01/07/2015 11:01 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT

New Brunswickers divided on development of shale gas, poll suggests

FREDERICTON - A recent poll suggests that New Brunswickers are almost evenly divided on the issue of the development of a shale gas industry in the province.

The poll says 41 per cent of residents who were surveyed completely or mostly support shale gas exploration and development while 45 per cent completely or mostly oppose it.

The poll of 400 people was conducted between Nov. 6 and Nov. 26, more than three weeks before the province's Liberal government introduced legislation to implement a moratorium on the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas wells.

Premier Brian Gallant said the moratorium will remain in place until five conditions are met.

Those conditions include a process to consult with First Nations, a plan for waste water disposal and credible information about the effects fracking has on health, water and the environment.

Corporate Research Associates, which conducted the poll, says it is considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.