October 30, 2013 4:00 pm
Updated: October 30, 2013 4:04 pm

N.B. premier refuses to meet shale gas protesters in Fredericton

File photo: New Brunswick Premier David Alward says he has no plans to visit a traditional First Nation longhouse that has been erected across the street from the provincial legislature to protest shale gas exploration.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
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FREDERICTON – New Brunswick Premier David Alward says he has no plans to visit a traditional First Nation longhouse that has been erected across the street from the provincial legislature to protest shale gas exploration.

Alward says Chief Candace Paul of the St. Mary’s First Nation has made her position on resource development clear, and he doesn’t know what might be gained by meeting with her.

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Alward says his government remains committed to the development of natural gas in the province.

Read more: N.B. Premier Alward says he has consulted on shale gas

His refusal to meet with Paul comes days after the longhouse was set up.

Shale gas development has been a sensitive issue in the province.

Earlier this month, 40 people were arrested after RCMP enforced an injunction to prevent people from blocking a compound near Rexton, N.B., where SWN Resources was storing exploration equipment.

Read more: Group says answers needed about RCMP response to anti-shale gas protest

Many of the protesters were from the Elsipogtog First Nation.

Alward has met with Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock on the issue but they have not reached any agreements.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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