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RELATED: Feds say RCMP withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory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

Just Posted

Sooke creates local business directory during COVID-19 pandemic

District’s community update asks residents for vigilance during crisis

West Shore RCMP seizes illegal drugs, imitation handguns in Colwood

One man and one woman arrested for weapons-related offences

Mental Health: A look at a fractured system

In this special series, Black Press Media reporters share stories from across Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read