Peace, Order and Good Ideas – Five cool citizen-run sites for the NB election

Written by Lisa Hrabluk

Best-selling author. Award-winning journalist. Purpose-led entrepreneur. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide.

September 9, 2014


Last night a friend messaged me to ask if I knew the interest rate charged on the government debt. Ummm…not off the top of my head, but I love that he asked. He was doing his own research because he wants to understand New Brunswick’s fiscal challenges before he goes to vote. He’s not in government, he’s never belonged to a political party and while he does run a small business, it’s in the entertainment world and our conversations usually revolve around great new acts, film and what’s new on Broadway. And New Brunswick. We talk about New Brunswick a lot.


One of the perks of being a public affairs writer in New Brunswick is people love to talk to me about public services and over the years I’ve had great conversations with people from all walks of life about their love for this province and how they want to make it better. This election some people are stepping up and sharing their ideas. Check out what they have to say, engage with them and share your own ideas – because if we’re going to change New Brunswick, it’s going to take the full power of the crowd to make it happen.


Here are five sites that have caught my attention. It is in no way a full list so if you know of other cool citizen-run sites, share them with us here on the site, via Twitter or our Facebook page.


Crunch Time by Dan Martell

Self-made start-up guy Dan Martell is hosting an online conversation with popular New Brunswick economic analyst David Campbell on September 19. His goal is to get a conversation started with people who are interested in the economic story underpinning New Brunswick’s current situation. Dan was raised in Moncton, found success in Silicon Valley and is now back running his new business, Clarity and mentoring start-ups and tech companies across the country. This is a great event for anyone with economic questions – odds are David has got an answer. Register free online on the Crunch Time site.


Another Place for Me by Gracen Johnson

Gracen swims against the tide. A recent urban planning grad, she moved from a big city to Fredericton because she fell in love with the small town vibe and deep personal connections you can make in the Maritimes. This summer she began a video project called ‘Another Place for Me’ that celebrates small communities and encourages citizens to get involved and make life even better. Gracen’s videos are awesome – and will give you hope that we can do this, if we work together.


Is Our Forest Really Ours? by Charles Thériault

Charles Thériault is a documentarian who has turned his camera on himself. Earlier this year he created this site and accompanying Facebook page to document his thoughts on the Government of New Brunswick’s forestry policy and to post in full his interviews with people who work in the woods near his home in Kedgewick, professional foresters, researchers and experts in public governance. Now he’s also running as an independent in the riding of Restigouche West. If you want to understand opposition to the government’s forestry policy, this is a good place to start.


Energy NB by Jeff Roach and Emmanuel Elmajian

Jeff is a guy who isn’t shy about expressing his opinions. A long-time blogger about issues in Saint John, Jeff believes New Brunswick needs a diversified energy mix – which includes shale gas. Frustrated by the lack of citizen-led support for shale gas, he and Emmanuel launched Energy NB shortly after the writ was dropped because they want to hear from New Brunswickers who do support development. Their site provides information on shale gas and asks visitors to add their name to a public list of New Brunswick citizens demanding clarity from on political parties regarding shale gas development.


InPoli by Shawn Peterson

Shawn loves to dream up new ways to connect people. A few years ago he created Propertize, which helps New Brunswickers figure out their property tax, and now he’s back with InPoli, a site that aims to help politicians connect directly with constituents. It’s just getting, with the support of four politicians – Fredericton-Silverwood MLA and Conservative candidate Brian Macdonald, Saint John East MLA and Conservative candidate Glen Savoie, Moncton city councillor Dawn Arnold and Saint John city councillor Greg Norton. Check it out, tell Shawn what you think and support him by recommending it to your local politicians and the candidates when they come knocking.


Lisa Hrabluk is the founder and editor of Wicked Ideas. @lisahrabluk


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