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 enforced the injunction at the Unist’ot’en camp, located at the 66-kilometre mark of the road, bringing the total to at least 28. RCMP say there were no injuries during the Monday arrests.
“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,” the release reads.
“Coastal GasLink employees were able to remove the barricade gate from the Morice River Bridge, allowing both vehicles and foot traffic across the bridge.”
RCMP added that media were on scene to document the enforcement.
The Interior News has received reports that after initially being told that media must stay five feet away from officers while taking photos or video, the RCMP began telling media they must stay at least 60 feet away from officers. The Interior News has reached out to the RCMP for clarification and comment on the above.
The RCMP say the final removal of 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.”