Author Archives: Friends of Nature

Salmon Wars Campaign

Dear Friends:

We find ourselves yet again in opposition to our own government and the aquaculture industry. Cermaq, a giant multi-national aquaculture firm (owned by Mitsubishi) has been granted options to install industrial size open pen salmon farms in the pristine waters of St Margaret’s Bay, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg Bay, the mouth of the LaHave River, St Mary’s Bay and large parts of  Guysborough and Richmond Counties.

Friends of Nature is proud to be a co- founder of the Twin Bays Coalition. I encourage you to have a look at:

Our campaign includes meeting with government at all levels. Upcoming municipal council presentations are listed below. It is very important that we fill the visitor’s gallery at each of these and I urge you to attend as many as you can.

1.   Tuesday, Jan 21, 0900 Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, (located in Bridgewater) council presentation.

2.   Sunday, Jan 26, 2:00 pm, Council of Canadians Public meeting, Mahone Bay Centre

3.   Monday, Jan 27, 6:00 pm, Town of Bridgewater, council presentation.

4.   Thursday Jan 30, 9:00 am, Chester Municipality, council presentation.

5.   Thursday Jan 30, 7:00 pm, Town of Mahone Bay, council presentation.

6.   Tuesday,  Feb 11, 5:15 pm, Town of Lunenburg, council presentation

In addition, Friends of Nature will be participating in the following event, which I hope you can also attend:

The South Shore Chapter of the Council of Canadians, in partnership with the Twin Bays Coalition, is presenting a meeting, “There’s still time to protect our bays: Say No to open-net fish farming”. In light of the NS government’s giving an option to Japanese aquaculture giant, Cermaq, to explore putting open-net pens in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bays, this public meeting will examine the risks associated with open-net fish farming. Open-net pens, which are being eliminated in BC, threaten our environment though disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and more.

The event will include presentations from the Ecology Action Centre, the Twin Bays Coalition, Protect Liverpool Bay, St. Mary’s Bay Protectors, and the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore. Excerpts of the film, Salmon Wars: Wild Fish, Aquaculture and the Future of Communities, will be shown; a short film on a Nova Scotia land-based alternative to open-net pens will also be presented. There will be opportunities for discussion among panelists and questions / comments from the audience will be encouraged as we address an issue that is a concern in communities throughout the province.

The event will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2 pm at the Mahone Bay Centre (45 School St., Mahone Bay). Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully received to cover costs. Everyone is welcome to attend.

With best wishes,

Syd Dumaresq

Chair, Friends of Nature

Support Boat Harbour Closure

Dear Friends: The Boat Harbour deadline is fast approaching and the Premier is under a lot of pressure to cave. The onus is on the rest of us to make our feelings known to give him some assurance that there are voters out there who want him to stay the course. I urge you to respond to this petition. This is what I wrote, please feel free to copy or modify (click here to send your petition):

Dear Premier McNeil,

Please do not allow Boat Harbour to receive one ounce of pollution after the January 2020 deadline and do not allow the effluent to be slightly filtered and redirected to another waterway.

We need to change from the old methods of dumping industrial waste into our waterways and our air to a new economy where there “waste” products are recycled and reused. Wherever this has happened the company actually makes more money and the environment gets better.
Refer to the case of Interface Carpets for an excellent example of one of the worst polluters ever changing itself into an environmental leader, an industry leader, and an even more profitable company.

Click here to send your letter.

Many thanks
Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature


“The Mill” documentary to be shown on CBC

Dear Friends of Nature:

With the Pictou mill so much in our thoughts, I highly recommend Joan Baxter’s recent book “The Mill”.

There is also a documentary on “The Mill” which will be on CBC at 10:00 pm AST this Thursday, August 29.

Here is a link to an article about the documentary in Truro News:

Best wishes

Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature

Our Youngest Board Member Won 2 Volunteer Awards!

Dear Friends:

Friends of Nature are proud to report that Maria Kirby Breen, our youngest Board Member and our Membership Director, has received both a Volunteer Award from the Municipality of the District of Chester and the Youth Volunteer Award for all of Nova Scotia.
Maria Kirby Breen
This picture shows Maria about to receive the award from our MLA, the Honourable Hugh MacKay, and Floyd Shatford, the Deputy Warden of the Municipality.  Syd Dumaresq is reading the citation illustrating why Maria richly deserves the award.  Rudy would be so proud!Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature

ECO-RALLY #2 – PICTOU RISING! A Conversation with Joan Baxter

Dear Friends,

Please join us for ECO-RALLY #2 – PICTOU RISING! “A Conversation with Joan Baxter”! TUESDAY, APRIL 2– 7PM

Incisive, no nonsense, take no prisoners. Joan Baxter’s brilliant exposé “The Mill – Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest” tells the story of shocking government/industry collusion and a community that refuses to take it. Having destroyed the Pictou Landing First Nation’s Boat Harbour, now Pictou’s Northern Pulp mill wants to dump its effluent in the Northumberland Strait. An extraordinary battle is playing out on our province’s north shore and Baxter’s award-winning book is at its very centre.

Journalist, anthropologist, development consultant, mother of two much of Joan’s career was in Africa. Home again at last, she now applies her deep knowledge of direct investment in Africa, extractive industries, regulatory capture, environmental rights and justice, food sovereignty and sustainable farming and food systems, to life here in Nova Scotia and Canada.

Interviewing Joan on stage, former CBC journalist Jennifer Henderson. Now with the Halifax Examiner, her publisher calls Henderson “a reporter’s reporter.” Expertise in a host of current local issues like the QE2 replacement, tidal power, NSP, and the state of our nursing homes.

Homemade snacks, tea and coffee provided.


For information and media inquiries, call 902-823-1404.

Sponsored by Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust, Friends of Nature, Healthy Forest Coalition, St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, Transition Bay St Margarets, Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization.

Download the PDF here: ECO-RALLY #2 Pictou Rising

Legal Action for Nova Scotia’s Species at Risk

Dear Friends:

Jamie Simpson, one of our board members, is acting for Bob Bancroft and three other groups in launching this action to require the NS Government to  live up to their legislated requirement to protect species at risk.

Friends of Nature fully supports this action. Great work Jamie and Bob!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2019   Halifax, Nova Scotia

Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft and nature organizations launch legal action for Nova Scotia’s species at risk

Mr. Bob Bancroft and three of Nova Scotia’s naturalists’ societies say it is time to ask the courts to intervene on behalf of Nova Scotia’s most at-risk wildlife and plants.

“The Department of Lands and Forestry has mandatory legal obligations under the Endangered Species Act that have not been fulfilled,” explains retired Acadia University biology professor Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, president of Blomidon Naturalists Society, one of the parties to the legal proceedings.  “We’re simply asking the Court to tell our government to do what it is already required to do by law.”

In court documents filed today, the applicants allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry (formerly the Department of Natural Resources) has failed to meet its legal obligations with respect to 34 species, including mainland moose, wood turtle, bank swallow, and a host of other species designated at risk in Nova Scotia.

“The Department has not yet identified core habitat for our mainland moose, a requirement that is now over-due by more than a decade,” says wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft, president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists (also known as Nature Nova Scotia).

The legal documents allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry has not yet identified a single acre of core habitat of threatened and endangered species, despite the legal requirement to do so under the Endangered Species Act.

Other short-comings noted in the documents include failures to appoint recovery teams and create recovery plans within the time-frames required under the Act.

“This is a rule of law case,” notes Jamie Simpson, lawyer for the applicants.  “The Act requires the Minister of Lands and Forestry to do certain things towards the recovery of species at risk in Nova Scotia.  We are asking the Court to uphold the rule of law and require the Department to abide by the Act.”

The Department’s short-comings with respect to species at risk has been reported several times.  In 2015, the East Coast Environmental Law Association published a report calling on the Department to address the alleged violations of the Species at Risk Act.  In 2016, the Office of the Auditor General of Nova Scotia published a review of the Department’s track-record on species at risk, noting the alleged failure to fulfill mandatory requirements under the Act.


For more information:

Bob Bancroft: 902 386 2501 ,

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen: 902-582-3971,

Jamie Simpson: 902 817 1737,


64th Annual General Meeting Recap

Dear Friends,

Friends of Nature held our 64th Annual General Meeeting on October 11, 2018 in Chester NS. The meeting was followed by a showing by the Ecology Action Centre of the excellent documentary on the evils of Biomass electrical generation titled “Burned”.

The documentary was followed by a discussion lead by our friend Ray Plourde, Wilderness Director of the EAC. Attendance was over 60 people, which was encouraging on a dark and stormy night.

The attached document below is an outline of my Chair’s report, which summarizes our activities over the past year, starting with a tribute to our dear Friend and Founder: Rudy Haase.

Syd Dumaresq, Chair Friends of Nature

Lahey Report Critiques

Dear Friends:

Our colleague Ray Plourde from the Ecology Action Centre has released a detailed critique of the Lahey Report on forestry practices.

The Lahey report was released to Government in August of this year. As of today no comments have been received from Government.

Here are links to Ray’s critique, a critique from Healthy Forests Coalition and the Lahey Report itself.

Excellent reading.

With thanks to Ray and also the Health Forest Coalition.

Syd Dumaresq, Chair, Friends of Nature

Burned Documentary

“Burned” Documentary Screening and Annual General Meeting

Would you like to know more about the devastating effects of clear cutting our forests to provide fodder for giant electrical generating furnaces not only in here Nova Scotia but also in Europe, as we export shiploads of wood chips there???

The Friends of Nature, Canada’s oldest environmental conservation group, in collaboration with the Ecology Action Centre will present the documentary Burned followed by a discussion moderated by Ray Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator for the EAC, on the devastating effects of biomass electrical generation.

The screening will follow the Friends of Nature Annual General Meeting to which the public is invited.

Date: Thursday October 11, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: St Stephen’s Anglican Parish Community Centre, 60 Regent St., Chester, NS.

Contact: Syd Dumaresq, (902) 456-4772

Burned Documentary