Supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline set up a support station at kilometre 39, just outside of Gidimt’en checkpoint near Houston B.C., on Wednesday January 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Three turned away at B.C. pipeline checkpoint over miscommunication: RCMP

Mounties were installing new access procedures after checkpoint was set up for Coastal GasLink site

The RCMP says miscommunication led to three people being turned away at a checkpoint along a logging road leading to a work site for a natural gas pipeline in northern B.C.

Supporters of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the Coastal GasLink project have set up three camps between the checkpoint and the work site.

The Mounties say in a news release that there was some miscommunication as frontline police were implementing new access procedures after the checkpoint was set up on Monday morning.

Of the three people who were turned away, the RCMP says one would not provide basic details, such as identification and purpose of travel, another faced a shift in weather conditions as nightfall approached and the third person was refused access to transport food and supplies.

The Mounties say the police officer at the checkpoint made arrangements for the supplies to be transported in by a different person, but both individuals decided not to proceed and left the area.

The RCMP says since the procedures have been clarified it has not received any reports of further issues and most individuals have been able to proceed.

“The access control checkpoint is a measured response that reflects the need to prevent further escalation of the situation including the placement of hazards along the roadway and the creation of a third encampment blocking access,” the news release says.

“It also allows the RCMP to be accountable for the safety of all persons accessing this area given the hazards, unplowed roads and severe winter conditions.”

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says in a news release that it is filing legal complaints for two individuals who were bringing food and emergency supplies but were denied access by the RCMP.

The association, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and a law professor at UBC were set to hold a news conference Wednesday about the complaints.

Harsha Walia, executive director of the civil liberties association, says in the news release she was concerned about the use of exclusion zones prohibiting Wet’suwet’en people, the public and media from accessing the First Nation’s territories.

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink makes new request to meet with First Nation pipeline opponents

“This exclusion zone constitutes a serious violation of both the Indigenous rights and Charter-protected rights of Wet’suwet’en people and their family members,” she says.

However, the RCMP say the checkpoint is not an exclusion zone, which are areas created when police enforce a civil injunction. It says it’s not enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to allow time for dialogue between the hereditary chiefs and Coastal GasLink.

“Based on a review by the operations commander, RCMP officers appeared to be acting professionally and in good faith. If there are public complaints made, we will ensure full disclosure of all information regarding the interaction including the video captured by police.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

Comox Valley dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Mount Washington to open Dec. 4 with COVID-19 protocols in place

Reservations for some services, face coverings will be required

New Cumberland fire hall goes to rezoning hearing

Official community plan is also to be amended for the site

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read