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 not backing down from support of Coastal GasLink

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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘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

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

240,000 Canadians applied for emergency benefit on morning it opened: Trudeau

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

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

Most Read