Horgan says pipeline protests at legislature left him ‘despondent’

Horgan says pipeline protests at legislature left him 'despondent'
Premier John Horgan speaks at a news conference on Feb. 12, 2020.

Premier John Horgan says anti-pipeline protests that saw hundreds of people block entrances to the B.C. legislature are unacceptable and wrong.

Horgan said Wednesday he cancelled a scheduled news conference on Tuesday because he needed 24 hours to consider his thoughts after witnessing hundreds of people blocking entrances to the legislature and hurling verbal abuse at public servants, politicians and members of the media.

“It was unacceptable to me and I know it’s unacceptable to the vast majority of British Columbians,” he said at a news conference. “Peaceful demonstration is fundamental to our success as a democracy, but to have a group of people say to others you are illegitimate, you are not allowed in here and you are somehow a sellout to the values of Canadians is just plain wrong.”

READ MORE: ‘My thoughts on that individual are not printable:’ Horgan responds after Victoria councillor Ben Isitt accuses VicPD of campaign against protesters

The premier says after reflection he believes the government must continue to carry on with its agenda of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, which includes supporting a natural gas pipeline project that is supported by many people in northern B.C.

READ MORE: Victoria police say four people reported assaults during Wet’suwet’en protest at BC legislature

Opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline by hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation has led to protests across Canada including blockades at ports and on railway lines.

Horgan says he supports the right to protest, but not those who attempt to disrupt and drown out the views of others.

The RCMP arrested more than two dozen people last week while enforcing an injunction against people blocking access to the pipeline construction area near Houston.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2020.


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