BREAKING: “Coastal GasLink’s final Technical Data Report for the pipeline they plan to build through Wet’suwet’en territory has now been rejected by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.” This is totally wild. Your move, @jjhorgan , @JustinTrudeau
To summarize, CLG, without enviro approval, manipulated the courts to get the RCMP to illegally invade unceded Wet’suwet’en territory so they could continue with a pipeline route not approved by chiefs, even though chiefs proposed another route, all to protect their bottom line. @jjhorgan and @JustinTrudeau
Here are the documents from the BC Environmental Assessment Office report.
Anna@19Roland19 to @SeanCarleton @jjhorgan and @JustinTrudeau
Shouldn’t the PM have had access to whether the assessment was completed and what the result was? Didn’t he or anyone in his office even check?
WetsuwetenStrong@hakililxw to @SeanCarleton @jjhorgan and @JustinTrudeau
They have absolutely zero respect for the environment or the law. And care even less for the people or animals who live on the Yintah. Now would be a good time to remind everyone that the “Big Five” banks together own 17% of TC Energy, the company who owns CGL. #WetsuwetenStrong
Julie Ali@JulieYAli to @SeanCarleton @jjhorgan and @JustinTrudeau
“You cannot remove people from their own lands at the end of a gun. A crime has been committed, and the RCMP are the criminals.”
So now I am curious. Will this mean a lawsuit against the @rcmpgrcpolice ?
@jjhorgan has some explaining to do no?
Coastal GasLink environmental assessment report rejected, construction could be delayed, Pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory could be delayed by several months, if not longer by Ethan Cox, Feb 21, 2020, richochet
Coastal GasLink’s final Technical Data Report for the pipeline they plan to build through Wet’suwet’en territory has been rejected by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office. As a result, work on the pipeline in the area of the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre may be delayed. [What will “Piss on Rule of Law” Horgan do? Piss ‘n push it through regardless?]
“Political leaders nationally and provincially have argued that the rule of law must be respected,” said Dr. Karla Tait, Unist’ot’en House Member, in a press release, “yet the RCMP used their discretionary power to arrest and remove us from our territory despite the fact that the report had not been accepted.”
Tait added that the rejection is due to the omission of significant economic, environmental, social and health impacts.
The Narwhal reported on January 30 that Coastal GasLink was missing a key approval from the EAO, and that could lead to delays for the project.
Those delays could be measured in months, not weeks. The company can resubmit their report in 30 days, after which it will be reevaluated by the EAO to determine if the issues they identified have been resolved.
The EAO will not be approving the report at this time
In a letter addressed to Freda Huson, spokesperson for Dark House (Unist’ot’en), and dated Feb. 19 EAO executive project director Bernard Achampong wrote,
“After considering all of the information received during the review of COR2 [The company’s final environmental impact report], the EAO will not be approving the COR2 at this time and has identified specific aspects of the COR2 that will need to be updated or addressed in order to fulfil the requirements of Condition 1.”
Achampong explains in the letter that “the EAO agrees that it would be beneficial for CGL to better understand and appropriately address the potential project impacts on the Healing Centre. To that end, the EAO has requested CGL to further engage with Dark House on these issues. The EAO strongly encourages open and constructive dialogue between CGL and Dark House.”
In a letter to CGL parent company TC Energy’s Joel Forrest also dated Feb. 19, Achampong explains that “the EAO has identified specific aspects of COR2 that will need to be updated or addressed in order to fulfil the requirements of Condition 1.”
The company as well as Dark House and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en will now have 30 days to respond to the shortcomings in the report and additional information submitted by both parties. The letters indicate that following this 30 day period CGL may “update and resubmit” their report for approval. It would then be reviewed again by the EAO, a process that could take several weeks, or even months.
What is unclear is what, if any, work can proceed during this period. The company was working without this report’s approval before, clearing trees and doing preparatory work. A call to Achampong at the EAO seeking clarity on that question was not returned by publication time.
‘Very distressing’ to be told to work with CGL
“We identified the gaps in CGL’s report months ago, by letters and in person” said Tait.
“Had the province intervened to confirm the reports’ shortcomings, they could have prevented the injunction enforcement, sparing us the violent removal from our lands and sparing the country the subsequent economic pressures of solidarity actions. The continued presence of the CGL and the RCMP on our territory is unlawful and this decision by EAO gives the province grounds to call for their immediate evacuation.”
“It is very distressing,” added Tait, “after we’ve faced assault rifles and endured arrests at the beckoning of CGL, to now be advised by EAO to work collaboratively with them to address these gaps. [INCREDIBLY CRUEL, DISRESPECTFUL AND NASTY!] We urge the province to take this opportunity to respect the rule of law and follow the processes laid out to protect both our rights and the environment.”
The revelation of the B.C. EAO’s rejection of Coastal GasLink’s report comes on a day in which Prime Minister Trudeau hardened his tone against solidarity actions with the Wet’suwet’en taking place across the country.
“The barricades must now come down. The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld,” Trudeau stated at a press conference in Ottawa Friday afternoon. “Let me be clear, our resolve to pursue the reconciliation agenda remains as strong as ever [I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU!] … Canadians want this. But hurting Canadian families from coast to coast to coast does nothing to advance the cause of reconciliation.”
The RCMP are not pulling out
Yesterday public safety minister Bill Blair told reporters that the RCMP had agreed to withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory, and in doing so had “met the condition” for the solidarity barricades to come down. In a press conference later Thursday, Gidimt’en spokesperson Molly Wickham described Blair’s words as a “media strategy,” and noted no one had actually spoken to the hereditary chiefs before making the announcement.
Instead the RCMP sent a letter to the Wet’suwet’en offering to patrol the area from the nearby town of Houston, instead of the mobile command post on the logging road at the centre of the dispute, but only if the Wet’suwet’en agreed not to interfere with Coastal GasLink’s access to the area. For their part the company said they would continue to operate in the area while they sought a “negotiated resolution.”
Media reports today indicate that the RCMP have not withdrawn from the mobile command post, and continue to maintain a heavy presence on the road.
Hereditary chiefs meet with the Mohawk People of Tyendinaga
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were in Ontario today for a meeting with their Mohawk allies from Tyendinaga, whose rail blockade has forced significant rail closures.
In a press release, they noted that far from withdrawing from their territory, the RCMP has increased “harassment” and “surveillance” and “made illegal arrests” in recent days.
They reiterated their demand that the RCMP and CGL withdraw fully from their territory, in order for discussions to take place “freely” and “without duress,” and committed to enter into nation to nation discussions with the governments of Canada and B.C. on their territory once the RCMP and CGL have left.
For their part, the Mohawk of Tyendinaga noted their willingness to take down their rail blockade, but only once they have confirmed that the RCMP have fully withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory. At that time they will negotiate a peaceful exit plan, “as agreed upon by the Mohawks and the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, Marc Miller.”
Mohawk spokesperson Kanenhariyo Seth LaFort added, “When you ask for the rule of law, then you have to follow it yourself.”
“You cannot remove people from their own lands at the end of a gun. A crime has been committed, and the RCMP are the criminals.”
Refer also to:
How Radio-Canada (CBC`s French equivalent) is letting us down.
Posted this morning on Hugo Latulippe`s Facebook page (about Radio-Canada); Hugo is a famous Quebec environmentalist.
ce matin encore
le service publique
me parle des épiceries qui risquent
de manquer de ketchup
et de hot chickens congelés dans 10 jours
si le blocus ferroviaire n’est pas levé
plutôt que de m’expliquer
la nature du projet Coastal Gaslink
ce qu’en disent les Wet’suwet’en
et pourquoi d’autres citoyens de mon pays
se sentent solidaires et concernés
J’aimerais retrouver mon service public.
J’en ai besoin pour comprendre ce qui se passe
Les anecdotes de pénurie de mister freeze au Loblaws, je m’en contre-torche. Il y a déjà TVA et les radios privées qui font une fichue de belle job dans le rayon du con-gelé
again this morning
still tells me about groceries that risk
running out of ketchup
and of frozen hot chickens in 10 days
if the railway blockade is not lifted
instead of explaining to me
the nature of the Coastal Gaslink project
and what the Wet’suwet’en say about it
and why other citizens of my country
are in solidarity and concerned
I would like my public radio back.
I need it to understand what is going on
Anecdotes about shortages of mister freeze at Loblaws, I don`t give a crap. There is Already TVA and other private radios doing a damn good job of the frozen food section
The original author’s name has been withheld for their safety; the RCMP have gone to their workplace twice so far in an effort to have them fired/intimidated/muzzled.
Wet’suwet’en is an Indigenous nation whose territory covers around 22,000 sq km of land (would have been much larger before contact) in northwest B.C.
Before first contact, you need to visualize Canada (aka Turtle Island) as a territory that held many, many sovereign nations, each with their own unique cultures, laws, and governance systems. For all intents and purposes, it would have looked more like present-day Europe in that it was a land of many distinct nations.
Each nation has jurisdiction over their lands and peoples, so those laws and protocols would have looked different depending on whose territory you were on. Again, think of the difference when you travel from Italy to Sweden. Colonization has brainwashed people into believing you can say “Indigenous” and it’s all the same (hence the term pan-Indigenous), but this is not true. Would you say all Europeans love schnitzel? No.
Upon contact, this did not change. Nations continued as they always had. When settlers established trading posts, they did so with the consent of the nation of whose territory they wanted to work on. Let me be very clear – they would have NEVER survived without the knowledge, wisdom, and generosity of the Indigenous nations they were living with.
In 1867 came the “birth” of Canada. This is when Parliament decided, with no consent of Indigenous nations, to assert jurisdiction over them and claim the land as their own. They did this most notably through the Indian Act, which is still in place today.
Part of the Indian Act, which I believe we are becoming more familiar with, were the tactics of assimilation through Residential Schools. But another thing the Indian Act did was create and forcibly implement a new governance system, the band council (aka “elected chiefs”), onto Indigenous nations. This governance system was specifically designed to mimic the Canadian system and ignore traditional First Nations governance. Essentially, the band council is an extension of the Canadian government and is designed to assimilate the nation into Canada to facilitate colonial settlement and resource extraction.
When the media/elected officials start blasting, “but the band council says this,” this is what you need to keep in mind. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Canadian government didn’t go to the hereditary chiefs (traditional governance) and instead went to, and continue to publicly proclaim the decisions of elected officials in a system the government themselves created? No, it’s not a coincidence, it’s strategy.
However, traditional forms of governance did not end in 1867 and they did not end with the Indian Act. They have never ended. Nations never surrendered their sovereignty over to the Canadian government and protocol has always been that the band council has jurisdiction over what happens on reserve, but hereditary chiefs have, and have always had, jurisdiction over traditional territory.
So, remember the 22,000 sq km I talked about before? That’s what the hereditary chiefs have control over and what is in contention with Coastal Gas Link today. So, when you hear the band council say yes to pipelines but the hereditary chiefs say no (or propose alternate pipeline routes), all that matters is what the chiefs say. That 22,000 sq km is not reserve, it’s traditional territory, which, again, can be confusing because we have been brainwashed into believing Indigenous peoples only live on reserves. No. The Canadian government has done what they can to forcibly remove Indigenous peoples off of their traditional territories and onto reserves. So yes, the reserves do exist absolutely, but this is different. This is sovereign, never surrendered, traditional territory. Consent lies with the hereditary chiefs.
Fast forward to 1984. The Gitxsan (a neighbouring nation) and Wet’suwet’en leaders took the provincial government to court to establish clear jurisdiction of their traditional territories as the government wanted to log it extensively. The case ended up going to the Supreme Court of Canada and after 13 YEARS the decision of Delgamuukw v. BC on December 11, 1997, was historic: The SCC found that BC had no authority to extinguish Aboriginal rights. The decision also defined Aboriginal title as Indigenous peoples’ exclusive right to the land and clarified it is the government’s duty to consult with Indigenous peoples. It also states that Aboriginal title rights include not only land but the right to extract resources from the land. In the case of the Wet’suwet’en, that means the hereditary chiefs have the rights and titles to their land so therefore any consultation for industry projects must go through them.
Furthermore, under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which BC provincial government adopted into law in 2019 (!!!), the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples must be obtained before government and industry can go through with any project.
Therefore, Wet’suwet’en, Canadian, and international laws do in fact recognize the hereditary chiefs as the rightful decision-makers on their respective territories. These rights and titles have never been extinguished or surrendered. By all legal rights, they are sovereign people.
Furthermore, in Canada, the duty to consult is a statutory, contractual, and common law obligation that must be fulfilled by the Crown prior to taking actions or making decisions that may have consequences for the rights of Indigenous peoples. This has been affirmed and clarified by various SCC rules including the Haida case in 2004, Beckham v. little Salmon/Carmacks case in 2010, and Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC in 2014.
So, when consultation happened, the hereditary chiefs of all five clans of Wet’suwet’en unanimously opposed the pipeline proposal and did not give consent for Coastal Gas Link/Trans Canada to work on their lands. The Wet’Suwet’en hereditary chiefs instead proposed an alternate route for the pipeline that wouldn’t go through sensitive cultural and ecological areas.
On December 31, 2019, the Supreme Court of BC ruled that the permits of Coastal Gas Link trumped Wet’suwet’en law.
Read that again. Industry permit somehow was chosen over law that has been in place since time immemorial. What is our justice system?
This ruling in a court in BC against Indigenous rights and reconciliation truly proves that industry, not people, can control the government and its “laws.” After this ruling, the Wet’suwet’en respectfully evicted CGL from their territories – as a reminder, only the Wet’suwet’en have the say as to who can be on their lands as shown by traditional, national, and international, laws. The Wet’suwet’en then put the blockade back in place and the BC government decided to utilize the RCMP as hired guns to uphold the court ruling for an industry injunction.
I’ll say it again: the BC government hired the federal police force to uphold an illegitimate injunction on a sovereign nation.
(The original author’s name has been withheld for their safety; the RCMP have gone to their workplace twice so far in an effort to have them fired/intimidated/muzzled.)