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Amidst National Crisis, Province Gives Unist’ot’en an Ultimatum

Amidst National Crisis, Province Gives Unist’ot’en an Ultimatum

Meet with pipeline company within 30 days or decision will be made without you, Environmental Assessment Office says.

Brenda arrest
Unist’ot’en member Brenda Michell, whose chief name is Geltiy, was arrested on Feb. 10. Photo by Amanda Follett Hosgood.

The office found Coastal GasLink had not provided the information needed to allow the office to assess the project’s impact.

But it said that was because the company had been prevented from accessing the area to gather the information by Wet’suwet’en opposed to the project.

Discussions between the Wet’suwet’en and Coastal GasLink are unlikely to be easy to arrange, if they happen at all.

Opposition to Coastal GasLink’s LNG pipeline by Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters have thrown the country into a national crisis. Blockades have closed major highways and railways over the past two weeks. 

On Friday, Trudeau said the barricades erected across the country should now be removed.

The nationwide protests were initiated when the RCMP enforced an injunction by removing barricades and arresting 28 people along the Morice West Forest Service Road over five days earlier this month. 

Seven of those were arrested at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, including Karla Tait, volunteer director of clinical programming. 

In a news release, Tait questioned the timing of the province’s directive. 

“It is very distressing, after we’ve faced assault rifles and endured arrests at the beckoning of CGL, to now be advised by EAO to work collaboratively with them to address these gaps. We urge the province to take this opportunity to respect the rule of law and follow the processes laid out to protect both our rights and the environment,” Tait’s statement said.

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