The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they will challenge the environmental assessment certification of Coastal GasLink’s natural gas pipeline whose route goes through their traditional territory.
The announcement on Thursday came the same day as the RCMP moved into three Wet’suwet’en protest camps near Houston to enforce a court order to allow Coastal GasLink employees to continue work on the project. Six people were arrested.
Hereditary Chief Na’Moks, also know as John Risdale, said the certification is up for renewal soon.
“We’re only taking a small window in there, only a ten-month period, and we found over 50 infractions, so why should they get certification if they keep on getting infractions?” he said.
Na’Moks said it was frustrating to see what he characterized as a system where Coastal GasLink breaks the law and then ask for permission afterwards.
“They do an infraction and all that the government does is amend the permit so it’s allowed.”
The Interior News is awaiting a response from Coastal GasLink.
He said his message to supporters, whether local or on the other side of the globe, is that the Wet’suwet’en will always remain peaceful in their efforts to stop the pipeline.
“When they show support to the Wet’suwet’en, they’re showing support to all freedoms in this country of Canada,” he said.
He said the support they have received has been essential in helping to spread the message.
Taylor Bachrach, the NDP MP for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, issued a statement on Thursday afternoon saying he is disappointed by the police action.
“I am saddened by this morning’s events on Wet’suwet’en territory,” he said. “This doesn’t feel like reconciliation. My thoughts are with everyone involved in this difficult situation and it is my sincere hope that people’s Charter rights are respected and upheld. In what is an extremely delicate situation that is receiving international attention, my overriding concern is the safety of all involved.”