Canadian First Nation free to protest against shale gas— judge


Canadian First Nation free to protest against shale gas— judge

A New Brunswick court lifted Monday an injunction against the Elsipogtog (ell-see-book-took) First Nation that prevented them from blocking access roads and/or equipment and vehicles used by SWN Resources, a company conducting seismic testing for shale gas in the Easter Canadian province.

According to MINING.com sources, which asked to remain anonymous, the ruling means that demonstrators are now legally allow protesting against SWN, as far as they don't use weapons or act violently. It also implies that the RCMP cannot force them to end a rally, as it happened last Thursday.

Locals want SWN Resources to stop tests and leave the province. But the company says it’s only in the early stages of exploration and that nothing is being extracted.

Canadian Press reports that Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is in New Brunswick to show his support for the band and described the Mounties’ actions last week as the violent use of state power.

Shale gas has quickly emerged as a low-cost alternative to natural gas. With the goal of reducing carbon into the atmosphere, it is quickly becoming a “cleaner” alternative to other forms of energy.

Opponents, however, don’t believe that is really the case, as shale gas is extracted using a process called fracking, which is said to pollute water reservoirs and be a likely cause of seismic waves.

Photo by Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.