File Photo of RCMP liaisons at Gidimt'en checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road near Houston | , Photo: MyPGNow Staff
The BC RCMP provided an update on Wednesday (Feb5) at the RCMP headquarters in Surrey about the ongoing dispute with the Coastal GasLink project.
According to Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, since the BC Supreme Court Injunction was granted the RCMP has had meetings and discussions with the Hereditary Chiefs, Elected Chiefs and Council, CGL, and various levels of government.
Strachan said the RCMP remains committed to any role it may support in reconciliation.
“Much of the proactive engagement the RCMP has undertaken over the past year focused on communication and facilitation,” she said.
According to the RCMP, it has assembled a team in the Morice West Forest Service Road Area.
Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs said the RCMP encourages all protestors to abide by the injunction and to leave the area and they will not be arrested.
“If there are arrests to be made, there are peaceful options that will require minimal use,” he said.
Stubbs also said the RCMP encourages dialogue so people who are breaching the injunction can be arrested safely with no use of force necessary.
“The RCMP was able to negotiate an agreement between Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Coastal GasLink, which was effective for nearly 12 months, I credit the Hereditary Chiefs and the company making that agreement work,” he said.
Stubbs also said the RCMP’s lawful authority to enforce the injunction has been raised.
“Orders and Injunctions from the Supreme Court of British Columbia are not optional invitations or suggestions for the parties and police. Instead, they are mandatory directions from the court,” he said.
He added police are not at liberty to choose which law to follow.
According to the RCMP, numerous changes have been made in planning the enforcement action and cultural awareness was provided to all deployed resources.