A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted the extension of an injunction against two First Nations camps that have been blocking the access to a LNG construction site in the northwestern B.C. community of Houston for several weeks.
The injunction was originally granted to Coastal GasLink on Dec. 14 against the Unist’ot’en camp, a group that describes its efforts as a re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land.
The blockade is located on the Morice River bridge. The group had erected a gate along the bridge entrance, blocking access to an area west of the river that the LNG pipeline company wants to start working on in January.
On Friday, the temporary injunction was expanded to include the Gitdumden checkpoint built this week by members of a neighbouring Wet’suwet’en clan. It now extends to all LNG blockades south of Houston.
The Gitdumden checkpoint has been publicly supported by hereditary chiefs of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
The 670-kilometre liquefied natural gas pipeline, approved in November, is set to bring natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat’s LNG Canada export terminal. The $40-billion project is set to be up and running as early as 2022.
In her ruling, Justice Marguerite Church said the company could face significant harm if the block forces Coastal GasLink to delay its construction in January.
WATCH: Unist’ot’en block TransCanada with gate on bridge entrance
Marguerite also pointed to the 20 First Nation bands that signed agreements with the company, as well as Wet’suwet’en companies like Kyah Resources. Kyah is jointly owned by Witset and Roga Contracting Ltd.
She said those losses stood little or no chance of being recouped from defendants, and most work is not set to begin on the pipeline in that area until June 2021.