RCMP response to shale gas protest 'appropriate,' survey finds

Sixty-one per cent of New Brunswickers say the RCMP responded appropriately in a clash with anti-shale gas protesters near Rexton last fall, a new survey shows.

61% of New Brunswickers support Mounties' actions in Oct. 17 clash with protesters near Rexton

Six in 10 New Brunswickers support the way the RCMP dealt with anti-shale gas protesters during an incident near Rexton last fall, according to a recent survey by Corporate Research Associates Inc.

On Oct. 17, when the RCMP moved in to enforce a court injunction obtained by SWN Resources Canada against a blockade, five police vehicles were destroyed by fire.

Police also found pipe bombs at the scene, along with hidden firearms and ammunition. At least one shot was fired by someone other than police and Molotov cocktails were thrown at officers, the RCMP said.

Forty people were arrested.

Sixty-one per cent of the 400 adults surveyed by the CRA said they believe the Mounties were following the court injunction and that their response was appropriate.

Of those, 54 per cent were in the northern part of the province, 65 per cent in the south, and 61 per cent in the Moncton area.

Twenty-seven per cent of respondents said the RCMP response was not necessary, while 12 per cent said they did not know or did not offer an opinion.

The findings are based on a telephone survey, conducted between Nov. 13 and Nov. 28.

The results are accurate to within plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 95 times out of 100, the CRA said.