VANCOUVER, B.C. – LNG Canada says that despite this week’s protests, LNG Canada will continue to advance the project and maintain their current construction schedule.
A blockade by members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation near Houston was dismantled by the RCMP this week leading to protests across the country.
Following several hours of meetings, Chief Na’Moks told reporters Thursday that the agreement is between the chiefs and the RCMP to ensure the safety of the First Nation’s members after 14 arrests were made on Monday when a court injunction was enforced by police.
He said representatives from Coastal GasLink were invited to the meeting to ensure they are on the same page but emphasized it is not a deal with the company, and the hereditary chiefs are opposed to a pipeline project planned on their territory by the company.
“One of the barriers will be taken down, but that does not mean we support this project,” he said.
LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz says “the level of support received by LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink has been described as unprecedented for a resource development project.”
A release late Thursday went on to say “We are conscious that any delay can erode confidence in British Columbia and Canada to deliver energy projects. We also respect the rights of individuals to peacefully express their points of view, as long as their activities do not jeopardize people’s safety and are lawful.”
LNG Canada says there needs to be recognition and respect for the decision that has been made by 25 first Nations that support the LNG project.
In Kamloops on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the events of this week when the injunction was enforced show the need to build a different relationship with First Nations.
Trudeau said he was pleased tensions had eased between police and the First Nations over the pipeline on Wednesday night, and the time will come to answer questions about what was done and how it could have been handled differently.
“The way we are doing resource development, construction, exporting of our resources is changing in this country,” he said.
“We know we cannot do it without creating partnerships and engaging with Indigenous Peoples who are the traditional custodians of these lands, without thinking deeply about the environmental consequences and the long-term impacts of the choices we’re making.”
Below is the full statement from LNG Canada
(With files from the CANADIAN PRESS)