Thursday, Nov. 29:
On Monday, Nov. 26, Coastal GasLink filed an application for an injunction order with the B.C. courts. The application was filed in order to gain access to the Morice River bridge, located approximately 60 kilometers southwest of the town of Houston, B.C., as well as the public access roads beyond the bridge.
With the successful announcement of a Final Investment Decision (FID) by our Joint Venture Partners, the Coastal GasLink project needs access to the public road to begin necessary construction activities. The application and other court documents were served on the individuals involved in the blockade as required by B.C. Supreme Court Civil Rules. However, for the Coastal GasLink team, this decision was not taken lightly. Unfortunately, after years of attempting to engage the blockade to work through a solution, this step has become a last resort and a necessary action in our efforts to safely gain access to the area.
As we have done in the past, we will continue to keep the lines of communications open to work towards a mutually beneficial outcome. At this point in time, we must focus our attention on taking the necessary legal steps in our application for an injunction order through the legal system.
The Coastal GasLink team would like to thank each of the local communities and the First Nations groups along our pipeline route for their continued support through this process, including the elected band chiefs, their councils and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who do support our pipeline. We look forward to continuing to build our relationships with all these communities.
Indigenous Engagement Milestones
- Coastal GasLink has awarded $620 million in contract work to Indigenous businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp management needs, with another anticipated $400 million in additional contract and employment opportunities for Indigenous and local B.C. communities during pipeline construction.
- To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had over 15,000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline route, and over one-third of all the work completed on the project has been conducted by Indigenous people.
- We have engaged directly with Hereditary Chiefs since the project began, with many of those leaders already seeing project benefits for their communities. Benefits include training and employment opportunities, contracting opportunities and substantial financial payments directed to the advancement of heritage, cultural, and traditional language priorities deemed important by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en community leaders.
- Coastal GasLink initiated consultation with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs in June 2012 by providing formal notification of the proposed project. Since then, Coastal GasLink has engaged in a wide range of consultation activities with Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, Dark House and directly with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.
- Coastal GasLink has held over 120 in person meetings with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and an additional 1300 other interactions (calls and emails).
- In 2014 we employed 84 Wet’suwet’en community members to conduct fieldwork. This enabled them to gain employment, and enabled us to incorporate local knowledge into our project plans.
- The 20 signed project agreements reflect that many First Nations support responsible development, and growth that translates into real opportunities.
- Our collaborative approach with First Nations communities has resulted in us investigating alternate routes to address some of the input we received. These productive, two-way conversations with all Aboriginal groups have resulted in many changes to the project.
- We’ve invested in a variety of training programs to support Aboriginal and local trainees and students. These include the Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program and Education Legacy program. Examples include Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association, Tribal Resources Investment Corporation, Northwest Community College, and Northern Lights College.
- Coastal GasLink has already spent $60 million locally in Northern BC, including $3 million on community investment initiatives, education and training initiatives. During construction and operation, the benefits to BC will grow significantly.