A group of around 30 Quesnel locals gathered at the provincial buildings on Barlow Avenue this afternoon to protest the LNG pipeline, which will see the Coastal GasLink line transport natural gas to Kitimat.
Ruby Mortensen, a Quesnel woman for 25 years, organized the protest. She is from the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and wanted to have a show of support for her family, who live in the Burns Lake, Broman Lake and Francois Lake area in the northwestern interior of B.C.
“We are fighting with the Wet’suwet’en. They are putting [the pipeline] through the reserve where our First Nations family live. … For them to do the pipeline, it takes away from the future generation,” she said.
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose the pipeline, and had set up a blockade, disallowing Coastal GasLink workers from accessing their camp. On Jan. 10, hereditary chiefs negotiated with the RCMP to abide by an interim injunction.
Three other Quesnel locals from the Wet’suwet’en First Nation were also in attendance at the local protest and march, as well as Quesnel city councillor Tony Goulet, who said he was supporting the cause, and former Nazko First Nation chief Doreen Patrick.
Those gathered were mainly from First Nation groups in the Quesnel area, and said they wanted to stand with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose the pipeline.
The group held placards reading “Elected Chief Does Not Override Hereditary Chief” and “We Stand With Wet’suwet’en” as they marched from the provincial building around the block, with drivers honking their support.