B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser takes questions in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser takes questions in the B.C. legislature. (Hansard TV)

Gas pipeline proceeds along with Wet’suwet’en talks, B.C. minister says

‘Give us time,’ Scott Fraser says to those protesting Coastal GasLink

B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister hopes to have agreement from Wet’suwet’en people on their long-standing demand to define land rights within two weeks, but he says in the meantime the Coastal GasLink pipeline will proceed.

“There is still a difference of opinion around the Coastal GasLink project, but the permits are in place, it’s approved, it’s underway,” Scott Fraser said Monday after meetings with hereditary chiefs over the weekend. “I made that clear.”

In the B.C. legislature, Premier John Horgan emphasized that the court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink to stop roadblocks in the Smithers-Houston area remains in place.

“The project is being built, it’s fully permitted and it will proceed,” Horgan said in response to opposition questions in the legislature. “It’s going to be completed.”

Fraser and federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett emerged from weekend talks in Smithers with what they call a “path forward” to implement a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on land rights for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people that left aboriginal title undefined.

RELATED: Chiefs, ministers reach proposed agreement

RELATED: Coastal GasLink set to resume construction

Fraser called on protesters who have been blocking roads and occupying offices in sympathy with a group of dissident hereditary chiefs to have patience.

“I ask people who are protesting, who care about rights and title of the Wet’suwet’en people, to give us time to address those things, because we have a historical opportunity to address those,” Fraser said. “Those are the key root causes of the failure of governments to recognize rights and title issues for the Wet’suwet’en.”

Pressed repeatedly by opposition MLAs to say what was agreed to and what assurance Coastal GasLink employees and investors have, Fraser said the discussions with hereditary leaders were “in camera” and have to be reviewed in the traditional clan process before being made public.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoastal GasLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Employees at The Bargain! Shop pose with Santa at last year’s toy drive. There will be no photos with Santa this year to keep him healthy for Christmas, but the toy drive will be back for a fourth year. (Claire Palmer photo)
Fourth annual toy drive fundraiser underway

The Bargain! Shop is looking to raise $5,000 locally

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

Exact numbers are not known for active cases in Golden. (File photo)
No cluster in Golden, according to Interior Health

Despite positive cases in the community, no cluster or outbreak has been declared by Interior Health

Glass of whiskey
UBCO substance use clinic goes virtual

The clinic is adapting the way it provides services as the pandemic continues

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

(File)
UBCO student senate votes to extend Christmas break

Move made to support mental health of students, accommodate ‘overload’ of work

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Gas prices take a hike in Vernon on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Gas going up in North Okanagan

Prices jumping more than 10 cents at some stations

Kelowna firefighters on scene of an apartment fire on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
Firefighters tend to apartment blaze along Gordon Drive

Two dogs were found safe inside the unit

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

RCMP are investigating after a witness reported seeing two individuals breaking into and removing items from a mailbox in Armstrong Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Thieves break into, steal items from North Okanagan mailbox

Police investigating after items were taken from a community mailbox on Van Kleeck Avenue Thursday

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read