Deal reached in northern British Columbia pipeline impasse

SMITHERS, B.C. — Hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have reached a deal with the RCMP to allow a natural gas company access across a bridge that had been blocked in their territory.

Following several hours of meetings, Chief Na’Moks told reporters that the agreement is between the chiefs and the RCMP to ensure the safety of the First Nation’s members.

He says representatives from Coastal GasLink were invited to the meeting to ensure they are on the same page, but emphasized it is not a deal with the company and the hereditary chiefs remain “adamantly opposed” to a pipeline project planned on their territory by the company.

According to the agreement, Na’Moks says company workers will be allowed across a bridge and the RCMP will also remove a roadblock that was preventing some members of the nation from accessing a Unist’ot’en healing camp near the bridge.

He says members of the First Nation will not face arrest and the Unist’ot’en camp will remain intact.

The agreement applies to an interim court injunction, which is meant to prevent anyone from impeding the company’s work until the defendants, which include members of the Unist’ot’en camp, file a response.

The agreement was reached Thursday at the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, a day after the chiefs announced a tentative deal would see members of the First Nation observe the injunction by allowing Coastal GasLink workers and contractors access to a work site where the natural gas pipeline is planned.

On Wednesday, residents of the healing camp said they were “reeling” from the situation and had asked that a gate that they see as vital to their safety remain intact.

Na’Moks said a metal gate will remain, but a wooden gate will be removed. It is too wide for the bridge and constitutes an obstruction, he added.

The RCMP arrested 14 people on Monday when they enforced the injunction.

Police also dismantled a nearby checkpoint erected by members of the Wet’suwet’en, who say the company does not have authority to work on their territory without consent from the nation’s hereditary clan chiefs.

TransCanada Corp. says it has signed benefit sharing agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the pipeline route.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would run though the Wet’suwet’en territory to LNG Canada’s $40 billion export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

Just Posted

Young Blackfalds mother copes with double tragedies with community support

Three fundraisers are being held to help Alana Newbold and her children

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Eckville man charged with child porn offences

Australian police provide tip

Eight arrested in RCMP stolen vehicle operation

Six stolen vehicles recovered and dozens of charges laid

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Toronto illustrator teams up with Paul McCartney on children’s book

Toronto-based illustrator Kathryn Durst says she’s found a true collaborator in Paul… Continue reading

Catholic student says he didn’t disrespect Native American

Many saw the white teenagers, who had travelled to Washington for an anti-abortion rally, appearing to mock the Native Americans

Backlund scores OT winner for Calgary Flames in 3-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Flames 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT) CALGARY — Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds… Continue reading

Glendening’s two-goal performance leads Red Wings past Oilers 3-2

Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 EDMONTON — Luke Glendening had a pair… Continue reading

Most Read