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Protesters hamper work on Coastal GasLink pipeline

Don Horne   


Work on TC Energy Corp.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline has been hampered by protesters who blocked access to a construction site in western British Columbia, threatening further delays to the natural gas conduit.

Coastal GasLink crews are being prevented from accessing a work area near the Morice River, an area that includes “several pieces” of heavy equipment staged for clearing and site preparation activities, Calgary-based TC Energy said in a press release.

The access road to a drill site on the river was destroyed and blockades have been erected “to stop the drilling under the sacred headwaters that nourish the Wet’suwet’en Yintah and all those within its catchment area,” the Indigenous Environmental Network said in a news release, adding that there had been one arrest.

The latest flareup of protests is another snag in a project that’s already behind schedule because of COVID-19 work restrictions. The pipeline will supply natural gas to the future LNG Canada site in Kitimat, B.C., billed as the largest private-sector investment in Canada’s history.


TC Energy warned in July that it may suspend some construction work amid a quarrel with the LNG project’s backers over costs and scheduling.

The pipeline has faced opposition in the past from local indigenous groups, including members of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. A standoff between pipeline workers and indigenous groups in early 2020 escalated into Canada-wide protest movement that blocked trains from moving goods and passengers across the country.


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