Crown won't pursue charges against 14 pipeline opponents in northern B.C.
File photo:A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist'ot'en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., on Thursday January 17, 2019. The camp is widely known for its role blocking a natural gas company from accessing a work site four kilometres beyond it. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 15, 2019 5:43PM EDT
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The B.C. prosecution service says it does not have enough evidence to pursue charges of criminal contempt against 14 people who were arrested in January when RCMP enforced an interim court injunction at a pipeline blockade on the Wet'suwet'en First Nation's traditional territory.
The prosecution service says in a statement submitted to the B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George that the cases were referred to it for potential prosecution of criminal contempt on Feb. 4.
After a review, it says it is not satisfied there is enough evidence for a substantial likelihood of conviction.
It says those charges are separate from Criminal Code charges arising from the same events and it has approved a charge of assaulting a police officer with a weapon against one of the 14 individuals arrested.
Police made the arrests on Jan. 7 as they enforced an injunction obtained by Coastal GasLink, which is building a natural gas pipeline from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat.
The company says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nation governments along the pipeline path, but some members of the Wet'suwet'en have said it has no jurisdiction without the consent of its hereditary chiefs.