Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

New Brunswick Premier David Alward, shown Feb. 5, 2013.

STRINGER/CANADA/Reuters

New Brunswick Premier David Alward says he has no plans to visit a traditional First Nations longhouse that has been erected across the street from the provincial legislature to protest against shale gas exploration.

Alward said he doesn't see what would be achieved by meeting with Chief Candice Paul of the St. Mary's First Nation.

"Chief Paul has made it quite clear where her position is on resource development and at this point in time I don't see what would be gained," Alward said Wednesday.

Story continues below advertisement

"We've agreed to disagree on it."

Alward said his government remains committed to the development of natural gas in the province. "We cannot afford not to as a province," he said.

Paul could not be reached for comment.

Alward's refusal to meet with Paul comes days after the longhouse was set up.

Shale gas development has been a sensitive issue in the province.

Earlier this month, 40 people were arrested after RCMP enforced an injunction to prevent people from blocking a compound near Rexton, N.B., where SWN Resources was storing exploration equipment.

Police said they seized guns and improvised explosive devices when they enforced the injunction to end the blockade of the compound.

Story continues below advertisement

Six police vehicles were burned and police responded with pepper spray and fired non-lethal beanbag-type bullets to defuse the situation.

Many of the protesters were from the Elsipogtog First Nation.

Alward has met with Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock on the issue but they have not reached any agreements. Alward says he's open to having another meeting but says officials from Elsipogtog have not sought one yet.

The First Nations groups say they have a responsibility to protect the environment and are worried shale gas wells could harm water supplies.

Last week, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said First Nations are not against resource development but will not support resource development at any cost.

Shawn Atleo stated his support for the Elsipogtog First Nation after meeting with the band council, adding that bands are asserting their treaty rights and responsibilities over lands and waters.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies