Skip to content

Key leader of Coastal GasLink pipeline opposition charged with criminal contempt

Sleydo’ (Molly Wickam ) among 19 charged following arrest in fall 2021
A photo from Nov. 2021, when the RCMP were deployed at Morice Forest Service Road. The Crown counsel will be pursuing criminal charges against 19 of the 27 arrested from the site. (Gidimt’en Checkpoint Facebook photo)

After a month of review, the Crown is charging four more people with criminal contempt following their arrest last fall near a Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline worksite in Houston.

Among the four is Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham), key leader and spokesperson of the pipeline opposition group Gidimt’en Checkpoint, who was arrested with 27 others in Nov. 2021 from Coyote camp in northwest B.C. for breaching a 2019 court injunction.

In a social media update, Sleydo’ confirmed she will be charged with criminal contempt.

“Their [Crown] reasoning for this was that the four of us should have sufficient knowledge of the injunction and therefore they didn’t have to read the injunction to us,” she said in a video message on Facebook, adding that the Crown said they did not read the injunction to the rest of those arrested and therefore could not prove they had sufficient knowledge.

The July 7 decision totals the number of those charged with criminal contempt to 19 people out of the 27 who were arrested for breaching the Court’s 2019 injunction by participating in blockades, and other anti-pipeline activities between September and November 2021.

The decision comes four weeks after the Crown decided to pursue criminal charges against 15 people on June 1. While it excused two people who were involved in a blockade, citing insufficient evidence, the Crown prosecutor sought more time to review charges for 10 more people arrested on site.

The Crown’s proceedings against the 27 arrested began in June after an invitation by the Supreme Court to consider criminal contempt charges.

READ MORE: 15 charged with criminal contempt tied to B.C. Coastal GasLink pipeline protests

About the Author: Binny Paul

Read more