Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs Seek Diplomacy from Premier

Kathy Brookes

Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs are calling on Premier John Horgan to meet with them, as an impasse continues over construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline south of Houston.

In a post on the Unist'ot'en Camp Facebook page, the chiefs say they're calling for diplomacy in light of Horgan's recent statement that the company has all the necessary permits and the pipeline must be built.

The chiefs say those statements and others contradict Horgan's address at a potlatch at Witset in March of 2019 in which he talked about a great beginning for the province and Wet'suwet'en people, working together. 

They also dispute that the matter of the pipeline to the LNG Canada terminal being built at Kitimat has been settled in court.

Coastal GasLink won an injunction against interference with its construction, but the chiefs say a case involving cultural artifacts is still before the courts and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office is reviewing a company report that failed to mention the Unist'ot'en Healing Centre operating in the area. 

Chief Na'moks calls the premier's recent statements "deeply misleading and disrespectful". 

Coastal GasLink President David Pfeiffer has again invited Chief Na'moks to meet with company officials to discuss the chiefs concerns, however, Chief Na'moks has said the chiefs will only meet with government decision-makers and the RCMP.

On Monday, the RCMP set up a checkpoint on the Morice West Forest Service Road.  They say it's to ensure safety after hazards including felled trees and incendiary piles of tires were placed on the road leading to a Coastal GasLink worksite. 

[RCMP Checkpoint -- from video posted on Unist'ot'en Camp Facebook page]

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says it's filing legal complaints for two people it says were denied access to transport food and emergency supplies past the checkpoint.

In a news release, the RCMP claim there was "miscommunication" in that case, and procedures at the checkpoint have since been "clarified". 

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