Deal reached in northern British Columbia pipeline impasse

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Its Coastal GasLink pipeline would run though the Wet'suwet'en territory to LNG Canada's $40 billion export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

Hereditary leaders of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation have reached a tentative deal with RCMP, quelling some fears of escalation after police made several arrests at nearby checkpoint earlier this week.

TransCanada Corp., which announced plans to change its name to TC Energy on Wednesday, says it has signed agreements with the elected councils of all 20 First Nations along the path, including the Wet'suwet'en.

"We would like to once again emphasize that the RCMP's focus remains on creating an environment conducive to getting all parties to come to the table and continue to participate in these fruitful discussions".

"One of the barriers will be taken down, but that does not mean we support this project", he said.

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen, who represents the area, said the conflict has been developing for years - in part because of a failure to recognize the nuances between elected and hereditary Indigenous governments.

Horgan said he spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the impasse on Tuesday night.

"We know we can not do it without creating partnerships and engaging with Indigenous Peoples who are the traditional custodians of these lands, without thinking deeply about the environmental consequences and the long-term impacts of the choices we're making".

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Joseph is a member of the Lake Babine First Nation more than 100 kilometres away, but he said he wants to show solidarity with other Indigenous people who feel threatened on their land.

The RCMP blocked access to the Wet'suwet'en First Nation on Monday and some observers raised questions after social media images emerged of heavily armed Mounties enforcing the court injunction, including some in camouflage gear.

"We tried to keep positive but the unknown out there was scary", she said.

He said Wet'suwet'en band councils have authority over reserves and services, while hereditary chiefs control activities on their traditional territories.

LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz said in statement that despite the opposition Coastal GasLink is facing, it intends to continue with the LNG export facility.

"He understands, the federal government understands, that British Columbia is unique in Canada".

"We recognize that it may not be possible to get unanimous support for a major infrastructure project in B.C., but we believe Canada's economy can not prosper without a growing and healthy resource sector".

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