TC Energy says Coastal GasLink pipeline work crews in the Morice River area have not been evacuated in response to an “eviction” enforcement notice served by the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
On Sunday, members of the Gidimt’en clan said they were enforcing an eviction notice to Coastal GasaLink pipeline construction crews.
"The Morice River FSR (forest service road) has been disabled, blocking trespassers from our yintah!" the clan says in a Facebook post.
In a press release issued Sunday, TC Energy said public statements suggesting TC Energy was planning to comply with the eviction notice are false.
“We want to correct false reports that were made about Coastal GasLink issuing a mandatory evacuation of the workforce and that Coastal GasLink requested time to comply with the eviction notice,” the company press release states.
“These statements are false, as is a document that was posted online purporting to be authored by Coastal GasLink.”
TC Energy says a BC Supreme Court injunction issued against pipeline protesters in 2020 is still in effect, making any attempts to block roads for accessing work sites illegal.
"Coastal GasLink has continued to seek dialogue to resolve this situation, however, to date these offers have not resulted in any response," TC Energy says.
Attempts to blockade roads and bridges to halt work on the $6.8 billion natural gas pipeline project went quiet for a time during the pandemic, but have resumed in recent weeks.
Elected band councils of the Wet’suwet’en formally support the pipeline’s construction, which provides First Nations along the route of the pipeline with community benefits agreements.
But some pipeline opponents within the Wet’suwet’en have never supported the projected and have repeatedly attempted to halt work on the project through road and bridge blockades.
“In addition to blockades, heavy equipment has been damaged and stolen, including by force, at multiple locations,” TC Energy says in its news release.
“The prevention of the safe flow of people and supplies, like water, fuel and food to our people is dangerous and unacceptable. These activities are directly impacting the safety of our employees and contractors.”
Houston RCMP said in a statement that arrests were made on October 27, after attempts to end the most recent road blockades peacefully failed.
“On the evening of October 27, 2021, the RCMP were called to the blockade on Shea Forest Service Road to assist with keeping the peace as CGL workers evacuated the worker’s camp,” the Houston RCMP statement reads.
“During the course of the evening, 2 individuals were arrested.”
One of those arrested had an outstanding criminal code theft and mischief charges, the RCMP said, while the other was found to be in possession of “several stolen items from CGL equipment.”
“Police will be proactively patrolling the forestry roads to ensure they remain open and unobstructed,” the RCMP news release stated.