B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser takes questions in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

Gas pipeline proceeds along with Wet’suwet’en talks, B.C. minister says

‘Give us time,’ Scott Fraser says to those protesting Coastal GasLink

B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister hopes to have agreement from Wet’suwet’en people on their long-standing demand to define land rights within two weeks, but he says in the meantime the Coastal GasLink pipeline will proceed.

“There is still a difference of opinion around the Coastal GasLink project, but the permits are in place, it’s approved, it’s underway,” Scott Fraser said Monday after meetings with hereditary chiefs over the weekend. “I made that clear.”

In the B.C. legislature, Premier John Horgan emphasized that the court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink to stop roadblocks in the Smithers-Houston area remains in place.

“The project is being built, it’s fully permitted and it will proceed,” Horgan said in response to opposition questions in the legislature. “It’s going to be completed.”

Fraser and federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett emerged from weekend talks in Smithers with what they call a “path forward” to implement a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on land rights for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people that left aboriginal title undefined.

RELATED: Chiefs, ministers reach proposed agreement

RELATED: Coastal GasLink set to resume construction

Fraser called on protesters who have been blocking roads and occupying offices in sympathy with a group of dissident hereditary chiefs to have patience.

“I ask people who are protesting, who care about rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en people, to give us time to address those things, because we have a historical opportunity to address those,” Fraser said. “Those are the key root causes of the failure of governments to recognize rights and title issues for the Wet’suwet’en.”

Pressed repeatedly by opposition MLAs to say what was agreed to and what assurance Coastal GasLink employees and investors have, Fraser said the discussions with hereditary leaders were “in camera” and have to be reviewed in the traditional clan process before being made public.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoastal GasLink

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

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read