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Wolastoq Grand Council go to court to speak for the plants and animals

(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:  Clanmother Sharlene Paul, lawyer Gordon Allen, Grand Chief Ron Tremblay of the Wolastoq Grand Council, Clanmother Alma Brooks, Mark D’Arcy and Jean Louis Deveau)

Does anyone speak for the plants and animals in the forest?

Mount Carleton Provincial Park is New Brunswick’s only designated wilderness park.  But now the Government of New Brunswick has allowed brush clearing of planned snowmobile trails through the park.  All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are now able to easily enter this wilderness park.  Bridge construction and final trails are planned this year for an approved snowmobile hub through the park.    

On Wednesday, November 30th, the Wolastoq Grand Council will ask a judge to rule that the Government of New Brunswick did not follow their own plans in approving a snowmobile hub project through Mount Carleton Provincial Park.  To date, a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $17,000 of the $25,000 goal to help cover court costs. 

All are welcome to join us in the court room to observe the opposing arguments put forward by the Wolastoq Grand Council and the Government of New Brunswick.  The court hearing takes place at the Woodstock Court House, 689 Main Street, Woodstock, New Brunswick on Wednesday, November 30th, at 9:30AM.

Many of the allies for the Wolastoq Grand Council will be attending this important court case, including chapters of the Council of the Canadians here in New Brunswick.  We are part of the Peace and Friendship Alliance that was formed two years ago.  

The mission of the Peace and Friendship Alliance is straight forward:  to protect Mother Earth. The Alliance has been holding monthly meetings around the province for the last year-and-a-half, and our networks of people and groups are involved in many different campaigns.  In our campaigns we want to uphold and promote the shared responsibility we have as peoples under the Peace and Friendship Treaties (see notes below).

Please join us for the court hearing this Wednesday.  Did the Province of New Brunswick follow their own rules when approving this snowmobile grooming hub?  Documentation outlining many of the discrepancies in the government handling of this approval will be argued in court.  Did the government follow their own park management plan?  Did they follow their own environmental impact assessment law? 

One fact must be explained by the Government of New Brunswick.  For 39 months, two bridges were among the 12 components of the snowmobile grooming hub planned for Mount Carleton Provincial Park – subject to a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  But 60 days before the snowmobile grooming hub project was registered for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and on the same day the tender for the construction of one of the bridges, the Department of Tourism asked the Department of Environment and Local Government (ELG) for the two bridges to be exempted from the EIA for public safety reasons. These bridges are critical to the grooming hub.

On November 17th, the Wolastoq Grand Council asked for the final bridge construction in Mount Carleton to be stopped until the case was presented in court on Nov. 30th.  They were denied because the judge ruled that the delay would not cause irreparable harm.  (Note:  This is one part of a total of 3 tests which a judge applies in their decision to grant an injunction.  All three elements of this tripartite test are required to grant an injunction, a decision which is only ever granted under extraordinary circumstances.)

Stay tuned for the court hearing on November 30th.



New Brunswick and Indigenous people in this province are bound by pre-Confederation treaties called the Peace and Friendship treaties.  We are all treaty people under these legally-binding documents.

Before Canada was created, Nation-to-Nation treaties were signed by the British crown and the Indigenous people living on large portions of Eastern North America.  The Peace and Friendship treaties were signed by Traditional Life Long Chiefs from the Eastern Waponahki (Wabanaki) Confederacy that includes Panuwapskewiyik (Penobscot), Aponahkewiyik (Abenaki), Peskotomuhkatiyik (Passamaquoddy), Mihkomak (Mi’kmaq) and Wolastoqewiyik (Maliseet).

The importance of these pre-Confederation treaties cannot be overstated. No treaties have ever ceded land away from the Indigenous people of New Brunswick, and all current treaties are protected in Section 35 of our Canadian Constitution.