January 23, 2023
UBCIC Supports Call to Stop Work on Coastal GasLink Pipeline and Protect Salmon Spawning Habitat
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – January 23, 2023) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) supports Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their call for the federal government to issue a stop-work order on construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. The pipeline construction activities are being undertaken without adequate sediment control on the Lho Kwa, jeopardizing crucial salmon spawning habitat. This follows an emerging pattern of repeated non-compliance with the project’s permit and numerous enforcement orders issued by the BC Environmental Assessment Office.
UBCIC calls on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to act swiftly in its investigation of construction activities on the Lho Kwa and to act decisively to protect salmon habitat. Destruction of habitat is one of many stresses on dwindling salmon stocks and expediting the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure at the expense of salmon spawning grounds is unacceptable.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated “The Coastal GasLink pipeline has been under construction without the consent of all the proper title holders. Thanks to the efforts of hereditary leaders monitoring and stewarding their lands, the public knows about this most recent violation. It’s well past time to bring some real accountability to a company that routinely violates Wet’suwet’en and Canadian laws with impunity.”
“Coastal GasLink has been told repeatedly to improve the safety of their river crossings and they continually fail to meet basic environmental safety standards,” said Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice President. “BC permitted them to build over 600 kilometers of pipeline through pristine ecosystems and the result has been a steady stream of violations and enforcement orders from the Environmental Assessment Office.”
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, stated “Coastal GasLink’s construction is actively interfering with the viability of salmon runs that are already depleted by mismanagement, industrial development, and now climate impacts. This is not an abstract issue – this is about the ability of the Wet’suwet’en and their downstream neighbours to continue exercising their rights to fish. Further, BC and Canada repeatedly profess their commitments to wild salmon- this is the time to act.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o 778-866-0548
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca