Two hydro-fracking opponents disrupted a Fredericton city council meeting on Monday night even though the contentious mining practice was not on the local agenda.
About two dozen people who were upset that trucks used for natural gas exploration were seen driving through the city sat in the public gallery during the regular council meeting.
Later in the evening, two members of the group disrupted the meeting demanding to speak to the councillors before being rejected by Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside.
"I do not appreciate anybody bringing a provincial issue into the council chamber and using it for a soap box. It's inappropriate," Woodside said.
"And, as I pointed out tonight, it's disrespectful to those who were sitting here waiting their turn."
Two protesters demanded Woodside and council pass a resolution that hydro-fracking would not be allowed in the city.
The mayor said they were wasting their time since he's already been clear about his opposition to hydro-fracking.
"There will be no fracking, or drilling, or exploration of any kind in Fredericton," Woodside said.
The pair refused to leave the council chambers, so Woodside called on Fredericton Police Chief Barry McKnight to remove the two individuals.
Council resolution sought
Outside the chambers, Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, one of the protesters, said that despite Woodside's comments on hydro-fracking, they still wanted a written commitment from the city that the procedure will be banned.
"We need a resolution in place that the next city council will have to adhere to. I just don't think the word of a politician is good enough," Lubbe-D’Arcy said.
The protesters also want Fredericton to work with other communities, such as New Maryland, to ensure there is no natural gas development in watersheds outside the city that would affect the local water supply.
Hydro-fracking extracts petroleum using a pressurized mix of water and other substances injected into shale rock formations or coal beds.
The high-pressure mix creates or widens fissures in the rock, so gas or oil can escape from pores and fractures.
The Department of Natural Resources held public forums earlier this year on shale gas exploration.
The department has also unveiled new rules on shale gas exploration and hydro-fracking.
Among the new reforms, mining companies must now disclose chemicals that are used in the hydro-fracking process and post a security bond to compensate communities if there is any damage.
There have been several protests and blockades around New Brunswick in recent months opposing shale gas exploration and hydro-fracking.
One company has halted its shale gas exploration after some of its equipment was damaged by protesters.