New Brunswick

Anti-fracking groups take message through Moncton

Nearly 300 people filled the streets of Moncton Saturday to speak out against fracking.
Hundreds of people attended the first anti-fracking protest in New Brunswick this year. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Nearly 300 people filled the streets of Moncton Saturday to speak out against fracking. The group started in Highfield Square, then marched down Main Street towards City Hall.

When they arrived, a variety of speakers addressed the crowd, including doctors, aboriginal communities and environmentalists.

The protestors are demanding the province ban shale gas exploration.

Hydro-fracking is a process where exploration companies inject a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations. That process allows companies to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.

"My question to the government is: when all the land is destroyed and the water is no good, what good are these jobs and where will the money be?" said Susan Levi-Peters of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

This was New Brunswick's first major anti-fracking protest of the year. The group promised it would be the first of many. Organizers like Denise Melanson took the opportunity to sign up new protestors.

"Cities have been a little behind perhaps, at least Moncton has, in finding a group to organize and work together on a consistent basis," she said. 

"We have to keep doing this," said Bill Evans, a town councillor in Sackville. "The reasons for not exploiting shale gas aren't going to change. And they're counting on people's apathy. The biggest challenge we face is not the gas company, it's apathy and ignorance on the part of New Brunswickers."

In May, the Village of Memramcook joined the list of opponents by calling for a shale gas moratorium.