Hereditary Chief Na’Moks addresses a crowd at Bovill Square in Smithers on Jan. 10. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Hereditary chiefs ask BC RCMP not to act with force against gas pipeline opponents

Solidarity rally for Wet’suwet’en took place on Jan. 10 in Smithers

A spokesman for the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs says they have delivered “directives” to the RCMP, and provincial and federal politicians over the treatment of those opposed to a gas pipeline.

Speaking after a rally in Smithers, Na’moks says he and other chiefs have met with RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, as well as local New Democrat MP Taylor Bachrach and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson.

Na’moks says the chiefs have asked Strachan to ensure that officers maintain the peace and do not take violent action against pipeline opponents, who have set up camps and felled trees along the road toward a construction site for the natural gas pipeline.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en evict Coastal GasLink from work site near Houston

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the planned 670-kilometre route from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast, but hereditary chiefs say the project does not have their consent.

RCMP spokeswoman Dawn Roberts confirmed that a series of meetings is scheduled and ongoing.

But she says in an email that out of respect for those involved and in the spirit of what they are trying to accomplish, she will not share what is discussed until all the meetings have taken place or decisions have been made.

“We remain hopeful that these efforts will result in a resolution. This has been our focus and continues to be our focus,” she says.

The RCMP issued a statement Wednesday saying it’s investigating traps likely to hurt someone after patrolling the area where trees were felled across the road.

Officers found stacked tires with jugs of fuel inside, as well as bags of fuel-soaked rags. They also found trees along the side of the road that had been partially cut, which the RCMP say could be knocked down by wind.

Na’moks says the trees were felled for the safety of supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clan chiefs.

Coastal GasLink responded to an interview request with an emailed statement.

“Coastal GasLink is approved, permitted and under construction today with more than 1,000 people working to build it, safely and responsibly,” Suzanne Wilton says in the statement.

She pointed to a news release that says clearing, grading, workforce accommodation, construction and other activities are planned for January between Chetwynd and Kitimat.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Abbotsford Agrifair’s 2020 event still in the works

Fair will respect COVID-19 health directives, but continuing plans in hope ban will be lifted

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

Public urged to continue donating blood during pandemic

Upcoming donor clinics in Abbotsford and Mission

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations amid COVID-19 crisis: advocates

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said any refugees crossing border would be turned back

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read