Remove Crown Land Licenses from Corporations and Award Them to Communities

25 JULY 2013

The Green Party of New Brunswick is calling on the Alward government to create a New Brunswick Forest Service to take over responsibility for managing Crown lands from corporate license-holders, and to award those licenses to communities instead.

"When a local sawmill such as Miramichi Lumber Products is being forced to shut down because it is blocked from getting the wood it needs from the local Crown lands, you know the current system has become corrupted," said David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick.

"We want to see David Alward take operational control of the Crown lands back from the corporations and manage them for the public good, with decision-making authority given to local communities," said Coon.

Decisions about which companies get how much of what kind of wood from Crown lands are currently made in Fredericton behind closed doors. The five corporate license holders are able to exercise considerable operatioal control over the wood that is supposed to flow to local sawmills.

The Green Party wants these decisions to be made in public at the community level, where local communities would have the authority to control the use of local forest resources within their license. Royalties earned on the wood cut, over and above the costs of management by the new Forest Service, would remain in the community. These changes would have to be made in consultation with First Nations.

"Crown lands must be publicly controlled, since they are supposed to be held in trust to serve the common good," said Green Party leader David Coon. "The privatization experiment begun in 1982 is an abject failure and must be abandoned," he said.

Leader's Video Blog

Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

Admin sign in