Coastal GasLink rejects alternative route , defends path across Wet’suwet’en unceded territory GlobeBC
The Globe and Mail's coverage of British Columbia . Get the latest from across the province with news and in-depth analysis.Audio for this article is not available at this time. This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy. Full Disclaimer Coastal GasLink has rejected an alternative pipeline route, saying it is committed to its chosen path for crossing the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s unceded territory in northern British Columbia. Staff with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, a non-profit society governed by hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline, first proposed moving a segment of the route in May, 2014, to a location still within the Indigenous group’s traditional territory, according to regulatory filings and internal documents. Paul Manly, the Green Party MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, met with hereditary chiefs last month in Smithers, B.C. After the meeting, Mr. Manly drew attention to what’s called the McDonnell Lake option, which would cross south of Smithers. Story continues below advertisement Protests have escalated and spread across Canada in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who are battling the $6.6-billion project that would transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat on the coast. Over the past week, anti-pipeline opponents have increasingly asked why Coastal GasLink dismissed the alternative idea nearly six years ago. Coastal GasLink, in a statement posted on its website late Friday night, said sticking with the current route makes environmental and economic sense, and there is no reason to revive the alternative that goes near McDonnell Lake. “Grading, clearing and site preparation work is well advanced across the route with pipe delivery ongoing and mainline construction commencing this summer,” said Coastal GasLink, which is owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. Tensions have been rising between Coastal GasLink and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs since Dec. 31, when a B.C. Supreme Court judge extended an injunction against opponents of the project who set up barricades along a logging road near Houston, B.C. Justice Marguerite Church noted in her ruling that Coastal GasLink considered the alternative route, but the project’s managers"ultimately rejected it for various reasons, including the inappropriateness” of laying down large-diameter pipe under the McDonnell Lake option, extra costs and the desire to be farther away from communities. Those places include Houston, Smithers and Terrace, B.C. Over the course of five days in early February, RCMP moved in on the logging road to enforce the court injunction to restore Coastal GasLink’s access to the final two sections of route. RCMP arrested 28 people along the road. Coastal GasLink said its contractors have regained access to get to work sites. Coastal GasLink started preliminary work on its 670-kilometre route in early 2019. About 190 kilometres cross the Wet’suwet’en’s unceded territory, or 28 per cent of the route from northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where LNG Canada is building its $18-billion terminal that is scheduled to export liquefied natural gas to Asia by early 2025. The B.C. and federal governments support the pipeline, as do all 20 elected First Nation councils along the route. But a group led by eight Wet’suwet’en hereditary house chiefs has led a vocal campaign to oppose the pipeline’s construction, saying hereditary leaders have jurisdiction over their territory outside of federal reserves, not elected band councillors. Story continues below advertisement Five of the 20 elected band councils along the route that signed project agreements with Coastal GasLink belong to the Wet’suwet’en Nation: Wet’suwet’en First Nation (formerly known as the Broman Lake Indian Band), Burns Lake, Nee Tahi Buhn, Skin Tyee and Witset. Hagwilget, which has the sixth elected band council within the Wet’suwet’en Nation, is a reserve that includes Gitxsan members. B.C.’s environmental regulator excluded Hagwilget from its list of Indigenous groups primarily affected by the pipeline project, and Coastal GasLink did not sign an agreement with Hagwilget, saying the regulator’s review process focused on the 20 reserves located along the pipeline corridor. Rick Gateman, who served as Coastal GasLink’s president from 2012 until early 2019, warned last year that any delay to even one section of the pipeline would place the entire project at risk. On Friday night, Coastal GasLink released an internal letter dated Aug. 21, 2014, from Mr. Gateman to Debbie Pierre, executive director of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en. Mr. Gateman estimated that the McDonnell Lake rerouting would add as much as 89 kilometres to the pipeline and cost up to $800-million extra to construct, as well as take one year longer to build. Mike Ridsdale, the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s environmental assessment co-ordinator, expressed his concerns to the BC Environmental Assessment Office in a letter on Oct. 3, 2014, but the provincial government approved Coastal GasLink less than three weeks later. “The Wet’suwet’en have offered the province on numerous occasions to help remedy this matter to no avail,” he said in his letter to the environmental regulator. Story continues below advertisement Mr. Ridsdale referred to a 122-page rights and title report prepared by the Office of the Wet’suwet’en’s natural resources department. The report said rerouting with the McDonnell Lake option “would avoid major cultural values to the Wet’suwet’en” such as sensitive land and waterways. The logging road near Houston includes the territory of Dark House, one of 13 Wet’suwet’en hereditary house groups, which in turn fall under five clans. The Office of the Wet’suwet’en serves as the umbrella organization for the house groups, though Coastal GasLink said it made special efforts to deal separately with Dark House under Gilseyhu, one of the five hereditary clans. In a letter in 2018 to the BC Oil and Gas Commission, Mr. Ridsdale said Gilseyhu held a feast in 2011 to oppose all pipeline routes through the clan’s territory. “There is too much at stake for our children to allow any pipeline permit activity,” he wrote. With a report from Wendy Stueck Related topics Read more: The Globe and Mail
GlobeBC All 20 elected Aboriginal leaders affected by the pipeline have approved the pipeline. Apparently mob rule prevails in Canada. Some think they're so morally superior they don't have to follow the law and court orders. Expect more groups to ignore the law if nothing is done. GlobeBC The only silver lining here is that the people most affected by the illegal blockades (BC/ON) are the dummies who voted in the current incompetent government.
GlobeBC really 80% of them agreed to it in a plebiscite, all elected chiefs did and so did 8 of 13 Hereditary Chiefs...and 2 of the 5 dissenting Hereditary chiefs ran for band chief and lost...why is media not telling the TRUTH GlobeBC Does consent come in exchange for money? If so, how does money alter the supposèdly sound reasons for opposing the pipeline? Interested in understanding ...
GlobeBC The G&M seems to ignore that the Wetsuweten have approved the pipeline crossing through their territory. GlobeBC The only people who should have any say on this issue are the majority of Hereditary Chiefs and First Nations on the pipeline route itself and who voted overwhelmingly in its favour Not the few Hereditary Chiefs who voted against it or the self serving activists exploiting them
GlobeBC Exactly, do not give in to bullies!
A timeline on rail disruptions by anti-pipeline protesters across CanadaProtests, and rail disruptions by people showing solidarity with the hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs opposing the Coastal GasLink project
Indigenous land conflicts to persist unless sovereignty addressed, Wilson-Raybould saysTensions between the government and the Wet’suwet’en Nation have been escalating since Dec. 31, when British Columbia 's Supreme Court granted Coastal GasLink an expanded injunction. Fine, let’s removal ALL public infrastructure and services, move all existing infrastructure off their land, and see what happens. Who wants to bet they’ll demand its put back at our expense? Sovereignty? Really? Ok then, don’t expect any Canadian programs.. If they don't want to be Canadian, then we should take away all their Canadian benefits. Including their Canadian rights. However, if they do want to be Canadian then they should be entitled to the same rights as every other Canadian. Nothing more, nothing less
Trudeau wraps up foreign policy tour as pipeline protests rage on in CanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has been on a week-long foreign policy campaign overseas as Coastal GasLink pipeline protests cause major disruptions in Canada... Trudeau not on foreign policy tour ! On A Trudeau see the world tour ! What foreign policy tour? He gave 377 million to countries that hate gays and shook the hand of the terrorist who killed 57 Canadians. Not foreign policy at all The 'Trudeau Aggrandizement Tour'
Who are the protesters? ‘There’s a lot of people that aren’t from these communities, that aren’t Aboriginal’Who are the protesters? 'There's a lot of people that aren't from these communities, that aren't Aboriginal' Airheads Paid by the Liberals, 'extras' ? 🤔 Wet’suwet’en, or not, is irrelevant, as long as they have the facts. Sounds like Wet’suwet’en leaders need to get their own house in order. The hered. chiefs have said it’s not valid b/c they didn’t approve. Whether they refused meetings seems he said, she said. Super complicated
Western Canada: What kind of budget will the BC NDP deliver?Plus: Trudeau is defending his government’s handling of the anti-pipeline protests that have shut down rail lines and disrupted commercial use and passenger travel across the country The opposition Liberals, ineffective toadies as it should be. They proved to be incompetent when they were in office.
B.C. First Nation group was not involved with pro-Wet’suwet’en highway blockade: leaderProtesters set up barricades on a B.C. highway in both directions for 22 hours. The K’òmoks First Nation denies involvement Since the majority of Wet’suwet’en people, including 8 of 13 hereditary chiefs are OK with the pipeline, how can the protest against it logically be in support? Capitalization fail. More evidence that teacher's are overpaid.