18 OCTOBER 2013
The Green Party of New Brunswick is calling on Premier David Alward to immediately hold an emergency meeting with the elected and traditional leadership of all First Nations in New Brunswick following the RCMP assault on what had been a peaceful protest against fracking near Rexton.
Green Party Leader David Coon wrote the Premier two weeks ago urging him to meet with the leadership of Elsipogtog. In his letter, Coon wrote that Elispogtog's decision to assert its stewardship over the surrounding Crown lands presented an opportunity for the Premier to begin a new relationship with First Nations in New Brunswick.
"Despite two days of meetings, Premier Alward failed to seize the opportunity to reset his government's relationship with First Nations, nor did he take the opportunity to put the brakes on his headlong rush into fracking," said Coon. "The people of Elsipogtog and local residents of Kent County were simply trying to protect their right to safe water and the well-being of their communities through peaceful civil disobedience. Their cause is just and deserves respect. The decision to respond with force will deepen the conflict," said Coon.
"The only way forward is to get back to talking, which is why I believe it is vital the Premier immediately hold an emergency meeting with the elected and traditional leadership of all First Nations," said Coon. "It is time to abandon the disrespectful relationship with First Nations and seek a just resolution to the growing conflict over fracking and the stewardship of Crown lands."