Work on Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline continues on Unist’ot’en territory during pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The Unist’ot’en Camp has expressed its concern that construction on the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline has continued on Wet’suwet’en territory during the pandemic.

On April 2, they posted this 3-minute video to highlight their concerns.

Now, on May 11, Western Investor reports, “Work has continued to clear the natural gas pipeline route. The project is operating with a reduced workforce right now, with about 300 workers, about 30 per cent of whom are in work camps.”

That article adds, “That reduction was more about spring breakup than pandemic health and safety restrictions.”

On April 24, 2019, Unist’ot’en land defender Freda Huson addressed the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about ongoing human rights violations against Wet’suwet’en people.

Huson told the Permanent Forum, “The pipeline company is violating Wet’suwet’en law, trespassing on our territory, and starting to destroy the land. …I am here today to make UN aware of the continued genocide happening in Canada, and to demand that our Indigenous rights and laws are respected.”

On December 13, 2019, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Canada “to immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

That resolution further urged that “the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.”

And yet by January 13, 2020, the RCMP had set up an exclusion zone on the territory and on February 6 launched a pre-dawn raid on the territory and arrested Wet’suwet’en land defenders seeking to block construction of the pipeline.

On May 5, the CBC reported that Canada is “doubling down on its bid for a seat” on the UN Security Council that has already “set the government back $2 million.” That vote is scheduled to take place on June 17.

PBI-Canada has provided this online Urgent Action petition to enable people to send an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that calls on him to act in accordance with the UN Committee’s resolution before the UN vote.

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