SMITHERS, B.C. – Construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline is expected to resume Monday after taking a break for the holidays.
On Friday, January 3, 2020, Coastal GasLink was notified by Dark House, also known as the Unist’ot’en, that it intends to terminate an Access Agreement that has been in place for the past year, effective January 10, 2020, but requested Coastal GasLink abide by the access terms of the Agreement.
Then on Saturday, January 4, members of Wet’suwet’en issued an eviction order for workers of the pipeline.
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In a statement issued Sunday, Coastal GasLink says the agreement between Dark House had been in place for the last year. “This agreement reached between Coastal GasLink and representatives of the Unist’ot’en is a cooperative arrangement to address the concerns of Dark House, allow access to areas beyond the Morice River Bridge and ensure the safety of all users, including those at the Unist’ot’en Camp. As part of this Agreement, Coastal GasLink also provided the Unist’ot’en with funding to pay for their own fulltime security in and around the bridge area.”
The company went on to say they have requested face-to-face meetings with the Unist’ot’en and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en but those requests have been ignored or rejected.
On Dec. 31, the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and others who oppose the company’s pipeline.
The company also said its workers discovered felled trees early Sunday morning that make a road impassable, and while it is unclear who is responsible it said “this action is a clear violation of the interlocutory injunction.”
Coastal GasLink says they welcome the change to “engage in dialogue to work towards a resolution which avoids enforcement of the Injunction.”
The $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline would transport natural gas across 670 kilometres from northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.