FILE – Premier John Horgan speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

B.C.’s premier isn’t backing down in his support of the Coastal GasLink pipeline even as protesters were arrested in front of the B.C. Legislature earlier on Thursday.

Speaking at his weekly media availability, Premier John Horgan said the conflict over the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline in northern B.C. was “without a doubt” the toughest challenge he’s faced since he took the top job in 2017.

Protests against the pipeline have been ongoing nationwide since early February. Around two dozen people have been arrested in B.C. this week alone, including 14 at a blocked rail line in northern B.C. and six in Vancouver. Two more were arrested at the B.C. Legislature Thursday after they sprayed chalk at the property.

B.C.’s Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser is set to take part in a meeting Thursday between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and Canada’s Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.

Coastal GasLink have agreed to a two-day pause in pipeline construction in the area and RCMP said Thursday they would stop patrolling a service road nearby, effectively stopping all police action in Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

READ MORE: RCMP reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands as pipeline work pauses

Horgan said that while he was open to meeting with the hereditary chiefs himself, he felt Fraser was the best voice to have at the table right now.

The premier said the project had “enormous benefits” for B.C.’s economy, citing an expected $23 billion in tax revenue.

“We need to have private sector investment if we’re going to meet the public sector demands for services,” he said.

“Permits have been issued, construction is underway and the [Coastal GasLink] project is proceeding.”

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks

READ MORE: First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenousJohn HorganPipeline

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

Just Posted

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Lives impacted, lessons learned during COVID-19

Visiting his dying father revealed difficult conditions for frontline workers, Ingemar Kallman said

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

BC Cowboy Hall of Fame: Allison Everett (White) honoured as Builder of Western Culture

Allison is an inspiration to others and is continually giving back to the sport of rodeo

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Most Read