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The RCMP say five people have been arrested at two camps in the area where a disputed natural gas pipeline is under construction in northwestern British Columbia.

Police say Mounties responded to a complaint Sunday night from Coastal GasLink security, who reported that a worker had been "swarmed" by a group of people wearing masks.

Police say the group allegedly fired flares and gained access to one of the pipeline company's vehicles when the worker left the area because of the intimidation.

TC Energy, the owner of the project, says in a statement that its workers deserve a safe environment without fear of dangerous acts.

A statement from the Gidimt'en Checkpoint, whose members oppose the pipeline's construction through Wet'suwet'en territory, says the people arrested Wednesday were mostly Indigenous women, including the daughter of a hereditary chief.

Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo' says "this harassment and intimidation is exactly the kind of violence designed to drive us from our homelands."

The Gidimt'en statement says the police search warrant was issued for theft under $5,000, but it had no clear relation to the village site.

The RCMP say one person was arrested after attempting to prevent officers from executing the warrant, while the others allegedly refused to follow police directions.

Opposition among Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs to the 670-kilometre pipeline sparked rallies and rail blockades across Canada in 2020, while the elected council of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation and others nearby have agreed to the project.

#RCMP arrest five people near natural gas pipeline construction site in northern #BC. #CoastalGasLink #TCEnergy

"A majority of these communities have also signed equity option agreements to become owners in the project," the statement from TC Energy says.

The pipeline is now more than 85 per cent complete, it says.

The police operation comes a few weeks after the independent watchdog for the RCMP launched a review of the Community-Industry Response Group, which was formed in 2017 to respond to public protests over resource-based projects in B.C.

The review by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission is focused on police enforcement of injunctions obtained by Coastal GasLink Ltd. and two forest companies against protests in B.C.'s Kootenay region and on Vancouver Island.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

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National Observer: why do you bother to publish such a useless. piece of dreck as a report!? such vague insinuation of wrongdoing except by LNG worker of course. no actual fact was injured among this collection of words. so many question NOT answered. for ex.,
Were the people arrested suspected as the masked swarmers?
But, oh poor little harassed goon for LNG. my my. no mention of these security guards and RCMP attacking cabins with peaceful women and children inside with axes and rifles, as
“ harassment” as background, no mention of UN Rapporter calling out human rights violations by this enforcement group, no useful context beyond insinuation of wrong doing, nay criminality by those disrupting extraction on unceeded territory.
I am going to stop my subscription if this kind of stuff passes as new in your service.

Whaddya wanna bet the company is lying like a rug about the initial incident? Whaddya wanna bet the cops know this perfectly well?
I would expect those Coastal Gas types have security cameras everywhere. Footage or it didn't happen. Ideally footage that isn't obvious provocateurs with bad acting skills. Now I know that this sounds like conspiracy talk, but there is a track record here. We know that oil and gas companies lie systematically whenever it is to their advantage, and indeed hire professional liars on a large scale to create false propaganda. The whole story of our society's understanding of climate change is the story of scientists investigating and telling the truth and finding they have to fight desperately against the systematic large scale falsehoods of fossil fuel companies. They have no scruples. There is no reason to ever believe anything these people say.

And the police are also known for lying fairly systematically; the general case is, any time there might be something that happened which might make them look bad (e.g. they murdered someone), they will lie about what happened to make it look like they did the right, the best, the only possible thing. And these particular police are in effect working for the fossil fuel companies, so they can be expected to back any lie those companies tell and come up with a few of their own. And it is fairly routine for police to use agents provocateur; case after case has been exposed. So the scenario I've suggested shouldn't be discounted.

Rufus, you are so bang on with this comment and most Canadians I know agree with what you state here.

TC Energy, the owner of the project, says in a statement that its workers deserve a safe environment without fear of dangerous acts.
So do the indigenous people deserve a safe environment and constantly being harassed by this squad of goons is outrageous. Typical corporation defecting the truth and playing victim and another nail driven into the myth of police serving the public.

I've found myself making the same replies every time the CGL pipeline comes up. I finally put them together in one blog post, up at http://brander.ca/stackback#smithers

I notice that this story left the front page after just a few days, isn't on the climate page. You have to search to find it, so perhaps the story is just waning by now. Alas, the CGL page says the pipe is 50% laid on the western half of the Nation, about 70% laid in the eastern section. Clearly, there's at least a year to go. Best of luck for all to protest and work in safety.