The Coastal Gaslink pipeline is a $6.6-billion-project that will carry fracked natural gas from Dawson Creek in northeastern B.C., to Kitimat on the coast where it will be processed and shipped to Asian markets.
Twenty elected First Nation band councils along the route have signed impact benefit agreements worth millions in employment spinoffs according to the company.
But five hereditary chiefs who claim control over their territory have been vehemently opposed to the project.
In January 2019, when members and supporters of the Wet’suwet’en nation blocked the Morice River Forest Service Road that leads to the construction site, the RCMP moved in. Fourteen people were arrested.
The road also leads to the Unist’ot’en healing centre.
The scene was repeated a year later when on Feb. 6, RCMP enforced a Dec. 31 injunction and cleared out the camps along the road paving the way for construction to begin again. More than two dozen were arrested.
In solidarity, protests erupted across the country, including alongside the CN Railway tracks outside Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
CN and Via Rail cancelled train service through the corridor two hours east of Toronto, one of the busiest in the country.
The hereditary chiefs are demanding that all work on the pipeline cease, and CGL workers leave their territory.
The Mohawks say the protest won’t stop unless the RCMP leave Wet’suwet’en territory.