About 50 people blocked the entrance to a Tory campaign rally in Bouctouche Monday afternoon, demanding that the premier address their concerns about shale gas exploration.

The campaign rally was for Jimmy Bourque, the Progressive Conservative candidate in the Kent byelection.

Instead of cheering for Bourque, protesters yelled "we don’t want shale gas", said the CBC’s Jennifer Choi.

The group confronted Premier David Alward with their concerns as he arrived at the event. They then peacefully followed him into the building.

Wearing large signs, they asked the premier to ban shale gas exploration. They voiced concerns about the long term impact on their water quality, said Choi.

Alward replied by telling the protesters that New Brunswick is about to enact some of the most strict fracking environmental laws in the world.

Some of the protesters were from the Elsipogtog First Nation, and they also said they wanted the government to pay more attention to the Idle No More movement.

The Kent byelection is scheduled for April 15. Along with Jimmy Borque, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant, the NDP’s Susan Levi-Peters and Allison Fanjoy of the People's Alliance will have their names on the ballot.

The Green Party announced on the weekend it would not have a candidate in this race.