VIDEO: B.C. legislature pipeline protest camp disrupts throne speech ceremonies

A number of supporters blocked each entrance to the B.C. Legislature in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Tents shielding food and supplies for supporters who have occupied the B.C. Legislature for six days. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Kolin Sutherland-Wilson and Sii-am Hamilton address the hundreds of people outside the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Allies with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs showed their support at the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Allies with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs showed their support at the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A group of Victoria police officers stand by as supporters block entrances to the B.C. Legislature. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

A throne speech at the B.C. legislature usually begins with an assembly of police and military members in dress uniform, a 15-gun salute and an inspection by Lieutenant Governor.

The 2020 version has an assembly of police, but they are keeping watch over a sprawling tent camp that has spread across the legislature steps since a group of protesters supporting gas pipeline blockaders near Smithers moved to the site Feb. 6.

The ceremonial arrival and inspection by Lt. Governor Janet Austin Tuesday have been cancelled, as protesters backing a group of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters at blockades near Smithers plan the latest of a series of rallies to coincide with the speech.

Protesters began blocking all entrances to the legislature Tuesday morning, trying to prevent MLAs, staff and media from entering the building.

The speech to begin the spring session of the legislature sets out the government’s priorities for the coming term. Premier John Horgan has said this session will include legislation to overhaul the Insurance Corp. of B.C., taking most injury disputes out of courts.

The protesters have repeated their demands since occupying the ceremonial entrance of the legislature. They are defying a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to allow construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline from gas fields near Dawson Creek to a new liquefied natural gas export facility at Kitimat.

RELATED: Protesters appear in Smithers court after defying injunction

RELATED: Tree traps set, tires and fuel cached along disputed road

The project has been approved by the federal and provincial governments, as well as all 20 elected Indigenous councils along the route, including the Wet’suwet’en. Protesters reject the courts and elected officials, calling the RCMP enforcement of the injunction an “invasion.”

Their threats to “shut Canada down” were manifested with blockades at bridges, the Port of Vancouver and other critical infrastructure across Canada.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoastal GasLink

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

Just Posted

Annual Sturgeon release in Vanderhoof cancelled due to COVID-19

Fish will instead be released by the staff of Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

BC Hydro opens applications for COVID-19 Relief Fund to residential customers

Small business owners will be able to apply to the fund next week.

Northern B.C. charity rolling out COVID-19 relief funds soon

United Way of Northern BC say funding requests are outweighing the amount of donations received.

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

COVID-19: University of Northern B.C. moves to virtual grad celebration

The College of New Caledonia and Thompson Rivers University have cancelled their events

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read