New Brunswick

More than 1,000 protest hydro-fracking

More than 1,000 people gathered in Fredericton Monday to protest the development of shale gas in the province and the use of the hydraulic fracturing process to remove the gas.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Fredericton Monday to protest the development of shale gas in the province and the use of the hydraulic fracturing process to remove the gas.

The protesters marched  through the streets of Fredericton to the New Brunswick Legislature.

There were 16 groups taking part — some representing small communities such as Penobsquis, where a lot of the shale gas exploration is taking place.

Other groups such as the Sierra Club, the New Brunswick Conservation Council, people from First Nations communities and the Council of Canadians also participated.

Representatives from the Green Party, NDP and Liberals were also in the crowd.

The groups want the province to stop shale gas development for natural gas because they're concerned about the process of extraction. Hydraulic fracturing pumps a mixture of chemicals and water into the ground, which creates cracks in shale rock formations. That allows companies to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.

The protesters say that process could lead to well water contamination and other property damage.

The protest made its way to the New Brunswick legislature — however Monday was a holiday and government officials weren't there or at the nearby government offices.

New Brunswick has brought in more regulations for mining companies exploring for natural gas, such as disclosure of the chemical mix being used in the hydraulic fracturing process, and pre-testing of well water before any process is under way. It also calls for companies to set up a security bond to protect homeowners from any potential accidents.

Last month, the Opposition Liberals called on the New Brunswick government to put a moratorium on shale gas activities until stricter regulations and oversight are put into place.