Five things to know about anti-LNG demon­stra­tions in north­ern B.C.

The Prince George Citizen - - Local -

The pipe­line

A pipe­line by Tran­sCanada sub­sidiary Coastal GasLink is to carry nat­u­ral gas from the Daw­son Creek area to Kiti­mat.

In Oc­to­ber, LNG Canada an­nounced it was mov­ing ahead with its plans for the Kiti­mat ex­port fa­cil­ity, where the pipe­line is to end. B.C. Premier John Hor­gan has said LNG Canada’s de­ci­sion to build a $40-bil­lion liq­ue­fied-nat­u­ral-gas project in north­ern B.C. ranked on the his­toric scale of a “moon land­ing.” He has also em­pha­sized how much the project means to an eco­nom­i­cally de­prived re­gion of the prov­ince.

Con­struc­tion on the pipe – some 670 kilo­me­tres long – is sched­uled to be­gin this month.

The push­back Mem­bers of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Na­tion have set up a camp and a check­point south­west of Hous­ton on a for­est-ser­vice road that leads to a pipe­line con­struc­tion site. Coastal GasLink says it has signed agree­ments with all First Na­tions along the route.

Demon­stra­tors ar­gue Wet’suwet’en house chiefs, who are hered­i­tary rather than elected, have not given con­sent.

“Our peo­ple’s be­lief is that we are part of the land,” said Freda Hu­son, a Unist’ot’en hered­i­tary spokesper­son. “The land is not sep­a­rate from us. The land sus­tains us. And if we don’t take care of her, she won’t be able to sus­tain us, and we as a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple will die.”

Union of B.C. In­dian Chiefs pres­i­dent Ste­wart Phillip also said in a state­ment on Sun­day that all five Wet’suwet’en clans, in­clud­ing the Gidimt’en, op­pose the con­struc­tion of oil and gas pipe­lines in their ter­ri­tory.

The protest camp

Hered­i­tary chiefs’ op­po­si­tion to the pipe­line in­ten­si­fied last month when the com­pany se­cured an in­terim in­junc­tion in B.C. Supreme Court.

The court or­dered the re­moval of any ob­struc­tions in­ter­fer­ing with the Coastal GasLink project.

Tran­sCanada has said it is not ask­ing for the camp to be dis­man­tled, only for ac­cess to the pipe­line route.

The RCMP moved in

Mon­day night, RCMP say, they ar­rested 14 peo­ple from the block­ade. The Moun­ties say they were en­forc­ing the in­junc­tion from the B.C. Supreme Court in re­mov­ing any­one who in­ter­feres with the Coastal GasLink project in and around the Morice River Bridge.

The RCMP also say they are not tak­ing sides in the dis­pute

“The con­flict be­tween the oil and gas in­dus­tries, Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, and gov­ern­ments all across the prov­ince has been on­go­ing for a num­ber of years,” the force says in a state­ment.

“This has never been a po­lice is­sue. In fact, the B.C. RCMP is im­par­tial and we re­spect the rights of in­di­vid­u­als to peace­ful, law­ful and safe protest.” The broader con­cerns

Phillip said in his state­ment the RCMP’s ac­tions are in “di­rect con­tra­dic­tion” to stated fed­eral-gov­ern­ment com­mit­ments to true rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the United Na­tions Dec­la­ra­tion on the Rights of Indige­nous Peo­ples. “The pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments must re­voke the per­mits for this project un­til the stan­dards of free, prior and in­formed con­sent are met,” he said.

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