STEWIACKE – Three women have been released from police custody after not complying with a court injunction order at the Alton Gas site in Fort Ellis.

On the morning of April 10, the RCMP attended a site on Riverside Road in Fort Ellis, Stewiacke, to enforce a court-ordered injunction against demonstrators impeding a natural gas project at Riverside Road.

The order, issued March 27, was against demonstrators interfering with Alton Gas’s natural gas project at the site. The order included obligations for the RCMP to enforce the terms of the injunction should they not be voluntarily complied with.

The RCMP’s Division Liaison Team, which includes specially trained members who build relationships with various groups and communities to mitigate conflict, spoke with demonstrators at the site in hopes the terms of the order would be voluntarily met. Demonstrators were open to dialogue, which lasted more than three hours.

Police determined the terms of the injunction were not going to be met voluntarily, discussions continued and police officers took three women into custody without incident for Civil Contempt of an Injunction Order.

Dorene Bernard spoke at the scene on behalf of the Water Protectors.

“I don’t believe we should be prevented from being up there and witnessing what is happening,” she said. “We have a long fight ahead of us, we know we are right, we know this is our treaty right. This is our inherent right and it should be all Nova Scotians’ right to stand up and protect water.”

A temporary exclusion zone and road closure were in place earlier in the day, but the areas are now open. The RCMP will maintain an increased presence in the area to monitor the situation; resources will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

In a press release issued by the RCMP, it states the police force is impartial in the dispute and officers respect the Indigenous culture and their connection to Mother Earth, the company‚Äôs lawful right to complete its mandated work and the court. The police officers’ primary goal is the safety and security of all involved while preserving the right to peaceful, lawful, and safe demonstration within the terms set by the Supreme Court in the Injunction Order.