Order granted vs. opponents of Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C.

B.C. Supreme Court grants interlocutory order following protests by Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist’ot’en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted Coastal GasLink an interlocutory injunction against members of a First Nation and others who oppose the company’s natural gas pipeline.

The company is building a pipeline from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast.

Coastal GasLink says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometres route but hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation say the project has no authority without their consent.

The court had granted the company an interim injunction last December against pipeline opponents and protests erupted around the world when RCMP enforced it in January, arresting 14 people along a logging road leading to the construction site near Houston.

In her ruling Tuesday, Justice Marguerite Church said Coastal GasLink has the permits and authorizations for the project and has satisfied the requirements for an interlocutory injunction.

She said there is evidence to indicate that the defendants have engaged in deliberate and unlawful conduct for the purpose of causing harm to the plaintiff and preventing it from constructing the pipeline.

“There is a public interest in upholding the rule of law and restraining illegal behaviour and protecting of the right of the public, including the plaintiff, to access on Crown roads,” she wrote.

“The defendants may genuinely believe in their rights under indigenous law to prevent the plaintiff from entering Dark House territory, but the law does not recognize any right to blockade and obstruct the plaintiff from pursuing lawfully authorized activities.”

In a statement, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs representing all five clans of the First Nation said they reject the court’s decision.

The First Nation said it is disappointed that the court rendered a decision that contradicts Wet’suwet’en law.

“Coastal GasLink has never obtained consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to enter or work on our territories,” the statement said.

“Under the threat of continued police violence, the Wet’suwet’en have complied with the interim injunction order imposed throughout our territories.”

Coastal GasLink said in a statement that it remains focused on constructing the $6.6-billion project safely and with respect to its Indigenous partners and local communities along the route.

READ MORE: TC Energy to sell a 65% equity interest in Coastal GasLink pipeline

The company contends the pipeline will deliver significant, long-term benefits for Indigenous and northern B.C. communities along its path and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by providing natural gas to replace coal burning in Asian markets.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Approved: Stoked Living development on Hay Rd. will move forward

Revelstoke City Council voted in favour of zoning and OCP amendments required for the project

Two candidates declared for Columbia River Revelstoke

Incumbent Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal) and NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet; nominations close Oct. 2

Okanagan College expands ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ to all students this fall

Wellness Wednesday workshops are designed to be psycho-educational

Reach a Reader campaign hits milestone anniversary

The fundraiser will be more focused online this year

Major Highway 1 upgrades near Golden inches closer to construction

Construction is expected to last for four years

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Attorney General defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

‘Perfect storm’ causes influx of black widows in the Okanagan

The region’s only venomous spider has come out in full force this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Suspected human remains found in burned out vehicle on OKIB land

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP hand over investigation to Major Crimes

Kamloops RCMP search for armed robber of pizza restaurant

The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the Sahali Domino’s store

Most Read