Simon Delattre wins Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award for glyphosate coverage

Written by Laura Landon on November 26, 2018

Simon Delattre (right) of l’Acadie Nouvelle accepts this year’s Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award at the Dieppe Public Library on Nov. 14, 2018 from Dave MacDonald, president of the Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Photo by Nancy Arsenault.

The Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick is pleased to announce that Simon Delattre of l’Acadie Nouvelle is this year’s winner of the 3rd annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism award.

“Simon Delattre broke an important New Brunswick story that made everyone, including political decision-makers, aware of our growing use of glyphosate and the dangers it poses to human health and the environment,” said the judges of this year’s award.

Delattre’s two-part series, published in August 2017, revealed that the forest company J.D. Irving was spraying the glyphosate-based product Weed Master in the protected area of the Turtle Creek watershed, which supplies drinking water to more than 144,000 residents in Greater Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe.

Upon receiving his award at the Southeast Chapter’s meeting on Nov. 14, Delattre, who is from France, said he is asking more questions about how closely the New Brunswick government is aligned with the forestry industry. He said he is interested in covering more environmental stories.

Arthur Melanson, speaking for the Red Dot Group at the Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award Presentation on October 14, 2018 at Dolma Food in Moncton. Photo by Nancy Arsenault.

The judges also selected the Red Dot group to receive an honourable mention for their work over the past four years in publicizing the poor water quality at Parlee Beach, as well as threats to coastal wetlands in the Shediac area.

During their campaign, the Red Dots were constantly in the media, writing scores of letters to the editor, granting interviews to reporters, filing multiple Right to Information requests, and communicating directly with the provincial politicians responsible for protecting the environment and New Brunswickers’ health.

By April 2017, the group had more than 2,000 members, among them such familiar names as Arthur Melanson, Tim Borlase, Brenda Ryan, Michael Sullivan and Dr. Scott Mawdsley, who wrote a 100-page letter to then-Premier Brian Gallant pointing out that the government knew about fecal contamination at Parlee Beach for well over a decade, but did nothing to fix it.

The call for nominations for next year’s Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award will be out in the coming months. The Award for environmental reporting in New Brunswick comes with a $500 prize. The judges of this year’s award were Roland Chiasson, Erin Steuter, and Bruce Wark.

The Conservation Council’s Southeast Chapter thanks the judges, nominators, and the many other volunteers who make this award possible.

Anita Cannon is a member of the Conservation Council’s Southeast Chapter. 

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