FREDERICTON — Establishing a Select Committee on Climate Change is an excellent step toward engaging all New Brunswickers in the important work of growing our economy and protecting our communities from extreme weather and sea level rise.
The Legislative Assembly voted unanimously in support of a motion to establish the all-party committee on Friday, April 8. The Conservation Council applauds the members of the House and looks forward to participating in this public process.
“This is an opportunity to let all New Brunswickers get involved in the plan to move us smoothly and successfully toward a low-carbon economy,” says Executive Director Lois Corbett.
Select committees are a way for government to include all New Brunswickers in the investigation of important subjects. Select committees report to all members of the legislative assembly and typically hold public hearings where citizens, government officials and expert witnesses are invited to appear.
The motion, introduced by Environment Minister Brian Kenny, states: “The government recognizes that investing in clean technology solutions, especially in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner energy production and use, holds great promise for sustainable economic development and long-term job creation.”
It also recognizes climate change as the single most significant challenge of our generation, stating: “New Brunswick is already experiencing impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, extreme rainfall events, coastal and inland flooding, more coastal erosion, heat waves, some migration of invasive species, and diseases.”
The motion asks the Select Committee to hold public consultations and gives it the power to meet, hold hearings, and release a report whether the House is sitting or not.
While commending government for introducing the motion, Corbett urges legislators and committee members to move quickly on this important work. “The committee should focus on putting New Brunswick’s best foot forward as the federal government continues work on the national climate plan,” she says.
“As Minister Kenny says in his motion, acting on the challenge of climate change won’t just protect us from the impacts communities are already experiencing — it’s the best course of action to create jobs in our province,” Corbett concludes.
The Select Committee on Climate Change is composed of: Andrew Harvey (Lib), the Member for Carleton-Victoria; Bernard LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Memramcook-Tantramar; Monique LeBlanc (Lib), the Member for Moncton East, John Ames (Lib), the Member for Charlotte-Campobello; Wilfred Roussel (Lib), the Member for Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou, Jody Carr (PC), the Member for Oromocto- Lincoln, Brian Keirstead (PC), the Member for Albert; and David Coon (Green), the Member for Fredericton South.
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