December 2015 NFU-NB E-News
Bulletin électronique de l'UNF-NB décembre 2015
Pour lire ce bulletin en français
cliquez ici
Friend on Facebook Friend Us On Facebook
Forward to Friend Forward To A Friend
Happy holidays to our NFU-NB members and supporters!

This holiday season, I am thankful to work with and for so many wonderful farmers in New Brunswick.  I look forward to meeting many more of you over the coming months at kitchen table meetings or our annual general meeting in March.

As a membership based organization, your annual membership renewal is what allows the NFU-NB to continue its work.  If you have not yet renewed through the provincial Farm Business Registration program, please do so soon.  If you are a farmer and would like to join directly through the NFU, you can do so online here.  If you are not a farmer but support our work, you can become an associate member here.  If you have any questions about our work and why you should become a member of the National Farmers Union, you can read more here, or give me a call. 

Wishing you happy holidays and fruitful New Year to you and yours. 

In Union, 

Amanda Wildeman, executive director


NFU-NB Recommendations to the Agricultural Land Policy Consultations

The NFU-NB was pleased to contribute to the Agricultural Land Policy Consultations that the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.  If you would like to submit your own comments to the consultation you can email with Agricultural Land Policy in the subject line or by calling 1-888-622-4742 before December 31, 2015. 

The NFU-NB Submission provided the following recommendations:
(to read the full submission, click here)

Recommendation 1.0: That farmland has inherent value as part of a larger ecosystem; therefore the protection of farmland inherently includes the protection of surrounding forests and waterways.  This overarching principle should guide the Agricultural Land Policy and resulting regulations.
Recommendation 2.1: That the land use policy seeks to encourage a diversity of thriving farm businesses rather than vertical business models.  The policy shall limit the amount of Crown land made available to vertically integrated companies for their own primary production and processing to avoid corporate monopoly of a certain market.
Recommendation 2.2.1: That the Policy include an inventory of the ownership and control of farmland within its boundaries, and maintain a running inventory by requiring all changes in land tenure and land use to be reported as they occur.
Recommendation 2.2.2: That the Agricultural Land Policy keep farmland in the hands of the people who actually work the land by banning corporate farmland speculation and investment, including pension funds.  And that the list of banned entities that can purchase or own farmland be in the Act, but with a provision to add further entities in the regulations as they become relevant.
Recommendation 2.2.3: That the Agricultural Land Policy include specific provisions that limit farmland ownership to Canadians and residents who are actively involved in the operation of the farm-business, and to Canadian-owned companies working in the province.
Recommendation 2.2.4: That the Agricultural Land Policy include a provision in the case where concentration of ownership appears to be undesirable, so that regulation may be introduced to limit farm size that may be owned or controlled by any individual farmer, farm corporation or cooperative farm based on any of the following criteria: a given number of acres, potential productivity of the soil, industry standards for efficiency, negative environmental impact, or a concentration of ownership results in industry monopoly.
Recommendation 3.0.1:  All land that is classified as farmland must be protected as farmland with limited options to change the land zoning.  Appeals to change zoning must be heard by a provincial board mandated by the Policy to protect agricultural land.  Provisions must be set out detailing the procedures in the case of the subdivision of farmland, even if for continued agricultural purposes.
Recommendation 3.0.2:  Municipalities, LSDs and the province identify common use corridors for public utilities and subsurface resource infrastructure.
Recommendation 3.1: Prohibit topsoil mining in New Brunswick and seek other solutions to meet urban and industrial topsoil needs.
Recommendation 3.2: The Agricultural Land Policy and resulting regulations must actively promote and reward sustainable and regenerative farming practices.
Recommendation 3.3: Reciprocal respect and enforcement of set-back distances to protect farmers from complaints as well as negative environmental impacts.
Recommendation 4.1.1:  A complete overhaul of the Farmland Identification Program that includes annual renewal, as well as changing the benefit from a tax deferral to a tax reduction.  For example, a standard reduction to half of the provincial tax rate of $1.4573 per $100.00 of assessed value of registered farmland and farm outbuildings, could be the baseline tax rate for all farmland. To receive an increased reduction or complete elimination of all taxes on farmland, the owner must demonstrate that good soil conservation practices are regularly undertaken.  This would provide incentive even for farmland owners who are leasing out their land to neighbours to continue good soil improvement practices.  To discourage absentee ownership, we further recommend that land in the FLIP program must be owned or must be farmed by New Brunswick residents to receive any tax reduction.
Recommendation 4.1.2: Re-evaluate the criteria around subdividing lots off of agricultural land while under the FLIP program to meet the new realities of farmers.
Recommendation 4.2: Establish a program similar to the former Land Development Corporation in PEI.
Recommendation 5.0.1: A clear policy and process must be defined for accessing Crown land, so that farmers can easily become aware of parcels approved for lease which are already identified as suitable for a certain type of agricultural production, and determine how to request a Crown land lease and receive a response in a timely manner.
Recommendation 5.0.2: To appoint a DAAF staff person to assist farmers with the process of identifying, applying for and transitioning to a Crown land lease.
Recommendation 6.0.1: That the Precautionary Principle be the overarching principle that informs the Agricultural Land Act and regulations, especially with regard to a request to use farmland for other purposes, including surface and sub-surface resource extraction.
Recommendation 6.0.2: That the board or commission established to implement the Agricultural Land Policy be given a clear mandate to preserve agricultural land, similar to the original mandate of the ALR in BC. 

NFU-NB Calls on government to uphold independence of Office of the Chief Medical Officer

Press Release
Fredericton (December 15, 2015) - The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick is calling on the Liberal government for transparency and accountability with regards to the forced leave and termination of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eilish Cleary.

“The provincial government’s consideration of policy options, especially those that may impact human or environmental health, must be based upon sound, transparent science,” says NFU-NB president Ted Wiggans. “The termination of Dr. Cleary raises questions about the independence of the office of the Chief Medical Officer.  It is incumbent upon the government to directly address Dr. Cleary’s termination to insure that the citizens of New Brunswick continue to have confidence in the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer.”

In a province trying to reduce expenses and where over 40% of the provincial budget currently goes to healthcare, the importance of reducing and mitigating environmental factors that have negative health impacts is paramount.  The mission of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Health is to “improve, promote, and protect the health of the people of New Brunswick.”

Given that her position was terminated “without cause” and that her “particular skill set does not meet the needs of her employer,” it is unclear how this is a personnel issue.  The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick calls for an independent investigation into this matter, ensuring that the government is upholding every civil servants’ right to carry out independent science without threat of losing their job.
– 30 – 

Annual General Meeting - Save the date!

Sunday, March 13, 2016 - Join us for a day of business, speakers and networking in the Shediac area. All farm members are welcome to present resolutions, vote, and/or run for office.  Associate members and interested public are welcome to join us.  
More details to follow shortly!  

(Snow date is Sunday, March 20, 2016)

Kitchen Table Meetings

The NFU-NB will be hosting kitchen table meetings in late January.  A great opportunity to meet your fellow NFU members, learn about what we have accomplished this year, and put forth resolutions to the March AGM.  Join us and bring a friend!   (Snow dates are the same time and location the following week) 

Thu, Jan 21: Dune's View Inn, Bouctouche, 6:30-8:00 pm (Buffet dinner available $18/person starting at 5:30 pm)
Mon, Jan, 25: Knight's Inn Woodstock, 276 Lockhart Mill Road, Jacksonville 7-8:30 pm 
Tue, Jan, 26: Murray Bunnett Family Farm, 118 Steeves Settlement Road, Steeves Settlement, Westmoreland County 7-8:30 pm
Wed, Jan 27: Tracadie-Sheila, Location to be confirmed

If you would like to host one at your farm or in your area, contact Amanda for assistance (506) 260-0087.

NB Farmers and Food Sovereignty

By Rébeka Fraser-Chiasson, NFU-NB board member and co-owner of Ferme Terre Partagée in Rogersville, NB.

Last month, I was asked to address the participants of the New Brunswick Food Security Action Network’s bi-ennial conference.  Preparing for the keynote address and for an afternoon panel allowed me to reflect on food security and the role of farmers in the conversation and in working towards access to healthy food for all.

Food security – Access to enough, good quality, affordable food for all – is a commendable goal, ambitious and absolutely necessary.  We must keep it top of mind in our daily lives.  As a farmer, I think about it particularly when I think about who eats the food I produce.  However this goal is certainly not met simply because we can make a living from farming.   It will never be enough to just have more farmers markets or more restaurants that serve local food, if this food is not accessible to everyone.  Our work is clearly much larger, but it is also here that we can see that the definition of food security is lacking.  [Click here to read the full article]
Copyright © 2015 National Farmers Union in NB / L'Union nationale des fermiers au NB, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences