An RCMP office is set up a few kilometres past a roadblock set up at the 27-kilometre point on the Morice West Forest Service Road in Houston, B.C. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

The RCMP has clarified its position on its intention to exit the Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C., following a statement from the federal public safety minister surrounding the fierce dispute on the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

In an emailed statement on Friday, the B.C. RCMP clarified that it will remove its officers from the West Morice Service Road in Houston only if the hereditary chiefs commit to keeping the road open to all users, including pipeline construction workers.

“The RCMP understands that not all Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are available for an immediate discussion, however in anticipation of a meeting, planning has been set in motion to transition operations from the service road to the Houston Detachment,” the email said.

Earlier, B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan said in a letter to hereditary chiefs that the RCMP no longer needed to stay because the road has been consistently kept clear.

Adding to the confusion was a statement from Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said the hereditary chiefs’ conditions had been met for meeting to discuss the removal of the rail blockades that have hamstrung the shipment of goods from coast to coast.

The chiefs also want Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction and remove its workers, which has not happened.

Nationwide protests and blockades of rail lines followed a move by RCMP to enforce a court injunction earlier this month against the hereditary chiefs and their supporters. The protesters have stated these blockades will remain in place until the RCMP abandon its office on the service road.

The RCMP office has been in place since March 2019 at the 29-km mark along the Morice West Forest Service Road. Police have raided the camps twice during that time, arresting approximately 50 people.

Several hereditary chiefs are visiting Mohawk supporters in Ontario this week and will not be able to attend a meeting with RCMP until early next week.

READ MORE: Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coastal GasLink

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

Just Posted

100 Mile House Hospital chief of staff addresses South Cariboo

Dr. Josef Owega urges community to stay as healthy as possible

Harvesting portion of phase 1 of a fuel-mitigation project drawing to a close

By Ken Alexander Phase 1 of the fuel-mitigation project from Point Road… Continue reading

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

BC Parks doing some fuel-management projects on Green Lake’s Sunsetview site

By Ken Alexander The most recent fuel-management projects at Green Lake Provincial… Continue reading

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Canadian COVID-19 update: Cases spike in Quebec & Ontario; Nine O’Clock Gun salutes health workers

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read