Talks with hereditary chiefs run into the night

Ministers expected to make statement Saturday morning

Supporters of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs gather outside the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers where talks continued with federal and provincial ministers. (Quinn Bender photo)

Talks continued late into Friday night with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and government ministers but all paties were ready to extend discussions into the weekend.

Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser are expected to make a statement Saturday morning.

The two ministers scheduled two days to meet with the chiefs in Smithers over their dispute of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline approval.

Friday morning ministers and hereditary chief Na’moks all said they were optimistic heading into discussions. By 9 p.m. those discussions were still underway.

Earlier in the day the province’s appointed liaison, former Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, told Black Press all sides were highly motivated to find a solution.

“There are many tracks being pursued at the same time…this afternoon we might find steps to solutions, but maybe not the final one,” Cullen said. “You have to keep in mind, there is a complicated, long-standing set of concerns that not only deal with the pipeline. So any meaningful solution that’s going to be arrived at is probably not going to happen in a day and a half.”

The meetings come amid continuing protests and road and rail blockades across the country, including at the B.C. Legislature this week. The protests have been ongoing since early February in opposition to the Coastal GasLink, a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline being built through Wet’suwet’en traditional lands. The hereditary chiefs argue the elected band councils who gave their support to the project and signed benefits agreements with the company did not have the authority to do so.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Museum colouring books are a big hit with families

Curator found them tucked away in a box

City says unlikely there will be a significant property tax reduction from proposed increase

One resident has asked the Town to consider reducing the proposed 7.4 per cent tax increase

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

Bachrach to donate salary hike to community organizations

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP among growing list of MPs giving raise away amid economic crisis

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

‘Drive right through’: Haida Gwaii First Nation erects checkpoint for non-residents

Skidegate Band Council Emergency Operations Centre erected checkpoint on April 2

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

Most Read