A large group of Wet’suwet’en supporters have been occupying the steps of the B.C. Legislature since early February. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich councillor withdraws motion to stand with Wet’suwet’en, plans to resubmit it

Motion temporarily pulled ‘out of respect for the deliberations’ already taking place

Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chamber withdrew her motion for Saanich to stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline but is now planning to resubmit it for consideration.

In February, Chambers submitted a motion asking Saanich to call on the provincial and federal governments to halt the pipeline project, take part in “good-faith consultation with the Wet’suwet’en People” and end attempts to forcibly remove them from their traditional territories.

READ ALSO: Motion for Saanich to stand with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in pipeline debate postponed

Council was meant to vote on the motion during the Feb. 24 meeting, but the motion was pushed to the March 2 meeting along with several other agenda items following several hours of public input.

However, ahead of the March 2 meeting, Chambers withdrew her motion “out of respect for the deliberations” between the Wet’suwet’en and the B.C. government as a tentative agreement had been reached the day before.

READ ALSO: Wet’suwet’en chiefs, ministers reach proposed agreement in B.C. pipeline dispute

In a Facebook post on March 2, Chambers explained that she continues to “stand in support of Indigenous rights and the hereditary chiefs.” She added that she’s grateful for the support she received from Saanich residents, University of Victoria professors Nick Claxton, elected chief of the Tsawout Nation, and John Price and many others in the region.

READ ALSO: Police arrest five at B.C. Legislature after discussions ‘break down’ with Indigenous relations minister

However, on Thursday afternoon, Chambers told Black Press Media that the motion “will definitely be coming back.” Adding that she’s be consulting First Nations lawyers to ensure that the motion is well-worded before resubmitting.

If Chambers’ motion does move forward, Saanich would not be the first municipality in Greater Victoria to make a declaration of solidarity with Wet’suwet’en. In January, Victoria council passed a similar motion.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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