Subscribe
Pipeline Magazine

News

RCMP announce plan to enforce court injunction over anti LNG pipeline protest


HOUSTON, B.C. – The RCMP say they were enforcing a court injunction Monday that required the removal of a blockade to a forest service road in northern British Columbia that is preventing access to a pipeline project.

In a statement, the Mounties said they would enforce the interim injunction issued by the B.C. Supreme Court in mid-December. The court ordered the removal of any obstructions interfering with the Coastal GasLink project.

Media reports indicated the police had set up an exclusion zone as they arrived in the area. The RCMP could not be reached for an update on the enforcement operation early on Monday evening after issuing the statement earlier in the day outlining their plans.

Members of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation set up a camp and a checkpoint in the area, southwest of Houston, to control access.

The injunction gave protesters 72 hours to remove obstructions and the police say that had not happened, preventing Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Ltd. from being able to do any work in the area.

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

The company says it has signed agreements with all First Nations along the route for LNG Canada’s $40-billion liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, but demonstrators argue

Wet’suwet’en house chiefs, who are hereditary rather than elected, have not given consent.
A news release issued Sunday on behalf of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says all five Wet’suwet’en clans, including the Gidimt’en, oppose the construction of oil and gas pipelines in their territory.

“The provincial and federal governments must revoke the permits for this project until the standards of free, prior and informed consent are met,” Phillip says in the release.

The Mounties say exclusion areas and road closures were planned near the Morice River Bridge.

“Those areas will be clearly marked and media/public are welcome to stand at the perimeter, but no one will be allowed to enter the exclusion zones,” the statement said.

LNG Canada announced in October that it was moving ahead with its plans for the Kitimat export facility.

Construction on the $6.2-billion pipeline, which is 670 kilometres long, is scheduled to begin this month.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said LNG Canada’s decision would help an economically deprived region of the province and bring in an estimated $23 billion in provincial revenue.

Around 2012, the Unist’ot’en camp set up a blockade by constructing a gate and other obstacles to the area, and a second gate was recently constructed at the Morice River Bridge, the company said in a document filed with the court.

TransCanada has said it is not asking for the camp at the bridge to be dismantled, only for access to its pipeline right of way.

Marches were planned across the country on Tuesday to support members of the Gidimt’en clan who oppose the pipeline project.

Copyright (c) 2017 The Canadian Press