PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Premier John Horgan has linked the battles over two major pipeline projects through British Columbia, saying once the legal fight is over, court decisions should be respected.
Speaking at a news conference today in Prince George, Horgan said he accepts that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been approved by the courts after the province’s recent defeat at the Supreme Court of Canada.
In the case of Coastal GasLink’s plans for a natural gas pipeline through northern B.C., he says he thinks hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation will come to the same realization on that project.
Horgan says he believes the involvement of former New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen as the province’s liaison in discussions with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on the pipeline will find a resolution to the dispute.
Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nations along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre route from northeastern B.C. to an export terminal in Kitimat but the hereditary clan chiefs say it has no authority without their consent.
Cullen represented Skeena-Bulkley Valley, a sprawling part of northern British Columbia that includes the Wet’suwet’en traditional territory, until last year when he decided not to seek re-election.