The Latest on Coastal GasLink protests across Canada

Here is the latest news on protests across Canada over a natural-gas pipeline in British Columbia:

Trudeau speaks in Senegal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is weighing in on the protests over a B.C. pipeline project that have disrupted rail traffic across the country, saying while the federal government respects the right to peaceful protest, the rule of law must also be respected.

The comments today in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, where Trudeau is wrapping up a visit to Africa, follow the cancellation of passenger rail service on key routes even as protesters prepared for police to move in on their camps.

Protesters have erected blockades across several rail lines in solidarity with those opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project that crosses the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation in northern B.C.

The blockades followed the RCMP enforcing a court injunction last week against Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters who have been blocking construction of the pipeline, a key part of the $40-billion LNG Canada liquefied-natural-gas export project.

While Trudeau says he plans to speak to federal cabinet ministers later today, he also encouraged all sides to come together in dialogue and resolve their respective concerns.

All 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route, including the Wet’suwet’en council, have signed benefits agreements with Coastal GasLink, but the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the council established by the Indian Act has authority only over reserve lands.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2020.

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