“Not an Easy Thing to Implement”: The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Environmental Organization in a Resource-Dependent Province, 1969–1983
Mark J. McLaughlin
In the 1960s and 1970s, the formative years of modern environmentalism, nascent environmental groups had to grapple with decisions about how to effect real and lasting change. As the following exchange indicates, this was not an easy task, as various social, economic, and political barriers stood in the way.
Brian Harvey, an employee with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB), wrote to Fredericton’s Daily Gleaner on 23 April 1980 in response to a letter to the editor by a woman named Marilee Little.1 Little’s “Open Letter to the Doomsday People” had appeared in the previous day’s issue of the newspaper, and in it she explained that she had bought into the “theory” that the Earth’s resources were limited but could not “begin to tell you the anguish all the recycling and reusing has caused me!” The list of anguish was long: her compost pile was “stinky,” did not biodegrade below temperatures of zero degrees Celsius, and had seeped into a neighbour’s yard during a rainstorm; firefighters had had a hard time finding the furnace during a routine check because of all of the recyclable bottles and containers that had accumulated in her basement; and her family complained bitterly about the meals of “bulgur wheat and soy grits” as she tried to wean them off meat. Little concluded, “So, my doomsday friends, I have tried, I am trying, and I will continue to try. But, I wish I was still ignorant. The guilt you have imposed on me is almost unbearable. Every time I drive my gas guzzler to a fast-food joint, bite into a quarter-pounder and imbibe my milk shake through a plastic straw in a plastic container, I think of you and it just doesn’t taste as good as it once did.”2 In his response, Harvey first expressed to Little that she had his “admiration and respect for at least attempting to practice some of the basic principles of a Conserver Society.” He then proceeded to advise her in ways to deal with all the sources of her anguish, including how to compost “properly,” the locations of recycling sites around the city, and how to gradually introduce vegetarian meals to “a family that has been raised on meat and potatoes.” Harvey also stated that he was not surprised that Little had been “skeptical from the start,” because a “Conserver Society is not an easy thing to implement in a culture that has evolved to consume and waste resources to the extent our society has.” In conclusion, he urged her not to give up, provided the CCNB’s telephone number in case she had more questions, and closed with a simple sentence: “Welcome to the Conserver Society.”3
Faced with such barriers, the Holy Grail for many environmentalists in terms of trying to make change happen was effective engagement with government officials, but the latter were not always receptive. In much of Canada during this period, state-sponsored resource development, often in the form of megaprojects, was a key mechanism employed by policy makers as part of programs designed to modernize regions that were considered economically, and sometimes socially, backward. Consequently, government officials were keen to mitigate any forms of resistance, including from environmental groups, that might impede resource development and the realization of their political and economic objectives.4 Environmental organizations thus came up with a variety of novel approaches and strategies to try to convey their concerns as effectively as possible to governments that were very determined to exploit natural resources on a grand scale.
The formative years of the CCNB, New Brunswick’s first and main environmental group, serve as a good case study of what many small Canadian groups went through in their search for effective environmental organizing, and offer insight into at least two of the broader themes addressed by this edited collection. The first theme is scale. During its first several years in existence, the CCNB focused a lot of organizational time and energy on a small, decentralized network of regional chapters. The chapters were mostly based in the southern half of the province, were run by volunteers, and to a great extent dealt with environmental issues of local concern. This was followed by a period of lost momentum in the mid-1970s, one experienced by numerous Canadian environmental groups and characterized by decreases in membership and funding. The road to revitalization was paved with the concept Harvey described in his response to Little’s letter to the editor, that of the “conserver society.” It was devised by the Science Council of Canada in the aftermath of the 1973–1974 oil crisis as a loosely outlined vision of how the country could transition away from the economic model of indiscriminate growth. The CCNB was one of the environmental groups that used national interest in the conserver society as an opportunity for self-revitalization. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, under the dynamic leadership of Dana Silk, the group moved away from its decentralized, volunteer roots, and developed a centralized and professional institutional foundation. Many small Canadian environmental organizations undertook this transition in scale, from the more local to the provincial and beyond, and so an examination of the CCNB example has the potential to reveal much about modern Canadian environmentalism in general.
Of course, any mention of the term “scale” necessitates a discussion of its application. I contend that throughout the period covered by this chapter, from 1969 to 1983, the CCNB remained a small-scale environmental organization. It may have been New Brunswick’s first and main environmental group, and as a result also the largest, but its membership hovered around 200 to 250 for most of the 1970s, and then only reached about 350 during the institutionalization process in the late 1970s and early 1980s.5 Combined with the facts that the CCNB never employed more than a few modestly paid staff and limited most of its operations to New Brunswick, the country’s third smallest province in both population and total land area, at no time did the organization ever come close to the scale of Canada’s larger environmental groups, such as Pollution Probe or Greenpeace.
The second theme, deeply intertwined with that of scale, is the notion of efficacy. The CCNB adopted two different styles of government engagement in the 1970s. Earlier in the decade, the decentralized, volunteer organization embraced a collaborative approach based on personal relationships and face-to-face lobbying. Some environmental regulatory infrastructure and frameworks were established, but largely because doing so did not impede or threaten the New Brunswick government’s economic agenda. It was only after the CCNB’s transition of organizational time and energy from the local to the provincial scale that political barriers became really impenetrable. As part of the transition within the organization, Silk and his contemporaries adopted a confrontational approach to government engagement, seemingly becoming even more of a threat to the provincial state’s resource development schemes, and thereby provoking backlash and even some retrenchment. The limited success of the CCNB’s engagement with government officials, despite its adoption of two different lobbying styles in the 1970s, raises questions about how we have measured the effectiveness of the modern environmental movement in Canada. There were distinct reasons why Marilee Little had such a hard time changing hers and her family’s wasteful ways, but they had less to do with the so-called ineffectiveness of environmental organizations and more to do with the obstructionism of the state.
In New Brunswick, environmental awareness emerged as the provincial government promoted forestry as being central to the successful implementation of social and economic modernization in the 1950s and 1960s. Forest exploitation had been the most important component of the New Brunswick economy since the early nineteenth century, and so it is not surprising that the trend toward environmentalism was rooted in residents’ concerns about certain forestry practices. The two main issues that fuelled public reaction and citizen mobilization were the spruce budworm spraying program and water pollution from pulp and paper mills, which were both associated with large-scale industrial forestry. In each case, the New Brunswick government adopted a different regulatory approach, neither of which was all that successful by the late 1960s. In the wake of what was generally perceived as government inaction, and by some as pandering to the forestry companies, the CCNB was founded in 1969.6
The CCNB was originally conceived as an educational, advocacy, and lobbying organization focused mainly, but not exclusively, on scientifically informed conservation and “wise use” of natural resources. In April 1969, members of the New Brunswick Institute of Agrology hosted a meeting of individuals who were concerned about the conservation of the province’s natural resources. Those at the meeting decided to form an umbrella organization to coordinate the activities of the numerous conservation-oriented groups in New Brunswick—a so-called council of conservation. Kenneth Langmaid, a soil scientist at the University of New Brunswick, was named provisional chairman of the new organization, and a “number of prominent citizens” were invited to form the council’s directorate.7 The CCNB’s founding board of directors consisted primarily of resource scientists, from both the public and private sectors, but it also included professionals, retirees, a former politician, and a well-known author. The organization’s official founding meeting, one that was accessible to the broader public, was held in Fredericton on 18 October 1969. At the meeting, Langmaid, now the CCNB’s president, read aloud the group’s terms of reference, as they were understood at that time:
The pollution of land, air, and water, the destruction of wildlife, the unwise use of our forests, the indiscriminate employment of chemicals in agriculture, these are but some of the ways that man is ruining the world in which he lives, in which it is his duty to serve. They are in many ways related and must be fought with a common purpose. It will thus be a prime task of the Conservation Council to coordinate and to foster research and to take remedial action wherever it is needed. This will entail a closest cooperation with other conservation bodies in the province. To this end, committees of experts will be set up to investigate conservation problems. The council will assemble, collate, and disseminate information about conservation matters. It is vitally necessary that the grave dangers which face mankind and the natural world should be brought home by all possible means to the public at large and that every school pupil and every adult should become concerned with conservation. The Conservation Council will speak with a strong and factual voice, [and] will have no partisan connection.8
The objectives of education, advocacy, and lobbying were still central when Langmaid and others filed to incorporate the CCNB in 1970, although the catch-all term of “pollution,” commonly used during this period to denote a variety of conservation and environmental issues, featured prominently in four out of the five points listed under “purpose.”9 Within the formal constitution, the language changed again; the organization placed more emphasis on phrases such as “understanding of the human environment,” “awareness of the relationship between man and the environment,” and “environmentally sound policies and programs.”10 Nonetheless, the CCNB’s basic guiding principles remained the same.
In terms of structure, the CCNB’s founders designed it to be a decentralized, volunteer organization. There were seven classes of membership available at varying prices, and the “geographical organization of members of the CCNB” was in “regional groups, to be known as Chapters.” Each chapter dealt with specific issues of local concern, while the provincial body handled matters that were considered to be of broader interest but had particular resonance within New Brunswick. At both the provincial and chapter levels, officers, such as president, vice-president, and secretary-treasurer, were elected at annual general meetings, and the provincial officers and the presidents of the regional chapters were all members of the CCNB’s board of directors.11 All of the leadership positions were occupied by volunteers, and the organization had no paid staff. Indeed, there were seldom provincial or chapter headquarters, so incoming correspondence was usually addressed to the presidents’ homes or places of work.12
The main strategy adopted by the CCNB to engage government officials in the early 1970s was a collaborative style of lobbying that relied in large part on personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Langmaid once explained in an April 1972 letter to Donald J. Blackburn, a member of the Department of Extension Education at the University of Guelph, that “we have had no great confrontations here but we have met with Provincial Cabinet Ministers and their Deputies from time to time, trying to get legislation adopted and enforced.” He further noted that “we have had a very low key co-operative approach to the matter of conservation. I prefer to consider the whole thing as conservation rather than anti-pollution etc. I believe it is a more positive approach.”13 In general, the CCNB’s founders were well-educated, middle-class, Anglophone men, resource scientists and the like, and in a small provincial capital such as Fredericton in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the conservationists and environmentalists were often acquaintances and sometimes good friends with government officials.14 This dynamic of similar levels of education and established relationships likely provided members of the CCNB with more direct access to individuals with political power than they would have been able to gain otherwise. It also proved beneficial that the “co-operative,” “positive,” and non-radical approach advocated by the CCNB during this period was not seen as a major threat to economic growth by the New Brunswick government. Langmaid’s statement that he preferred “to consider the whole thing as conservation rather than anti-pollution” was reference to the CCNB’s belief in the wise use of natural resources, a stance that the state would have deemed as far less hostile than demands for strict curtailment of resource development. Despite this establishment of good rapport with government officials, the CCNB’s intimate lobbying style had its critics. According to Langmaid in late 1970, “the major criticism of the organization has been that it has not been militant enough.”15
The CCNB’s main accomplishment of the early 1970s was successfully lobbying for the creation and implementation of environmental regulatory infrastructure and frameworks within the provincial bureaucracy. Langmaid laid the groundwork for this outcome in October 1970, when he wrote to the leaders of New Brunswick’s three main political parties, asking each of them to take “a clear stand” on such issues as the spruce budworm spraying program, “special privileges” accorded to the pulp and paper industry, and environmental degradation associated with “uneconomical” industries, “so that voters may choose wisely” in that month’s election. Of all the party leaders, Progressive Conservative Richard Hatfield was the most receptive to Langmaid’s missive, stating in a letter that, if elected, his party would “implement a comprehensive pollution control program including controls, incentives, research, education and enforcement. Projects for eradication of existing pollution will be undertaken.”16 As it happened, voters chose the Progressive Conservatives to form the next government on October 26, and Hatfield, sensing a shift in the political winds, became the first New Brunswick premier to actively engage with environmental issues. Under his leadership, and partly in response to Langmaid’s letter and other CCNB lobbying efforts, an environmental division was set up within the Department of Fisheries in 1971, and then a separate Department of the Environment was established in 1975.17 Furthermore, within six weeks of its founding meeting in October 1969, the CCNB announced that it was going to conduct a study of the types, amounts, and applications of pesticides in the province, making it the organization’s first major endeavour as an environmental group and “the first detailed report on the problem of its kind” in New Brunswick.18 The CCNB’s pesticide committee, chaired by Dr. George Gerald Shaw, delivered its final report in the summer of 1970, and its biggest criticism was the unregulated and unchecked way that pesticides were utilized in the province. The pesticide report and the CCNB’s subsequent lobbying on the issue, as well as the end of federal support for the spruce budworm spraying program, were the primary motivators behind the Hatfield government’s enactment of the Pesticides Control Act in early 1973. The Act provided, for the first time, a regulatory and licensing framework within the Department of Agriculture for the use and sale of pesticides in the province.19 In addition, the CCNB effectively lobbied for the passage of the Clean Environment Act, which allowed for government regulation of a broadly defined list of “contaminants,” in 1971. The Act also authorized the appointment of an environmental council of five members, who were not elected representatives or government employees, to conduct studies at the behest of the minister of the environment and to receive submissions “from any person concerning any matter coming within this Act.”20
Each regional chapter of the CCNB also made at least some minimal gains on the issues with which they were most concerned. There were four main chapters in the province, Woodstock, Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton, all founded in 1970, and all generally located in the more affluent, Anglophone urban centres of southern New Brunswick, although there were CCNB chapters in Musquash-Lepreau and the Miramichi region for at least a short period of time.21 Local officers and members had common environmental interests, from educational initiatives to anti-litter campaigns, but each chapter also dealt with specific issues of concern.
The major issues for the chapter in Woodstock were agricultural pesticides and pollution in the Saint John River. Many of the Woodstock members had been involved with the Association for the Preservation and Development of the Saint John River in Its Natural State, formed in 1964 over concerns about the planned construction of a massive hydroelectric dam in the Mactaquac region.22 In Saint John, the province’s industrial centre and deepwater seaport, the local chapter focused on contaminants from manufacturing plants, general pollution in the harbour, and air quality.23 The Moncton chapter, an affiliate of Pollution Probe, was a general environmental group, strongly anti-pollution, and it was one of the founding members of the Maritime Energy Coalition, an amalgam of organizations dedicated to stopping nuclear power development, in the early 1970s.24 The chapter in Fredericton was the most active, and this was in large part because of the intense dedication of its president, Richard Tarn, a plant scientist. It was mainly interested in air and water pollution from the Nackawic pulp and paper mill, land use planning in and around Fredericton, and collaboration with student groups on issues of common concern.25
However, the CCNB often regarded the environmental gains it was able to extract from the New Brunswick government as being insufficient or incomplete. The group had several immediate criticisms of the Clean Environment Act, including the fact that it did not override other provincial legislation in areas of potential conflict, such as resource development.26 As for the Pesticides Control Act, the CCNB later testified before the New Brunswick Pesticide Advisory Board, a key consultative component of the Act derived from the group’s 1970 pesticide report but not fully realized until the late 1970s, that the board itself had numerous flaws, including that it did not evaluate “risk to the public” when considering permit applications.27
This supposed insufficiency or incompleteness of legislation was actually part of the Hatfield government’s strategy to mitigate environmental resistance. As I have argued elsewhere,
the state used such measures as the creation of environmental divisions and departments within government bureaucracies in the 1960s and 1970s to legitimate its presumed function as the manager or steward of natural resources and ecosystems within its territorial borders, with the intention of appeasing enough environmental concerns so as to maintain largely uninterrupted economic growth.28
The passage of environmental legislation in New Brunswick adhered to this trend. The provincial government was solidly committed to a program of social and economic modernization through resource development during this period.29 Even with the establishment of good rapport with government officials, the CCNB was unable to convince the state to implement more than a minimal set of environmental regulations in the early 1970s. It also did not help that many of the group’s leading members were civil servants, potentially limiting how aggressively they could pursue environmental matters even if they so desired.
By the mid-1970s, the CCNB was having difficulty maintaining organizational momentum. The regional chapters recorded significant drops in membership from 1971 to 1974: both Fredericton and Saint John went from around one hundred members to eighty-four and fifty-four respectively, Woodstock from thirty to twelve, and Moncton from approximately twenty to twelve. The situation continued to get worse in 1975. The chapters described in their formal reports to the CCNB’s board of directors, now sometimes nothing more than a couple of paragraphs, even further decreases in enrolment and an ebbing sense of direction and effectiveness. It was finally reported in mid-1976 that, with regard to the Fredericton, Woodstock, and Saint John chapters, no meetings had been held or executives elected for several months. Moreover, Pollution Probe–Moncton was no longer considered one of the CCNB’s regional chapters, since most of its attention was being devoted to the Maritime Energy Coalition and the issue of nuclear power.30
The CCNB’s loss of momentum can be best explained as the result of a combination of factors. First, it was part of a national pattern of environmental groups that made gains on localized issues in the late 1960s and early 1970s (what has been referred to as the first wave of the Canadian environmental movement) but then arguably struggled to make the successful transition to larger, more abstract concerns in the mid-1970s. It was easier to make headway and demonstrate results to members when both access to those with power to make change and the impacts from gains on issues were immediate and tangible rather than distant and esoteric. This aforementioned transition in scale, from the more local to the provincial and beyond, resulted in widespread drops in membership and funding.31 Another factor was that many of the CCNB’s original members left the organization for personal reasons. Harold Hatheway, one of the founders, noted in a December 1977 letter that he had not been involved with the CCNB for three years because he “got too involved with working for a living with the provincial government.”32 Kenneth Marsh, who replaced Richard Tarn in 1972, explained in his presidential report to the 1974 annual general meeting of the Fredericton chapter that eleven members had moved away in the previous year, or close to 14 percent of 1973’s membership.33 In a university town like Fredericton, a number of those involved with the organization would have been students, so some of the decline can probably be attributed to them leaving town after completing their studies. It is also highly likely that certain CCNB members left due to fatigue, as the demands of a volunteer organization can be great, especially one advocating conservation and environmental values in a resource-dependent province. The final factor was the organization’s decentralized structure. In letters exchanged in the fall of 1970, Richard Tarn and William Mackenzie, president of the Saint John chapter, discussed how “the present lack of a clear policy on membership dues, and the relationship between our Chapter and the Council over membership are making many problems,” as was “the rather obvious policy of keeping control of the organization in the hands of certain people,” and “the President’s failure to back up his Branches when they take a position in any matter.”34 Many of the “worst kinks” with the membership and fee structures had been worked out by 1973 with amendments to the CCNB’s constitution and bylaws, but problems of trust and communication remained, leading to the sense of aimlessness and ineffectiveness expressed in the 1975 chapter reports.35 As research by Ryan O’Connor on Pollution Probe in Toronto and Jonathan Clapperton (this volume) on the Society for Pollution and Environmental Control in Vancouver demonstrate, this process of internal fracturing was not unique to the CCNB but rather a common growing pain experienced by Canadian environmental organizations during this period.36
The decline of the regional chapters sparked a debate within the CCNB’s board of directors about the future of the organization. In essence, the debate revolved around whether an attempted revitalization of the CCNB should be concentrated at the level of the provincial body or the chapters. At a meeting of the directors in May 1976, Dana Silk, a master’s student in the forestry faculty at the University of New Brunswick, was the voice for narrowing efforts to the provincial body, while Richard Tarn, who had succeeded Kenneth Langmaid as the CCNB’s president in 1972, “asked all directors to commit themselves to revitalizing the Chapters.” The final consensus, after much discussion, was “that a major rebuilding job is necessary and that it should begin at the Chapter level.”37
From 1976 to 1978, the CCNB tried to revive the regional chapters and increase its membership and funding. The Fredericton, Saint John, and Woodstock chapters held occasional meetings and conducted some activities, such as presenting to the town council or setting up a booth at the local fair, but momentum and interest had largely dissipated by mid-1977.38 The CCNB also launched a membership drive by printing 5,000 copies of a bilingual brochure and running radio advertisements to promote the organization. All members were expected to seek out new sign-ups, and CCNB directors were even once encouraged to “make an effort to obtain 5 new members before the next board meeting. A prize will be provided.” In the end, membership numbers and associated funding through fees went up only slightly.39
As the CCNB struggled to revitalize, other environmental groups, policy makers, academics, and assorted commentators were engaged in an international discussion about alternatives to the economic model of indiscriminate growth. Modern environmentalism had been concerned with human impacts on ecologies of all types since its inception, but the publication of the books The Population Bomb (1968) and The Limits to Growth (1972) focused attention on the possible dangers of exponential human and economic growth to the survival of the planet.40 Then, in 1973 and 1974, the shock stemming from the embargo instituted by oil-producing nations in the Middle East and North Africa led concerns about the social, economic, political, and environmental costs of cheap energy and the finiteness of natural resources to become mainstream across North America and Europe.41 Coupled with the publication of the book Small is Beautiful (1973) by E. F. Schumacher, which contained ideas about “human scale,” decentralization, and “appropriate technologies,” the oil crisis of 1973–74 prompted a broader dialogue about alternative ways to structure societies and economies that crossed political party lines and national borders.42 It has been pointed out that the 1973–74 oil shock was one of the factors that helped end the “first wave” of the Canadian environmental movement.43 While this is accurate, the aftermath of the crisis presented environmental groups with opportunities for revitalization.
In Canada, much of the national conversation about alternatives to indiscriminate growth was driven by the Science Council of Canada and the concept of the “conserver society.” Composed of scientists and senior civil servants, the Science Council was founded as a federal advisory board in 1966, then underwent the transition to a Crown corporation in 1968. It researched and published on a range of topics related to science and technology, and what were eventually referred to as “conserver principles” permeated its reports in the late 1960s and early 1970s.44 The first time the full term “conserver society” appeared in print was in the council’s nineteenth report, published in January 1973. It was recommended that “Canadians as individuals, and their governments, institutions and industries, begin the transition from a consumer society preoccupied with resource exploitation to a conserver society engaged in more constructive endeavours. Ideally, Canada could provide the leadership necessary to work toward more equitable distribution of the benefits of natural resources to all mankind.”45 The Science Council adopted a proposal at its June 1973 meeting to create a committee to explore “The Implications of a Conserver Society,” but the start of the study was delayed until March 1975 because of the untimely death of the original chairperson, W. J. Cheesman. The work of the four-person committee, now chaired by Ursula Franklin, a member of the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science at the University of Toronto, received widespread coverage in news media, and it maintained a public exchange of ideas through a quarterly journal called Conserver Society Notes, distributed to a mailing list of over 1,500 “interested respondents.” In February 1976, the Franklin committee released an interim “statement of concern,” declaring that “Canadians are entering an era of transition, in the course of which many features of the way we do things will change. Indiscriminate growth for growth’s sake will have to give way to a more selective growth.”46 The interim statement was republished in Science Forum, Québec Science, and Canadian Consumer in June 1976, and was read into the US Congressional Record in March 1977. The committee delivered its final report, Canada as a Conserver Society, in September 1977, and “the basic ideas set out in the Report continued to grow, appearing in articles, books, university curricula and even in new political movements.”47 Pollution Probe’s Lawrence Solomon, for example, further developed many of the ideas put forward by the Franklin committee in his book The Conserver Solution (1978).48
The Franklin committee’s report on the concept of the conserver society was a loosely outlined, made-in-Canada, technocratic vision of how to combine limits-influenced environmentalism and decentralized responsibility and innovation with the liberal market economy.49 As the report explained:
It is important to emphasize that we [the Franklin committee] are not attempting to set out a complete blueprint for a new society, nor to specify the exact modes of transition or how long they may take. The Report should be seen as our view of some new directions related to science and technology that the conserver principles imply, and some actions in those directions that agencies at all levels—government, business, labour, and private citizens—can take.50
There were five “Principal Policy Thrusts of a Conserver Society” described in the report. The first was “Concern for the Future,” or a heightened awareness that the short-term policies and actions of the past must be replaced with long-term goals and thinking, including “responsible” stewardship of knowledge and natural resources, taking advantage of new opportunities in science and technology, and conserving “to keep options open” and avoid “one supply crisis after another.” The next one was “Economy of Design,” that is, a societal shift from “bigger is better” to “do more with less,” with particular attention to “total social efficiency and best use of resources” and recycling becoming “part of the fabric of all production activities—not an afterthought.” “Diversity, Flexibility and Responsibility” was the third policy thrust, denoting that greater diversity in all areas of society, from transportation to electrical generation to consumer products, increased “flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency” and allowed for “decentralization of responsibility, and optimal performance from local resources.” Fourth, “Recognition of Total Costs” meant addition of the full and “true” environmental costs into the production process and price of products, which would lead to “innovation using the conserver approach” and “eventual improvement in the quality of life for everyone.” The final one was “Respect for the Regenerative Capacity of the Biosphere,” or promotion of “techno-socio-economic processes that are in principle sustainable.”51 The report also discussed at length how the five policy thrusts could be applied in four general areas: energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, materials, and new business and employment opportunities, and provided specific recommendations regarding “Things to Do Immediately” and “Things to Think About.”52
The conserver society–infused national conversation about alternatives to indiscriminate growth provided environmental groups across the country with opportunities for revitalization in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Numerous groups “adopted the conserver society as both a principle to organize around and an alternative method of development through which to analyze government policy” as part of efforts to regain some of the organizational momentum lost in the mid-1970s. Furthermore, much of the bureaucratic attention of Environment Canada and the federal Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources was fixated on the realization of conserver principles by the late 1970s. This included the creation of various programs and grants, often in conjunction with the provinces, designed to implement and to educate the wider public about some of the Franklin committee’s recommendations. Environmental groups frequently accessed these programs and grants and shrewdly used them for their own particular purposes, such as revitalization, all the while operating within funding parameters.53
One of the groups that took advantage of the opportunities to revitalize was the CCNB, and the agent for this change was the aforementioned Dana Silk. Born in London, Ontario, Silk spent his childhood and formative years in London, England, and Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and received a Bachelor of Design in environmental planning from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1973 and a Master of Forestry from the University of New Brunswick in 1975. His “real introduction to environmental issues” was through land use planning, and he became involved with the CCNB during his master’s degree, often attending meetings in the basement of the Tarn household, and later joined the Maritime Energy Coalition and the nuclear power debate. Silk was a member of the CCNB provincial executive in the mid to late 1970s, but his chance to effect serious change within the organization arrived when he replaced Richard Tarn as president in late 1978.54
In many ways, Silk was precisely the sort of leader that the CCNB needed at that time. Silk astutely recognized the emergence of indiscriminate growth as an important matter of environmental concern, and he and other members worked to ensure that the CCNB was involved in this pan-Canadian conversation by co-founding Friends of the Earth Canada, attending regional and national environmental conferences, and inviting well-known environmental personalities to speak in New Brunswick, including Ursula Franklin, Amory Lovins (soft/alternative energy), Rosalie Bertell (environmental health), and George McRobie (sustainable development).55 Silk was even very adept at navigating his way through all of the bureaucratic hoops and paperwork that came with the conserver-inspired government programs and grants.56
Silk’s main accomplishment as head of the CCNB was providing the group with a centralized and professional institutional foundation through the hiring of staff and setting up of a permanent headquarters. Silk had been the voice for narrowing revitalization efforts to the provincial body in 1976, and so becoming president allowed him to guide the organization away from the now-defunct regional chapters and concentrate on the provincial body. The general administrative structure of the CCNB remained the same, while the classes of membership were increased to eight, with somewhat different titles, and membership prices went up for the first time in ten years.57 As for staff and office space, the idea actually dated back to April 1977, when the fundraising committee offered the suggestion, to be achieved within three years, and the CCNB’s board of directors passed a motion of acceptance.58 One of the first people hired was Silk. He worked as the executive director of the New Brunswick division of the Community Planning Association of Canada from 1976 to 1979, but according to him, attending an environmental education conference in Toronto “was an eye-opener. . . . There were about 15 people from across the country and almost all of them worked more or less full-time on environmental issues, so it inspired me to join them.” In 1980, Silk became the first executive director of the CCNB, a position he held until 1983.59 The initial staff were Brian Harvey (researcher/coordinator), Janet Parkhill (researcher/coordinator and office manager), and Karen Hine (newsletter editor). They were hired for one year at minimum wage in the spring of 1979 through what was being referred to as the “Conserver Society Project,” a Youth Job Corps–assisted venture to educate the public about conserver principles. Harvey, Parkhill, and Hine were then kept on as staff for at least one more year, working directly for the CCNB, and by the end of 1980, up to five people were working in the head office.60
Silk developed both short- and long-term options for headquarters. He contacted W. A. Waller, associate executive director of Fredericton’s Chalmers Hospital, in March 1979, inquiring if the CCNB could “rent the old Personnel and Housekeeping Offices in the Victoria Public Hospital Building”; the rooms were eventually secured at a rental of $159.84 per month.61 Silk also proposed a project called the “Conservation House,” or “plans to retrofit an old house in Fredericton as a demonstration of the potential for incorporating the latest energy conservation technologies in the existing house stock,” to the New Brunswick Energy Secretariat in February 1979. By that summer, Silk had arranged to lease a large house located at 180 St. John Street, known as the “old Press Club,” from the provincial government for one dollar per year.62 The deal was subsequently put on hold while the New Brunswick government negotiated a Conservation and Renewable Energy Demonstration Agreement (CREDA), a conserver-influenced granting program, with the federal government. The Canada–New Brunswick CREDA was signed on 16 January 1980, and the CCNB secured, at least according to the mid-term report, more than $350,000 over the next several years to “increase public awareness of conservation and renewable energy technologies, in particular those applicable to the residential sector, through the conservation and renewable energy retrofit of a century-old house and conversion of the house to a public information centre.” Later renamed “Conserver House,” the demonstration building at 180 St. John Street thereafter served as the CCNB’s permanent headquarters, and received approximately 3,000 visitors per year, most of whom were from the Fredericton area, by 1982.63
The CCNB’s overall productivity increased significantly during Silk’s time as president and executive director. This is not to suggest that the organization was inactive from the decline of the regional chapters in the mid-1970s to the transfer of leadership from Tarn to Silk in late 1978. On the contrary, the provincial body remained committed to a number of environmental causes and projects during this period, everything from the mundane task of ensuring representation on government committees, to the educational role of publishing an on-again/off-again newsletter, to pioneering new initiatives like lobbying for the creation of wilderness areas in New Brunswick.64 That said, there was a marked increase in the CCNB’s productivity after Silk assumed the presidency, and particularly once he had become executive director, full-time staff had been hired, and office space had been established. An organization with an institutional foundation could simply dedicate more time to environmental activities than one run by volunteers, many of whom had full-time jobs not associated with the organization.
Silk and other members quickly discovered that there were limits on what they could potentially achieve. The sweeping influence of the concept of the conserver society had provided the CCNB with opportunities for revitalization and institutionalization, but it was much more complicated to follow through with the actualization of conserver principles. As Silk later recalled, “it was difficult for Maritimers to pursue the same concepts . . . as those from the big cities because our population base was much smaller and more dependent on natural resources. . . . We certainly enjoyed ourselves [at regional and national conferences] but it was all a bit Disneyland compared to our bread and butter issues back home.”65 The fact that New Brunswick was a highly resource-dependent province, and one with very limited financial resources, meant that, after the passage of some environmental legislation in the early 1970s, the provincial government was more interested in sponsoring resource-based industries than environmental regulation or encouraging widespread societal change. Indeed, in the mid to late 1970s the Hatfield government was busily promoting pulp and paper manufacturing and the large-scale use of industrial forest management on Crown lands as being central to social and economic modernization, with little attention being paid to environmental concerns, let alone conserver principles.66 In spite of government indifference, there were attempts by the CCNB to spread the gospel of the conserver society, including setting up Conserver House as an energy-saving and renewable technologies demonstration building. In another instance, the CCNB applied for and received a grant through the New Brunswick Energy Secretariat to produce 1,500 copies of a “Welcome to the Conserver Society” poster, which highlighted energy-saving techniques that people could incorporate into their everyday lives.67
By and large, though, Silk and his contemporaries concentrated their efforts on various “bread and butter” issues, or those that had particular resonance within New Brunswick. One of the issues was energy. Silk had been involved with the anti-nuclear movement since the mid-1970s, and while the CCNB had had an energy committee for many years, energy issues became a more pressing concern once he was president/executive director. The organization was especially troubled by the Hatfield government’s obsession with nuclear power development and perceived disregard for alternative energy sources and energy conservation.68 And not surprisingly, the province’s economic mainstay, forestry, was another issue pursued by the CCNB. Brian Harvey, a recent graduate from the University of New Brunswick’s forestry program, sent a “questionnaire . . . to all the pulp and paper mills in the province [in June 1979] in the hope that a clear perspective on the industry might be obtained when all the information is in.”69 Later that fall, the CCNB celebrated its tenth anniversary by dedicating the organization’s annual general meeting to a major conference on forest management, and issued invitations to representatives from government, industry, organized labour, woodlot owners’ associations, and conservation and environmental groups.70 Other issues of concern for the CCNB in the late 1970s and early 1980s, some of which were long-standing ones, were acid rain, land use management, recycling, and publication of the province’s first environmental law handbook.71
The CCNB still spent much of its time engaging government officials, but under Silk’s leadership it practised a more confrontational style of lobbying. Unlike many of the group’s leading members in the early 1970s, Silk and other CCNB staff were not civil servants, so they had the freedom to pursue environmental issues as aggressively as they wished. They were also well aware that the collaborative lobbying style used by the group earlier in the decade had achieved only limited gains. Silk thus believed that a less cozy and more direct and assertive approach might grab the attention of government officials, who were fixated on the promotion of resource-based industries, and eventually result in stronger environmental regulations. Of course, not all of the members appreciated the group’s new confrontational style. Silk later noted that there was “a bit of a gap between the old guard and the younger, often rural group, who were implementing the Conserver Society in their own way.”72
The CCNB’s more confrontational lobbying style clearly irritated government officials. Probably the most contentious issue during Silk’s time as head of the CCNB was the spruce budworm spraying program. In the second half of the 1970s, a wave of popular protest swept the province after revelations that fenitrothion, the main pesticide then used in the spraying program, and associated emulsifiers were linked to higher rates of Reye’s syndrome among children in New Brunswick.73 In its own way, the CCNB participated in this wave of protest; for example, it was Silk who appeared before the Pesticide Advisory Board in 1979 and criticized its mandate.74 Silk and his contemporaries also engaged the provincial ministers of natural resources, health, and environment through extensive correspondence. They lobbied the ministers to enact stricter regulations to protect the environment and human health from what was perceived as widespread poisoning for the sake of corporate profiteering.75 In letters exchanged in the spring of 1980, Minister of Natural Resources J. W. Bird and Brian Harvey debated the CCNB’s criticisms of the Pesticide Advisory Board and other aspects of the spraying program. Bird ended the correspondence with the exasperated and somewhat passive-aggressive assessment that
the obvious difference in our positions about the CCNB submission to the Pesticides Advisory Board is one of context, and I believe that further debate between us about the details of the situation would be fruitless.
I would welcome future co-operation and open communication between our Department and the Conservation Council. The best way for this to be achieved in my opinion, is to ensure that the communication is direct and specific. If your recommendations, criticisms and complaints are communicated in that manner, I can assure that they will receive serious consideration and substantive response.76
This sort of ministerial reaction to the CCNB’s lobbying efforts was common in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Unfortunately for the CCNB, the change in lobbying style did not yield better results. It appears that at the time New Brunswickers were prepared and willing to support increased regulatory action on a number of environmental issues. The CCNB conducted an extensive environmental survey of the province in 1980, and solid majorities of respondents believed the provincial government should do more to combat air and water pollution, while 48 percent (versus 41 percent) thought the spruce budworm spraying program could be reduced without economic damage. Sixty-nine percent of respondents also “felt there should be a greater emphasis on reducing our demand on non-renewable resources through conservation and the use of renewable resources like solar and wood power as opposed to increasing supply of non-renewable resources like oil, coal and nuclear power.”77 However, general support for conserver-related issues ran headlong into the “bread and butter” factor of which Silk and other CCNB members were so cognizant. This was the tension that Marilee Little had alluded to in her letter to the editor. Much of the New Brunswick populace might have recognized the possible benefits of the conserver society, but putting it into full practice was another matter entirely. As Silk later observed, “It’s hard to persuade people who heat with wood because it’s cheaper that they shouldn’t aspire to heating with oil or electricity just because it’s more convenient and cleaner.”78
The circumvention of such tensions required the active participation of the state, but the Hatfield government, more interested in industrial promotion, had not implemented more than a minimal set of environmental regulations since coming to power in 1970. Subsequently, the CCNB’s confrontational lobbying style in the late 1970s and early 1980s provoked government backlash and even some retrenchment. For Silk, the next step was obvious: “Although Richard Hatfield and I got along quite well personally, his government was not good for the environment, and when he got re-elected for the fourth time in 1982, I had alienated so many people in his government and bureaucracy that I thought it best to move on [in 1983].”79
The CCNB’s experience of trying to engage government officials was typical of what many small Canadian groups went through during the formative years of modern environmentalism. Environmental organizations came up with a variety of novel approaches and strategies to convey their concerns, and yet more often than not encountered the political barrier of governments strongly committed to ongoing resource development schemes. Even though the CCNB adopted two different styles of lobbying, from a collaborative approach in the early 1970s to a more confrontational one later in the decade, its attempts to influence the state were only partially effective. This then raises questions about the notion of efficacy, one of the broader themes addressed by this edited collection, and how we have measured the effectiveness of the modern environmental movement in Canada. Indeed, perhaps we need to rethink our frame of reference, by moving the site at which judgments are rendered about the successes or failures of past environmental actions, or lack thereof, from the environmental groups to the level of the state. Rather than pondering how effectively environmental groups engaged with government officials, perhaps we need to ask why groups like the CCNB had to invest so much time and energy into trying to engage with the state in the first place. Why was it so difficult to convince governments that an environmental agenda was just as or even more valid than an economic one? Maybe by turning our analytical gazes to better understanding state obstructionism, like the type associated with the modernization schemes of the 1960s and 1970s, we would come up with compelling explanations for why some have perceived the Canadian environmental movement to have been largely ineffective or even an outright failure.
In turn, reframing how we think about the efficacy of the modern Canadian environmental movement draws our attention to the theme of scale. As noted, the end of the first wave of the Canadian environmental movement came about as groups supposedly struggled to make the successful transition from localized issues to larger, more abstract concerns in the mid-1970s. For example, national interest in alternatives to indiscriminate growth like the conserver society had offered some hope that serious and lasting change might be possible, but that proved fleeting. Nonetheless, many environmental groups took advantage of conserver-inspired government programs and grants to revitalize after the period of lost momentum in the mid-1970s, setting the stage for the second wave of the Canadian environmental movement in the 1980s.80 With regard to the CCNB, Silk was able to provide the organization with a centralized and professional institutional foundation, which he later referred to as “my biggest contribution.”81 If the obstructionism of the state was truly as impenetrable as it seems during this period, then perhaps we need to recognize the transition in scale that many small Canadian environmental groups underwent, from the local to the provincial and beyond, as less of a story of logistical failure and more as a success in basic survival. Like the conserver society, the CCNB might have been “not an easy thing to implement,” but owing to the organizational efforts of those early years it has been able to continue lobbying for stronger environmental regulatory frameworks in a resource-dependent province up to the present day.
A big thank you to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick for granting me permission to access their historical records. I also need to thank Andrew Secord for his help securing permission and contextualizing New Brunswick’s environmental movement in the 1970s, Janice Harvey for agreeing to be interviewed, Dana Silk for conversing and answering all of my questions via email, and the anonymous reviewers for the excellent edits and suggestions. Thank you to Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Piper for their work as editors and organizing the Environmentalism from Below conference (Edmonton, Alberta, 7–9 August 2014), and to my fellow conference attendees for their helpful comments.
1 Brian Harvey to the editor of the Daily Gleaner, 23 April 1980, Conservation Council of New Brunswick fonds (hereafter CCNB fonds), MC1107, file MS1-5, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (hereafter PANB).
2 Daily Gleaner (Fredericton), 22 April 1980.
3 B. Harvey to the editor of the Daily Gleaner, 23 April 1980, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5, PANB. Harvey’s letter to the editor was never published in the newspaper.
4 Matthew Farish and P. Whitney Lackenbauer, “High Modernism in the Arctic: Planning Frobisher Bay and Inuvik,” Journal of Historical Geography 35, no. 3 (2009): 517–44; James L. Kenny and Andrew G. Secord, “Engineering Modernity: Hydroelectric Development in New Brunswick, 1945–1970,” Acadiensis 39, no. 1 (2010): 3–26; and Tina Loo, “People in the Way: Modernity, Environment, and Society on the Arrow Lakes,” BC Studies 142/143 (2004): 161–96. In Atlantic Canada, the modernization ethos was in large part actualized through a series of federal-provincial regional economic development programs, such as the Atlantic Development Board (1962) and the Fund for Rural Economic Development (1966). See James Bickerton, Nova Scotia, Ottawa, and the Politics of Regional Development (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990); and Donald J. Savoie, Visiting Grandchildren: Economic Development in the Maritimes (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006).
5 See Janet Parkhill to Mellos, 16 June 1980, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-5, PANB.
6 Mark J. McLaughlin, “‘Trees Are a Crop’: Crown Lands, Labour, and the Environment in New Brunswick’s Forest Industries, 1940–1982,” (PhD diss., University of New Brunswick, 2013); McLaughlin, “Green Shoots: Aerial Insecticide Spraying and the Growth of Environmental Consciousness in New Brunswick, 1952–1973,” Acadiensis 40, no. 1 (2011): 3–23; and McLaughlin, “‘As Thick as Molasses’: Water Pollution Regulation in New Brunswick, 1947–1974,” in Modern Canada: 1945 to Present, ed. Catherine Briggs (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2014), 369–82.
7 Daily Gleaner, 16 August 1969.
8 Audio recording of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick founding meeting, 18 October 1969, Fredericton, NB, recording in the CCNB’s possession, Conserver House, Fredericton, NB; see also McLaughlin, “Green Shoots,” 20–21.
9 CCNB Application for Incorporation, 1970, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-9, PANB.
10 Minutes of CCNB Annual General Meeting, 3 November 1973, including Article II of the attached CCNB constitution, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-4, PANB.
11 Minutes of CCNB Annual General Meeting, 3 November 1973, including the attached CCNB constitution, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-4, PANB.
12 Numerous examples of correspondence being addressed to the CCNB’s presidents’ homes or places of work can be found in CCNB fonds, MC1107, files MS1-1-1 and MS1-1-2, PANB.
13 Kenneth Langmaid to Donald J. Blackburn, 17 April 1972, CCNB fonds, MC1107, MS1-1-2, PANB.
14 Janice Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014. Janice Harvey joined the CCNB around 1980, and she was hired as the organization’s executive director in 1983.
15 Daily Gleaner, 6 November 1970.
16 Langmaid to Richard Hatfield, 5 October 1970, and Hatfield to Langmaid, 20 October 1970, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-1, PANB. On the emergence of the environment as a political issue in New Brunswick, see McLaughlin, “‘Trees Are a Crop,’” 247–310.
17 McLaughlin, “‘Trees Are a Crop,’” 247–310. Hatfield was premier of New Brunswick from 1970 to 1987.
18 Daily Gleaner, 27 November 1969 and 6 November 1970.
19 George Gerald Shaw, Report of the Pesticide Committee of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (Fredericton: 1970), McLaughlin, “Green Shoots,” 21–22, and New Brunswick, New Brunswick Acts (1973), 136–50.
20 Langmaid to Blackburn, 17 April 1972, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-2, PANB; and New Brunswick, New Brunswick Acts (1971), 4–10. For a legal analysis of the Pesticides Control Act and the Clean Environment Act, see Hajo Versteeg, Handbook on Environmental Law for New Brunswick (Fredericton: Conservation Council of New Brunswick, 1983), 28–29.
21 In contrast, northern New Brunswick was less affluent and largely rural and Francophone, at once a reflection of the province’s deep-rooted language divide but also lending credence to the argument put forward by some historians that environmentalism was often the domain of the middle class. For example, see Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945–1980 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). Mark Leeming (this volume) counters that “post-materialism,” a concept used to encapsulate the middle-class condition in post–Second World War North America, is “a poor explanatory framework upon which to model a complex social movement” like environmentalism, preferring instead to focus on “ecological distribution conflicts.”
22 Woodstock Chapter of the CCNB Annual Report, 1970–1971, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB; J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014; and McLaughlin, “‘As Thick as Molasses.’“
23 Saint John Chapter of the CCNB Annual Report, undated, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB.
24 Anne Ottow, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, July 2010. On the anti-nuclear movement in the Maritimes, see Mark Leeming, “In Defence of Home Places: Environmental Activism in Nova Scotia, 1970–1985,” (PhD diss., Dalhousie University, 2013); and Leeming, “The Creation of Radicalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism in Nova Scotia, c. 1972–1979,” Canadian Historical Review 95, no. 2 (2014): 217–41. On Pollution Probe, see Ryan O’Connor, The First Green Wave: Pollution Probe and the Origins of Environmental Activism in Ontario (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014).
25 Fredericton Chapter Report to the Annual Meeting of the CCNB, 30 October 1971, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB.
26 Langmaid to Hatfield, 26 April 1971, CCNB fonds, file MS1-1-1, PANB.
27 Minutes of the Pesticide Advisory Board Public Hearing (1978), 52–63, and Minutes of the Pesticide Advisory Board Public Hearing, vol. 2 (1979), 30–48.
28 McLaughlin, “Rise of the Eco-Comics: The State, Environmental Education, and Canadian Comic Books, 1971–1975,” Material Culture Review 77/78 (Spring/Fall 2013): 13.
29 McLaughlin, “‘Trees Are a Crop,’” 116–78 and 311–80.
30 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 7 December 1974 and 15 May 1976, file MS1-5-2 as well as Fredericton Chapter of the CCNB Annual Report, 1975, Woodstock Chapter of the CCNB Annual Report, 1975, and Saint John Chapter Report to the CCNB’s Board of Directors, 6 December 1975, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB, and Anne Ottow, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, July 2010.
31 O’Connor, The First Green Wave, esp. the introduction and chap. 5; Robert Paehlke, “Eco-History: Two Waves in the Evolution of Environmentalism,” Alternatives 19, no. 1 (1992): 18–23; and J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014.
32 Harold Hatheway to Terry Andrew, 4 December 1977, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-3, PANB.
33 President’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Fredericton Chapter of the CCNB, 3 June 1974, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB.
34 Richard Tarn to William Mackenzie, 24 October 1970, and Mackenzie to Tarn, 9 December 1970, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS2-4, PANB.
35 Memo from Hatheway to chapter secretaries, undated, file MS2-4, Minutes of CCNB Annual General Meeting, 3 November 1973, including the attached CCNB constitution, file MS1-4 as well as Woodstock Chapter of the CCNB Annual Report, 1975 and Saint John Chapter Report to the CCNB’s Board of Directors, 6 December 1975, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-15, PANB.
36 O’Connor, The First Green Wave, and Jonathan Clapperton, “The Ebb and Flow of Local Environmentalist Action: The Society for Pollution and Environmental Control (SPEC), Vancouver, British Columbia” in this volume.
37 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 15 May 1976, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5-2, PANB; and Dana Silk’s Curriculum Vitae, 2013, in possession of author.
38 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 18 August 1976 and 5 February, 2 April, and 11 June 1977, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5-2, PANB.
39 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 5 February and 2 April 1977 and 11 March 1978, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5-2, PANB.
40 Paul R. Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine Books, 1968); Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III, The Limits to Growth (New York: Universe Books, 1972).
41 Elisabetta Bini, Giuliano Garavini, and Federico Romero, eds., Oil Shock: The 1973 Crisis and its Economic Legacy (London: I. B. Tauris, 2016).
42 E. F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (New York: Harper and Row, 1973).
43 O’Connor, The First Green Wave, esp. the introduction and chap. 5, and Paehlke, “Two Waves.”
44 G. Brent Clowater, “Canadian Science Policy and the Retreat from Transformative Politics: The Final Years of the Science Council of Canada,” Scientia Canadensis 35, nos. 1–2 (2012): 113–17; and Ursula Franklin (Chairperson), Canada as a Conserver Society: Resource Uncertainties and the Need for New Technologies (Ottawa: Science Council of Canada, Report No. 27, September 1977), 11–12.
45 Roger Gaudry (Chairperson), Natural Resource Policy Issues in Canada (Ottawa: Science Council of Canada, Report No. 19, January 1973), 39.
46 Franklin, Canada as a Conserver Society, 13–15, and Franklin (Chairperson), Toward a Conserver Society: A Statement of Concern (Ottawa: Science Council of Canada, February 1976), 2. The three other members of the committee were John Pollock, president of Electrohome Limited and acting chairperson during the transition from Cheesman to Franklin, Gabriel Filteau, associate dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Laval University, and Ran Ide, chairperson of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority. Also, Conserver Society Notes was later taken over by the periodical Alternatives: see Piper, this volume.
47 Franklin, Canada as a Conserver Society, 15, and Ted Schrecker, The Conserver Society Revisited: A Discussion Paper (Ottawa: Science Council of Canada, May 1983), 5. As pointed out by Schrecker, “political and popular support for the idea of a Conserver Society, while widespread, is still limited to the minority of the population.”
48 Lawrence Solomon, The Conserver Solution (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1978).
49 For an analysis of the Science Council’s promotion of the conserver society concept as an exercise in economic nationalism and sustainable development, see Henry Trim, “Experts at Work: The Canadian State, North American Environmentalism, and Renewable Energy in an Era of Limits, 1968–1983” (PhD diss., University of British Columbia, 2014), esp. chap. 3; and Trim, “Planning the Future: The Conserver Society and Canadian Sustainability,” Canadian Historical Review 96, no. 3 (2015): 375–404.
50 Franklin, Canada as a Conserver Society, 15. The committee made clear at various points in the report that its vision of the conserver society was not “anti-growth,” “anti-technology,” or “anti-industry.”
51 Franklin, Canada as a Conserver Society, 23–37. Emphasis in original.
52 Franklin, Canada as a Conserver Society, 39–88. It is not surprising that much of the report dealt with energy issues, as it was conceived of, researched, and written in the shadow of the 1973–1974 oil crisis.
53 Trim, “Experts at Work,” esp. chaps. 3, 5, and 6; Trim, “Planning the Future”; J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014; and Dana Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014; quote from Trim, “Experts at Work,” 147.
54 Dana Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014; and Silk’s curriculum vitae, 2013, in possession of author.
55 J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014; Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014; and Silk to Ray Hnatyshyn, 20 June 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-2, PANB.
56 J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014.
57 Silk to Jan Bonga, 5 January 1979, including attached membership renewal notice, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-3-1, PANB.
58 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 2 April 1977, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5-2, PANB.
59 Silk’s curriculum vitae, 2013, in possession of author; and Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.
60 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 11 May 1979 and 15 May 1980, file MS-1-5-2, as well as Saundra Hopper to the Atlantic Centre for the Environment, 10 November 1980, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-3, PANB.
61 Silk to W. A. Waller, 19 March 1979, Waller to Silk, 3 April 1979, and Silk to Waller, 12 April 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-3, PANB.
62 Silk to John Williamson, 1 February 1979, file MS1-2, and Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 11 August 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS-1-5-2, PANB.
63 Canadian Energy Development Systems International, Inc., A Mid-Term Evaluation of the Canada/New Brunswick Conservation and Renewable Demonstration Agreement (Ottawa: CEDSI, Inc., July 1983), i and B1-B5. For each Conservation and Renewable Demonstration Agreement, the federal government contributed 80 percent of the funding, while the province provided 20 percent. Also, Conserver House was inspired by Pollution Probe’s Ecology House in Toronto and “community energy centres in Sweden.”
64 On the CCNB’s activities in the mid to late 1970s, see the various Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB in CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-5-2, PANB.
65 Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.
66 McLaughlin, “‘Trees Are a Crop,’“ 311–80.
67 Minutes of the Directors Meeting of the CCNB, 15 May 1980, file MS1-5-2, Dan Clarke to Silk, 19 June 1980, file MS1-2, and B. Harvey to Miriam Murray, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-6, PANB. See file MS1-1-7 for a miniature version of the “Welcome to the Conserver Society” poster.
68 Silk to Hatfield, 15 June 1979, file MS1-2, as well as Silk to James D. McNiven, 3 July 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, MS1-1-3, PANB.
69 B. Harvey to H. J. O’Neill, 6 July 1979, and B. Harvey to the Ontario-Minnesota Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd., 27 June 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-3, PANB. For most of the mills’ responses to the questionnaire, see O’Neill to B. Harvey, 3 July 1979, Mark C. Trask to B. Harvey, 9 July 1979, D. W. Jebbink to B. Harvey, 25 July 1979, L. W. Sutherland to B. Harvey, 30 July 1979, G. L. Crozier to B. Harvey, 1 August 1979, J. C. Wig to B. Harvey, 2 August 1979, and Catherine Séguier to B. Harvey, 10 August 1979, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-3, PANB.
70 Proceedings of the Conference on Forest Management in New Brunswick (Fredericton: Conservation Council of New Brunswick, 1979), which can be found in the University of New Brunswick’s Science Library.
71 See Koula Mellos to the CCNB, 12 May 1980, and Parkhill to Mellos, 16 June 1980, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-1-5, PANB, and Versteeg, Handbook on Environmental Law.
72 J. Harvey, interview by author, Fredericton, NB, June 2014, and Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.
73 Alan Miller, Environmental Problem Solving: Psychosocial Barriers to Adaptive Change (New York: Springer, 1999), 82–123; and Bert Deveaux, “The Poison Mist”: A Special Investigation into New Brunswick’s Forest Spray Programme, CBC Radio, originally aired 3 January 1982 (transcript).
74 Minutes of the Pesticide Advisory Board (1979), 30–48.
75 For examples, see Silk to Brenda Robertson, 10 April 1979, Robertson to Silk, 7 May 1979, Silk to Robertson, 28 March 1980, Robertson to Silk, 25 April 1980, Silk to Robertson, 4 June 1980, Robertson to Silk, 10 July 1980, Silk to Eric Kipping, 15 August 1980, Kipping to Silk, 8 October 1980, Silk to Kipping, 8 April 1981, Kipping to Silk, 16 April 1981, Silk to Kipping, 22 July 1981, and Kipping to Silk, 15 June 1982, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-2, PANB.
76 J. W. Bird to Silk, 17 March 1980, B. Harvey to Bird, 23 April 1980, and Bird to B. Harvey, 26 May 1980, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-2, PANB; quote from letter dated 26 May 1980.
77 Neil Dickie to Bob Wilson, 6 August 1980, and Silk to Members of the Legislative Assembly, undated, file MS1-2, as well as CCNB Environmental Survey Press Release, undated, CCNB fonds, MC1107, file MS1-10, PANB; quote from press release. Out of the 1,300 questionnaires sent out by the CCNB, 718 were returned, for a response rate of 55 percent.
78 Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.
79 Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.
80 O’Connor, The First Green Wave, esp. the introduction; and Paehlke, “Two Waves.”
81 Silk, email message to author, 17 June 2014.