Oct. 12: CEDAR launch!

CEDAR officially launched on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 at 10am at St. Thomas University. The media release is below. The launch archive page with a photo, short video and news article is HERE.

The CEDAR project, St. Thomas University, Fredericton

Media Advisory: Researchers, educators, Indigenous and community leaders and activists will launch and comment on new research into contrasting energy transition pathways for New Brunswick

WHEN: 10 to 11am, Thursday, October 12, 2023


·      Miigam’agan, Elder-in-Residence, St. Thomas University

·      Dr. Nauman Farooqi, President, St. Thomas University

·      Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

·      David Coon, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Fredericton South

·      Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Coordinator, Sierra Club Canada

·      Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility

·      Dr. M.V. Ramana, Professor, University of British Columbia

·      Dr. Susan O’Donnell, Lead Investigator, CEDAR project, St. Thomas University

WHERE: St. Thomas University, Sir James Dunn student lounge (Dawn Russell Lounge), Sir James Dunn Hall, 67 Dineen Drive, Fredericton.

WHAT: Contesting Energy Discourses through Action Research (CEDAR) is a new five-year project funded by a $376,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

WHY: Most people agree we need to transition how we use energy if we are to mitigate climate change. There is, however, a big debate over what to transition to.

The media in New Brunswick often promote voices and institutions wanting continued use of fossil fuels combined with a switch to biomass and speculative small modular nuclear reactors in the somewhat distant future.

The alternative is to focus on energy conservation, reductions in energy use, decentralized renewable energy generation, and ending social and environmental injustices related to energy production and consumption.

CEDAR is studying the organizations promoting the dominant discourses and the alternative pathways, and how action research can contribute to a more democratic media environment.

On October 13, A Day of Dialogue about Decolonization, Degrowth and Energy Transitions will open up discussions about alternative paths: energy conservation, reductions in aggregate energy use, and ending social and environmental injustices related to colonization. More information HERE.

The evening of October 12, Professor M.V. Ramana will deliver a public talk: “Nuclear Energy and the Bomb.” When thinking about energy transitions, the issue of nuclear weapons rarely comes to mind. Yet the connections between generating nuclear energy and the ability to make nuclear weapons have been evident since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. More information HERE.

The CEDAR Team: Investigators are Dr. Susan O’Donnell (lead), Dr. Janice HarveyDr. Andrew Secord, and Dr. Clive Baldwin at St. Thomas University; Dr. J.P. Sapinski at the Université de Moncton; and Professor M.V. Ramana at the University of British Columbia. Research assistants include students at all three universities. Research partners are: Chief Ron Tremblay, Wolastoq Grand Council; Chief Hugh Akagi, Peskotomukati Nation at Skutik; Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Canada; Dr. Sophie Lavoie, NB Media Co-op; Dr. Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility; and Sabrina Bowman, Toronto Metropolitan University.

CEDAR research assistants hired

We’re very pleased to welcome four research assistants to work on the CEDAR project for the 2023-2024 academic year. Welcome to Erin Hurley and Emma Fackenthall at St. Thomas University, Cecilia Pérez Plancarte at Université de Moncton, and Sophie Groll at the University of British Columbia. The four students will be part of the CEDAR team meeting together for the first time in person in a few weeks in Fredericton at our team meeting and public events on October 12 and 13.

Fredericton, Oct. 13 – A Day of Dialogue about Decolonization, Degrowth and Energy Transitions

Canadians are experiencing a climate crisis: more high temperatures, wildfires, droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events. Climate scientists are urging us to stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure and rapidly reduce our fossil fuel use. How will we make these transitions? Let’s talk about it.

The CEDAR project and the Environment & Society program at St. Thomas University invite you to join us in Fredericton on October 13 for this free public event. Info HERE.

Fredericton, Oct. 12 – Professor M.V. Ramana: “Nuclear Energy and the Bomb”

When thinking about energy transitions, the issue of nuclear weapons rarely comes to mind. Yet the connections between generating nuclear energy and the ability to make nuclear weapons have been evident since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. One connection is separating plutonium from used nuclear fuel, the technology proposed for Point Lepreau in New Brunswick. Other connections include the overlap in technical expertise and institutions. 

M.V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security and Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. 7pm • Kinsella Auditorium • 9 Duffie Drive • Fredericton • More info HERE.

Welcome to the CEDAR project!

Our five-year project, Contesting Energy Discourses through Action Research (CEDAR) is official!

Our home university, St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, issued this media release today about CEDAR.

Read this earlier post for information on what we’ve been doing this past summer.

On this site is information about the project, our team and our four main studies. Contact us if you have questions or comments or would like to meet.

Come back to our website to stay updated on our progress and read our latest publications. And check out our event planned for October 12 and 13, 2023.

Sshh! Waiting to launch

Our project funder, SSHRC, gave us the exciting news in early April that our CEDAR project proposal was successful and will be funded for five years. However, we can only officially launch the project when the federal government announces the Insight grant competition results. We hope to launch soon!

Since April, the team has been busy getting ready to conduct the research. The three universities are putting the paperwork in place so we can hire our first students in September.

The first two research teams (Study 1: Media Analysis and Study 2: Key Actor Analysis) have been meeting to map out their research plans.

We developed this website to be ready on launch day to share our project information with everyone.

Two project investigators – Susan O’Donnell and Janice Harvey – attended the academic Congress 2023 at York University in Toronto from May 27 to June 2. At York, they engaged in many conversations with researchers in sociology, communications and political science from universities across Canada and internationally. Their Congress presentations included this one, at the Society for Socialist Studies meeting, co-written with project co-investigator M.V. Ramana.

The experiences at York and subsequent conversations with the co-investigators convinced us that the time is right to talk about degrowth and decolonization and the energy transition, and how these three issues are interlinked. So we’re starting to organize our first public event on that theme, to be held at St. Thomas University in Fredericton in October this year.

We’re ready to launch!