RCMP are investigating in northern B.C. after a number of safety hazards were found near a First Nation’s checkpoint barring access to crews working on the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.
Police said Wednesday they found partially cut trees and stacks of tires, covered in tarps, on the road as well as jugs of accelerants such as gas, diesel and oil, and bags of fuel-soaked rags, not far from the Gidimt’en checkpoint.
“[Officers] noted some trees that were partly cut in readiness for felling,” the news release said. “This creates a hazard where these trees can fall unexpectedly due to wind.”
RCMP said they’ve informed the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs of the investigation.
“While the RCMP respects the rights of individuals to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the BC Supreme Court in the injunction, our primary concerns are public and police officer safety,” police said.
“We want to emphasize that we are impartial in this dispute and our priority is to facilitate a dialogue between the various stakeholders involved.”
Earlier this week, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Na’Moks told a news conference that the felled trees were put across the road “for their safety.”
“We must look at the history of the RCMP one year ago and what they did to our people and the guests in our territory,” he said. “Last year, when they came in with their armed personnel willing to shoot our people. Do we want that again?”
The Interior News has reached out for further comment.