We Are Unfrackable
We need all hands on deck to support the Wet’suwet’en, who are defending their unceded territory (Yintah) from Coastal GasLink’s (CGL) liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline. The Dinï ze’ and Ts’akë ze’ (Chiefs) wholeheartedly oppose the CGL project, which would turn pristine forests and salmon streams into a fossil fuel corridor.
The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have launched two separate legal actions to defend their rights and title from unwanted industrial activity, and to hold the governments of Canada and British Columbia accountable to climate commitments for future generations.
Donate to support the Wet’suwet’en legal defence fund and take a stand for future generations.
about this campaign
Coastal GasLink is proposing a 670-km pipeline carrying fracked gas from Dawson Creek to a proposed LNG facility in Kitimat. The pipeline is owned by TransCanada, the same corporation funding the Keystone XL and Energy East Pipeline projects. If built, the pipeline would irreversibly transform the ecology and character of northern B.C. It would also lock in decades of fossil fuel extraction at a time when scientists are warning of untold suffering unless all nations rapidly scale down production of fossil fuels.
Challenging permit and human rights violations through Judicial Review
Since time immemorial the Wet’suwet’en have been stewarding and protecting their traditional territories. Now, they are defending land, air and water from the Coastal GasLink pipeline. In February 2020 the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs launched two separate legal actions.
The first legal action, launched by all clans of the Wet’suwet’en, acting in unity — seeks a judicial review of Coastal GasLink’s environmental assessment based on multiple permit violations by the company, along with a failure to implement recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls.
A Charter Climate Challenge
The second legal action is a Constitutional challenge asking the Federal Court to declare that Canada has a constitutional duty to keep the country’s greenhouse gas emissions well within the Paris Agreement limit of 2 ̊C above pre-industrial levels. If successful, the lawsuit could lead to far-reaching changes to Canada’s environmental legislation. It would enable the federal cabinet to cancel approvals previously given to fossil fuel projects such as the LNG export facilities and pipelines proposed for Wet’suwet’en Territories and the northwest B.C. region.
“The climate crisis is already hitting our House territories hard. You only have to look at the shrinking Hudson Bay Mountain glacier and count the salmon. If Canada is allowed to continue approving infrastructure for fracked gas projects on a 40-year timeline, our territories will become a wasteland before the project licenses expire.”
-Dini Ze’ Lho'imggin, Alphonse Gagnon
APPEAL OF JR DECISION
BC Supreme Court hears Wetsuwe'ten's appeal of April 2021 decision.
JR APPLICATION DISMISSED
BC Supreme Court dismisses the Wet’suwet’en Application for a Judicial Review of B.C.’s decision to extend the environmental certificate for the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Likhts’amisyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en appeals the Federal Court’s decision to strike the Charter challenge.
FEDERAL COURT STRIKES
Federal Court strikes Likhts’amisyu Charter challenge as “not justiciable”, i.e. not appropriate for the court to decide.
Judicial Review of BC's granting of permit extension to Coastal GasLink heard October 1-2; at issue are multiple permit violations and a failure to apply recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls Report.
Coastal GasLink crews attempt to re-start work in the Morice River area, resulting in RCMP enforcement action on Indigenous land protectors.
Solidarity protests and actions erupt in support of Wet'suwet'en across the country: Kahnawake Mohawk community members south of Montreal erect a blockade on a CP rail line.
#WeAreTheStronghold concerts organized; $40k raised before COVID-19 shutdown cancels shows in Ottawa & Winnipeg.
EVICTION ORDER ISSUED
Dark House (Unist’ot’en) notifies Coastal GasLink of eviction from territory, citing violations of Indigenous law.
INJUNCTION GRANTED TO CGL
BC Supreme Court grants CGL an injunction against land defenders in Wet'suwet'en territory.
JUDICIAL REVIEW LAUNCHED
B.C. Environmental Assessment Office grants CGL an extension to their project permit, paving the way for construction in Wet'suwet'en territory.
Wetsuwet’en appeal to pursue Charter Challenge linking Indigenous rights and climate impacts
Wet’suwet’en were in court mid-February, pursuing their case challenging the constitutionality of Canada’s inaction on climate change.
VIDEO: Busting BC’s Dependency on Fossil Fuel
In the Busting the Fossil Fuel Corridor webinar, hosted by The West Coast Climate Action Network in partnership with RAVEN, we were joined by three Indigenous Land protectors whose voices and stories showed us just how much impact we can have when we work as a collective and hold on to hope of a cleaner future.
On the eve of of COP26, BC’s climate failures are written on Indigenous land
As world leaders gather at COP26 to negotiate in the face of the deadly reality of climate change, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs from Gidimt’en clan have set up a blockade to prevent drilling beneath a salmon-bearing river.
Wet’suwet’en Houses, through their Hereditary Chiefs, have launched two legal challenges over Canada’s approval of multiple fossil fuel projects in their territory. These challenges are strategically designed to address both the immediate issue of the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline being built without Wet’suwet’en consent, as well as Canada’s ongoing failure to address the climate emergency.
Legal challenge No. 1, supported by all the Hereditary Chiefs acting in unity, seeks a Judicial Review of a project extension for Coastal GasLink’s pipeline, granted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) in October 2019 for another 5 years. The action argues that the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office had a duty to assess new evidence of the project’s harms, which in this case means the recent findings of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which found direct links between extractive industries, “man camps” and increased violence against Indigenous women. The BCEAO was also required to take into account Coastal GasLink’s record of non-compliance.
Legal challenge No. 2, a constitutional and Charter of Rights challenge brought by two Houses of the Likhts’amisyu (Fireweed Clan) through their House Chiefs, is an ambitious, long-term legal challenge seeking a comprehensive overhaul of Canada’s environmental legislation to enable urgent action on climate change.
This visionary, sweeping action puts forward the argument that Canada has a constitutional duty to protect its citizens from climate catastrophe, and draws a line against reckless fossil fuel developments that will push us past the tipping point. The action invokes Constitutional provisions about “peace, order and good government” as well as the equality rights of Wet’suwet’en young people and future generations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The case specifically names Coastal GasLink and Pacific Trails fracked gas pipelines along with LNG export facilities in Kitimat as particularly high-emitting fossil fuel projects that are likely to breach Canada’s (already inadequate) emissions targets. In the name of future generations, the legal challenge argues that Canada’s failure to do its fair share to avert a climate catastrophe would breach the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Likhtsamisyu Statement of Claim February 2020
Canada Statement of Defence July 2020
Canada Motion to Strike July 2020
Likhtsamisyu Response to Motion to Strike September 2020
Federal Court Decision on Motion to Strike November 2020
Likhtsamisyu Notice of Appeal December 2020
Likhtsamisyu Appeal Memorandum of Facts and Law April 2021