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

Thousands of ‘PPE’ donated in Surrey, where one care home is ‘preparing for the worst’

SafeCare BC’s Operation Protect drive involves drop-off dates in Guildford

Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

SFU psychology prof Dr. Tanya Broesch, with expertise in child development, discusses short and long-term impacts COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and parents alike

‘Every little step counts’: Surrey businesses donate meals for frontline hospital workers

Surrey Hospital Foundation has now received more than $70,000 in donations

‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to 350 teams for cancelled tourney

Registration fees would top $171K for Surrey Mayor’s Cup, postponed due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Dog missing in Aldergrove 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’

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read