Coastal GasLink (CGL), owned by TransCanada, is a proposed pipeline intended to run from Groundbirch to Kitimat in British Columbia. This pipeline would be connected to a huge network of natural gas pipelines in Alberta and the company boasts that it could be converted to transport bitumen instead of natural gas in the future. Since the company tried to do just that with the now defeated Energy East Pipeline, this potential should be taken seriously.
If completed, the CGL pipeline would run through the unceded, unsurrendered territory of numerous Indigenous nations, including the Wet’suwet’en. Many of these nations have never signed treaties with Canada or the Crown and have lived on their land since time immemorial – and have oral and physical evidence to prove it.
The Delgamuukw case is a landmark Supreme Court decision that, among other things, establishes that the Wet’suwet’en Nation has “Aboriginal title” to their 22,000 km² territories. Despite the court decision and the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples, TransCanada, the B.C. government, and the RCMP are all ignoring that title by building, permitting, and defending the pipeline.
Soon, B.C. Premier John Horgan and Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Doug Donaldson will decide whether to extend TransCanada’s permit to continue clearing a right-of-way for the pipeline. Will you join me in showing solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and send an email to demand that the permit not be extended?
The Wet’suwet’en have been fighting this pipeline and two others in this proposed “energy corridor” for more than a decade. You may recall last winter when the RCMP brutally attacked the land defence efforts after B.C. issued permits for this pipeline and TransCanada was granted an injunction by the court. Land defenders and allies were removed from the territory – many by extreme force – and the company gained access to the territory of the Unist’ot’en, one of five Wet’suwet’en clans.
Since then, TransCanada has knowingly bulldozed a section of the ancient Kweese War Trail. This trail is a vital piece of cultural heritage that passes through Unist’ot’en and the broader Wet’suwet’en territory. The company’s actions continue to damage Wet’suwet’en cultural heritage and attempt to erase their presence. Read more about the Wet’suwet’en clan system and territories.
The province has stood by and supported this destruction, despite the Wet’suwet’en repeatedly voicing concerns about the inadequacy of archaeological survey work on the territory and the destruction of their territory. Wet’suwet’en traditional chiefs have not consented to – and in fact vocally oppose – the construction of this pipeline. They continue to document the company’s violations of Wet’suwet’en law and Canadian environmental and archaeological permits. Watch this video for more information.
Your voice is critical to let the B.C. government know extending the permit is the wrong thing to do.
Thank you for taking action!