A nine-stop citizen engagement tour to obtain feedback on the discussion paper Responsible Environmental Management of Oil and Gas Activities in New Brunswick has begun.
It started this evening, Wednesday, June 6 at the Heritage Centre in Chipman, and will conclude Wednesday, July 4, at the Royal Canadian Legion in Norton.
Noted environmental expert Louis LaPierre is chairing the panel that will carry out the tour.
"These public meetings provide an opportunity for an in-depth discussion about the new measures we are proposing to ensure any expansion of the oil and natural gas industry is done safely and to the maximum benefit of New Brunswickers,'' said Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup.
On May 17, the provincial government released the discussion paper, which contains 116 recommendations designed to ensure the responsible environmental management of the oil and natural gas industry. The recommendations include proposals to complement the provincial government's existing regulatory framework.
The provincial government also released a new royalty and revenue-sharing discussion paper with proposals that would see individuals and communities benefit if there is an expanded natural gas industry in New Brunswick in the future.
The provincial government will receive comments on the discussion papers until July 18. The documents as well as contact information for comments can be found online.
The tour will contain two types of formats for the public to participate.
At each meeting, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a an open house where anyone can drop in and speak to members of the Natural Gas Group about exploration, development or any other related topic of interest. There will be written material on hand and information booths.
From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., a public meeting will be held. The Natural Gas Group will deliver a 30-minute presentation to the audience and questions and answers will follow.
Due to the unavailability of locations to hold meetings, sessions previously planned for Stanley and Salisbury have been moved to Durham Bridge and Havelock, respectively.
The communities and locations where meetings will be held are as follows:
● Wednesday, June 6 – Chipman, Heritage Centre, 238 Main St.
● Monday, June 11 – Durham Bridge, Nashwaak Valley School, 747, Route 628.
● Monday, June 18 – Havelock, Havelock Memorial Hall, 11 Cross St.
● Tuesday, June 19 – Hillsborough, Kiwanis Centre, 47 Legion St.
● Wednesday, June 20 – Grand Falls, Centre E. & P. Sénéchal Center, 60 Ouellette St.
● Thursday, June 21 – Bathurst, Royal Canadian Legion, 575 St. Peter Ave.
● Friday, June 22 – Bouctouche, École Clément-Cormier, 37 Richard Ave.
● Monday, June 25 – Blackville, United Church Centre, 143 Main St.
● Wednesday, July 4 – Norton, Royal Canadian Legion, 1935, Route 121.
In addition to these meetings, any groups or associations that would like to meet privately with LaPierre and his team are asked to email their request to firstname.lastname@example.org.