KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – Premier John Horgan continues to hold out hope tensions over the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern BC can be resolved peacefully.
“I respect the position of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders but we have to look at the whole picture,” Horgan says. “We have to make sure we act in a civilized and respectful manner towards each other and I’m confident a peaceful resolution is not far away.”
Horgan tells CHNL Kamloops he’s been meeting with members of the community, adding it’s a top priority for his government.
“Last year I spent a daylong session in a smokehouse feast at the invitation of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders. I learned a good deal about some of the challenges, not just with respect to pipelines. We’ve been having almost weekly meetings, government to government, to find a way forward on a range of issues.”
His comments come as hereditary chiefs in the area remain critical of him not meeting with them during his latest visit to the Fort St. James area, but Horgan insists he’s willing to meet.
“To suggest I and my government have been unavailable is not the case,” Horgan says.
He says his recent tour of the Fort St. James area didn’t leave time to speak with hereditary chiefs trying to kill the multi-billion dollar project, but another face-to-face meeting is in the works.
“The letter suggested that Minister Scott Fraser, the Minister responsible for Indigenous Relations, will be made available if the Wet’suwet’en are prepared to meet with him.”
Horgan adds he’s reached out to set up another meeting with the hereditary chiefs at a later date, but they have yet to respond.
-With files from Victor Kaiser, CHNL Kamloops