13 AUGUST 2015
Fredericton – As of August 9th seven New Brunswick lakes have been plagued by blue-green algae blooms this summer. David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, is calling on the Minister of Environment Brian Kenny to implement long overdue freshwater quality standards under the Clean Water Act’s 2002 Water Classification Regulation.
“Without freshwater quality standards in place, the government is not compelled to monitor rivers and lakes, let alone take action when the nutrient pollution that fuels the growth of blue-green algae reaches dangerous levels,” said Coon. “After 13 years and inaction by three different governments it is time for the current government to make this issue its own and protect our freshwater resources.”
In his scathing report on the past governments’ failure to implement water classification, Ombudsman Charles Murray describes the regulations that exist as a ‘mirage, misleading observers to their detriment.’ While the regulation exists, not a single standard for freshwater quality has been established. The Ombudmsan’s report concluded the problem was a lack of political will to act.
“New Brunswickers deserve better,” said Coon. “The Minister of the Environment has the opportunity to make things right and finally establish freshwater quality standards for our lakes and rivers. The ball is in his court.”
During the last sitting of the Legislature, the Green Party leader asked the Minister of Environment during Question Period if he would finally act to establish freshwater quality standards. The Minister was non-committal.