The new issue of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies examining the promises and risks of shale gas in New Brunswick has been released at
Journal editor Tony Tremblay, Canada Research Chair in New Brunswick Studies at St. Thomas University, is excited that the journal was able to get an exclusive interview with members of the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing.
“Commission members are frank and passionate in reflecting on the public consultation process that led to new ways of thinking about both resource extraction and citizen engagement in the province,” said Tremblay. “We would be well advised in New Brunswick to heed their advice.”
Tremblay said that three other articles in the issue—on shale gas royalties, the New Brunswick Energy Institute roundtable, and the new field of blue theology, a field that considers the spiritual dimensions of water connectivity in human and animal ecosystems—each makes a substantial contribution to ongoing discussions about shale gas and resource developments in the province.
In a revealing conversation with Jamie Gillies, assistant professor of communications and public policy at St. Thomas University, members of the Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing reflect on the challenges they faced engaging citizens.
Gillies believes that their work was refreshingly progressive and reflects the reality that citizens will no longer tolerate backroom deals and government officials working non-transparently with the corporate sector on issues of public importance.
“It is clear from the Commission’s report that government needs to acknowledge that public attitudes and trust in institutions have shifted. Publics no longer accept the idea of politicians acting for the greater good or in the provincial interest if these officials do not actively and transparently engage and consult with their publics. But they do not accept a delegate model of representation either. The public wants an element of direct engagement that will have a meaningful impact on public policy decisions. That is a different form of representation altogether,” said Gillies
Commission member John McLaughlin reflected on the development of public policy during the conversation. “There is an arrested development and immaturity in this province and it is not just in terms of fracking but other policy files as well and about the future of the province,” he said.

Interviews and Articles
  • Jamie Gillies, "The Future of Citizen Engagement: An Interview with the Members of the New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing"
  • John Reid, "A Conversation with Ann Moyal: Lord Beaverbrook’s Researcher"
  • Roderick Hill, Maggie FitzGerald Murphy, and Andrew G. Secord, "Shale Gas Royalties in New Brunswick: An Evaluation"
  • Kelly Bronson, "(Re)Producing Power: Analyzing the New Brunswick Energy Institute Roundtables"
  • Derek Simon, “Vulnerable Waters, Anti-Fracking Solidarities, and Blue Theologies: Towards A New Brunswick Research Agenda between the Global and the Local”
The Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick is a multi-disciplinary journal that features original essays and research about the province in English and French. The only bilingual journal of ideas in New Brunswick, it publishes thoughtful writing about ongoing conversations and debates in the province -