Tentative Deal Reached to Let Coastal Gaslink Project Employees Through Wet'suwet'en Territory

    Protesters outside Whitehorse RCMP detachment in support of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation's stance against LNG pipeline.

    A camp was set up by members of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation originally to prevent Coastal Gaslink workers from entering their traditional territory and proceeding with pipeline construction.

    A  tentative deal has been reached between the RCMP and the Wet'suwet'en First Nation Hereditary Chiefs to allow Coastal GasLink workers through to  a defined access area within their traditional territory.

    A camp was assembled by the First Nation weeks ago to create a checkpoint along the Coastal Gaslink project route, preventing workers from advancing the LNG project 300 kilometres west of Prince George.

    Under the tentative agreement, RCMP are allowed to enter the communities healing centre with consent from the First Nation, and gas workers would be able to access facilities within their traditional territory pending successful talks Thursday afternoon.

    Conflicts escalated when the RCMP enforced a court order earlier this week, attempting to gain back access to the road needed by Coastal GasLink to proceed with pre-construction activities.

    Chiefs are saying the approved access doesn't mean Coastal GasLink can proceed with construction on their territory, but are hoping  the agreement serves as a temporary solution to de-escalate the situation until more concrete solutions are established.

    Tensions also flared involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a town hall meeting in Kamloops, BC last night, where protesters questioned how he can advance reconciliation with First Nations when government approves such gas projects.

    Coastal Gaslink has also received information that the pipeline could face federal regulatory review on the project in the months ahead, which could delay or even stop the project all together.

    If approved, $40-billion project would run 670 kilometers between Dawson Creek and Kitimat BC, providing oil supplies to international markets.

    The  Coastal GasLink project is owned and operated by TC Energy, which is based out of Calgary, Alberta.


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