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No charges to be laid against northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Police officers remove an elderly woman from the road where protesters demonstrating in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline across their traditional territories were blocking an entrance to the port, in Vancouver, on Monday February 10, 2020.
Police officers remove an elderly woman from the road where protesters demonstrating in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline across their traditional territories were blocking an entrance to the port, in Vancouver, on Monday February 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

No charges will be laid against anyone arrested during police enforcement of an injunction at the Coastal GasLink pipeline worksite in northern B.C. in February.

According to the BC Prosecution Service, 22 people in total were arrested between Feb. 6 and 10 on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory near Smithers, B.C.

Following a review into potential charges of contempt, Crown counsel said Friday they will recommend no charges due to no further breaches of the injunction since February, the arrests being non-violent, and the recent negotiations between government and hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs.

There was also no evidence linking those arrested to damage to a bridge in the area.

READ MORE: Coastal Gaslink says Wet’suwet’en alternative route not ‘feasible’ — here’s why

The $6-billion, 670-kilometre liquefied natural gas pipeline is set to run from near Dawson Creek, B.C., to a planned export facility in Kitimat.

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The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have opposed the project for running through their traditional territory, though many elected chiefs from the same nation welcome the pipeline for its job opportunities.

The quarrel sparked solidarity protests across the country, leading to blockades on railway tracks and other demonstrations.

During the early planning stages of the pipeline, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs offered an alternate route, but Coastal Gaslink deemed it unacceptable.

– With files from Rachel D’Amore