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

Langley community gardens reopen

They were closed due to virus concerns, but they have been declared an essential service

‘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

Township firefighters donate blood and deliver meals during COVID-19 crisis

Safe to donate blood during pandemic, says Canadian Blood Services

Landlords and renters need to work through ‘critical time,’ says Langley MLA

Evictions are suspended during provincial order of emergency

Hospital foundation seeks ventilators, respite for weary medics

The newest fundraiser for Langley Memorial targets needs of the COVID-19 crisis

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

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

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

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

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

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

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

Most Read