B.C. First Nation grants company temporary access to winterize pipeline site

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say agreement does not soften their position

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have allowed Coastal GasLink temporary access to the company’s worksite near Houston, B.C., to do maintenance.

“CGL has been granted 6-8 hours access for a work crew to winterize their personnel accommodations and equipment at site 9A, since no personnel will remain at the site during the coming cold snap,” a press release stated.

“One time access will be granted to avoid damages to CGL assets and the surrounding environment. CGL has confirmed in writing that they will leave Dark House territory after winterizing Site 9A.”

The company is building a pipeline from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat and has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation councils along the planned 670-kilometre route, but hereditary chiefs say the project does not have their consent.

A spokesperson for the company said they are grateful for the access.

“Our focus remains on finding a peaceful and mutually agreeable resolution. Site 9A remains unoccupied and we are working cooperatively with the Unist’ot’en (Dark House) to access the site to conduct maintenance to prevent damage while it remains unoccupied.

READ MORE: B.C. human rights commissioner asks feds to halt Coastal GasLink

READ MORE: Hereditary chiefs say ‘we never will’ support Coastal GasLink pipeline

The chiefs said the agreement does not represent a softening of their position.

“This limited access was offered in good faith as a demonstration of wiggus or respect by us as Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ in our dealings with CGL, despite the lack of consent for CGL’s property and pre-construction activities on our unceded territory,” a statement read.

“This arrangement in no way constitutes consultation. We remain steadfast in our position that no pipeline will be built on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.”

– with a file from The Canadian Press



editor@interior-news.com

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