Published:October 29, 2021

-Western Standard


Tensions are rising at a construction site for the Coastal Gaslink constructions with protesters blocking essential goods, damaging equipment and taking heavy machinery by force.

RCMP said a group of protesters opposing the Coastal GasLink project have been blockading outside a worker’s camp on the Shea Forest Service Road near Houston, BC for several days, preventing supplies and services into the camp.

“Houston RCMP have received several calls of complaints about the protest group allegedly committing acts of vandalism and thefts to CGL equipment in the area, even prior to the blockade outside the worker’s camp. The Division Liaison Team have made numerous attempts to end the blockade peacefully through a negotiated settlement. However, those efforts have been unsuccessful,” said RCMP in a release.

On the evening of October 27, the RCMP said they were called to the blockade on Shea Forest Service Road to assist with keeping the peace as CGL workers evacuated the worker’s camp.

“During the course of the evening, two individuals were arrested; one of whom for an outstanding Criminal Code theft and mischief files, and the other for having been found in possession of several stolen items from CGL equipment.”

All other protesters blockading the Shea Forest Service Road peacefully vacated the area and no further arrests were made.

Coastal GasLink said in a statement they were “increasingly concerned about the safety of our workforce and the public following an escalation in unlawful and dangerous activities by opponents that have put people, property, and the environment at risk.”

The company said on October 24 a group of opponents confronted their crews on an active construction site approximately 40 km west of the Morice River, which can only be accessed by leaving the forest service road and entering the construction right of way.

“This group arrived unannounced and was not permitted access to the site due to safety concerns. Our crews offered to facilitate access at another time when it could be made safe to do so. Subsequently, crew vehicles were blocked in both directions and prevented from exiting; our people subsequently departed the area and one vehicle was able to pass through,” said the company in a statement.

It said on October 25, new blockades were put in place on the Shea forest service road and on Coastal GasLink right of way.

“This road is the only year-round access to one of our construction lodges housing more than 400 men and women. In addition to blockades, heavy equipment has been damaged and stolen, including by force at multiple locations,” the company said.

“The prevention of the safe flow of people and supplies, like water, fuel and food to our people is dangerous and unacceptable. These activities are directly impacting the safety of our employees and contractors.

“Our primary concern is for the safety of our people and the public and every reasonable effort is being made by our teams to de-escalate this situation.