The RCMP stops 14 people for blocking a gas pipeline project in British Columbia

La GRC arrête 14 personnes concernant le blocage d’un projet de gazoduc en Colombie-Britannique

Photo: Facebook via Associated Press
A sign of the clan Gidimt’in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation has been placed at the one of the blocking points of the path to the access to the proposed Coastal GasLink.

The royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP) announced that 14 people have been arrested for blocking a logging road in northern British Columbia, which prevents access to a gas pipeline project.

A little earlier, the police had warned that action would be taken on Monday, to enforce an order of the supreme Court of British Columbia requiring the dismantling of a blockade, and ordering any person who interferes with the project of Coastal GasLink, near the bridge of the river Morice, to remove all obstacles.

The members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have erected a camp and a checkpoint, in the south-west of Houston.

The injunction gave 72 hours to the protesters to remove the obstacles, what they have not done, according to police. This has prevented the company Coastal Gaslink Pipeline to perform work in the area.

The pipeline of this subsidiary of TransCanada, is designed to transport liquefied natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat.

The company says it has signed agreements with all indigenous communities concerned to build the project is evaluated at $ 40 billion, but the protesters argue that the leaders of the nation Wet’suwet’en have not given their consent.

According to a communiqué issued Sunday in the name of grand chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of indian chiefs of British Columbia, the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation opposed the construction of pipelines on their territory.

“The federal and provincial governments must revoke the licence of this project up to the standards of free, prior and informed should be respected,” said Mr. Phillip.

The RCMP has indicated that residents of the Houston area would notice an increased presence of police officers because of the injunction.

“We hope that there will be no violence or disorder whilst we apply the order of the court. However, the safety of the public and police officers is paramount in maintaining order in the demonstrations, especially because of the isolated area in which the bridge is located “, she said.

Exclusion zones and road closures could also be declared in the sector.

“These areas will be clearly indicated. The media and the public will be able to stay around the perimeter, but nobody will be able to access to exclusion areas, ” said RCMP in a press release.

The police assured him that he did not attempt to favour one party or another.

“The conflict between the oil and gas industries, indigenous communities and governments throughout the province has been taking place for several years […] The RCMP in British Columbia is non-partisan and we respect the rights of individuals to peaceful demonstrations, legal, and safe. “

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