Talks with N.B. premier buy Elsipogtog three days of 'peace'

By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION, N.B. – Ongoing talks between Premier David Alward and Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock has bought at least three days of peace at an ongoing highway anti-fracking blockade in the northern region of the province.

Sock and a group of band councillors met with lawyers representing SWN Resources Canada late Sunday evening in Moncton. The lawyers reportedly stated that SWN would not be making any legal maneuvers to press enforcement of an injunction against the blockade handed down by a provincial judge Thursday as long as talks continued with the premier, according to Sock.

Alward and Sock met earlier in the day Sunday in Moncton and both said they planned to talk again Monday in Fredericton.

The time and place for the meeting was still being worked out as of this article’s posting.

Sock said Monday morning he expected at least three more days of talks which would lead to “peace” during that time.

The injunction, which names several individuals at the protest site, has not yet been served.

The blockade has sealed-off a compound holding several SWN trucks. SWN has been conducting shale gas exploration work in the province.

The company has faced fierce opposition to its work not only from the Mi’kmaq, but also from Acadian and Anglophone residents in the area.

The RCMP arrested dozens of people over the summer as protests raged throughout the area.

The blockade is on Route 135, in Rexton, N.B., which sits about 80 kilometres north of Moncton and about 15 kilometres northeast of Elsipogtog First Nation.

RCMP vehicles have sealed off the blockade on both sides.

Celebrations commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation are also planned for Monday at the blockade site.

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