Talks continue to break impasse over pipeline construction in northern BC

James Marshall
January 12, 2019

The camp is the site of the remaining blockade preventing Coastal GasLink workers from accessing to the Wet'suwet'en territory, which sits about 300 kilometres west of Prince George, B.C.

"It must be reiterated, we are adamantly opposed to this proposed project and that will never change, but we are here to ensure the safety of our people".

The chiefs say members will abide by a court injunction granting the Coastal GasLink pipeline company access to a bridge that had been blocked, if RCMP agree to leave intact the nearby Unist'ot'en healing camp in northern British Columbia.

They plan to meet with RCMP again Thursday to discuss details such as retaining a gate that residents and supporters of the camp say is vital to their safety. It is too wide for the bridge and constitutes an obstruction, he added.

Headlined "This is Not Over", the statement says that the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs - who control what activities take place on traditional territories - "have by absolutely no means agreed to let the Coastal GasLink pipeline tear through our traditional territories".

TransCanada Corp. says it has signed agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the path, including the Wet'suwet'en.

They ordered the extraction of impediments within Wet'suwet'en region as the project gets started with a $6.2-billion dollar pipeline moving all-natural gas from the Dawson Creek region to Kitimat.

In Kamloops on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the events of this week when the injunction was enforced show the need to build a different relationship with First Nations.

"The way we are doing resource development, construction, exporting of our resources is changing in this country", he said. "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".

"We tried to keep positive but the unknown out there was scary", she said.

The deal will result in the removal of a police exclusion zone covering the area on January 11, once access to the Morice River Bridge is established.

Furthermore, the RCMP will established a temporary detachment on the West Morice FSR, with officers posted there undergoing cultural awareness training on Wet'suwet'en traditions.

CGL is building a 670-km gas line to bring gas to the planned LNG Canada export facility, which past year reached a final investment decision: the first of its kind in Canada.

"We recognize that it may not be possible to get unanimous support for a major infrastructure project in B.C., but we believe Canada's economy can not prosper without a growing and healthy resource sector".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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