The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is doing some major backpedalling today with their letter to the editor in the T&T. It says “The Conservation Council has never, as has been quoted in the press, opposed the resort development” (this would be the resort development near Elgin that would have brought much needed economic development to the region).

No? How about your little call to action asking New Brunswickers to ring up Ireland and tell the developers we don’t want you here?

The CCNB is playing cynical games. They scuttled this project. Or at least they were a major reason why the project was scuttled.

In my opinion, the Conservation Council wants to conserve New Brunswick’s status as one of the poorest regions in North America. And that’s a tragedy. Pure and simple.

And, quite frankly, I am done spilling digital ink over such a cruddy organization.

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0 Responses to Farcical

  1. mikel says:

    Good, because that is the dumbest thing I ever read. The conservation council has zero clout in the province, the idea it was them that ‘scuttled the deal’ is just crazy, I”m sorry to say. Here is what they said:

    “The Conservation Council of New Brunswick urges the public to contact the Minister of Natural Resources and the Premier of New Brunswick and demand that the destruction of this forest, known as the Goshen and Portage Vale forest, for the proposed “Quintessential Canada” tourist resort be halted in light of all that is known about the ecological costs associated with this development.

    “The government of New Brunswick must put the breaks on and stop the razing of the Goshen and Portage Vale forests immediately. The large ecological footprint of such a development demands caution and proper public participation.”

    IF the deal had clients then it would go through no matter what. The ‘land swap’ deal was already going through and Irving was already clearcutting the land. Whats the last development project in the province you ever saw ‘scuttled’ by the people of the province let alone the CCNB? You think because an environmental organization had a letter in the paper or some people asked some questions that a developer who was about to make big money would suddenly say “well, people are actually wondering about our development, that’s way too much public pressure, let’s go elsewhere”.

    Get real, most likely the deal was scuttled because of the very likely reason that there were no europeans who wanted to cottage or retire in New Brunswick. Imagine if somebody had actually gone in and put money in it only to be told “yeah, we’re not doing it because the press is asking some questions”. Any potential investors would immediately be suspect of the developer. It’s not like there’s a shortage of crown land in the province.

    Come on now, you’re smarter than that. There hasn’t been an oil refinerty built in the states in twenty five years and probably never will be another one because of the massive pollution, but the conservation council isn’t even opposing the refinery, only asking that the feds do the environmental impact assessment (something they won’t even do by the way). These guys are about as ‘hard core’ environmentalists as, well, I can’t think of an analogy, suffice it to say they’re not.

  2. David Campbell says:

    Mikel, I usually appreciate the quality of your comments, but this time you, in my opinion, are completely off based. The truth is that there are similar projects in Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and BC – and all over the U.S. so the contention that ‘Europeans’ wouldn’t want to have a house in a residential community in New Brunswick shows a lack of belief in this province and its potential. And as for your lame defense of the CCNB, they sent out an ‘alert’ to their members (I got a copy) asking them to call the Irish developers and tell them they are “not wanted here”. And that flies in the face of their assertion they were not ‘against the project’. As for their role in the scuttling of the deal, the CCNB and the few opponents combined with the negative media reporting particularly the T&T led to the government showing disinterest and dragging their heals. And that was the driver of the developer pulling out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It also says,
    “Contact the developer and their real estate agent and tell them that their development project, Quintessential Canada is not wanted here. They can be contacted on their web pages…”
    Whether the CCNB were solely responsible for the demise of this project or not is debatable, they probably werent, but they were a huge factor. What irks me is that they have the sheer temerity to issue a statement that is basically a lie. As someone eminent once said, “one lie begets another” so where do the lies stop and where do they begin?
    Not a good policy for someone who ‘cares’. It is not good when an organisation such as this loses credibility in this fashion.

  4. Anonymous says:

    While I don’t think the actions of the CCNB are solely responsible for the downfall of the project, they certainly contribute to the perception that NB is a backwater and wants to remain as such.

    Mikel’s anti-development comments just don’t make sense – how can it be that there was “a developer who was about to make big money”, but yet “there were no europeans who wanted to cottage or retire in New Brunswick”?

  5. NB taxpayer says:

    No offense, but if they couldn’t counter a weak organization like the CCNB, then they don’t deserve the deal. Plain and simple.

    Btw, that’s the problem with NB, deals are usually brokered on a government silver platter, which makes us very, very uncompetitive.

  6. David Campbell says:

    Let’s not tiptoe through the tulips on this. Everyone knows that if politicians get negative feedback on a project such as this – particularly in the media – their appetite will wane. And wane it did. Remember there was no government money on the table. The developer was asking for a fair and reasonable land swap. That’s it.

  7. mikel says:

    Hey man, just because you don’t like it, don’t dis the ‘quality’! A basic requirement of any claim is that it can be proved, otherwise people can claim a group of Portugese sailors kidnapped the developers board of directors and ransomed them. We don’t know.

    Saying that because such developments occurred elsewhere but got canned in NB isn’t a ‘proof’, its just a statement.

    So again, where did they SAY that this was the reason? If they did say it somewhere that’s a different story.

    Likewise, we have no proof of the email campaign, but you seem pretty honest so lets assume that’s true. That’s a strategy that is always used, but just because something happened doesn’t mean thats the reason it fell through. It may have rained on the day developers flew in, that’s also ‘something that happened’, but there is no evidence that that is the reason a deal fell through.

    Now, IF the media were behind the proposal (they weren’t) and IF the government were going to give them a free ride (they didn’t) then at least in that case there is a little more evidence for such a claim. However, once again it ignores the simple business maxim: no customers, no development.

    There are all kinds of developments in other places, that doesn’t mean they would succeed in New Brunswick, for any number of reasons. Like it or not, the fact is that NB doesn’t have the public image of the other atlantic provinces. If you want me to PROVE that I will, but it can be pretty much taken for granted. And keep in mind, this group didn’t then go on to another atlantic province, it went to Portugal, which indicates a big change of plans.

    But we know the government was strangely reluctant in the deal, as was the press. We certainly get no such coverage or questions about forestry issues or the oil refinery, in fact I can’t think of a single environmental story I’ve seen in the Irving papers since this one.

    So IF it were true that a letter writing campaign scuttled a deal, we could easily ask why it never worked in any other deal….EVER! They’ve had dozens of campaigns, they are virtually ignored. They wanted the license revoked from a quarry in southwestern NB but the license was just renewed, the most that the Fundy Baykeeper can accomplish is ratting on companies that do stuff without a permit, and the solution is usually that the government rushes in with a permit…it certainly doesn’t punish them or forbid them to do it, as in the case of the construction company using a public beach (at the Fundy Baykeeper website).

    So there is simply NO evidence that such a claim is true. So why would anybody believe it? Well, politically it serves a purpose, but again, it shouldn’t serve a political purpose if its not true. Short of evidence, everything is guesswork, and it says more about a persons ideology who they choose to ‘blame’ (if blame is even warranted) than it says about the reality of the case. And economic development is hard enough in the REAL world, in the fantasy world its impossible.

    We KNOW even from the CCNB that the province’s DNR is a joke, they come out and say ‘hopefully this is a new era…’ etc., but I doubt even they are gullible enough to believe that. And there is no lack of forest to build such a development, hell, do you know how many tax dollars are spent just for DNR staff to protect the private waterways of billionaire’s on the miramichi and restigouche to make sure no new brunswickers try to fish on the ‘private land’ (and it is actually private land on the water, virtually the only place in north america that has such a view of waterways).

    So this resort could be GIVEN land anywhere in the province, which just goes to show that far more is going on here than is known. Hell if a land deal is going on and the Irving press is talking about being out of the loop then you really know something is going on.

    So yeah, you can blame an environmental organization that has zero political power even though the province and press owned by the provinces largest landholder were against the deal, I’m just offering a rebuttal for the benefit of any readers. From the past ‘successes’ of the CCNB I’d suspect the Portugese sailors before I blamed the CCNB.

  8. mikel says:

    I’ll try this once more, I didn’t say the above quotes, what I said was simply WE DON”T KNOW. And that’s the truth, we have no idea unless the company comes out and says “the CCNB’s actions have caused us to rethink our position”. Did that happen? We have no idea.

    Everything else is conjecture. Like I said, the CCNB has zero clout as far as policy goes, they’ve never been successful before, why would anybody assume they killed a multi million dollar project now?

    Lots of people opposed the project, so it certainly wasn’t ‘a lie’. If anything, they gained credibility, as said, its virtually the first time the DNR has actually followed their own rules. But again, I doubt that had anything to do with CCNB. We can test that, since they’ve been lobbying to get the feds to do the environmental impact assessment on the refinery. Who wants to put money on that? I’ll put a grand on it right now that that’ll never happen. But you ask an average New Brunswicker whether the feds should do an environmental impact assessment of a massively polluting industry, and I’ll bet you find lots in agreement with CCNB, in fact I’d bet the majority since technically it doesn’t cost New Brunswickers anything. So if they have such clout we’ll see it.

    As for politicians, they were largely irrelevant, as they usually are. It was clear from the outset what the government’s position was. Again, if it were true that the CCNB had such clout, then we’d see some of their other pet projects succeed, but their not even close.

  9. David Campbell says:

    That’s true.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe that is because they lack credibility. Make no bones about this, there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.
    This comment is about a supposedly reputable group failing to take responsibility for their and their supporters actions.
    Whichever way this is painted the fact remains that they DID state publicly that the Irish werent wanted, they DID publish contact details for the developer, the realtor, the Premier, the Minister and at least one civil servant on their website, they DID issue a statement through Mr Coon in the media and they DID actively encourage their supporters to contact all of the above to indicate that the resort was not welcome. SOme of these letters have been published on their website too.
    They cannot now issue a statement that is totally false and flies in the face of the facts as written in their own publicity without losing respect and credibility. In fact I would suggest that they have put their cause back 20 years by this and played right into their opponents hands.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Put the environmental cause back 20 years? This is a province going ga ga over a new refinery that will double its pollution levels. A province that welcomed Bennett Environmental without an EIA when even Mike Harris wouldn’t deal with them. A province which is ignoring its own scientists as far as forestry policy goes. A province that puts money into highways rather than harbour cleanups and still hasn’t gotten around to the petitcodiac.

    A province where the Green party can hardly find enough people to fill a room. Face it dude, the only people who believe the above are those who never gave the CCNB the time of day in the first place.

    However, getting to the specifics requires some proof. There is, of course, a big difference between what an organization says, and what a MEMBER of an organization says. From their website in May is this:

    “The Conservation Council of New Brunswick urges the public to contact the Minister of Natural Resources and the Premier of New Brunswick and demand that the destruction of this forest, known as the Goshen and Portage Vale forest, for the proposed “Quintessential Canada” tourist resort be halted in light of all that is known about the ecological costs associated with this development….The large ecological footprint of such a development demands caution and proper public participation.”

    Which is exactly what was said in their letter to the editor. Like I said, getting OTHER PEOPLE to email the company and say ‘its not wanted’ is a strategy and not the position of the organization itself. Thats simply because in the environmental world, being extreme is necessary because you’re generally lucky if you are met half way.

    But again, it comes down to the ‘shoot the messenger’ line. It makes no difference whether people ‘like’ an organization, what matters is what they are saying. And keep in mind, that its a basic right of a community to NOT build infrastructure if they don’t want to. I doubt it was even that, because once again people never get ANY choice when it comes to economic development, so it certainly doesn’t follow that for some reason they would listen to locals in this matter (go look at quarries for example…which would you rather have nearby, a community, or a quarry?)