Pipeline protest by indigenous people has begun on February 6th outside of Belleville, BC. Coastal GasLink Pipeline is a TransCanada Energy Corporation which is under construction in BC. The pipeline starts from Dawson Creek. The pipeline’s route crosses through the Canadian Rockies and under mountain ranges to Kitimat, where the gas will be exported to Asian customers. The root passes through several First Nation’s traditional lands. The hereditary chief of Wet’suwet’en people withheld an approval on ecological grounds and organized a blockade of construction within the Wet’suwet’en lands. The project were blocked by human blockage, cabins, car tires, woods and other obstacles which blocked the trains carrying passengers and goods for trade between the lines that connects Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto, interrupted 273 trains and stopped over 37,000 passengers on their way. 223 Million dollars impact on economy has been estimated by now. The economical impact ensued by this protest has caused price inflammation up to 4% in grocery markets in Toronto today.
In 2018 and 2019-2020 court injunction against those blocking the project was granted twice by BC Supreme Court. RCM Police entered the blocked areas and cleared the roads arresting more than 28 First Nation protesters by now but it couldn’t reduce the tension. Environmentalists and activists supported the protest but CTV News reported today that about 60% of Canadians supports the blockade and the rest of Canada wants the blockade to end by Trudeau Government.
Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, held an urgent meeting two days ago, he told TV journalists that he is looking forward to resolve the problem peacefully and quickly. He said in House of Common that the protest isn’t raised in a night and addressed the problem with a long term unsatisfactory, ignorance unfair and unsafe experiences that First Nation has faced in Canadian history. Conservative Party openly pressed Trudeau Government to force the law and end the protest as soon as possible but Liberal Party defended the delay by reminding that government has vow to support the peace and lands and negotiate with demonstrators before taking force steps. Trudeau Government is criticized by recent protests more than ever. The blockade which caused a raise in prices, goods and passenger transportation interruption and lasts long with no resolution by now especially after Trudeau shook hand with Iran Foreign Minister in Munich following shot down the flight 752 by their mistake and had spent 10 million dollars to support Africans a month ago. Justin Trudeau has been on blame for taking a soft strategy after 752 flight was shot down by Iranian army in a human mistake and killed 57 Iranian-Canadians on board. Justin Trudeau has been a defender of climate safety in climate change discussion in UN meeting and in Canada from the beginning of his career as Prime Minister but now is pressured to take action against First Nation who protest against propane and natural gas pipeline project that can add to air pollution, may cause explosion and pipeline ruptures but may contribute to economics on the other hand also.
From 1962 to 2018 more than 17 pipeline ruptures and explosion have been reported just in Canada. As an example in November 2018, a ruptured Enbridge natural gas pipeline ignited a fire that evacuated part of First Nation territory in British Columbia. On October 2018 a 36 inch Enbridge pipeline exploded 13 km. north of Prince George BC and affected 1 million BC customers and 750,000 US customers. In January 2018 butane oil pipeline ruptured in St. John, New Brunswick and 30 homes in the area were evacuated.