Officers pictured at the Gidimt’en checkpoint on Jan. 7, 2019. Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach is calling for an independent review of police action following the RCMP’s dismantling of the Gidimt’en checkpoint on Jan. 7, 2019. (Canadian Press photo)

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP calling for independent review of RCMP action at Gidimt’en

Bachrach wants the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission to conduct a review of RCMP action

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach is calling for an independent review of police action following an incendiary report by The Guardian about the RCMP’s dismantling of the Gidimt’en checkpoint on Jan. 7, 2019.

The call from Bachrach comes after notes from an RCMP strategy session on the raid were allegedly obtained and published by the U.K.-based newspaper.

In a Facebook post, Bachrach reacted to The Guardian’s unconfirmed reporting that the RCMP was arguing for actions such as “lethal overwatch” (a term denoting sniper presence) being required for the deployment.

The Guardian also alleged officers were given approval to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want” in their removal of the Gidimt’en checkpoint, which was erected in 2018 by members of the Wet’suwet’en nation and their supporters.

A separate document also allegedly references an officer’s opinion that arrests would be necessary for “sterilizing the site” while another noted while the Wet’suwet’en had firearms for hunting there was no indication they would use them against the RCMP.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protest

The checkpoint is one of multiple sites meant to restrict access to Coastal GasLink (CGL) workers and their proposed 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline.

On Jan. 7, 2019, armed RCMP officers made their way to the checkpoint to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction, took apart the gate and arrested 14 people in the process.

All 14 arrested individuals subsequently had their charges dismissed.

In the Dec. 20 Facebook post, Bachrach said he found the Guardian article hard to read.

“To learn that in its planning the RCMP encouraged violence against people who are our friends and neighbours is heartbreaking and deeply troubling,” he wrote.

“Instructions such as ‘sanitize the area’ and ‘use as much violence as you want’ are not appropriate.”

Bachrach said he is calling on the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission to conduct an independent review of the RCMP’s planning and actions related to the Jan. 7, 2019 incidents to determine whether they are consistent with Canadian law enforcement standards.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protes

The request from Bachrach comes more than two months after a request from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en demanding Forests Minister Doug Donaldson issue a cease-and-desist order to CGL’s 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline due to the “ongoing destruction of Wet’suwet’en cultural heritage and archaeological sites, and non-compliance with Wet’suwet’en and BC Provincial law.”



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Digital Daffodils

April is Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer awareness month

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

City gives no response to homelessness concerns

City demands shelter close, but no response to pleas from shelter to open Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Feds and Chamber of Commerce team up to support businesses

PRDCC is offering weekly conference calls to business in Prince Rupert

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Most Read