POLITICS

New Brunswick energy minister says he's monitoring shale gas protest in province

10/04/2013 12:13 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
SAINT JOHN, N.B. - New Brunswick's energy minister says he won't give the RCMP any instructions on how to proceed with a court injunction issued against shale gas protesters blocking a highway near Rexton.

Craig Leonard says he is getting updates from police on the situation where protesters have blocked Highway 134 and the entrance to an equipment compound used by SWN Resources since Monday.

The protesters want a meeting with Premier David Alward and for SWN Resources to stop seismic testing for shale gas and leave the province.

The protesters say the shale gas industry threatens groundwater supplies and native treaty rights.

On Thursday, Alward said he would not meet with any protesters while they are breaking the law, but today issued a statement saying he is always willing to meet with the chief and council of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

Leonard says there will be consultations with First Nations groups if the exploration suggests that a shale gas industry should proceed in the province.