Even though the government knew there was no chance of resolution with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, they had to make the effort
The Wiggus table, with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, was related to the stalled Coastal GasLink Project -- an attempt to get the pipeline project back on track.
Yesterday (February 4th) Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, commented:
“We and the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs made a committed effort to find a peaceful resolution to the situation. It was very clear from our discussions that all of us came together in good faith to try to find a way forward together”.
He went on to say, “While we were not successful in finding a resolution to the current situation, we continue to remain open to dialogue with the Wet’suwet’en leadership on this issue”.
I have to believe I am not the only one wondering this, so my question is, ‘Did anyone really expect that there would be a different outcome to the talks around the Wiggus Table?’
Why did they do it? Was it just for appearances?
According to Nechako MLA John Rustad, “Whenever there is an impasse with an indigenous group, it is incumbent upon the government to try for an engagement to resolve it.”
“Even though the government knew there was no chance of resolution with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, they had to make the effort. The real question now is how will things proceed from here”, he continued.
On January 8, 2020, the RCMP issued a news release expressing safety and security concerns following their discovery of hazardous blockades, partly cut trees and stacks of flammable materials and accelerants at locations along the Morice West Forest Service Road.
If they do not end, then Coastal GasLink will likely have no other option than to enforce the Interlocutory Injunction granted to them at the end of December. This followed the interim injunction the courts provided Coastal GasLink (December 2018), against protesters of the project, and then confirmed again early in December last year.
I agree with the thoughts of Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser, who yesterday said, “We hope that the paramount need for safety stays the top priority for all parties”.
Ultimately though, at least to me, this is very much going to depend on the next moves of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, and those who are allied with them.