B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters at the B.C. legislature press theatre, Feb. 12, 2020. (B.C. government)

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Respectful discussion, not intrusion into politicians’ offices and homes, is the way to resolve the railway blockades that are increasingly affecting the Canadian economy, B.C. Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

Efforts by B.C. and federal Indigenous relations ministers to meet with dissident Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline have been rebuffed so far, but they will continue, Horgan told reporters as he prepared for the latest conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Those efforts resulted in the removal of the CN Rail blockade at New Hazelton on Feb. 14, but a blockade at Belleville, Ont. and others popping up around the country in sympathy with pipeline opponents continued Thursday. The opposing Wet’suwet’en chiefs headed east to visit with their Mohawk supporters in Ontario, and have not responded to a series of invitations, Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature.

A call with provincial and territorial premiers Wednesday focused on the economic consequences of more blockades, which have targeted bridges and Metro Vancouver transit as well as key national rail corridors, Horgan said.

RELATED: Feds say RCMP withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory

RELATED: B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting with chiefs

RELATED: CN blockade at Hazelton B.C. taken down for talks

“In B.C. the rail operators have sought and been granted injunctions, and the assumption is that law enforcement will enforce those as required,” Horgan said. “So in British Columbia those operators are at a place where they can anticipate they can conduct their affairs. Not so in Ontario currently, and that I believe is the focus of most of the prime minister’s and the federal government’s concern.”

Disruptions of daily life extended to Horgan’s home Tuesday, as a small group calling themselves Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island took their tactics beyond downtown Victoria streets.

“I didn’t want to talk about this,” Horgan said when reporters brought it up. “I think it draws attention to that approach to civil disobedience. It’s obviously disrupting for my neighbours, who did not seek election, for my spouse, who did not seek election, the vast majority of British Columbians and Canadians think it’s just out of bounds.

“You want to yell at me, fill your boots. I’m available, I’m around. I normally wade into crowds, often times against my better judgment, and I’m not going to apologize for being as accessible as I possibly can. But nor will I apologize for saying to people who think that bringing bringing trauma to my peaceful neighbourhood in Langford is somehow a good idea.”

In Vancouver, pipeline opponents have blocked port facilities and occupied federal MP and MLA offices, including that of B.C. Attorney General David Eby, harassing staff and in one case dancing on desks.


@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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay pandemic project gets 300 submissions

Gage Gallery exhibit shows how people cope during crisis

Peninsula food bank receives $1,000 donation from local retailer

House of Lily Koi raised the money through the annual food bank fundraiser

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read