LNG Canada has met the B.C. government’s standard for proceeding with its liquefied natural gas project and working with Indigenous people along the pipeline route, B.C. Premier John Horgan says.
Horgan commented for the first time Wednesday after RCMP officers moved in to clear a roadblock from a bridge across the Morice River, to give pipeline workers access to the right of way that has been blocked by a dissident group since 2010.
The agreements with all 20 Indigenous communities along the route from the Dawson Creek-area gas fields to Kitimat include hereditary chiefs as well as elected band councils, Horgan said.
The situation remains tense at the site of the protest camp, with RCMP monitoring the road with aircraft and tactical units standing by.
“I would hope they would remain peaceful,” Horgan said. “They have every right to object, it’s a fundamental principle in Canada and British Columbia. If they’re breaking the law, there are consequences for that, and that’s why 14 people were arrested yesterday.”
Horgan also commented on the protests across Canada and in the U.S. in response to the RCMP action on Monday, enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted to Coastal GasLink, the company contracted to build the pipeline.
“I don’t want to diminish the significance of the protests yesterday, but they were not uniformly focused on Wet’sewet’en territory,” Horgan said. “There are no orcas, for example, on Wet’suwet’en territory. There were those who were highlighting that. There were those talking about diluted bitumen. There were those talking about eradicating capitalism. There was a whole bunch of discontent on display for Canadians to see.”