Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little St. Croix Island keeps getting missed!

Governor General sets record straight in convocation speech

MONCTON - Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean acknowledged the founding of Acadie in 1604 and drove home the significance of where "the great French adventure in America really began" to boisterous applause Saturday at l'Université de Moncton.

Click to Enlarge
Adam Huras/Telegraph-Journal
Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean received an honorary doctorate from l’Université de Moncton Saturday and delivered the convocation address.

Jean received an honorary degree from the university at a spring convocation ceremony in Moncton, where the Queen's representative used her convocation speech to seemingly set the record straight with the Acadian people.

In several speeches marking the 400th anniversary of the establishment of Quebec City last year, Jean angered Acadians by saying Samuel de Champlain's founding of Quebec's capital was the beginning of the French presence in North America, circa 1608.

Acadian historians say it is a fact the French colonization began four years before on St. Croix Island - a small island near St. Stephen in the Bay of Fundy where Pierre Du Gua de Monts and Champlain established a permanent settlement.

In front of a graduating class of 475 Université de Moncton students and thousands of predominantly Acadian family members, Jean spoke at length about Acadie.

"In this concert of voices and accents, born of the same language, the vitality of the Acadian culture is one of the richest in Canada," she said to applause. "In fact, Acadia is a brilliant success story and has been since those who built this country set out to establish themselves on American soil."

Delivering a history lesson herself, Jean spoke of how Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the King of France, came to New Brunswick shores in 1524 and named the region that extended the length of the Atlantic coast as "Arcadia."

"In ancient Greece, Arcadia was a plateau in the Peloponnesus that was considered paradise on earth," Jean said.

She then addressed the landing of Champlain directly.

"Although a number of Europeans came to the region - most notably Jacques Cartier in 1534 - it was not until 1604 that French colonists came to live here under the leadership of Pierre Du Gua de Monts and Samuel de Champlain," Jean said. "De Monts decided to establish the colonies on St. Croix Island, and so it was on this small island that the great French adventure in America really began.

"Today, more than 400 years after De Monts and Champlain landed on St. Croix Island, we have every reason to celebrate."

See complete article: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/677474

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Monday, May 25, 2009

AquaFair 2009

Mark your calendar for AquaFair 2009, which will be held June 12-13th.

On Friday, June 12, we will "tee off" AquaFair 2009 with our annual golf tournament at the Fairmont Algonquin golf course in St. Andrews by-the-sea. Everyone is invited to join us for the AquaFair Awards luncheon, which will be held immediately following the golf tournament.

Join us for a Celebration of Salmon Farming on Saturday, June 13, at the St. George Day Adventure Centre. From 11am to 2pm, there will be lots of family entertainment (bouncy tent, clown, balloon animals), music by Common Thread, and of course, a salmon barbecue.

We will be hosting the first ever (that we know of) Aquaculture Olympics during the Celebration of Salmon Farming. Be sure to check out the events!

More at: http://www.aquafair.ca/

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A towing operation through Head Harbour and Passamaquoddy has attracted attention. Art

I took these tonight about 8:15. It seems this relatively small ship is being towed up river to the port. There is no sign of any engines being operated on the ship. Unless this is a drill to show they can tow disabled ships with tugs, it seems to be the real thing. The view beyond is the road in Robinston, the proposed LNG terminal would be just to the left. Feel free to share these, and we have more. Thanks to Lesley and Diane


Seen from the lighthouse. Two tugs and a ship moving at one mile /hr ( extremely slowly) through Head Harbour passage. Wonder if it is a training exercise? Or perhaps new rules? Joyce

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A shorter history of trawling, 1376 to 2009

Delicate life in the ocean hit by advent of bottom trawling
Ocean life, particularly on the seabed, is affected by trawling

One of the most dramatic impacts on marine life came from the advent of bottom trawling. In 1376 a complaint was made to King Edward III about the destruction it caused:

“Where in creeks and havens of the sea there used to be plenteous fishing, to the profit of the Kingdom, certain fishermen for several years past have subtily contrived an instrument called ‘wondyrechaun’. . . the great and long iron of the wondyrechaun runs so heavily and hardly over the ground when fishing that it destroys the flowers of the land below water there, and also the spat of oysters, mussels and other fish up on which the great fish are accustomed to be fed and nourished. By which instrument in many places, the fishermen take such quantity of small fish that they do not know what to do with them; and that they feed and fat their pigs with them, to the great damage of the common of the realm and the destruction of the fisheries, and they prey for a remedy.

Anger greeted the trawls where they were used, for the local fishermen could see the damage that they caused to their favourite areas. Bans were introduced to try to stop their use, and in 1583 two fishermen were executed for using metal chains on their beam trawls (today these are standard issue).

But the new method spread, for it was brutally efficient in the short term, even if unsustainable. Over generations fishermen began to accept the new status quo and forgot what the seas had once been like.

A Royal Commission in 1863 was established to investigate the accusations against trawling, among other complaints. One of the arguments presented by the defence was a witness who, when asked what food fish eat, replied:

“There is when the ground is stirred up by the trawl. We think the trawl acts in the same way as a plough on the land. It is just like the farmers tilling their ground. The more we turn it over the great supply of food there is, and the greater quantity of fish we catch.

The same reasoning is argued today. “Because the ground is being turned over, food is there for them,” the owner of two beam trawlers in Brixham, Devon, told me last year. The concept was appealing enough to influence the 1863 Royal Commission to abandon more than 50 Acts of Parliament and open the seas to unrestricted fishing.

The stirring up of the seabed provides nutrients for certain bottom-dwelling fish. But the ocean is not a farm with grazing cows, it is a wilderness filled with fish. The Royal Parks were established to maximise the size and profusion of wild game for the King and his consorts. They were not ploughed but left alone to encourage the full, three-dimensional productivity of the forest.

With the arrival of trawlers powered not by sail but steam, then diesel, their destructive potential became magnified. As a result, the delicate structure of life on many, deeper and more distant areas of the seabed is a distant memory.

But as the Census of Marine Life shows, history is powerful. May it lead us back to the seas of days gone by.

- This case study is drawn from The Unnatural History of the Sea by Professor Callum Roberts (Gaia 2007).

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Canadians Speaking Out - Judy Gibson letter to Prime Minister

To the Rt. Honourable Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, Canada.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I don't think you could imagine my horror when I came upon the blog of Senator Susan Collins in the "Quoddy log" on the Internet, and read how she is crowing about having triumphed in persuading Canadian legislators--against all of your government's previous efforts--to look kindly on the American entrepreneurial effort to establish an LNG terminal or more than one, in Passamaquoddy Bay.

Here is a portion of her blog writing about the meeting she attended in Charlevoix:

We met with our Canadian counterparts to discuss energy,
environmental, economic, border, and national and homeland security
issues. I was able to get a resolution passed that is important to
Washington County proposals to develop an LNG terminal, which Canada
has been blocking by refusing to cooperate in any of the regulatory
reviews. The resolution calls on both countries to participate in good
faith and expeditiously in regulatory reviews of proposed facilities
in their ports. I faced strong opposition at first from some of the
Canadians, but revised the language and prevailed after a lot of work.

It was fun figuring out how to put together a coalition

This is extremely upsetting. Many people and groups have spent their whole energies for years to oppose these efforts on the best environmental, social and economic evidence that such industrial projects in a highly sensitive and sustainable tourist economy and fishing economy would damage it beyond repair.
I am one of the people who has written to your government pointing out that the proponents of such projects do not present truthful claims nor evidence, and never respond directly to critical statements made by those opposing their ridiculous claims.
Such projects endanger the lifestyle and economy of all of the people in southwestern New Brunswick and Central and Southern (coastal) Maine.
A number of scientists who have been working at DFO's Atlantic Biological Station in St. Andrews, NB, for decades are opposed to this on scientific grounds because the delicate balance of the ecosystem would be unsustainable. Fishermen and tourist businesses in the region are adamantly opposed to the projects being touted by various interests.
There are immediate concerns for issues which may have not been dealt with but the security factor of bringing a highly dangerous fuel--in pressurized container ships--into this area, through the very narrow Head Harbour Passage; and knowing that water is an agent of extremely rapid dispersal of this explosive material were a spill to occur--would place, in the context of a possible accident, all the coastal communities and the forests and farmland which might be exposed, in grave danger.

There are no resources such as a major trauma centre immediately accessible; and in an area which consists of small communities and which is primarily rural, none would be established. Sir, there are two reasons the proponents of Downeast LNG and other similar projects want to establish on Passamaquoddy Bay: BECAUSE it is not heavily populated and therefore fewer voices can do as the much larger communities have done, and oppose it by sheer force of numbers; and BECAUSE these entrepreneurs have no interest in exploring and developing 21st-Century ideas for alternative fuels and techologies--they want profit now, and do not care about people, health, wildlife, fresh air, clean water, biodiversity, and common sense.

I was personally assured by Mr. Dean Girdis and Mr. Rob Wyatt of Downeast LNG in March, 2006, that they would "get back to me" about my concerns, stated during a public meeting at the Algonquin Hotel. There was absolutely no effort made by either man to honour their promise made in front of several hundred people. Indeed, I know of no one who opposes their project who has ever heard directly from either of these men. They are not men of honour.

One asks oneself, why has Senator Collins made Canadian legislators interested in any further dealings with them?? Or is she deluding herself? (In which case I hope your government will immediately make a strong public statement refuting her claims, and also reiterating your government's strongest opposition to such projects).

The meeting in March 2006 at the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews NB was attended by hundreds of local residents and others who came in from nearby communities on both side of the border. Not one single one of the voices raised that evening--doctors, scientists, lawyers, business people, homeowners--supported the idea of LNG terminals having any place in the Passamaquoddy Bay economy.

Your government, through the work of such MPs as Greg Thompson, has to date quite strongly opposed such proposals.

That is why it is so disconcerting to read the blog by Senator Collins this morning. She appears to believe that Canada will not in future make difficulties for the entrepreneurial dreams of Messrs. Girdis and Wyatt, and their like.

No one--NO ONE--ever has responded directly to the concerns expressed by community officials and residents and area visitors against the LNG terminals. By now these must number in the thousands, in individual e-mails and letters, telephone calls, petitions, and so on. I believe that your government has been listening. But it needs to do much more. It needs to advise President Obama's government that Canada will not submit to pressure wielded by greedy entrepreneurs from either side of the border. Your government needs to show that it is a 21st Century government, putting ethics and environment and a sustainable economy ahead of corporate would-be profiteers.

Please, Mr. Prime Minister, clarify the statement made by Senator Susan Collins. Is it true that Canadian legislators bent a sympathetic ear to American pressure in this instance? May we, the Canadian public, know how and why, if this is indeed the case?

If our own Canadian legislators have been subverted by an American senator's charm and persuasive powers, rather than by all of the commonsense arguments mounted by those opposing such project...then perhaps it should be up to your government to replace these people, forthwith, with others who listen to the voices of the communities which would be affected. Passamaquoddy Bay, as I am certain you are aware, is one of Canada's most historic and beautiful areas. Is it, because of lack of oversight, to become another area of ugly industrial blight and a permanent black mark on Canada's economic, social and environmental record sheets?

I do hope that you will be able to reassure us that, in perpetuity, Passamaquoddy Bay area will be protected from large industrial projects such as LNG terminals and other polluting and unpopular projects.

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for the opportunity of expressing myself on this highly important issue. St. Andrews is my hometown and I treasure every part of the area, as have countless numbers of people who have made it their home or their summer home for two centuries.

Judy Gibson
58 The Boulevard
St. John's, NL
A1A 1K1
(709) 726-2498

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Canadians Speaking out - Max Wolfe


It's time to learn how to squeak
Published Saturday May 23rd, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to the office this morning. Someone asked if I had seen the Bangor papers lately. It was an easy one to answer. I haven't picked up a Bangor paper more than once in the nine years we have lived in this delightful corner of the province.

This is Downeast LNG Inc.'s rendering of what its proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and import facility in Robbinston would look like from a bird's-eye view.

What was troubling my friend was what appeared to her to be a recent barrage of messages and notices in the Bangor paper dealing with Liquified Natural Gas development in Maine and in particular in Washington County, Maine. It is directly across the St. Croix estuary from St. Andrews. Not to put too fine a point on it, the development of LNG facilities on the Maine side of Passamaquoddy Bay would be to the economy of Charlotte County, New Brunswick like transporting the Fort McMurray tar sands to Lake Louise, in the Rockies"¦maybe even worse. At least the tar sands would bring serious jobs in its wake.

It is clearly an orchestrated public relations campaign, presumably by a firm in Portland Maine, of the type specifically designed to drive a wedge between Mainers and New Brunswickers. Make Mainers fearful for their futures and the concerns of New Brunswickers can be ignored. It is not above the use of falsehood to achieve its goal. One example will suffice:

The LNG proposals are vigorously opposed by two non-profit organizations, Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada and Save Passamaquoddy Bay US. And the lie being disseminated in the public relations campaign is that the Canadian group is supported by the Irvings here in New Brunswick. The smear implicit in that suggestion is that the Irvings with their LNG facility in Saint John could be accused of being for a Canadian LNG operation but against another in Maine.

The Canadian Save Passamaquoddy group contains many heavy hitters from both sides of the border and the suggestion that they would prejudice their position by being allied with large corporations borders on the laughable. We are smarter than put ourselves in the position of playing both ends against the middle and expecting to get away with it.

Apart from that, Mainers are our neighbours (even if they do spell differently!). There is a long history of co-operation, family ties and common roots. And neighbours don't gladly fight with each other.

As we speak, there is a choir (Voices of the Bay) and a rapidly improving local symphony orchestra that draw on musicians from both sides of the New Brunswick/Maine line. There are houses in this area that were moved from Castine, Maine. There are long and deep ties at play, cross-border marriages, jobs, social relationships, the whole ball of wax.

Unfortunately by our own natural-born Canadian timidity we encourage the corporate marauders. The arguments about whether it is safe to sail LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage have been repeated a hundred times over and are well known, but it is turning into a battle of the deaf and blind.

Our provincial and federal governments are so pathetically timid it is small wonder the Americans should think we are a pushover. We talk like pushovers and we walk like pushovers. Who wouldn't think that's precisely what we are and deal with us on those terms.

But what has become distressing is the efforts of the public relations people to drive a wedge between Mainers and New Brunswickers, by failing to even recognize that Canada has rights in the whole LNG-transporting process too. What is more, the interests of both sides are very similar. Basically we all want jobs for our children and grandchildren and a safe and un-spoiled environment. How much argument can there be in that? From time to time over the centuries we have had our spats but there is really not much to choose between us. People on both sides of the line should be out there, yelling at the PR people to get out of the way and stop sowing discord between us.

What Canada needs are federal and provincial governments that can impress on the world that when we say "No" it means "No." No LNG tankers in Head Harbour Passage means No LNG tankers in Head Harbour Passage. Period. Full Stop. But we are so afraid of doing something that might annoy the Americans"¦.. God forbid!"¦.. that we end up scaring ourselves into silence. If we are always scared of our own shadows everyone will treat us accordingly. And when that happens we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Yes, we must always be mindful that we are a lesser power next door to a super-power. There are always other Canada/US sovereignty issues - Afghanistan, the border"¦.you name it"¦ But if we continue to hedge and qualify every sentence we speak on any issue no one is going to pay any attention to us when we finally do decide to speak out, whenever that unlikely event should be.

The squeaky wheel always gets the grease. It's high time we learned how to squeak and stopped being international scaredy cats.

Max Wolfe is a freelance writer who resides at St. Andrews.

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Consultants invited to bid on energy work in Bay of Fundy

In April 2009, the OEER/OETR Joint Tidal Area Subcommittee (ASC) held a two-day Workshop on Hydrodynamic Modeling in the Bay of Fundy that focused on presentations from local and national experts on existing hydrodynamic models and current research. The following is a list of the top three research priority areas identified at the hydrodynamic modeling workshop and previous workshops.

- Modeling of sediment behaviour;
- Modeling and Resource Assessment, i.e. assessment of the size of the energy resource and optimization of energy extraction; and
- Far-field effects Modeling, e.g. the implications of energy extraction and extreme events on water flows, stratification, and sediment dispersion.

Please find attached the Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the OEER and OETR Associations for the funding of research projects in the following areas:
- Sediment Dynamics and Effects
- Effects on animal behaviour
- Ecosystem Responses
- Grid Integration and Optimization
- Monitoring Technologies focusing on any or all of the above

For additional information on the Associations and the EOI please visit our web portal at http://offshoreenergyresearch.ca and follow the link to the EOI Tidal Energy Research.

Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest: 4:00 p.m. Atlantic time, June 15, 2009

Please read the EOI carefully and follow all instructions. All responses must be submitted as an email attachment to oeer@offshoreenergyresearch.ca

The Joint Tidal Area Subcommittee is expected to review the submissions received in response to the EOI, identify those deemed promising, and ask them to formally respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Thank you and we look forward to your response,

Jennifer Harrie
Offshore Energy Research Associations
Suite 400, 5151 George Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3P7
Telephone: (902) 424-0789
Facsimile: (902) 424-0528

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Financial Post - Multiply the fish

The vast amount of coastline and lakes in Canada makes it perfect for fish farming

Alia McMullen, Financial Post

Published: 5/19/2009 12:00:00 AM

It may be a -50C day up in Whitehorse, but that won't stop Icy Waters Ltd. from drilling through the ice of their land-based fish farm to deliver fresh Arctic char to a restaurant near you.Painting Credit: Arctic Char, Art MacKay

Bay of Fundy - Meetings of interest.

- 26-29 May 2009: "8th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop", Wolfville, Nova Scotia - http://www.bofep.org/workshop2009.htm.

- 27-28 May 2009: "4th Annual Renewable Energy Conference", Halifax, Nova Scotia -

- 31 May - 4 June 2009: "43rd Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society", Halifax, Nova Scotia - http://www.cmos.ca/Congress2009/index.htm.

- 1-2 June 2009: "Coastal Engineering: Future Challenges and Risks", St. John's, Newfoundland - http://www.csce.ca/2009/triennial/.

- 1-3 June 2009: "International Forum on Integrated Water Resource Management", Sherbrooke, Québec - http://www.cogesaf.qc.ca/rv-eau/en/home.html.

- 9-12 June 2009: "Joint Conference of Geomatics Atlantic, the Canadian Cartographic Association and the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives", Wolfville, Nova Scotia - http://www.geomaticsatlantic.com.

- 14-17 June 2009: "6th Canadian River Heritage Conference", Ottawa, Ontario - http://www.riversconference.ca.

- 16-18 June 2009: "6th Annual EnergyOcean Conference and Expo", Rockport, Maine - http://www.energyocean.com/2009/.

Thanks to: http://aczisc.dal.ca/

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Bay of Fundy - Joggins Fossil cliffs from Space

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This true-color image of the cliffs region was captured by NASA on 30 April 2009 -

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The report of the US Joint Ocean Commission outlines priority actions needed for improving ocean and coastal policy and management, bolstering international leadership, strengthening ocean science, and funding ocean and coastal policies and programs. The actions respond to the challenges of climate change and its impacts, the development of a comprehensive energy policy that includes ocean-based energy resources, and the stimulation of the economy, which is largely dependent on ocean and coastal activities and resources - http://www.jointoceancommission.org.

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The report entitled "Economic Impact of the Nova Scotia Ocean Sector 2002-2006" shows that the ocean sector's contribution to the provincial GDP increased from 14.5 to 15.5 per cent between 2001 and 2006. Ocean activity created nearly 30,000 direct jobs in 2006 and, with spin-off effects, the
number doubled to over 60,000 jobs or 13.9 per cent of total employment in the Province. The report is available at http://gov.ns.ca/econ/publications/oceanindustries/default.asp.
From: ACZISC@dal.ca

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Test turbines in line for $350m

Thu. May 21 - 4:46 AM

Three underwater test turbines proposed for the Bay of Fundy may be eligible for $350 million in federal funds, the Ocean Renewable Energy Group said Wednesday.

"We have three of the world-leading tidal technologies being tested to a Fundy standard in a partnership involving leading local industry and Nova Scotia Power. We would like to partner with Natural Resources Canada to make sure that this project is the critical step to making renewable tidal energy a success for Atlantic Canada," said tidal energy consultant Doug Keefe in a news release.

Nova Scotia Power and OpenHydro of Ireland are one of three groups of companies involved in a pilot project announced by the provincial government in 2007 to test tidal power technology in the bay. Each turbine is expected to cost $10 million to $15 million.

The NSP-OpenHydro unit is scheduled for deployment this fall.

The other successful bidders were Clean Current of British Columbia and Minas Basin Pulp and Power Co. of Hantsport. Pending environmental approvals, the other two projects are scheduled to launch their turbines in 2010.

The proposed site for all three turbines is in the Minas Passage area of the Bay of Fundy, about 10 kilometres west of Parrsboro. Minas Basin also won the contract to build a tidal energy test facility worth $12 million to $14 million. Federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt announced Tuesday that $350 million will be available for research and development and demonstrations for marine energy technologies under the Clean Energy Fund.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Is it ever too early to worry about nuclear wastes?

I worked at Chalk River for a while for the Environmental Services Branch of AECL. I was monitoring the 1952 reactor accident and, trust me, it is never too soon to worry about nuclear wastes. New Brunswickers have been been patient with many developments in this small little province, but that patience is starting to wearing thin I think as developers try to impose unsuitable developments on us.

Now the minister who did not even bother to check when he was supportive of Maine LNG terminal proposals in Passamaquoddy Bay, is buying into the NIMBY spoof. If Jack wants to defecate in his living room, that is one thing, but the rest of us have something to say about our communal living space. Well Jack, we need to do what is best for the PEOPLE of Canada, not an industry! In case you didn't check lately, you work for us, not NB Power or AECL!

As for the nuclear waste, if we must store it, then it was long ago decided the best place was the vast and empty Canadian shield. Remember that we are still dealing with one stupid mistake ... dumping at sea and I continue to wonder about the Bay of Fundy. Let's not make another blunder ... remember Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the others - radioactive is forever!.


Too soon to worry about nuclear waste stored in N.B.: energy minister

Friday, May 15, 2009 | 3:20 PM AT

New Brunswick's energy minister says it's too soon to worry about a long-term nuclear storage site being located in the province.

Energy Minister Jack Keir said New Brunswick has an obligation to be involved in the process of finding a long-term home for the radioactive material in Canada because it is one of three provinces with a nuclear reactor.

"I don't think this is a matter of you're not going to do this in my backyard," Keir said. "I think we have to be above that. I think we have to look at what's best for our nuclear industry in New Brunswick.

"We have to look at what's best for the nuclear industry in Canada. But we are so far ahead of ourselves."

Keir said the site for the nuclear waste will have to meet certain geological criteria, and so far, it's not clear whether New Brunswick meets the requirements.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is starting information sessions in the hopes of eventually finding a community willing to host a storage site.

New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec are the only provinces in Canada with nuclear reactors.

There are concerns about where the waste from those reactors will eventually end up.

The nuclear waste generated at the Point Lepreau nuclear reactor is currently stored on site ... more at: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/05/15/nb-nuclear-waste-258.html

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Restaurant opens in Chamcook

Welcome to Savour, the Restaurant

Savour is open Wednesdays through Sundays, starting at 5:30 p.m. We are located at 4442 route 127 Chamcook (the Saint John road) just outside St. Andrews NB.

For reservations, please call us at 506-529-4055. For longer-term bookings or to discuss tasting menus, email savour@chefalexhaun.com

Our food philosophy is to create good food with fresh ingredients primarily from Eastern Canada, served in a relaxed setting, all with an eye on our environmental footprint. The menu changes on a regular basis, and is centered in large part on what is available locally and regionally.

We look forward to having you join us soon!

Savour the sip... savour the taste... savour the moment.

To see the latest menu and to learn more about Savour, visit www.chefalexhaun.com

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Friday, May 8, 2009

The premier sets the record straight

PREMIER: We’re no pals o’LNG

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB, 2009 May 8

ST. STEPHEN - The provincial government still opposes the establishment of any LNG projects in Passamaquoddy Bay and Premier Shawn Graham says that any recent confusion over the issue was caused by miscommunication.

Graham, who was in St. Stephen earlier this week to see how Ganong Bros. used to make Pal-o-Mine bars and other treats, was referring to a CBC story that implied the provincial government was softening its stance on LNG tankers travelling through Passamaquoddy Bay. The story said Energy Minister Jack Keir had stated the province was not opposed to the proposed LNG terminals in Maine. Further comments by the minister seemed to suggest that if both the Canadian and American federal governments suggested the terminals in Maine were safe, the province would be in agreement.

But the premier set the record straight Tuesday.

“Clearly our position has not changed,” he said.

“In fact we have invested over $400,000 to date in the legal challenge,” he said, referring to the New Brunswick government’s submissions to the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) supporting the Canadian federal government’s opposition to LNG tanker traffic in Passamaquoddy Bay. “As a province we are in favour of liquefied natural gas development as long as it is in the proper location,” said Graham.

“And we feel that the location of an LNG site within the Passamaquoddy Bay is not the right location. That’s why we’re in the FERC process.”

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Province softening stance on LNG tankers in Passamaquoddy Bay

Premier Shawn Graham assures the people of Charlotte County of his support in their opposition to LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. (Art MacKay Photo 2005)

I maintain that the position of the Government of New Brunswick has never been firm and that they have been walking a middle of the road public position with their interest in big business and political power groups taking precedence over their obligation to their constituents.

Unless they have been hiding under a rock these last few years, the Graham Government should be well aware of the position of the people of coastal Charlotte County and the reasons for their opposition to the development of ANY heavy industry in Passamaquoddy Bay, West Isles and Head Harbour Passage. If they are not, they are ignorant of the true enovironmental AND economic importance of this area; not to mention the importance of the natural resources that will become vital as we continue to experience global collpase of the oil industry and increased costs of food distribution.

With the proposed developments in tidal power in Head Harbour Passage the future looks bleak for this national treasure and the near billion dollar economy that this unique ecosystem supports.


Last Updated: Monday, May 4, 2009 | 6:52 AM AT Comments1Recommend2

The New Brunswick government has toned down its rhetoric when it comes to opposing the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals on the U.S. side of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Energy Minister Jack Keir said the province is not opposed to the terminals and will let the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process unfold.

The province, he said, has always backed the regulatory process that will decide the fate of any planned LNG terminals in Maine.

"If the federal government, both federal governments, suggest that it is a safe and reliable terminal then everybody is in agreement on that. But the process has to take place," he said.

The federal government has strongly opposed LNG tankers in Passamaquoddy Bay and Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador in Washington, delivered a diplomatic note in February 2007 to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, citing safety and environmental concerns.

The letter said Canada, to protect the environment, will not permit tankers to sail through the narrow passage between New Brunswick's Deer and Campobello islands.

The government of Premier Shawn Graham said it supported the federal government's position.

"We are opposed to tanker traffic through the Passamaquoddy Bay. And our intervener status will ensure that those concerns are addressed appropriately," Graham said at the time.

The province has enlisted a Washington law firm to intervene in the U.S. regulatory process on behalf of the people of New Brunswick.

Group concerned about tone change

Jessie Davis, who heads Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada, a group opposed to the development of LNG terminals on the bay, said she is surprised at the way Keir describes the province's position.

She said a delegation from her group went to Fredericton to meet with provincial officials two weeks ago.

"They were extremely clear at that time. They strongly oppose the terminals," she said.

Davis said her group has been assured the lawyers working on behalf of the province are still intervening against the terminals.

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