On April 22, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party in New Brunswick, shared an Earth Day Message titled, “Time to Restore the Land, Not Ruin It”.
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore our Earth”, which Coon believes is fitting as he feels that the government has done a poor job at committing to environmental conservation.
“While governments, including our own, continue to declare their commitment to protecting the environment, that ship has sailed,” he explained. “Restoration must become a political priority. The experience to-date has not been encouraging.”
Coon addressed the amount of clearcutting that has taken place in the last decade, likening the total area to the size of Prince Edward Island.
“Rather than seek forest restoration, in 2014, the Conservative government of the day actually de-regulated clearcutting,” explained Coon, condemning the Conservatives and Liberals for allowing this to happen. “The Liberals, despite promises to review the deal, did nothing, except transfer wildlife biologists to other jobs to avoid the inconvenient truth of their complicity.”
Coon discussed the lack of assessment of various wild species in New Brunswick, explaining that it is impossible to know the status of them due to a lack of observation.
“A total of 173 different species were found to be insecure: either at risk of being wiped out, possibly at risk of obliteration, or sensitive. Today, we know nothing about the status for most of these animals and plants, because they haven’t been assessed in a generation,” he said.
Coon reflected on his childhood, reminiscing about the sounds of nature and encouraging others to do their part.
“Spring always fills me with wonder at nature’s awesome potential for resurgence,” he said. “If we want to restore our Earth, we still can.”