B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature press theatre, Feb. 12, 2020. (B.C. government)

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Respectful discussion, not intrusion into politicians’ offices and homes, is the way to resolve the railway blockades that are increasingly affecting the Canadian economy, B.C. Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

Efforts by B.C. and federal Indigenous relations ministers to meet with dissident Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline have been rebuffed so far, but they will continue, Horgan told reporters as he prepared for the latest conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Those efforts resulted in the removal of the CN Rail blockade at New Hazelton on Feb. 14, but a blockade at Belleville, Ont. and others popping up around the country in sympathy with pipeline opponents continued Thursday. The opposing Wet’suwet’en chiefs headed east to visit with their Mohawk supporters in Ontario, and have not responded to a series of invitations, Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature.

A call with provincial and territorial premiers Wednesday focused on the economic consequences of more blockades, which have targeted bridges and Metro Vancouver transit as well as key national rail corridors, Horgan said.

RELATED: Feds say RCMP withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory

RELATED: B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting with chiefs

RELATED: CN blockade at Hazelton B.C. taken down for talks

“In B.C. the rail operators have sought and been granted injunctions, and the assumption is that law enforcement will enforce those as required,” Horgan said. “So in British Columbia those operators are at a place where they can anticipate they can conduct their affairs. Not so in Ontario currently, and that I believe is the focus of most of the prime minister’s and the federal government’s concern.”

Disruptions of daily life extended to Horgan’s home Tuesday, as a small group calling themselves Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island took their tactics beyond downtown Victoria streets.

“I didn’t want to talk about this,” Horgan said when reporters brought it up. “I think it draws attention to that approach to civil disobedience. It’s obviously disrupting for my neighbours, who did not seek election, for my spouse, who did not seek election, the vast majority of British Columbians and Canadians think it’s just out of bounds.

“You want to yell at me, fill your boots. I’m available, I’m around. I normally wade into crowds, often times against my better judgment, and I’m not going to apologize for being as accessible as I possibly can. But nor will I apologize for saying to people who think that bringing bringing trauma to my peaceful neighbourhood in Langford is somehow a good idea.”

In Vancouver, pipeline opponents have blocked port facilities and occupied federal MP and MLA offices, including that of B.C. Attorney General David Eby, harassing staff and in one case dancing on desks.


@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

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

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

‘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

Convoy of essential service vehicles visits Nelson hospital and care homes

The event was meant as a thank you to front-line workers

‘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

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