Horgan Confident A Way Forward Can Be Found in Coastal GasLink Dispute

Johh Crawford

Premier John Horgan says he remains convinced a way forward can be found, as his government wrestles with the challenges facing the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

Horgan's NDP government recently announced a new reconciliation process with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs, who have been at the centre of opposition to the pipeline being constructed through their traditional territories south of Houston.

During his visit to Terrace Saturday, he was asked about the ongoing impasse between the Hereditary Chiefs and the pipeline company -- and he said he's convinced Coastal GasLink did everything required under current Canadian law to get the project approved.

[PHOTO:  Premier John Horgan at Coast Mountain College in Terrace -- Feb 16, 2019 -- Credit: Hillary Johnson CFTK]

But he also said the images shown around the world of Wet'suwet'en elders being arrested as an injunction was served against them in January were "horrific" -- and he says it's important to find a way forward through all of this.

"I've been working with LNG Canada since I was sworn in as premier, and I've been working with indigenous peoples -- I know there's a way forward;  the people of the north are excited about the economic prospects of a $40-billion investment, the largest private sector investment in Canadian history, now we have to make sure that everyone is participating;  local band councils from well-head to waterline have signed benefit agreements, and I believe that we can get through the challenges in Wet'suwet'en territory but we have to be open and honest about those challenges and the companies understand that, I believe the people of the north do as well," he said.

Horgan did not comment on the current work stoppage, caused by the discovery of items that the Unist'ot'en clan say are ancient artifacts.

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