NB judge to rule on Elsipogtog injunction Monday

A New Brunswick judge will rule Monday on an attempt by Elsipogtog First Nation to stop shale gas exploration work by a Houston-based company.

APTN National News
FREDERICTON–A New Brunswick judge will rule Monday on an attempt by Elsipogtog First Nation to stop shale gas exploration work by a Houston-based company.

Franklin Gertler, one of the lawyers for Elsipogtog First Nation, said Justice Judy Clendening would issue the ruling at 4 p.m.

Elsipogtog is seeking an injunction against SWN Resources Canada arguing the Mi’kmaq community was not properly consulted. Elsipogtog also argues in court documents that a major flare up looms if the company continues its exploration work.

The band also names the province and the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick in their application for an injunction. Elsipogtog argues that the AFNCNB failed in its delegated duty to consult on behalf of the community.

“Injunctions are a bit of a crap shoot, it is not the most elegant way to deal with things,” he said. “We were hoping for negotiations and a way forward.”

Gertler said it remained unclear whether SWN Resources would pause their work over the weekend.

“I am sure they have to think about that hard,” he said. “They could get two or three days work done. If they were to have another conflagration on the weekend, it won’t look good.”

Dozens of Elsipogtog residents and supporters forced SWN to roll its thumping trucks away during a protest on Hwy 11 Thursday. One person was arrested and the RCMP is investigating several acts of vandalism related to the protest.

The RCMP raided an anti-fracking camp on Oct 17 and arrested 40 people. The RCMP said it seized rifles, crude explosive devices and ammunition during the raid which also freed SWN vehicles that had been trapped in a compound blocked by the anti-fracking camp.

SWN has said it has 14 days left of exploration work before it can leave the province.

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Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.