APTN National News
ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION, NB–A Houston-based energy company has again filed for an injunction against Mi’kmaq-led demonstrators who have been opposing its exploration work north of Elsipogtog First Nation.
The notice of injunction was served on the demonstrators Thursday at the latest incarnation of their anti-fracking camp just off Hwy 11, about 46 kilometres north of Elsipogtog.
The legal move comes a day after the RCMP told Mi’kmaq District Chief Jason Augustine SWN Resources Canada had “tentatively” agreed to meet with demonstrators along with a provincial official.
The injunction request was filed Wednesday with the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench in Fredericton and names five people, along with the standard “John Doe and Jane Doe.”
Arguments on the injunction are set for 9:30 a.m. in Fredericton Friday.
“(SWN’s) right to work and carry out business upon lands in New Brunswick and pursuant to its license and permits is being unlawfully obstructed and interfered with,” says the injunction filing.
SWN filed for a similar injunction in early October against a previous anti-fracking camp along Route 134 in Rexton, NB., which was blocking the company’s vehicles in a compound owned by JD Irving Ltd.
RCMP tactical units raided the camp on Oct. 17 in an operation that triggered a day-long conflict with Elsipogtog residents and led to the torching of several RCMP vehicles. The RCMP arrested 40 people and seized three rifles, ammunition and crude homemade explosive devices.
The RCMP has said it conducted the raid on public safety grounds. The raid also freed SWN’s vehicles form the compound.
Provincial Premier David Alward has thrown the full weight of his government behind seeing SWN finish its exploration work. Alward has called the battle between the Mi’kmaq-led coalition and SWN as a “beachhead” that could determine the fate of upcoming energy projects slated for the cash-strapped province. TransCanada is hoping to link its proposed Canada East pipeline, which would transport Alberta bitumen, to Irving Oil’s refining and shipping infrastructure in Saint John, NB.
More to come