Ministers to meet in Victoria as PM convenes emergency committee on pipeline protests
Activists in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs gathered on the steps of the B.C. Legislature Friday morning: Feb. 7, 2020 (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser is set to meet with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett today in Victoria amid ongoing rail blockades and protests for Indigenous land rights.
The two were invited last week to meet by Gitxsan chief Norm Stephens after members of the First Nation erected a blockade near New Hazelton in support of neighbouring Wet'suwet'en chiefs who oppose a pipeline through their territory.
The invitation was also extended to Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs.
Today's meeting only involves Fraser and Bennett but they are sending a letter to hereditary chiefs reiterating their interest in meeting with them too.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office says he plans to convene the Incident Response Group today in response to the ongoing protests and rail blockades happening across the country.
The group was created in 2018.
It was described upon its inception as a “dedicated, emergency committee that will convene in the event of a national crisis or during incidents elsewhere that have major implications for Canada.”
The blockades have been erected to protest the Coastal GasLink project in northern B.C., which is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada export project in Kitimat aimed at getting liquefied-natural gas to foreign markets.