Houston RCMP say they are investigating after approximately 20 people attacked equipment at the Coastal GasLink worksite on the Marten Forest Service Road.
RCMP say the people, some armed with axes, were at the camp and attacked the vehicles and equipment and structures for the workers.
Initially, there were concerns some employees may have been stuck at the worksite, but RCMP say they had all managed to safely leave the area.
When police reached the 41 km mark, they found the roadway blocked by downed trees, tar-covered stumps, wire, boards with spikes in them, and fires. RCMP say several people threw smoke bombs and fire lit sticks at the police, injuring one officer.
At the 43 km mark, police say a school bus blocked the road, but there were no occupants so they were able to move it and continue to the camp.
When police arrived at the camp at the 63 km mark, they found damaged machinery, fencing, and portables. There were no additional people at the worksite when they arrived.
This is a very troubling escalation in violent criminal activity that could have resulted in serious injury or death. This was a calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multimillion dollar path of destruction, says Chief Superintendent Warren Brown, North District Commander.
While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest in Canada, we cannot tolerate this type of extreme violence and intimidation. Our investigators will work tirelessly to identify the culprits and hold them accountable for their actions.
Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, issued a statement condemning the attack.
“The RCMP is conducting a full investigation into this egregious criminal activity that could have led to serious injury or loss of life, Farnworth said in a statement. “There is no excuse for such violence and intimidation. All workers deserve to be protected from harassment and harm.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Houston RCMP at 250-845-2204.