This Week in New Brunswick

Funding gap hurting First Nations schools

In New Brunswick, the funding gap between the federal government’s provisions for education in band-run schools and provincial schools puts First Nations schools at a significant disadvantage. Every child who attends a school in the provincial education system receives more than $11,000, whereas those who attend band-run schools are allotted $5,600. Teachers in band-run schools are therefore paid less than those in provincial school. First Nations educators are waiting for equity on this issue.

Possible course cuts at Université de Moncton

Enrolment at UdeM has been declining and the university is considering revising 21 of the their programs. Included in these revisions is the possible removal of philosophy and geography majors and the creation of new graduate programs.The axing of philosophy and geography majors was recommended in a report. The programs will still be pursuable as minors. A report written last June laying out the university’s plan regarding the cuts was submitted to the university’s student council, which has until Oct. 14 to give its opinion. No final decisions have been made on cuts or additions to academic calendar.

Six trapped Dolphins finally ENTER open water

Six dolphins previously stranded in northeastern New Brunswick for nine days were herded out of the Lamèque Harbour last Friday morning by fishery officers and experts from the Marine Animal Response Society. The dolphins will continue to be monitored to see if they leave the Lamèque Harbour area. The dolphins will be forced to swim through a kilometre-long, shallow channel to reach the open ocean.

Plastic bags will now come with a five-cent charge at Walmart

As of Oct. 17, Walmart’s Maritime locations will start charging customers five cents per plastic bag used. Walmart will also start using larger and stronger plastic bags in an attempt to reduce usage. New Brunswickers used more than 32 million plastic bags in 2015. It is hoped that Walmart’s decision will incite other corporations to take similar action.

Forest industry worried about imminent spruce budworm outbreak

The forestry industry is currently doing everything it can to prevent an imminent spruce budworm outbreak in New Brunswick. An outbreak could cause mass defoliation. Small areas in Québec where the budworms are currently wreaking havoc are being treated to prevent the possible epidemic. The forestry industry employs over 20,000 people in New Brunswick. An outbreak could potentially result in the loss of 2,000 jobs and a $4- to $6-billion effort to mitigate the potential epidemic.

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