Judge lifts injunction against Elsipogtog fracking protest

Judge lifts injunction against Elsipogtog fracking protest

Judge lifts injunction against Elsipogtog fracking protest
photo: Jen Choi/CBC

New Brunswick Justice George Rideout declined today to extend an injunction against members of the Elsipogtog First Nation who have been protesting exploratory activities for fracking on their territory.

A video posted on facebook following today’s hearing shows several Mi’kmaq people, having just exited the courtroom, rejoicing over the judge’s decision. “There is no more injuction on the people who have been named or the Jane and John Does of New Brunswick,” one woman tells the camera.

A short-term injunction issued by the court on Oct. 3 to a subsidiary of Texas company SWN Resources resulted in last week’s heavy-handed RCMP raid of a peaceful Elsipogtog protest camp – provoking outrage and supportive rallies across the country last week.

According to CBC:

[quote]In the minutes leading up to the ruling, shale gas opponents, many from Elsipogtog First Nation, were drumming and singing in the courtroom and hallway. The court building was also crowded with supporters of protesters arrested on Thursday during a confrontation between RCMP and shale gas opponents in Rexton, N.B.  [/quote]

The judge’s ruling is drawing praise from environmental groups supporting the Mi’kmaq fracking protest. “We are thrilled with the reports coming out of the courtroom in Moncton today that SWN’s injunction has been lifted,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic regional organizer with the Council of Canadians.

[quote]I visited the site and stayed in Elsipogtog over the weekend and the community is standing strong. The Mayors of Kent County, the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick have publically supported the anti-shale gas movement… when will Premier Alward and his government listen to the people?[/quote]

Justice Rideout declined to give a reason for today’s decision but will be issuing a written statement.

Updated 12:20 PM PST. Watch for more updates on this developing story


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

25 thoughts on “Judge lifts injunction against Elsipogtog fracking protest

  1. yet this is allowed, the judges should not have the power to decide the culture and the territory of a people especially when a people is an integral part of a territory for many centuries. In 2013, it is shameful.

    1. at the top of your page it shows several rcmp’s standing in line in front of native women ., what these women should of done is get big boxes of fresh donuts and xlarge coffees from tim horton’s and lay all of it in front of the line …. they would been busy for sevaral minutes…..

  2. I was very surprised by the behavior of the police in this case. I can’t see how they behaved in such a manner against unarmed citizens. I feel that this was a peaceful protest. I also feel it is a necessary protest.

    In Alberta, where I live, I had no idea we had two oil spills per day until just recently. We have an ongoing environmental disaster in Cold Lake that we do not have information on with reference to data. In other words what are the environmental testing results for water, land and air impacted by CNRL’s ongoing bitumen leaks at Cold Lake? We have no ability to sue the regulator because the Alberta government has placed the regulator (formerly the ERCB and now the AER) above the laws of the land.

    It is disconcerting to see the folks we hire put the health of citizens in Alberta at risk in order to extract as much oil and gas for the oil industry profits. I am surprised at the foolishness of Albertans in staying silent about the ongoing contamination of the environment –for which we get selected updates on the AER website. Why is there no outcry against these spills? I’d say because we are all well trained to keep our mouths shut even though it is our democratic right to say our true thoughts about the contamination of our province. The social pressure to keep silent is immense and appears to be coupled with legally binding agreements with folks impacted by fracking –so that the public is unaware of the extent of the problem in Alberta.

    I am only aware of the fracking problems citizens have experienced because Jessica Ernst has sacrificed her life to do this matter of making the public aware of the problems. And yet ordinary Albertans for the most part do not seem to support her.

    The problems that Jessica faces are the problems your community will face. Big oil has a lot of cash for payouts, buyouts and advertisements. The provincial and federal governments have our public purse for their spin. We are alone.

    I believe that every political party will be in the pocket of big oil because they will get political donations from big oil to keep them in power. This means that Canadian citizens must work with our activists like Jessica Ernst to educate our voting public (which appears to be a small percentage of our population) so as to ensure that our views on fracking and contamination of aquifers and wells is represented by the people we hire.

    We only have power at voting time.
    We need to become politically active.
    We need to financially support our activists and politicians who represent our views.
    We need to hold our political hires accountable.
    We need to write on blogs to get the truth out.
    And we need to be persistent for it will take us a long time to do the work of change.

    I believe we will success in changing our society but it will require the dedicated work of groups of citizens who are committed to doing the work of democracy.
    Good luck with your efforts at changing the deMockracy we now have in Canada.

    1. canada , from what i have been Learning is not a true or should i say a complete democracy. It is a constitutional monarchy with democratic élections only. The head of state is not elected but receives power by inheritence ,who is now queen Elisabeth II ., her father before her, and probably Charles or William after her. the brithish parlementry system is far from being a complete democracy : the senat for example and supreme court judges and provincial court judges are appointed not elected by the population eligible to vote. SO CANADIANS if you assume you have a democracy at election time you have the rigth to votre for the best of the worst , mostly lawyers ( a stong % of the house of commons ,or legislative assemblies are lawyers) , opportunists out for a better career and salary stating they are running for office to serve fellow canadians, which i doubt very much , and so on. My point is if Canadians whant better goverments at all levels don’t change political parties every élections change the political system in place at all levels . This might start with Québec becoming a soverenist nation !!!!!!! oops i hope i didn’t make too many spelling mistakes one of my weakenesses, syntax too!

      1. as i was posting this comment a warning type of words appeared on top of the page : awaiting moderation is democracy controled here too!

        1. I suggest commentators take a complete look at the ” BRITHISH NORHT AMERICAN ACT OF 1867 ” BACK IN JULY OF 1867 WHEN a big bunch of new politicians met in Charlottown PEI took some pictures of themseleves , we are still controlled in part by this law, even though PIERRE ELLIOT TRUDEAU DID SOME CHANGES IN 1982 , THEY CALLED THEMSELVES FARTHERS OF CONFEDERATION NOT FATHERS OF DEMOCRACY TO MAKE SURE they did not upset London and the royal family at the time as far as i am concern

        2. James, the moderation feature is mainly to ensure you are a real person – not a spambot posting ads about sneakers and hand bags…

  3. Thank you God/Creator for moving this man’s spirit to uphold the law when others blatantly disregard it; thank you.

  4. Thankful that at least some groups have the courage to protect that which society will not until it is too late! I hope this victory today helps renew the belief in what they are trying to do and exposes the dangers of fracking to even more of the world! Keep up the fight and your charter rights to protest, even here in Taiwan I see it on the news! Your protest is gaining international exposure…….well done!

  5. hey.. that wasn’t really needed. the companies might be booming in the west but water contamination, destruction of land, cancers, and other sickness are through the roof. New brunswick, many of its only tourist attractions.is the land and water.. take that away, we don’t have anything to offer.
    new Brunswick could be a great source for windmill power…. but the powers that be a.k.a oil companies see that as a threat. hence its lack in production.

  6. Stupid idiots. Everything booming in the west and people greeting poorer in the east. Should talk all the idiots aka Micmac people and put them on a island and kill them all off.

    1. what bothers me is all the people that agree with me but are to scared to speak up. shame shame we fought 2 ww wars against having the freedom o speech,

    2. How sad to see such a blatant example of Projection, i.e. how you see others is who you are inside.

    3. Putting all the idiots on an island is a great idea, and I suggest the bigger the idiot the bigger the island. That means you’d get Greenland all to yourself.

    4. Don’t have one:

      This sort of violent, racist comment clearly does not meet our commenting standards and would ordinarily be deleted – a rare action for us to take in these pages.

      That said, given the intelligent responses your comment has elicited from other readers, we’re going to let the comment stand -with a warning that further comments of this nature will be deleted and result in the loss of your future commenting privileges.

      I assure you that you do yourself and your argument no credit with this sort of ignorant, intolerant language.


      1. in a democracy all have the right to speak up even those who are angry so if you choose who will comment and who will not you are in fact doing the opposite of freedon of speech which is not democracy . In philosophy classes at university doing this in a open debate is in itself hypocritical and was not permitted by some teachers . Picking the commentators is censorism if this word exist.

        1. First of all, James, I didn’t censor any comments here and I clearly explained my reasons for that – so I fail to grasp your point.

          Secondly, there are limitations to free speech, even in our constitution. At this website, we do not tolerate hate speech, threats or incitement of violence – nor do we make any apologies for that.

          That said, it is an extraordinarily rare occurrence that any comment is deleted from these pages, because we, much like you, value constructive dialogue about important issues.

      1. Maybe the tar sands are booming but wait until they try shipping their bitumen across BC. Then the war really picks up steam. We are United Tribes, Coast to Coast. You aint seen nothing yet. This is war, war to protect our waterways, our pristine coast and our way of life. Wars that will be fought by all of us. Harper thinks he can overrule our Sovereign Nations on Unceded Indian Territories? Think again Herr Harper, you will never win this one because we will never back down, you don’t scare us, we are the True Warriors. You, well you’re simply a sellout who would wantonly sell off the futures of our children and our grandchildren if we let you do it. But we won’t.

    5. WOW Don’t have one. Don’t have one what, a brain. You are a crass classless racist asshole. They’ve already tried killing all the Indians off. Guess what? We are still here and we are now uniting across Kanata to protect Mother Earth and all of her living beings, that includes the air and water. We kindly offer you the right to return to the home of your ancestors, please leave quickly.

      1. It is good to see people who disagree with what, essentially, is the main thrust of CSC content. Freedom of Speech allows people to share with others even the most absurd point of view. I would rather know people are afraid to challenge the status quo than not.

    6. stong words i hope you do not get elected in goverment . You seem to be very angry at the world , to reply in this manner,

Comments are closed.