FILE – Premier John Horgan speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

B.C.’s premier isn’t backing down in his support of the Coastal GasLink pipeline even as protesters were arrested in front of the B.C. Legislature earlier on Thursday.

Speaking at his weekly media availability, Premier John Horgan said the conflict over the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline in northern B.C. was “without a doubt” the toughest challenge he’s faced since he took the top job in 2017.

Protests against the pipeline have been ongoing nationwide since early February. Around two dozen people have been arrested in B.C. this week alone, including 14 at a blocked rail line in northern B.C. and six in Vancouver. Two more were arrested at the B.C. Legislature Thursday after they sprayed chalk at the property.

B.C.’s Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser is set to take part in a meeting Thursday between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and Canada’s Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.

Coastal GasLink have agreed to a two-day pause in pipeline construction in the area and RCMP said Thursday they would stop patrolling a service road nearby, effectively stopping all police action in Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

READ MORE: RCMP reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands as pipeline work pauses

Horgan said that while he was open to meeting with the hereditary chiefs himself, he felt Fraser was the best voice to have at the table right now.

The premier said the project had “enormous benefits” for B.C.’s economy, citing an expected $23 billion in tax revenue.

“We need to have private sector investment if we’re going to meet the public sector demands for services,” he said.

“Permits have been issued, construction is underway and the [Coastal GasLink] project is proceeding.”

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks

READ MORE: First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenousJohn HorganPipeline

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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

Nelson hospice starts Walk and Talk group in Lakeside Park

The Walk and Talk Grief Group is offered free to anyone grieving the death of a loved one

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read