Demonstration in Terrace in support of the Wet’suwet’en nation’s opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Coastal GasLink posts 72-hour notice to clear way for northern B.C. pipeline

Company’s order is aimed at members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and others

A natural gas pipeline company has posted an injunction order giving opponents 72 hours to clear the way to its work site in northern B.C., although the company says its focus is still to find a peaceful resolution that avoids enforcement.

The order stamped Tuesday by the B.C. Supreme Court registry addresses members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and supporters who say the Coastal GasLink project has no authority without consent from the five hereditary clan chiefs.

It comes one year after RCMP enforcement of a similar injunction along the same road sparked rallies across Canada in support of Indigenous rights and raised questions about land claims.

The order requires the defendants to remove any obstructions including cabins and gates on any roads, bridges or work sites the company has been authorized to use.

If they don’t remove the obstructions themselves, the court says the company is at liberty to remove them.

It gives authorization to RCMP to arrest and remove anyone police have “reasonable or probable grounds” to believe has knowledge of the order and is contravening it.

“The police retain discretion as to timing and manner of enforcement of this order,” it says.

Coastal GasLink, however, says posting the order was procedural and the company has no plans to request police action.

The B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction to the company on Dec. 31. The order stamped Tuesday provides details of the court injunction.

“We continue to believe that dialogue is preferable to confrontation while engagement and a negotiated resolution remain possible,” company spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton said in an email.

The order does not apply to a metal gate on the west side of a bridge outside the Unist’ot’en camp, unless it is used to prevent or impede the workers’ access.

Hereditary chiefs negotiated last year with RCMP for the gate to remain outside the camp, which is home to some members of one of the First Nation’s 13 house groups, so long as it would not be used to prevent workers from accessing the work site.

Fourteen people were arrested by armed officers at a checkpoint constructed along the road leading to both the Unist’ot’en camp and the Coastal GasLink work site on Jan. 7, 2019.

The company has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the 670-kilometre pipeline route, but the five Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs say no one can access the land without their consent.

The pipeline is part of the $40-billion LNG Canada project that will export Canadian natural gas to Asian markets.

KEEP READING: United Nations committee on racism calls for halt to Site C, Trans Mountain and LNG pipeline

Coastal GasLink shared photos Tuesday of what it says are more than 100 trees that have been felled across the logging road.

At a press conference Tuesday, hereditary chief Na’moks called for construction to cease and for the B.C. government to revoke the company’s permits.

He said the Wet’suwet’en felled the trees to protect their own safety.

“Those trees put across the road were for our safety. We must look at the history of the RCMP one year ago and what they did to our people and the guests in our territory,” he said.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in Princeton farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Contract awarded to build washroom in Garnett Family Park

Bid accepted for facility at park in Heritage Hills/Lakeshore Highlands area

Former MLA Bill Barisoff endorses Veintimilla for Boundary-Similkameen

Barisoff served as MLA for the Okanagan-Boundary riding from 1996 to 2001

City of Penticton begins transition in staff leadership

Mitch Moroziuk will be retiring in January with Kristen Dixon taking over his role

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Outbreak at North Okanagan care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

Highway 6 limited in North Okanagan

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

Sports back at play in North Okanagan schools

Gymnasiums opened up within the district for school-organized sports only

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

West Kelowna start-up wins Emmy for virtual production on Red Bull Rampage

XR Media Group won the Outstanding Digital Innovation Award

Most Read