Liberal Leader Brian Gallant (CBC)

The Alward government has come up with a new attack on Liberal Leader Brian Gallant over shale gas.

They're accusing him of trying to be on both sides of the shale gas debate, depending on his audience.

They're claiming he supported shale gas development in a speech to the Saint John Board of Trade last week.

"In Saint John he's for shale gas development, but in Shediac, he's not for shale gas," said Progressive Conservative MLA Wayne Steeves.

"His message from fear will change from north to south, from east to west," said fellow Tory MLA Pam Lynch.

However, the text of Gallant's speech and tweets posted by people while they sat listening to it, show Gallant was consistent with his position to "press pause" on shale until two government studies are released.

"I said that in Saint John. I said that in Shediac," said Gallant. "I say that across the province and I've been saying that for about two years now."

The Conservatives themselves aren't quite consistent - while backbenchers Steeves and Lynch accused Gallant of being pro-shale in that speech, Energy Minister Craig Leonard says the Liberal leader was anti-shale.

"Right now it looks like the Liberals aren't interested in moving forward with natural gas at all and that's an unfortunate thing," said Leonard.

Gallant has been vague about how long his proposed moratorium would last and what might cause him to end it.