Greens call for resolution in Rexton

The Green Party of Canada is calling for a peaceful resolution and meaningful consultations with elected representatives and traditional leadership from all First Nations in New Brunswick after a protest against shale gas fracking in Rexton took a violent turn.

The Green Party of New Brunswick has appealed to Premier David Alward to hold an emergency meeting to seek a fair and sensible resolution to the growing conflict over fracking and the stewardship of Crown lands. The Elsipogtog First Nation has asserted its stewardship over the surrounding lands where seismic testing for hydraulic fracturing is scheduled to proceed. Shale gas exploration and development in the area threatens the community’s water quality and environmental integrity.

“Premier Alward has failed to seize this opportunity to reset his government’s relationship with First Nations,” said David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick. “The people of Elsipogtog and local residents of Kent County were simply trying to protect their right to safe water and the well-being of their communities through peaceful civil disobedience. Their cause is just and deserves respect,” said Coon.

The process of fracking is linked to severe chemical contamination of surrounding air and ground water aquifers with a frightening mix of carcinogens and toxins such as benzene, xylene, carbon disulfide, naphthalene and pyridines.

“There are many disturbing questions we need to ask about the RCMP’s actions towards what had been a peaceful anti-fracking blockade by the Elsipogtog First Nation,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “Peaceful resistance to environmental destruction should not be met with force and violence.”