Premier John Horgan vows peaceful resolution to northern BC pipeline dispute

Premier John Horgan vows peaceful resolution to northern BC pipeline dispute

WATCH: After a turbulent day of protests and 14 arrests on Monday, Premier John Horgan says he wants the situation in northern B.C. resolved peacefully. The impasse is over a natural gas pipeline. As Mary Griffin reports, the prime minister was pressed on the volatile issue as well, while visiting Kamloops today.

There were competing protests in Kamloops. One side of the street supports building a natural gas pipeline in northern B.C.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho. Justin Trudeau has got to go.”

Peter Hessel lives in Black Pool near Clearwater but drove to Kamloops to participate in the protest and offer his support for Trudeau.

“We need to get our product to market, and we need to stop buying foreign oil. We have to support Canadian energy, and that’s not happening,” Hessel said.

On the other side, supporters for the First Nations blocking the construction of the project lined the sidewalk, including protestor Patricia White.

“They are standing up for all of us, and we need to stand up for them.”

Meanwhile inside, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about LNG Canada, but not the controversy surrounding it.

“It’s very tempting these days to find easy bumper sticker answers to really complex problems. Unfortunately, they are rarely the right answers. Complex questions have complex solutions. and that requires politics to be done in full sentences,” Trudeau said.

At issue is a pipeline taking natural gas from northeastern BC to a proposed plant in Kitimat. The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suet’en First Nation are the only ones who remain opposed to the pipeline. Their blockade was taken down by RCMP. On Wednesday, Premier John Horgan weighed in on the controversy.

“It’s been my view that LNG Canada has shown they understand the importance of consultation and meaningful reconciliation with First Nations. And that’s why they have signed agreements with every first nation along the pipeline corridor,” Horgan said.

Back in Kamloops, a man is arrested for mischief as protestors vow to continue their fight against this project that two levels of government say will go ahead.

Coastal GasLink, the company building the pipeline, sent out a statement on Wednesday reiterating that the project is fully permitted and had the support of all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the pipeline’s route. The project is estimated to cost more than $6 billion, and work is supposed to begin sometime this month. But it’s anyone guess if that is going to happen.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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