'There are consequences': John Horgan addresses arrests at BC anti-pipeline blockade

Oscar PerryJan 10, 2019

The RCMP have breached a gate that a northern B.C. First Nation had erected to block access to a natural-gas pipeline project.

Premier John Horgan said LNG Canada's decision ranked on the historic scale of a "moon landing", emphasizing just how much the project means to an economically deprived region of the province, an estimated $23 billion in provincial revenue.In a notice of civil claim filed November 23, Coastal GasLink says construction on the pipeline is scheduled to begin this month for completion in 2021."Coastal GasLink has project agreements with all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the length of the project in British Columbia", the company said in the court document.The company has tried to begin work in an area only accessible by the Morice Forest Service Road, but has been prevented from doing so by the demonstrators, it said."A small delay in completing the work could contribute to a significant overall delay for the project", it says.Around 2012, the Unist'ot'en camp set up a blockade by constructing a gate and other obstacles to the area, and a second gate has been constructed recently at the Morice River Bridge, it said.

On Tuesday, an worldwide day of solidarity with Wet'suwet'en was planned in Canada and across the world. It said protesters were expected to be taken to provincial court in Prince George.

"The Unist'ot'en camp is a non-violent gathering of Indigenous land defenders and members of the Unist'ot'en house group in Wet'suwet'en territory in northern BC", the UBCIC says in a statement.

The first, which has been in place for nearly a decade, was set up by the Unist'ot'en, a house group of the Gilseyhu clan.

But some members of both houses escaped arrest and fled to the healing centre in the camp up the Morice River Service Road south of Houston, B.C.

"There are no orcas on Wet'suwet'en territory - there were those that were highlighting that".

Indigenous groups are fighting the construction of a 670km (416 miles) liquified natural gas pipeline, Coastal GasLink, which would cross through Wet'suwet'en territory.

"They said that they would have to talk to the commander of operations".

TransCanada Corp, now officially known as TC Energy, sought the injunction so it could begin work on the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline, part of an approved $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas project set for Kitimat, B.C.

Via Reddit
Via Reddit

They are also prohibited from threatening, intimidating or getting within 10 metres of anyone actively working on the project. It also facilitated a meeting between hereditary chiefs and representatives from Coastal GasLink.

In his discussions with the RCMP, Cullen says he's asked that officers keep the peace, all while maintaining respect for the First Nations.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada's national police force, said 14 people had been arrested late on Monday as officers enforced a court order to remove barriers built along a logging road. They allege officers saw a number of fires being lit along the roadway.

In response to claims the RCMP is simply enforcing a court-ordered injunction, Huson also points to moments in history. "We haven't had positive experiences with RCMP and police forces".

The RCMP moved in to enforce that injunction Monday morning. Those who have been protesting have been doing it for those 14 who were arrested while barricading their community.

TransCanada has said it is not asking for the camp at the bridge to be dismantled, only for access to its pipeline right of way.

The five united clans of the Wet'suwet'en have called for a solidarity day of action against the Trudeau government and the RCMP on Tuesday, January 8.

"If this was really about the "rule of law" then governments would be honouring the rights and title of First Nations in their traditional territories, which are recognized by Canada's own courts", Perry Bellegarde said in a statement.

"I think a lot of our people are very hurt and very traumatized from it, so we're going to have a new layer of inter-generational trauma from watching the police hurt our people", said Robinson, speaking to media as two individuals holding a pro-pipeline banner stood behind her.

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