A company connected to hydro-fracking is speaking out after some of its equipment was destroyed in New Brunswick over the weekend.
Geokinetics, a firm that works for SWN Resources, is conducting seismic tests in central New Brunswick's Chipman area to determine if there is enough natural gas underground to warrant a fracking project in the future.
Fracking is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock. Some New Brunswickers want it banned.
Overnight Saturday, seismic equipment in Cumberland Bay was vandalized.
Tom Alexander, SWN's general manager for New Brunswick, said Tuesday that they are only exploring the region and not fracking.
"We were conducting two-dimensional seismic operations which involves equipment such as geophones and batteries and cables and that sort of thing. And so those things were cut and damaged in such a way that they became unusable," he said.
He said the damage caused delays, but operations will continue.
Call for peaceful protests
Ross Wetmore, the Progressive Conservative MLA for the area, said the incident is concerning.
"Whether people are against it or for it, they shouldn't be destructing private property or going outside the law," he said.
Wetmore said he does not know who caused the damage, but said he was approached Monday by more than 50 residents concerned about fracking.
Amy Sullivan was among the group who spoke to Wetmore. She said Geokinetics began removing all seismic equipment in the area, including non-damaged devices, on Tuesday.
"When we were out protesting on Sunday, the police came over and asked us if anyone knew about it. But we said no, none of us know anything about it because we're trying to do this as peacefully as possible," she said.
'Hillbillies' and 'clowns'
Resident Jennifer Gormley said the incident is the latest in a tense situation between the community and miners.
"Frackers were stopping and asking residents quite nastily, you know, 'What happened here?'" she said.
"Between us being called clowns, hillbillies and a lot of other things by the workers and security alike, it's just not been a happy time here at all. Our peaceful community is already shattered."
Wetmore plans to bring the concerns of his constituents to a caucus meeting Wednesday.
The RCMP is investigating the vandalism and asked anyone with more information to contact them.