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B.C. First Nation gives natural gas company one-time access to winterize site

Last Updated Jan 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm PST

FILE - Trees fell across the road block access to Gidimt'en checkpoint near Houston B.C., on Wednesday January 8, 2020. The Wet'suwet'en peoples are occupying their land and trying to prevent the Coastal GasLink pipeline from going through it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Summary

Coastal GasLink has six to eight hours for a work crew to winterize their personnel accommodations and equipment

The access will be monitored by a Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief, a third party contractor and a media recorder

SMITHERS, B.C. — A spokeswoman for the Unist’ot’en Healing Center says the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have given a natural gas company one-time access to a construction site so it can be winterized.

Karla Tait says Coastal GasLink has six to eight hours for a work crew to winterize their personnel accommodations and equipment at Site 9A to avoid damages to the company’s assets and the surrounding environment.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation issued an eviction notice on Jan. 5 to Coastal GasLink for an area within their traditional territory near Houston, B.C.

Tait says the access will be monitored by a Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief, a third party contractor and a media recorder to ensure it is in compliance with the access terms.

Coastal GasLink spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton says crews are on site and maintenance work is anticipated to take several hours.

The company has provincial approval to build a 670-kilometre pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s $40-billion export terminal in Kitimat, but the chiefs say they won’t allow anyone on the First Nation’s traditional territory without their consent.