climate change.

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.

RAVEN’s further engagement with UNB on fossil fuel divestment

In July, RAVEN sent a letter to the UNB strategic planning group to request that the university’s new strategic plan include divestment of fossil fuels. We asked the university administration to work with us and other members of the university community on the divestment campaign. You can read the letter here.

In August, we contacted the secretariat of the university’s board of governor’s (the governing body) and the university president, with a copy of our letter and asked again for collaboration on the divestment campaign. The secretariat confirmed on August 20 that our request was circulated to the board of governors. We look forward to a positive response!

Tina Oh: challenging complicity with the fossil fuel industry

RAVEN’s Abram Lutes is continuing his research and writing in preparation for RAVEN’s support for the UNB fossil fuel divestment campaign. His most recent article includes an interview with Tina Oh and the campaign at Mount Allison University in Sackville. 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.

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.

Call for letters from New Brunswick’s future

RAVEN’s Daniel Tubb and Abram Lutes have teamed up with the NB Media Co-op to solicit and edit a series of articles imagining the future of New Brunswick. The call for submission is here. We encourage all friends of RAVEN to explore your ideas and imagine the future you want!

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.