The RCMP mobile office was closed Jan. 21 but patrols continued along Morice West Forest Service Road. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

RCMP reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands as pipeline work pauses

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

The RCMP have ended their patrols of the Morice West Forest Service Road after reaching an agreement with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

In a Thursday news release, RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said they are satisfied with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ commitment to keeping the road open to the public during their talks with the provincial and federal governments.

The agreement was reached amid continuing protests and road and rail blockades across the country, including at the B.C. Legislature this week. The protests have been ongoing since early February in opposition to the Coastal GasLink, a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline being built through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Talks are expected to begin later today with the five hereditary chiefs and Canada’s Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and her provincial counterpart, B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser.

Coastal GasLink said it would pause construction on the pipeline for two days to give the talks the best chance of success.

“We fully support the efforts of all parties and are committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the current issues,” reads a statement on the company’s website.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Rangers will patrol the road during the talks and report to the RCMP on whether it remains clear of obstructions.

“The RCMP has confirmed that patrols along the Morice West Forest Service Road will cease during the period of discussions with the government representatives,” Roberts said. “The RCMP has agreed not to patrol the road unless there is an emergency call for service, such as a motor vehicle accident with injuries.”

Removing the RCMP presence from the service road was a key condition for the hereditary chiefs to enter talks with the provincial and federal governments over their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Once those talks begin and the hereditary chiefs are satisfied with the progress, it’s expected they will issue a request for supporters to remove all rail blockades in Canada erected in support of the chiefs.

The RCMP closed its mobile office on the road Feb. 21 and moved its officers to the nearby detachment in Houston, but kept up daily patrols of the service road.

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

READ MORE: First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

READ MORE: B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenousPipeline

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

High water and flooding hits Clearwater

Potential for roadblock on Clearwater Valley Road due to potential washouts

Tk’emlups, Simpcw First Nations chiefs call on Tiny House Warriors to leave Blue River protest camp

“The Tiny House Warriors are not from Simpcw, nor are they our guests in our territory.”

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Thunder rolls and the North Thompson River is still rising

With a wet start to summer in the North Thompson area, Environment… Continue reading

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read