VICTORIA – The company building a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline as part of the massive LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia says it plans to resume construction this week despite an eviction notice served by members of a local First Nation over the weekend.
Coastal GasLink says in a statement on its website it will mobilize construction crews, beginning with safety refresh meetings tomorrow and Wednesday, after a break over the recent holiday season.
The company says clearing and other work activities are expected to continue this week, including delivery of pipeline materials.
The statement comes after Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs issued a letter on Saturday advising the company that its staff and contractors were “trespassing” on unceded territory and demanding they vacate the premises immediately.
Coastal GasLink workers complied with the notice although the company says it is legally permitted to operate in the area and the only people on site Saturday were security staff.
Opposition to the pipeline route near Smithers, B.C., have drawn international attention and a spokesman for the hereditary chiefs could not be immediately reached for comment.
On Dec. 31, the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and others who oppose the company’s pipeline.
Coastal GasLink says it was notified Jan. 3 by the Unist’ot’en, which is a smaller group within the First Nation, that the group intends to terminate an agreement that had granted the company access, effective Friday.