Order granted vs. opponents of Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C.

B.C. Supreme Court grants interlocutory order following protests by Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist’ot’en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted Coastal GasLink an interlocutory injunction against members of a First Nation and others who oppose the company’s natural gas pipeline.

The company is building a pipeline from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast.

Coastal GasLink says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometres route but hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation say the project has no authority without their consent.

The court had granted the company an interim injunction last December against pipeline opponents and protests erupted around the world when RCMP enforced it in January, arresting 14 people along a logging road leading to the construction site near Houston.

In her ruling Tuesday, Justice Marguerite Church said Coastal GasLink has the permits and authorizations for the project and has satisfied the requirements for an interlocutory injunction.

She said there is evidence to indicate that the defendants have engaged in deliberate and unlawful conduct for the purpose of causing harm to the plaintiff and preventing it from constructing the pipeline.

“There is a public interest in upholding the rule of law and restraining illegal behaviour and protecting of the right of the public, including the plaintiff, to access on Crown roads,” she wrote.

“The defendants may genuinely believe in their rights under indigenous law to prevent the plaintiff from entering Dark House territory, but the law does not recognize any right to blockade and obstruct the plaintiff from pursuing lawfully authorized activities.”

In a statement, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs representing all five clans of the First Nation said they reject the court’s decision.

The First Nation said it is disappointed that the court rendered a decision that contradicts Wet’suwet’en law.

“Coastal GasLink has never obtained consent from the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs to enter or work on our territories,” the statement said.

“Under the threat of continued police violence, the Wet’suwet’en have complied with the interim injunction order imposed throughout our territories.”

Coastal GasLink said in a statement that it remains focused on constructing the $6.6-billion project safely and with respect to its Indigenous partners and local communities along the route.

READ MORE: TC Energy to sell a 65% equity interest in Coastal GasLink pipeline

The company contends the pipeline will deliver significant, long-term benefits for Indigenous and northern B.C. communities along its path and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by providing natural gas to replace coal burning in Asian markets.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: James Bay wolf released into wild of western Vancouver Island

Conservation officers confirm wolf is from Discovery Island

Traffic delays: Saturday work added to Highway 1 construction schedule

Work continues on dangerous stretch between Leigh Road and West Shore Parkway

Supreme Court bans Victoria man from practising law

Jeremy Maddock received a law degree in 2016 but never completed articling

Canadian Tire Fix-A-Heart campaign raises more than $75,000 for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Donations will help purchase infusion pumps for cardiac care units

Victoria shops avoid plastic bags, despite bylaw being voided

The city is working on getting the bylaw re-established

VIDEO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

North Saanich woman convicted on one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Most Read