B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser has agreed to a meeting with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to resolve an impasse that has seen roadblocks on the route of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline spread to the nearby CN Rail tracks in northwestern B.C.
A letter from Premier John Horgan to a Wet’suwet’en chief confirms acceptance of a meeting, to be joined by a federal representative and a member of the neighbouring Gitxsan community.
Fraser’s federal counterpart, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, is also offering to meet with Indigenous leaders in Ontario, in exchange for an end to protests and barricades that have paralyzing freight and passenger transportation through that province and Quebec.
Fraser told Black Press Media his expectation is that participation by himself and a federal representative will be sufficient to have the rail blockade taken down, at least temporarily.
“I confirm our government’s willingness to participate in such a meeting on the basis you propose,” Horgan wrote in a letter to Simogyet Spookw [Chief Norman Stephens] dated Feb. 12. “Further, my office has informed the federal government of our response and we have urged the federal government to respond as quickly as possible to the proposal.
“I understand that on receipt of this letter and a similar commitment from Canada, the blockade of the CN line will be removed to allow for a period of calm and peaceful dialogue.”
- with a file from The Canadian Press