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"My function is not to negotiate"The cross examination of Tactical boss Sergeant Bernard, as Mi'kmaq Warriors trial continues
Day two of the trials of Germaine 'Jr' Breau and Aaron Francis, the incarcerated members of the Mi'kmaq Warriors Society, continues today.
The day began with presiding Judge Jackson addressing Breau's appeal to have the name of the RCMP officer who uttered racist remarks on the October 17th raid of the anti-shale gas encampment disclosed to the defence team. The motivation for this appeal, ostensibly, is to know if and when the individual in question might be taking the stand, most likely to provide testimony against Breau or Francis.
Judge Jackson noted that the disclosure was indeed relevant to the trial, but that he was in effect stonewalled from granting Breau's request by the Crown's revelation that no such records surrounding who the racist officer in question might actually be....
The remainder of the morning was spent with the defence cross-examining Tactical Troop Site Commander Sergeant Richard Bernard.
Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux focused his cross-examination on the tactics used by Bernard, both in leading up to the October 17th raid and in the weeks leading up to it.
Bernard conceded that the blocking of the entrance to the compound where Houston-based gas giant Southwestern Energy Resources Canada (SWN) was the “illegal” component of the protest and that in his opinion: “I wouldn't call being camped out an unlawful act.”...
.... later the same day, yesterday at the trial:
"My report writing is just sub-standard." Crown's first 'eye-witnesses' take stand; inconclusive on gun pointing, cocktail throwing
Today is Day 3 of the trial proceedings, and Miles Howe remains there covering it. I think it is due to go on at least all of this week.
Check the Media Coop site for updates. Or Miles' twitter feed.
[i] People in natural gas drilling areas who complain about nauseating odors, nosebleeds and other symptoms they fear could be caused by shale development are usually told by state regulators that monitoring data show the air quality is fine.
But a new study suggests that the most commonly used air monitoring techniques often underestimate public health threats because they don't catch toxic emissions that spike at various points during gas production.
"Attempts to capture these peaks with 24-hour (averages); through periodic or one-time spot sampling (under 24 hours); or after a complaint has been filed, will most often miss times of peak exposure," the authors of the new study wrote.[/i]
And proper monitoring costs money, interferes with profits.
"This piece of paper only said that you got the money."
Elsipogtog elder confirms that consultation 'workshop' was never touted as consultation.
These meetings between industry and community representatives form the lion's share of the so-called consultation process that must take place in resource extractive projects, a full list of which can be found here.
The list of consultative activities, including the workshop that Augustine took part in, all have a similar flavour, in that they suggest a situation in which industry representatives are provided access to First Nations communities while the provincial government plays the role of facilitator.
Indeed, part of the provincial so-called consultation strategy involves expense-paid trips for Chief and Council from Elsipogtog to SWN facilities in Arkansas, where SWN is facing numerous lawsuits due to contaminated drinking water.
Also problematic is the borderline fraudulent intention of the Elsipogtog 'workshop'. Augustine relates that for his attendance he was given an honorarium of $200 and made to sign an attendance sheet. He notes that he was never told that this meeting formed any part of the provincial consultation process, and that had he known he would not have accepted the money....
Exclusive: Tactical Troop Operational Plan for RCMP October 17th raid
The Halifax Media Co-op has acquired a copy of the 'Tactical Troop Operational Plan' for the RCMP's October 17th raid of the anti-shale gas encampment along highway 134 near Rexton, New Brunswick.
Aside from being an interesting glimpse into the mentality of police who prepare such raid plans – where portable toilets are considered to be 'not insurmountable' fortifications, for example – the operational plan also contains valuable and heretofore unknown information.....
Exclusive: Military missed opportunity for peaceful end to 2013 New Brunswick fracking protests
An Access to Information request has revealed that during the course of anti-shale gas protests in New Brunswick in 2013, 5th Canadian Division Support Base (CDSB) Gagetown, Eastern Canada's largest military facility, was contacted on two separate occasions by high ranking members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society. On each occasion, the Warrior Society – one of the key strategic groups involved in the on-the-ground protests that would ultimately see 100 activists arrested - requested negotiators from the Canadian Armed Forces, citing a breakdown in trust and an increasingly toxic working relationship with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Knowing that on October 17th, 2013, one of the largest inter-provincial deployments of RCMP officers in recent history was to take place against an anti-shale gas blockade in nearby Rexton, New Brunswick, these two requests – and their subsequent refusal – bear detailed examination.
Fracking returning to NB after firing of top doctor, says provincial NDP
New Brunswick’s top doctor was fired by the provincial Liberal government to clear the way for the lifting of a moratorium on shale gas exploration this spring, according to the leader of the provincial NDP.
Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy says a senior government source told him Eilish Cleary, New Brunswick’s now-fired chief medical officer, would stand in the way of a government decision to lift the moratorium.
A lifting of the moratorium would likely trigger a replay of the intense, Mi’kmaq-led protests that rocked the eastern part of the province throughout 2013. The demonstrations were centered around the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog which was adamantly opposed to shale gas exploration in its claimed territory over fears it would lead to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, and eventually poison the water....
SWN Resources pulls out of N.B.
Houston-based subsidiary of Southwestern Energy, SWN Resources Canada has pulled its presence from the province of New Brunswick.
The oil and gas company issued a statement saying its Moncton office closed Wednesday, laying off two people, including manager of the N.B. project, Chad Peters.
“Uncertainty over the timetable for developing this project has reduced the need for an office in the province at this time,” said Christina Fowler, communications advisor for the company. “While this uncertainty continues, we will oversee this project from our headquarters in Houston.”