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Photo: Jimmy Jeong, The Globe and Mail

Wet’suwet’en chiefs vow to defy Coastal GasLink injunction, intensifying standoff one year after RCMP truce

The Globe and Mail January 7, 2019

Brent Jang

Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs are vowing to defy a court injunction against blockading the Coastal GasLink project and want the RCMP to withdraw from their unceded territory, raising the stakes in a standoff that has intensified in the past year.

Wet’suwet’en leaders agreed to a truce with the RCMP last January, clearing the way for the dismantling of a blockade that impeded workers’ access to construction sites.

John Ridsdale, chief of the Wet’suwet’en’s Rafters on Beaver House, is also calling on the B.C. government to order Coastal GasLink to halt construction and suspend all permits for the $6.6-billion pipeline, which would transport natural gas from northeast British Columbia to an $18-billion export terminal on the West Coast.

On Dec. 31, a B.C. Supreme Court judge extended an injunction against Wet’suwet’en members and their anti-pipeline supporters. Mr. Ridsdale, however, said it should be the other way around, and the Wet’suwet’en will prevent construction workers from entering the Indigenous group’s traditional territory.

“There is no access to Wet’suwet’en territory without our consent,” Mr. Ridsdale, who also goes by the hereditary name Na’Moks, said during a conference call Tuesday from Smithers, B.C.

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