Pipe­line work­ers set out to dis­man­tle bar­ri­ers

The Daily Courier - - CANADA -

SMITHERS, B.C. — A con­voy of work trucks passed through a po­lice road­block Fri­day, head­ing to the Unist’ot’en camp to dis­man­tle bar­ri­ers that had blocked work­ers from start­ing con­struc­tion on a nat­u­ral gas pipe­line through Wet’suwet’en ter­ri­tory.

Se­nior of­fi­cers in the RCMP’s Indige­nous li­ai­son unit were also go­ing to the site, which has been the cen­tre of grow­ing ten­sions in a dis­pute over the pipe­line and Indige­nous claims to the land.

On Thurs­day, hered­i­tary chiefs struck a deal with RCMP, agree­ing to abide with an in­terim court in­junc­tion by not block­ing ac­cess to the site.

In ex­change, the chiefs said mem­bers of the First Na­tion would not be ar­rested and the Unist’ot’en camp would be al­lowed to re­main in­tact.

Chief Na’Moks said they made the tem­po­rary agree­ment to pro­tect Wet’suwet’en mem­bers, some of whom were al­ready trau­ma­tized af­ter an­other check­point was dis­man­tled and 14 peo­ple were ar­rested on Mon­day.

Coastal GasLink pres­i­dent Rick Gate­man said the agree­ment lays the ground­work for the com­pany to have free ac­cess to the area for pre-con­struc­tion and con­struc­tion work on the pipe­line, which will run to LNG Canada’s $40-bil­lion ex­port fa­cil­ity in Kiti­mat.

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