Letters to the Editor

Monday, 30 January 2012

Recently formed No Shale Gas NB group mounting legal injunction

By Cheryl Norrad

UPDATE: Comment from Chris Rendell, one of the founders of No Shale Gas Group NB, on why organization formed:  

"The injunction project was started because it became clear that the Alward government was not listening to the people of New Brunswick. The project began with a short discussion at the Christmas Craft Fair at Kredl's in Hampton at the end of November. After several meetings with our group, and with David Lutz, we developed a proposal which was then circulated amongst friends and other warriors in the fight against Shale Gas. The first donations arrived before the end of the year.

It took several more weeks of fine tuning and the work of a dedicated group of volunteers to arrive at the point where we were ready to publicize the first version of our website (on Thursday, January 26). The first online donations arrived within days.

There is much work to do to reach our goal, but we are confident that this goal will be reached. Anyone that is interested in helping with this project is asked to contact us at:
HamptonWaterFirst@gmail.com "

Chris Rendell

on behalf of Hampton Water First

FREDERICTON - A provincial lobby group has sprung up in the province recently with a plan to bring a legal injunction against the province to stop the shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

No Shale Gas NB has created a Facebook page and website to begin it's fight against the province to stop the shale gas industry in New Brunswick. It wants to raise $500,000 to bring in an an outside legal firm to mount its challenge, and pay for expert witnesses.

It is unclear who is responsible for the initiative, although Hampton Water First, an anti-shale gas organization in the Kennebecasis Valley, is the e-mail contact on the group's Facebook page, NoShaleGasNB.

Since no one The Purple Violet Press contacted at the page was heard from before publication, the following mission statement from the group's page is reprinted below:

NoShaleGasNB is a group raising funds to bring a legal action against the province, in order to put a stop to the ShaleGas industry in New Brunswick.

Since the government of New Brunswick has shown that they are not willing to consult the citizens of New Brunswick in a meaningful way, and that they are not willing to hold a commission of inquiry, we have no choice but to pursue this matter before the courts.

We propose the formation of a new initiative, with a board of representatives of existing ‘stop-shale-gas groups’, to raise the funds needed to bring an injunction against the Provincial government to prevent them from permitting any additional activity for Shale Gas development in the province.

In order to mount a serious and effective court challenge, we need to raise a ‘defense fund’ of $500,000 or more. This is the amount of money that is required to hire an effective (out-of-province) legal team, and to bring in expert witnesses for trial. Although daunting at first, this number is achievable if 5000 people donate $100 each. If we are not successful in raising the required amount, all funds will be returned less an administrative fee of $5.00 per refund cheque.

The goal of this action is to have a judicial review of the evidence, and ultimately, to find that the Shale Gas industry is detrimental to the environment, detrimental to the people of New Brunswick, and that it should not be allowed to proceed.

The group appears to have arisen in early January and so far has 95 members on its Facebook page, several of whom are part of the wider anti-shale gas lobby in the province.

A website is also part of this group's efforts where more information can be found by the public to learn about it's purpose at http://NoShaleGasNB.ca. Donations to the group's legal action fund can be made can be made at this site.