B.C. pipeline talks stretch into Saturday, few words on progress

Talks aimed at ending the pipeline dispute in northern B.C. continued into early Saturday morning, but there is no word on their progress.

Meetings between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and senior government ministers over a Coastal GasLink pipeline that’s sparked nationwide rail blockades and economic disruptions went from overnight Friday into Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and her B.C. counterpart Scott Fraser spoke with media Saturday morning and said that talks would continue Saturday.

On Saturday, Hereditary Chief Na’Moks, who said he participated in the Friday meeting until about 10 p.m., explained that talks have involved First Nation rights and title, protecting the environment and fighting climate change.

Na’moks said some progress was made on Friday, but reiterated that the issue was complex, and would take time to resolve.

Going into the meeting on Friday, Bennett and Fraser said difficult work lay ahead of them. 

Nathan Cullen, a former NDP MP who is acting as a liaison between the governments and chiefs, said a substantial amount of work is being done but thought it unlikely the parties would reach a broad resolution on Friday.

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