The RCMP’s temporary office is set up a few kilometres past a roadblock at the 27-kilometre point on the Morice West Forest Service Road in Houston, B.C. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

The RCMP has removed its temporary office from traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C., but the First Nation’s hereditary chiefs say they are still patrolling the logging road that controls access to the Coastal GasLink work sites.

“They have shuttered the building itself, but we had also asked them to slow down their patrols, if not cease, but that just hasn’t happened,” said chief Na’moks. “Everything is peaceful. We just can’t see any reason why they would continue to do that.”

Last Friday, the RCMP finished moving its base of operations to its Houston detachment in the wake of enforcing a court injunction and removing Wet’suwet’en members and their supporters from blocking access to the pipeline work sites.

An RCMP spokesperson has confirmed officers continue to patrol the area to ensure the Morice West Forest Service Road stays open.

The hereditary chiefs are demanding an end to the police presence and for the complete withdrawal of Coastal GasLink crews from the area before meaningful talks can occur between the chiefs and federal and provincial governments.

READ MORE: Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal

Na’moks, who also goes by the name John Risdale, said conversations on those demands were going well with the Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, but ended abruptly on Friday when the prime minister called for the injunction to be upheld and ordered the removal of barricades on rail lines across Canada, erected in support of hereditary chiefs.

“We were making headway, but then the prime minister held his press conference and we went backwards after that.”

Na’moks said valuable momentum was lost over the weekend. However in an email the RCMP stated talks with the hereditary chiefs will continue.

“Out of respect for the discussions, and the trust being sought by all, we don’t wish to speak about any of the specifics at this time,” said a RCMP spokesperson.

“However I can confirm that the discussions to date have been respectful and positive and also provided a number of options, considerations and commitments that will continue to move us all forward towards solutions.”

The police force has previously said its officers will leave the area once they meet with the hereditary chiefs and receive a commitment that they’ll keep the service road clear.

READ MORE: Police move to clear rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coastal GasLink

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: A message from Mission’s mayor

Pam Alexis asks residents to support local businesses, stay strong during COVID-19 pandemic

Mission developers donate $10,000, challenge others to donate as well

Gary Toor and Jason Tiegen gve the money to Mission Community Services, hope to raise $20,000

You can design a new banner for Mission’s downtown area

Mission Downtown Business Association is presenting its second annual banner design competition

One woman arrested in Abbotsford on Sunday after stabbing

25-year-old man sent to hospital with serious injuries following incident

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read