VICTORIA - Premier John Horgan calls Forests and Natural Resource Minister Doug Donaldson's visit to the pipeline blockade near Houston "highly appropriate."
In a news conference Wednesday, Horgan told reporters that in order to find a solution, there needs to be dialogue and "who better than the local MLA to be there before the RCMP enforced the order, to hear one last time what the concerns were."
The Premier said that the MLA for Stikine followed the necessary protocols when he attended the Wet'suwet'en camp, which included bringing a gift. Once Donaldson was there, Horgan adds that the Minister heard the people's concerns and then left.
Following the events that have occurred over the last few days, Horgan hopes that everyone can work towards a peaceful resolution. He expects that the RCMP will conduct themselves with great care to ensure that people's rights in the territory are respected.
The Province recognizes the rights of individuals to protest and those across the country voicing their concerns. However, the Premier believes that LNG Canada has shown that they understand the importance of consultation and reconciliation with First Nations, which is why LNG Canada have signed agreements with every First Nation along the pipeline corridor.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is calling for Minister Donaldson's resignation. He says the government has broken the law by siding with activists.
"The NDP needs to be supporting the province and the agreements in place with First Nations (and) elected officials, not creating more confusion," said Liberal MLA for Skeena, Ellis Ross.
On Monday, 14 people were arrested at the Coastal GasLink pipeline project site near Houston.
Meantime, the President of Coastal GasLink issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying they appreciate Horgan's comments about achieving a peaceful resolution. Rick Gateman says the project has support of all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the route as well as many hereditary chiefs. The statement goes on to say quote "Coastal GasLink has undergone extensive environmental assessment, including consultations with First Nations in British Columbia. Development of our project will be conducted according to rigorous environmental standards, including the recognition of specific Indigenous values."
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