Hazardous blockade of fallen trees on Morice West Forest Service Road in Houston
2020-01-08 14:29 PST
Our frontline officers working from the Community-Industry Safety Office (C-ISO) continue to conduct patrols along the Morice West Forest Service Road to ensure the safety of individuals at the Healing Centre, Coastal GasLink employees, and general public traveling along the corridor.
On January 6, 2020, during the course of regular patrols, officers attended the 39.5 kilometer mark and 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.
Of particular concern for safety, they noted some trees that were partly cut in readiness for felling. This creates a hazard where these trees can fall unexpectedly due to wind. Three stacks of tires were also noticed, each covered by tarps and trees, and contained several jugs of accelerants – gasoline, diesel, oil, kindling and bags full of fuel soaked rags (see photos attached).
These concerning items have been brought 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. 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.
We want to emphasize that we are impartial in this dispute and our priority is to facilitate a dialogue between the various stakeholders involved. We remain hopeful that these efforts will result in a resolution.
Photo 1 - fallen trees across roadway
Photo 2 – partly cut tree
Photo 3 – stack of tires with jugs of gasoline covered by tarps and trees
Photo 4 – stack of tires with jugs of accelerants covered by tarps and trees
Photo 5 – jugs of accelerants and kindling under stack of tires
Cpl. Madonna Saunderson
District Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
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