Injunction 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

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Screen shot of a cabin somewhere in the Bulkley Valley from rare 1955 film footage of the area.
VIDEO: More rare film footage of the Bulkley Valley in 1955

Can you help identify the locations and/or people in these videos

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Alex Cuba took the stage this summer at a scaled back Canada Celebration. (Marisca Bakker photo)
Alex Cuba, up for two Latin Grammy awards, will perform on show November 19

Alex Cuba, up for two Latin Grammy awards, will play on show November 19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read