HOUSTON, B.C. – The RCMP in Houston, B.C. have started a criminal investigation after uncovering a cache of flammable materials and accelerants near the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project.
According to RCMP officials, on Jan. 6 while conducting regular patrols along the Morice West Forest Service Road, officers were stopped by a blockade of fallen trees. Officers conducted foot patrols towards the 44-kilometer mark and noted several dozen trees had been felled across the roadway.
They noted some trees that were partly cut in readiness for felling, making them susceptible to falling in the wind. Three stacks of tires were also discovered, each covered by tarps and trees. The cache also contained several jugs of accelerants – gasoline, diesel, oil, kindling and bags full of fuel-soaked rags.
The stash is near a protest camp, Unis’tot’en Healing Centre and the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project.
Officers brought the discovery to the attention of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs. They have also been advised that the RCMP has entered into a criminal investigation under Section 247 of the Criminal Code for Traps Likely to Cause Bodily Harm.
“While the RCMP respects the rights of individuals to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the BC Supreme Court in the injunction, our primary concerns are public and police officer safety,” read a statement from police. “We will take steps to ensure that those who unlawfully interfere with or threaten the safety of any person or property may be held accountable in accordance with the laws of Canada. This applies to demonstrators, industry employees and contractors, as well as the general public.”
The RCMP added that they want to emphasize that officers are impartial in the dispute and their priority is to “facilitate a dialogue between the various stakeholders involved.”