The RCMP mobile office was closed Jan. 21 but patrols continued along Morice West Forest Service Road. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

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

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

The RCMP have ended their patrols of the Morice West Forest Service Road after reaching an agreement with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

In a Thursday news release, RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said they are satisfied with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ commitment to keeping the road open to the public during their talks with the provincial and federal governments.

The agreement was reached amid continuing protests and road and rail blockades across the country, including at the B.C. Legislature this week. The protests have been ongoing since early February in opposition to the Coastal GasLink, a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline being built through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Talks are expected to begin later today with the five hereditary chiefs and Canada’s Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and her provincial counterpart, B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser.

Coastal GasLink said it would pause construction on the pipeline for two days to give the talks the best chance of success.

“We fully support the efforts of all parties and are committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the current issues,” reads a statement on the company’s website.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Rangers will patrol the road during the talks and report to the RCMP on whether it remains clear of obstructions.

“The RCMP has confirmed that patrols along the Morice West Forest Service Road will cease during the period of discussions with the government representatives,” Roberts said. “The RCMP has agreed not to patrol the road unless there is an emergency call for service, such as a motor vehicle accident with injuries.”

Removing the RCMP presence from the service road was a key condition for the hereditary chiefs to enter talks with the provincial and federal governments over their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Once those talks begin and the hereditary chiefs are satisfied with the progress, it’s expected they will issue a request for supporters to remove all rail blockades in Canada erected in support of the chiefs.

The RCMP closed its mobile office on the road Feb. 21 and moved its officers to the nearby detachment in Houston, but kept up daily patrols of the service road.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

READ MORE: First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

READ MORE: B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenousPipeline

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

Just Posted

Eric Woodward Foundation takes over management of Fort Langley Cranberry Festival

Annual Thanksgiving event was cancelled for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

VIDEO: Fall storm hits Langley, leaves hundreds without power

Risk of thunderstorm remain in Thursday forecast

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Aldergrove residents help mark World Alzheimer’s Month

Two-part online discussion series open to anyone on Sept. 28 and 29 from 1 to 2 p.m.

LETTER: Langley resident okay with election call

A local letter writer says Horgan is right to call an election in attempt to get a majority

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Horgan promises more child care at $10 per day during Maple Ridge visit

Liberals say the NDP has failed to deliver on daycare

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mounties impound car of impaired driver celebrating birthday in North Vancouver

RCMP say the person was driving with their headlights off

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

UPDATE: Abbotsford high school killer back in court for ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Gabriel Klein was previously convicted of stabbing Letisha Reimer to death

Most Read