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01 Mar 2020 | 08:33 PM UTC

Canada: Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and government reach agreement March 1 /update 6

Coastal GasLink pipeline construction to resume March 2, as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs review government agreement; lingering service disruptions and protests possible

security
transportation
CAN

Event

British Columbia's Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser announced on Sunday, March 1, that the government and the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs have come to an agreement regarding the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Minister Fraser said that Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs will review the agreement in the coming two weeks. Meanwhile, Coastal GasLink President David Pfeiffer said that pipeline construction will resume on Monday, March 2. Associated protests are possible across the country in the coming days while the indigenous leaders review the agreement. 

While police cleared some protesters from a major railway line in Ontario province on Sunday, lingering transportation and associated business disruptions are expected in the coming days. VIA Rail announced on Sunday that services will resume progressively, including between Toronto-Montréal and Toronto-Ottawa from Tuesday, March 3. The rail transport company said that more departures will be announced in the coming days; additional information can be found on the VIA Rail website here.

Context

Demonstrations in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have been held in recent weeks throughout Canada. Tyendinaga Mohawk members have been blocking the railway near Belleville since February 6, to protest the arrest of demonstrators who are opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern British Columbia. The protesters said they will continue to block the tracks until police officers leave We'tsuwet'en territory in British Columbia.

Advice

Individuals in Canada are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, confirm rail reservations, consider using alternative routes or modes of transportation, and allow additional time to travel.