Taking Action | Save Our Seas and Shores

Expert panelists will be making connections between the issue of fracking in NL and broader regional concerns of oil development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on February 1st (Sunday), 2pm in lecture room (LC 301) at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University, Corner Brook. The public is invited.

Join the Facebook Event for the panel here!

The panelists include:

Irené Novaczek, PhD, Marine Ecologist, Adjunct Professor of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island;

Chief Mi’sel Joe, Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi – Conne River Mi’kmaq Tribal Nation; and

Dr Michael Bradfield, Economist and member of the Nova Scotia Independent Review of Hydraulic Fracturing.

“The panelists will provide balance to industry’s talking points and information by offering perspectives on human health, environmental regulations, indigenous sovereignty, economics, legal frameworks and social acceptability.” explains Jon Parsons of the Social Justice Cooperative.

“These are all interconnected topics. By offering such wide variety of perspectives this forum will help provide information on the connections between the issues of fracking in NL and oil exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence” supports Conor Curtis from Divest MUN/Fossil Fuel Divestment at Grenfell.

Bob Diamond with the Save our Seas and Shores, Newfoundland and Labrador  organization is “optimistic  that  this forum will be an  opportunity for the public to be informed about other perspectives regarding the  marine and coastal areas off western Newfoundland. The Gulf of St Lawrence is much more than the oil industry view of being a source of non-renewable energy.  It is a unique, biodiverse ecosystem which supports multi-billion dollar fishery and tourism industries.”

As for Muchie Bennett, from Stephenville Crossing “I am looking forward to hear Chief Mi’sel Joe on this topic. He has proven in the past that as an Elder, his vision is one that brings wisdom. A welcome element in this discussion.”

The forum is organized and hosted by representatives of the Social Justice Co-operative http://www.socialjusticecoopnl.ca/ and Newfoundland and Labrador representatives of the  Save our Seas and Shores  organization   http://saveourseasandshores.ca/   as well as other supportive individuals in the community.

Panelists’ background information:

Irené Novaczek (née Hall) BSc Hons, PhD

Marine Ecologist, Inova Coastal Community Consulting

Adjunct Professor of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island

My university training was in biology, chemistry, benthic marine ecology and marine botany followed by post-doctoral work in marine survey, algal biogeography and shellfish toxicology.  Initially focused on the ecology and biogeography of marine plants, I developed into a researcher, teacher, community facilitator and program administrator in the areas of environmental conservation, marine resource management and community development.  My international work in small island community development focused on resource monitoring and management, including development and maintenance of marine protected areas.

From 1990 through 2004, my role as a scientific advisor to the Canadian Environmental Network included participation in multi-sector negotiations among industry, aboriginal, union, government and environmental sectors. One of my strengths is the ability to bridge the gaps among academic, government and community stakeholders.

From 2004-2013 I was Director of the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, where I led research projects on a wide range of topics, e.g. the social economy, traditional knowledge of aboriginal peoples, Island sense of place, community-based resource management and climate change adaptation among others.  I have always maintained an active interest in marine ecology, community development and governance, being an active community volunteer and Councilor for Breadalbane Municipality. Currently I am working as an independent consultant, most recently for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

I am an experienced trainer and researcher and have authored many peer-reviewed publications and book contributions as well as technical reports, policy briefs and community manuals. I also have long experience in the training and supervision of student researchers at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Chief Mi’sel Joe
Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi – Conne River Mi’kmaq Tribal Nation

Dr. Chief Mi’sel Joe comes from a long line of saqamaws or chiefs in the Mi’kmaq territory. Chief Joe was educated in Mi’kmaq traditions. After having left the reserve as a young man, he returned in 1973 and became involved in band government politics, first as a councillor, then as a traditional saqamaw and the Newfoundland district chief for the Mi’kmaq Grand Council.

Mi’sel was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador in 2004, in recognition of Mi’sel’s contribution to the economic, social and political development of the Mi’kmaq people of Newfoundland & Labrador.

He is a member of the Atlantic Policy Congress, the First Nations Trust Fund, Newfoundland Museum Advisory Committee, Ulnooweg Development Group Ltd and the Aboriginal Capacity and Development Research Centre. He also holds a community seat at the United Nations (Human Rights).

Dr. Michael Bradfield

Michael Bradfield taught Economics for 39 years at Dalhousie, retiring in 2007.

His specialty is Regional Economics, but his research interests and publications cover many applications of economics, particularly the impacts of market imperfections on regional development and on market performance generally, and macroeconomic policy.

Michael has worked with civil society groups involved in social justice, the environment (natural and built) and prepared briefs for them to municipal, provincial, and federal committees and Royal Commissions. In addition, he has been an invited witness to committees of both the House of Commons and the Senate, on finance and technological change, respectively.  During the summer of 2014, he served on the panel reviewing the implications of hydraulic fracturing for Nova Scotia.