Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison is urging protestors to remove blockades that have sprung up across the country in response to a dispute over land access to a proposed pipeline route in central B.C.

Calling the situation a crisis, Morrison said ‘illegal roadblocks’ in B.C and beyond need to be taken down.

“Trudeau’s weak response to this crisis is causing huge problems,” Morrison said, pointing to job layoffs announced by VIA Rail, CN Rail and CP Rail and the economic impacts from trains being unable to transport products on rail lines.

The dispute arose out of a blockade by protesters on a remote forest service road near Houston, B.C., preventing access to a Coastal GasLink worksite, which is currently constructing a natural gas pipeline between Dawson Creek and Kitimat.

However, while there is support from elected band councils on Indigenous territory along the pipeline route, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have asserted title rights on the unceded land where the pipeline would be constructed, leaning on a 1997 decision from the Supreme Court of Canada that affirmed Indigenous title rights to traditional territories.

Morrison said he is aware of the sensitivities and differences between hereditary chiefs and elected band chiefs, who are voted onto a council governance structure imposed on Indigenous nations by the federal government via the Indian Act.

It’s up to the Wet’suwet’en to resolve differences in opinion between hereditary chiefs and elected band councils over the pipeline, said Morrison.

“They have to sit down, and in their culture, decide how they’re going to move forward with the pipeline that was approved from the different Wet’suwet’en groups that are in that area,” Morrison said. “It’s going to be a livelihood for the economy and to have their own financial structures as a result of the pipelines going through there and they know that the pipelines are safe and we know that we have to deliver that natural gas to the West Coast so we can reduce our greenhouse gases in places like China and India by using natural gas.

“I think that’s a win for the world.”

The dispute has inspired several other solidarity blockades across B.C. and Canada, with protests at government offices in Victoria, the Port of Vancouver and rail lines in Ontario and Quebec.

“I think what you’re seeing, too, is it’s always the vocal minority, and that’s the great thing about living in Canada, is you do have the right to a peaceful protest,” said Morrison, a former RCMP officer and diplomat who has worked as a representative of the federal government abroad in southeast Asia.

“A lot of the times, the vocal minority are out there peacefully protesting and I think that’s the joy of living in Canada, compared to some of the countries I’ve lived in. I’m proud to be Canadian because of that. But when a group of people are there to cause problems illegally, that’s stepping into whole new ground.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

BC Timber Sales near Revelstoke is one of two programs to be randomly audited this year. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke area BC Timber Sales to be randomly audited

The agency will be investigated by the Forest Practices Board during the week of June 21

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

Most Read