As Coastal GasLink (CGL) activity at its worksite near Houston is ramping up again this week, the RCMP are dismantling their temporary compound at the Houston Community Hall.
Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a spokesperson for E Division (B.C.) confirmed the additional officers sent to Houston for the enforcement of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granting the company access to the site are withdrawing.
The RCMP Community Industry Safety Office, a mobile detachment set up at the 27 kilometre mark of the Morice West Forest Service Road will remain in place.
“We will continue to man the C-ISO as per our commitment made last year and monitor the roadway to ensure that it remains free and clear of any obstructions,” Shoihet said in an email.
In a press release earlier this week, the RCMP announced it had removed their access control point and the exclusion zone.
“The right to peaceful, safe and lawful protest, and freedom of expression, are important parts of Canada’s democracy,” the statement said. “However, blocking roadways is both dangerous and illegal. While we respect the right to demonstrate peacefully, police of local jurisdiction will enforce the law with sensitivity.”
While the road is now clear, CGL said it will continue to abide by an access protocol at the Unist’ot’en healing lodge, which includes speed management and providing advance notice of Coastal GasLink workers who will cross the Morice River Bridge while entering Unist’ot’en traditional territory.
A new poll by the Angus Reid Institute released this morning indicates just slightly more than half of Canadians (51 per cent) support the project, while 36 per cent say they oppose the pipeline.
The survey also asked if respondents support the Wet’suwet’en solidarity demonstrators who have been blocking ports, railways and roads across the country and disrupting the legislature in Victoria since the enforcement began. Two in five Canadians (39 per cent) said they support the protests. Support was highest in B.C. and Quebec and among younger women and lower income earners. It was lowest among older men and high income earners.
Despite significant support for the protesters, the vast majority of Canadians believed the pipeline will be built with 57 per cent saying it would likely be slowed down by the opposition. Only nine per cent said it will likely never happen.
Meanwhile, the Wet’suwet’en Nation is holding extremely rare all clans meetings. The first took place last night in Witset to be followed by additional meetings on the north and south coasts to include off-reserve members.