Allies of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs shut down morning session of B.C. legislature in response to RCMP raids

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      The B.C. NDP government's decision to provide nearly $6 billion in incentives to the liquefied natural gas industry has been a contributing factor behind a chaotic scene outside the B.C. legislature.

      A large and noisy crowd prevented people from entering the building, causing the cancellation of the morning session.

      The demonstrators support Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline being constructed over their unceded traditional territory.

      The pipeline is part of a $40-billion infrastructure project that includes the LNG Canada plant in Kitimat and an export terminal.

      The project would never have gone ahead had the B.C. NDP government not sweetened the deal with tax breaks.

      In addition, the federal government contributed $275 million to the project. Millions more have been spent on police enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink, which triggered today's action.

      The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs won a landmark case in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997 establishing the existence of their Aboriginal title.

      They insist that the pipeline violates Wet'suwet'en law and that elected councils in favour of it only have jurisdiction over reserve lands.

      According to Global B.C.'s Keith Baldrey, every entrance to the legislature was blocked this morning, when the fourth session of the 41st Parliament was scheduled to prorogue.

      The B.C. legislature Twitter feed states that the prorogration ceremony has been postponed until 1 p.m.

      The speech from the throne is still anticipated to take place at 2 p.m. to launch the fifth session of the 41st Parliament.

      Below are some social media images from the legislature today.


      At 1:38 p.m., Global News B.C. reporter Richard Zussman tweeted that almost all the doors of the B.C. legislature were clear for people to pass through.