Millbrook First Nation: Approval of Glysophate Aerial Spraying

Sep 08, 2016

September 1, 2016

Dear Minister Miller:

Re: Approval of Glysophate Aerial Spraying

I am writing, having only recently become aware of an approval granted under your authority as the Minister of the Environment, allowing Northern Pulp and five other companies to spray more than 2,600 hectares of woodland with Glysophate, in an attempt to retard the growth of hardwood trees and promote the unimpeded growth of coniferous trees.

The news of these approvals took us by surprise and we are deeply disappointed to learn of this development through the media. We understand from our research to date that 1315 hectares of land have been approved from spraying in Colchester County (Debert, Lanesville, South Branch, Upper Branch, Greenfield, Belmont Mountain, Burnside and Camden) and in the Halifax Regional Municipality (Tangier and Upper Musquodoboit), while an additional 1,293 hectares of woodland has been approved for spraying in Cumberland, Hants and Pictou counties.

The fact that this spraying may be permitted on privately held woodland does not negate our right to be consulted. The entirety of our reserve lands are located in HRM and Colchester Counties and our community continues to carry out traditional use activities in many of these areas identified above. Accordingly, we take the position that this is a matter for consultation with the Millbrook First Nation. The fact that this kind of spraying has been carried out over in parts of the province in the past nine years – spraying of which we had no prior knowledge – cannot be construed as our acquiescence, acceptance or condonation of it.

We are troubled by several aspects of this approval from both an environmental, economic and civic perspective. An aerial application of a potential human carcinogen in order to facilitate the elimination of forest diversity in favour of one single industry – pulpwood – seems shortsighted and not in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

Further, we have taken note of the Ivany report and its hope for a renewal of traditional resource sectors, including forestry. As Mi’kmaq these lands and waters have sustained us forever, because we have found ways to use them in a way this is beneficial for future generations. We support and are willing partners with properly regulated resource industries, but we favour a careful, sustainable and principled approach to forest biodiversity. We cannot help but observe that allowing the management of our forests to continue in this manner – clear cut, plant, spray – is deeply problematic. As MPkmaw we are concerned about potential impacts on the exercise of our Aboriginal and treaty rights and also for the economic and environmental health of the province as a whole.

We are requesting a meeting with you as soon as possible and will be asking you to clarify the following for our Chief and Council:

1. On what evidence do you based your assessment that this product and its application is safe for Human health?
2. Has your department examined recent scholarly and scientific works on the effects of Glysophate? We ask that you provide this science to us or at least provide a list of the body of work you consulted.
3. On what basis was the decision to not consult with the Mi’kmaw made? By whom?

Until a meeting with Millbrook First Nation Chief and Council can be scheduled and these questions answered to our satisfaction, we ask that you exercise your discretion to prevent the Companies subject to the most recent approval (Norther Pulp, Century Forestry Consultants, J.D. Irving Ltd., Wagner Forest Management Precision Vegetation Management and Compass Forestry Ltd) from carrying out aerial spraying of Glyphosate.

We can make time to meet as soon as you are available. You may contact me via email at or at (902) 890-8558.


Bob Gloade

Chief of the Millbrook First Nation

Cc; Millbrook Band Council, Premier Stephen McNeil, Julie Towers, Deputy Minister, Office of Aboriginal Affairs.

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