APTN National News
Lubicon Lake Nation members involved in a blockade against energy firm Penn West are still mulling what to do in response to an injunction ordering them to take down their anti-fracking camp.
A Calgary judge granted Penn West Petroleum a six-month injunction Monday against the blockade targeting one of the company’s access roads leading to drill sites.
Members of the Lubicon Nation blocked the road for about three weeks saying they wanted to protect land with cultural, historical and environmental importance from fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.
Cynthia Tomlinson, an advisor on lands and negotiations to the Lubicon, said community members met Monday night and Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to do next. Tomlinson said they discussed appealing the injunction and continuing to protest.
The current protest site, however, was abandoned after the judge issued the injunction.
“So far they don’t want to do anything that is going to appear violent,” said Tomlinson. “They are looking at taking steps to protect their lands.”
Tomlinson said people reacted with anger at the judge’s ruling and are now concerned the injunction covers too large of a zone that includes trapping and hutting areas still in use.
“People are wondering if they are taking our sacred lands and giving them to development,” she said.
Tomlinson said the RCMP also attended part of the meeting and told community members the federal force was acting in a mediating capacity.
The Lubicon Lake Nation is a governance structure headed by Chief Bernard Ominiyak which is separate from the Lubicon Lake Band which is lead by Chief Billy Joe Laboucan.
Penn West has the support of Laboucan and his council.
“We also approve that the (RCMP) to take any action regarding Mr. Bernard Ominiyak, a Lubicon member or any others, who may act as the chief and council in their attempts for work stoppage and illegal blockades,” said a letter signed by Laboucan and two councillors sent to Penn West and carbon-copied to the RCMP. Penn West submitted the letter as one of its exhibits in its application for the injunction.
Penn West says it has consulted with both the Lubicon Lake Nation and the Lubicon Lake Band.
Alberta owns 69,000 shares in Penn West at a value of $595,000, according to the Nasdaq, stock-exchange website.