New Brunswick Environment Minister Margaret Ann Blaney admitted Thursday she made a mistake when she accused the Conservation Council of stirring up emotions and tacitly encouraging people to break the law.
Again on Thursday, those opposed to shale gas development took to the steps of the Centennial Building, location for Premier David Alward's office, for the third week in a row.
Their anger was not just directed at the premier, but also at Blaney.
SWN Resources Canada recently suspended its seismic testing for the season, blaming vandalism and other incidents.
On Wednesday in an interview with CBC Radio, Blaney said the Conservation Council helped inspire road blockades by anti-fracking protestors and said the Conservation Council has been showing the anti-fracking documentary, Gasland, to local community meetings.
"It's escalating the level of emotion and the Conservation Council was there at the blockade, so tacitly approving this type of behaviour," said Blaney on Wednesday.
Stephanie Merril of the Conservation Council said Blaney's comments were designed to discredit the protesters.
"People have been nothing but civil and peaceful from day one," said Merril. "It's really, I think, a strategy on part of those who are in favour of having shale gas development in the province to paint those people with that picture."
CBC News tried to contact Blaney for comment Thursday, but was told she would not be available.
Late Thursday afternoon, Blaney did apologize on News 88.9, saying she was only human and that she made a mistake.
She said she has utmost respect for council.
Merrill said she heard Blaney apologize on the local radio station and she said the Conservation Council accepts the apology.
"Well we were certainly appreciate hearing an apology," said Merrill. "We asked for it. I think we would like to see now that apology be turned into some real action on the ground, and have our Environment Minister stand up for the environment and for the people of New Brunswick."