Talks continue to break impasse over pipeline construction in northern BC

13 Janvier, 2019, 00:36 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Talks continue to break impasse over pipeline construction in northern BC

OVER the last few days since January 7, when the RCMP began their enforcement of the court ordered injunction, there has been ongoing dialogue between the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, Coastal GasLink (CGL) and the RCMP. "It feels like the same thing is happening over and over again".

Members of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northwestern British Columbia expect RCMP may serve an injunction at a protest camp on a remote forest service road southwest of Houston within hours.

On Monday, 14 people were arrested after the Mounties took apart a different gate that blocked access to an area where Coastal GasLink wants to build a natural gas pipeline.

"I've got so much anger right now, I want to stay here until this is resolved in a positive way", Joseph said.

Hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation have reached a deal with the RCMP to allow a natural gas company access across a bridge that had been blocked in their territory.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would run through the Wet'suwet'en territory to Kitimat, B.C., where LNG Canada is building a $40-billion export facility. "This will continue to be a waste of their time and resources as they will not be building a pipeline in our traditional territory".

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Premier John Horgan said Wednesday when plans for the LNG export facility were announced in October the B.C. government concluded all the conditions for the project to proceed had been met. "Coastal GasLink is committed to continuing dialogue with all parties as we go about fulfilling our investment in delivering a world-class project [and] employment and economic benefits to BC communities and First Nations".

"I know people would prefer to have, what's the answer, yes or no, but there isn't one", he added.

"Development of our project will be conducted according to rigorous environmental standards, including the recognition of specific indigenous values", Gateman said.

He said Wet'suwet'en band councils have authority over reserves and services, while hereditary chiefs control activities on their traditional territories. "Our people stand with all of them now as their allies and also support their posture as it connects to their title and even rights of their traditional terrain and the unwarranted violation inflicted through the federal government". "We will do everything possible to facilitate and support those meetings moving forward, while maintaining peace and keeping everyone safe", the RCMP said in a statement on Thursday.

With files from Laura Kane in Kamloops, B.C.

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