Gitxsan and UBCIC call for the abolition of the RCMP C-IRG as CRCC systemic investigation continues without definitive deadline

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Gitxsan members and their allies block Highway 16 on November 21, 2023, in protest of the RCMP’s C-IRG program. (Morgan Powell/Interior News).

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC), an Ottawa-based independent federal agency, launched its investigation into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) nine months ago.

Their media release (dated March 9, 2023) announcing that investigation can be read here.

Two weeks ago, the CBC reported: “The RCMP’s federal review agency says ‘significant delays’ in obtaining relevant material from the Mounties will impact its investigation into the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), a special unit created to police civil disobedience against pipelines in British Columbia.”

That article was based in part on this update released by the CRCC (dated November 23, 2023).

One week ago, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) sent an open letter to CRCC Chairperson Michelaine Lahaie and other officials condemning the RCMP’s stalling of the systemic investigation and calling for the

That letter (dated November 29, 2023) can be read here.

The ongoing systemic investigation by the CRCC – which still lacks a clear timeline and publication date for their report – is focused on C-IRG activities in three areas: Wet’suwe’ten territory, the Fairy Creek watershed and the Salisbury Creek Forestry Road.

Meanwhile, members of the Gitxsan nation have mobilized on October 11, 2023 in Vancouver and on November 21, 2023, in Smithers with the call to “ban a militarized RCMP C-IRG that terrorize our people and land defenders.”

The Gitxsan are mobilizing against the C-IRG because there are three pipelines that have their environmental certificates – that could bring C-IRG violence to Gitxsan communities that will resist the construction of these gas pipelines.

Those pipelines are the TC Energy Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline, the Enbridge Pacific Trail pipeline and the Enbridge West Coast Connector pipeline.

And earlier this week, The Tyee reported that British Columbia Green Party Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Adam Olsen called on BC’s minister of public safety to form a special unit dedicated to investigating the suspicious deaths and disappearances of Indigenous peoples in the province. Olsen says the unit should receive as much as the C-IRG, which is $61.5 million from the time of its inception in 2017 to fiscal year-end on April 1, 2023.

Additional information:

A recent Drilled Global documentary on the C-IRG can be heard here. A CBC-TV Fifth Estate report on the C-IRG (aired on November 3, 2023) can be seen here.

Upcoming:

Sunday December 10 – Abolish C-IRG speaker panel and discussion in Victoria.

Monday December 11 – launch of Amnesty International research report on the criminalization of Wet’suwet’en land defenders.

Monday January 8 to Friday January 19, 2024 – trial of Wet’suwet’en land defenders arrested by the C-IRG in November 2021.

Categories: News Updates

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