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Six Degrees of Separation - Fracking New Brunswick Edition

Start with former premier Shawn Graham and go!

by Miles Howe

Photo: Miles Howe
Photo: Miles Howe

K'JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – A brief examination of the current whereabouts of former members of the New Brunswick Shawn Graham government, which was responsible for issuing the exploratory licenses to Texas-based gas giant SWN Resources Canada, begins to shed light on something of a revolving door process between governmental power, legal and advisory positions, and the potential for private gain.

Let's start with the ex-premier himself, Shawn Graham.

The most glaring link between Graham and the potential for familial profit from shale gas lies with his father, and former Minister of Natural Resources from 1991-1998, Alan Graham.

Alan Graham, under his own name as well as the company name Alcon Holdings Ltd, owns parcels of land that SWN Resources Canada's seismic testing lines pass through. These include sizable holdings along 'Easter Road' near the Bass River, New Brunswick, church, as well as along highway 116.

We're not just talking about land in Kent County, New Brunswick, that is near to SWN seismic testing lines. We're talking about land that SWN is slated to directly test on.

One of Shawn Graham's former Attorney Generals, T.J. Burke, is the lawyer for the Elsipogtog First Nation.

If, as is often discussed amongst grassroots Indigenous protectors, a treaty-based argument is the key to overturning SWN's license to seismic test for - and potentially develop – shale gas in New Brunswick, it is doubtful that Burke will be the lawyer to spearhead that initiative.

Burke is bound to support the interests of the band, and a treaty-based legal argument would most likely find itself at odds with the current Indian Act power dynamic.

Another of Shawn Graham's former Attorney Generals is Kelly Lamrock. Lamrock is now one of the main legal representatives of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick (AFNCNB).

Lamrock continues to keep a foot in the political game, having recently announced his intentions to run with the seatless New Brunswick New Democratic Party. It may be that Lamrock sees no future in the New Brunswick Liberals after backing the wrong man in the party leadership contest.

Of note, Lamrock testified in the failed, T.J. Burke-led, attempted injunction against SWN Resources Canada, that Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Aaron Sock had attended numerous AFNCNB meetings related to shale gas. Lamrock noted that he would be prepared to file evidence of these meetings if required.

The AFNCNB's Regional Chief, Roger Augustine, earlier in the summer told the Halifax Media Co-op that he didn't know enough either way to make an educated statement on hydraulic fracturing.

Augustine appears to have educated himself during the summer months, because in a recent presentation at the Exploration, Mining and Petroleum New Brunswick conference, he appeared as part of a panel that focused not on if resource development (read: shale gas development) should occur from a First Nations Perspective, but how.

Present at the conference were a who's who of the shale gas hopefuls in New Brunswick, and included representatives from SWN Resources Canada.

The AFNCNB's community consultation liaison is Michael Scully. Scully also owns a private consultation firm called Sweetgrass Financial Services Inc. If the AFNCB's mandate is pro-shale gas development – and it appears it is – then Scully potentially stands to double dip as a private consultant.

Sweetgrass Financial Services is co-owned by Angie Leonard and Stewart Paul. Leonard is the sister of New Brunswick Minister of Energy Craig Leonard, and has already faced her share of potential nepotism-related issues for her involvement as a lobbyist with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Stewart Paul, former Chief of Tobique First Nation, is T.J. Burke's uncle. Paul has faced his own share of controversy over allegations of vote buying and alcohol-infused election tactics.

John Deveau, a band member from Tobique First Nation, is currently the director of the joint AFN/RCMP Crisis Response Team in New Brunswick. Facebook suggests that Deveau has changed the name of his outfit from the Wabanaki Peacekeepers to the more lengthy, but potentially less discredited, name of Wolf Industries Community Safety and Support Team Inc.

The directorship of the regional AFN/RCMP Crisis Response Team is a $60,000 per year position, whose mandate is much in tune with the Public Safety Cooperation Protocol between the AFN and the RCMP, which facilitates and streamlines information - including information on grassroots resistance - sharing between the two departments.

Deveau, perhaps incensed by a more in-depth article that appears here, sent me a letter last month stating that he was contemplating legal action against me. Nothing has yet come of this.

It has also recently come to light that one of the lead negotiators for the RCMP, Denise Vautour, who was present for almost all negotiating sessions between the Mi'kmaq Warriors Society and RCMP, leading up to the vicious RCMP raid of October 17th, has a brother, Marcel Vautour, who is a regional sales representative with Multi-Chem. Multi-Chem, a Halliburton subsidiary, specializes in hydraulic fracturing chemicals.


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818 words

Comments

The Vulture family actually

The Vulture family actually are quite lame for capitalists, pretty much like the lower-echelon bureaucrats at the corporate/municipal level. But seems like everyone in their family sleeps with Power.

I don't see how a lawsuit would solve the fact that gazillions web users can access this info on John Devreau with two-seconds search on Linkedin:

John Deveau

Director at Wolf Industries, Community Safety & Support Team Inc
New Brunswick, Canada | Construction

Current:
Director at Wolf Industries, Community Safety & Support Team Inc, Owner at Wolf Industries, General Contracting, Squad Leader / Construction Supervisor at Maine Army National Guard
Past:
Construction Site Supervisor at Kikahan Skitomiq, Detective at Limestone Police Department, Patrolman at Caribou Police Department, Chief of Police at Maliseet Tribal Police
Education:
Advance Leadership Courses, Warrior Leadership Couse, Heavy Machinery Course - US Army
 
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