UPDATE: RCMP say Coastal GasLink have confirmed the road and infrastructure at the Morice River Bridge is safe and ready for access. RCMP say the exclusion zone they had set up at the 27 kilometre mark of the road has been removed and that all individuals can now travel on the road.
After facing heavy resistance from Wet’suwet’en and their supporters, RCMP say they have “wrapped up” its major operations related to the enforcement of a BC Supreme Court injunction in the dispute between Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
Seven more people were arrested on Monday as police continued to remove protesters from the Morice West Forest Service Road – the only route which connects Coastal Gaslink workers to its pipeline construction site. RCMP have been enforcing the injunction since late last week.
At least 28 people have been arrested as Mounties removed three encampments along the rural access road, reaching the final camp on Sunday.
“For approximately two hours, attempts were made to have the barricade gate opened by those who placed it there, and the court-ordered injunction was read to the individuals who were present at scene on the other side of the bridge past the barricade,” RCMP said in a news release Monday night.
“Coastal GasLink employees were able to remove the barricade gate from the Morice River Bridge, allowing both vehicles and foot traffic across the bridge.”
The RCMP say the removal of the last obstructions along the access road concludes their “major enforcement operations” pertaining to the injunction.
Once Coastal GasLink officials have confirmed the road is safe and ready for full access, RCMP say the temporary exclusion zone and access control point the RCMP has put in place on the Morice West Forest Service Road will be removed.
“The RCMP will continue to monitor the Morice West Forest Service Road in order to ensure it remains open and free from obstructions.”
Coastal GasLink said in a statement it will give advanced notice of workers entering the access road for those who still remain at the Unist’ot’en healing centre.
“Coastal GasLink recognizes the benefits the Healing Center provides to members of the Wet’suwet’en community and will continue to support its operation by doing all we can to ensure the safety of those staying at the Center.”