About 600 people marched and rallied against shale gas development in Fredericton on Saturday, Nov. 19th. The marchers converged at the New Brunswick Legislature to show their opposition to shale gas and hear speeches and music. Concerns with shale gas include contamination and depletion of fresh water supplies, ecological damage, air and noise pollution, health concerns and industrialization of rural New Brunswick.
A teepee was erected and people remain committed to staying there until the opening of the fall session of the New Brunswick Legislature on Wednesday, Nov. 23 when a noon hour rally is also planned. All are welcome to visit the teepee, stay the night, share food, and share in the experience.
“This is a great sight and a great symbol of bringing together people from all over the province – First Nations, English, French, all for one cause: Clean water, air and health,” said Stephanie Merrill, the Conservation Council’s Shale Gas Alert Coordinator. “We hope that all will join the rally against shale gas on Nov. 23rd beginning at 12 noon. We are sharing the day with CUPE who also have a strong message about heath and shale gas in our province. This is a very exciting coming together. It will be an amazing day and you’ll not want to miss it,” added Merrill.
Members of the locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) from throughout the province will be joining shale gas opponents in solidarity on Wednesday. At their November 3rd National Convention, CUPE adopted Resolution No.96, which states that all levels of government must put an end to shale gas development because the industry, “has failed to demonstrate that such development would not have serious consequences for the environment and the health of citizens”; and governments being “clearly unprepared for this issue, and have done a poor job of responding to public concerns”.
“The civic duty of New Brunswick residents does not require that they be guinea pigs in anyone’s science experiments,” said Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the Taymouth Community Association, one of the many community groups opposed to shale gas in the province.