Unist'ot'en allow CGL temporary access to disputed lands

The Canadian Press
01/13/2020

A spokeswoman for the Unist'ot'en Healing Center says the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have given Coastal GasLink one-time access to a construction site so it can be winterized.
   
Karla Tait says CGL has six to eight hours for a work crew to winterize their personnel accommodations and equipment at Site 9A to avoid damages to the company's assets and the surrounding environment.
   
Wet'suwet'en First Nation issued an eviction notice on January 5th to Coastal GasLink for an area within their traditional territory near Houston.
   
Tait says the access will be monitored by a Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief, a third party contractor and a media recorder to ensure it is in compliance with the access terms.
   
Coastal GasLink spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton said on Sunday crews were on site and maintenance work was anticipated to take several hours.
   
The company has provincial approval to build a 670-kilometre pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada's $40-billion export terminal in Kitimat, but the chiefs say they won't allow anyone on the First Nation's traditional territory without their consent.

Earlier in the weekend, BC's human rights commissioner said the federal government should halt construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline until it gets the consent of the affected Indigenous groups.
  
Kasari Govender says Canada is shirking its obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The project has signed agreements will all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route from Chetwynd to Kitimat -- but the five hereditary clan chiefs within the Wet'suwet'en Nation say it can't go ahead without their consent.  

Coastal GasLink says its construction workforce had grown to more than one thousand men and women -- ,many of them local and Indigenous people.
 
 

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