B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser takes questions in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

Gas pipeline proceeds along with Wet’suwet’en talks, B.C. minister says

‘Give us time,’ Scott Fraser says to those protesting Coastal GasLink

B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister hopes to have agreement from Wet’suwet’en people on their long-standing demand to define land rights within two weeks, but he says in the meantime the Coastal GasLink pipeline will proceed.

“There is still a difference of opinion around the Coastal GasLink project, but the permits are in place, it’s approved, it’s underway,” Scott Fraser said Monday after meetings with hereditary chiefs over the weekend. “I made that clear.”

In the B.C. legislature, Premier John Horgan emphasized that the court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink to stop roadblocks in the Smithers-Houston area remains in place.

“The project is being built, it’s fully permitted and it will proceed,” Horgan said in response to opposition questions in the legislature. “It’s going to be completed.”

Fraser and federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett emerged from weekend talks in Smithers with what they call a “path forward” to implement a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on land rights for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people that left aboriginal title undefined.

RELATED: Chiefs, ministers reach proposed agreement

RELATED: Coastal GasLink set to resume construction

Fraser called on protesters who have been blocking roads and occupying offices in sympathy with a group of dissident hereditary chiefs to have patience.

“I ask people who are protesting, who care about rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en people, to give us time to address those things, because we have a historical opportunity to address those,” Fraser said. “Those are the key root causes of the failure of governments to recognize rights and title issues for the Wet’suwet’en.”

Pressed repeatedly by opposition MLAs to say what was agreed to and what assurance Coastal GasLink employees and investors have, Fraser said the discussions with hereditary leaders were “in camera” and have to be reviewed in the traditional clan process before being made public.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoastal GasLink

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

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Cermaq Canada continues to adapt operations amid Covid-19 pandemic while supporting employees and local communities

As governments, communities and Canadians continue to modify behaviors and activities based… Continue reading

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read