PM lauds pipe­line progress

Prime min­is­ter pleased ten­sions are eas­ing at site of B. C. pipe­line protest

Simcoe Reformer - - NATIONAL NEWS - Laura Kane

KAM­LOOPS, B. C. — Ar­rests at a block­ade this week show the govern­ment needs to prop­erly en­gage with In­dige­nous Peo­ples and build a dif­fer­ent re­la­tion­ship than it has had in the past, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

Trudeau said he was pleased to see ten­sions had eased be­tween po­lice and First Na­tions out­side a con­struc­tion zone for a nat­u­ral gas pipe­line in north­ern Bri­tish Columbia.

“I know that there will be ques­tions asked and re­quired to an­swer over the com­ing weeks about what ex­actly was done, what could have been done dif­fer­ently,” he said at Thomp­son Rivers Univer­sity’s in­dus­trial train­ing and tech­nol­ogy cen­tre.

It’s time to fig­ure out how to make sure there is proper en­gage­ment with more re­spect when projects are built, some­thing govern­ments haven’t done in the past, Trudeau said.

“I think we can all agree that is the way we need to move for­ward as a coun­try, in a more re­spect­ful, more thought­ful, more en­gaged way. There are go­ing to be mo­ments when that doesn’t work out as well as it should and we’ll need to learn from those mo­ments.

“But there is no ques­tion that the good­will that is shared by all Cana­di­ans who want to see bet­ter re­spect and part­ner­ship with In­dige­nous Peo­ples, while at the same time we make sure we are con­tin­u­ing to grow the econ­omy.”

The RCM P and hered­i­tary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Na­tion met in Smithers, B. C., on Thursday to work on de­tails of an agree­ment reached a day ear­lier that would al­low ac­cess to crews from Coastal Gaslink to work in the area that was be­hind the block­ade.

The com­pany says it has signed agree­ments with all the First Na­tions along the pipe­line route, in­clud­ing the Wet’suwet’en, but non- elected hered­i­tary chiefs in one house of the five Wet’suwet’en clans op­pose the pipe­line.

The pipe­line would run through the ter­ri­tory to Kiti­mat, B. C., where LNG Canada is build­ing a $ 40- bil­lion ex­port fa­cil­ity.

Trudeau said he “deeply re­spects” the con­cerns and the is­sues brought for­ward by a peo­ple on both sides of the de­bate.

“The way we are do­ing re­source devel­op­ment, con­struc­tion, ex­port­ing of our re­sources is chang­ing in this coun­try,” he said.

“We know we can­not do it with­out cre­at­ing part­ner­ships and en­gag­ing with In­dige­nous Peo­ples who are the tra­di­tional cus­to­di­ans of these lands, with­out think­ing deeply about the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences and the longterm im­pacts of the choices we’re mak­ing.”

At a town hall meet­ing in Kam­loops on Wednesday night, Trudeau was in­ter­rupted and shouted down by some In­dige­nous peo­ple in the crowd who were an­gry over the ar­rests of 14 peo­ple on Mon­day.

Trudeau said Thursday that Canada is a coun­try where peo­ple are en­cour­aged to speak out and share their opin­ions, but also to lis­ten to one an­other re­spect­fully.

“If some­one dis­agrees with what I’m do­ing or has ques­tions about where we’re go­ing, I want to be able to hear from them,” he said.

Trudeau also vis­ited a se­niors cen­tre Thursday in Kam­loops where he sat and chat­ted with peo­ple and posed for pictures.

Kim An­der­son/ THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau par­tic­i­pates in a town hall Q& A at Thomp­son Rivers Univer­sity in Kam­loops, B. C. on Wednesday.

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