At their general meeting on April 22 2020, the PSAC Vancouver Area Council discussed and passed the following Solidarity Statement on Wet’suwet’en.
Earlier this year, the PSAC Vancouver and District Area Council was disturbed to witness the strategic oversight of the RCMP that led to the breach of B.C.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These rights were infringed upon by removing Wet’suwet’en peoples from their territory as well as blocking and removing journalists during the enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction at the Unist’ot’en Camp.
We watched as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Turtle Island, and around the world, supported the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs through innumerable actions, marches, and fundraisers. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs reaffirmed their position: There is no consent for a pipeline being built on their traditional unceded territories.
Now in March 2020, the world is faced with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Canada and British Columbia have implemented a lockdown on all non-essential services. Yet, the BC Government is allowing construction to continue on the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. As of April 2020, hundreds of workers are continuing work on the Northern project and their presence is threatening the Wet’suwet’en and other Northern communities.
There are hundreds of workers unnecessarily working on the CGL pipeline in remote Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. These communities have little to no access to the level of health care needed in the face of a COVID-19 outbreak. By allowing CGL to continue work, the BC Government is endangering the lives of workers as well as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the North.
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief’s position is clear: They do not consent to a pipeline being built on their traditional unceded territories and they want work on the CGL pipeline to halt immediately for the safety of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities as well as the workers.
We are in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ demand that Coastal GasLink Pipeline cease all work and remove themselves from Wet’suwet’en Territory. The PSAC Vancouver and District Area Council calls on the BC Government to protect remote Northern communities in the face of a global pandemic and stop work on the CGL pipeline until a time which it is safe to continue negotiations with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.