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RELATED: Feds say RCMP withdrawn from Wet’suwet’en territory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

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Most Read