RCMP seen landing by helicopter outside the Unist’ot’en camp on the Morice West Forest Service Road, south of Houston on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2019. Wet’suwet’en members and supporters have been blocking the access road for months in protest over the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. (Unist’ot’en Camp photo)

11 more arrested as RCMP continue to enforce injunction against Wet’suwet’en pipeline opponents

Mounties reached the last and final camp along the access road south of Houston Saturday

At least 11 people were arrested Saturday for allegedly barricading themselves in a warming centre along the only access road to a construction site for the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline, which runs across Wet’suwet’en territory.

RCMP continued to enforce a court-ordered injunction against Wet’suwet’en members and their supporters protesting the pipeline in northern B.C. Saturday, as tensions remain high over the energy project.

Since Thursday, after talks broke down between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the province, police have been working their way along the Morice West Forest Service Road, just south of Houston. The route is the only access road leading to the project’s construction site.

ALSO READ: Coastal GasLink talks between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, province break down

Officers dismantled two of three camps blocking access along the road on Friday.

According to organizers of the Unist’ot’en healing village – RCMP reached the third and final camp on Saturday morning. A 40-vehicle convoy of police was seen heading up the forestry road shortly after 9 a.m., Wet’suewe’ten members said on social media. A helicopter landed near the bridge in front of the camp shortly after 11 a.m., before leaving around 12:30 p.m.

It is unclear how many Wet’suwet’en land defenders are currently at that camp.

Six people were arrested Thursday, followed by another four on Friday. Further arrests are expected through the weekend.

The pipeline, part of the massive $40 billion LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export terminal project, runs from Dawson Creek to Kitimat on the northwest coast. The forestry road is part of an ongoing exclusion zone, which means that only police officers, hereditary chiefs or elected officials and media have been allowed through the checkpoint, which was first implemented at the 27-kilometre mark.

READ MORE: Six arrested as RCMP enforce court order on Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camps

WATCH: Four arrested in northern B.C. as RCMP continues to enforce pipeline court order

But RCMP said in a late-night update that the exclusion zone and checkpoint would be pushed back to the four-kilometre mark near the entrance of the forestry road. This came after the original access point was blockaded twice with one instance interfering with a police vehicle transporting arrested people.

“Several vehicles driven by RCMP personnel have been made inoperative after travelling past the 27-kilometre mark,” Mounties said.

“Later investigation has revealed that metal spikes were placed on the Forest Service Road, and these items were placed solely to cause damage to travelling vehicles.”

According to clan members, a number of people have refused to leave the 27-kilometre mark despite being told by police to vacate the area by 11 a.m. Saturday.

As tensions remain high along the rural northern B.C. road, the dispute has sparked a number of demonstrations across the country in solidarity with the First Nation. This includes a protest in southeastern Ontario which has forced the shutdown of passenger rail services since Friday morning.

In B.C., a number of demonstrators have been protesting RCMP actions by occupying the Legislature in Victoria for more than 24 hours. Another protest has shut down access to the Port of Vancouver.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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

Oak Bay’s first heritage conservation area is in the books

Councillor excited to see how HCA protects character of The Prospect

Petition aims to stop handyDART facility from being built in View Royal

‘Save Craigflower Creek’ has gathered over 1,000 signatures within a week

Saanich launches new tool to help residents learn about the budget

Tool launch will coincide with the Mar. 3 budget meeting

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read