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Feds hint at possible talks with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs as tensions remain high

Last Updated Feb 26, 2020 at 2:34 pm EDT

FILE - Protesters block a set of train tracks in East Vancouver, Monday, February, 10, 2020. The protesters are standing in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en members opposed to the LNG pipeline in northern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

Feds say they're getting closer to meeting with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline


The government says it's continuing to look at ways to deescalate tensions caused by blockades across the country


The government continues to call for all blockades to come down


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – There’s no resolution yet, but the federal government says it’s getting closer to meeting with some Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in an effort to end the ongoing rail blockades and protests that have been popping up across the country.

As the government looks to deescalate the tensions caused by these blockades, the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations says they are almost there in terms of a meeting with hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline on their territory in B.C.

WATCH: Discussions between RCMP and Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs continue: public safety minister

Speaking in French, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says discussions continue between the feds, B.C. and the First Nation. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair is optimistic.

“As long as there is dialogue taking place, there is hope of resolution of the issues that are still in dispute,” Blair said. “But we’ll await the results of that.”

When asked if the prime minister would be involved in any formal talk, Trudeau says his Indigenous ministers are handling the file.

The government continues to call for all blockades to come down, but adds local police make decisions about enforcing court injunctions.

Meanwhile, on their way into caucus, some ministers did not say if they support Alberta’s efforts to increase penalties for anyone who blocks critical infrastructure.

The province introduced a new bill — the first of its spring session — that could see “stiff new penalties on law breakers” who are caught blocking infrastructure like railways, roadways, telecommunication lines, or pipelines.