Houston RCMP is presently investigating an incident where individuals allegedly engaged in a violent confrontation with employees of Coastal GasLink, and with attending police officers along the Morice River Forest Service Road near Houston, BC.
On Thursday, February 17, 2022, shortly after midnight, Houston RCMP was called to the Marten Forest Service Road (FSR) after Coastal Gas Link (CGL) security reported acts of violence at their work site.
It was reported approximately 20 people, some armed with axes, were attacking security guards and smashing their vehicle windows. It was initially reported that some CGL employees were trapped, but all had managed to safely leave the area.
Upon police attendance at the 41 km mark, the roadway had been blocked with downed trees, tar covered stumps, wire, boards with spikes in them, and fires had been lit throughout the debris. As police worked their way through the debris and traps, several people threw smoke bombs and fire lit sticks at the police, injuring one officer.
At the 43 km mark, an old school bus blocked the road. No one was located in this area and with the assistance of CGL, the bus was cleared from the road and police continued on.
When police arrived at the drill pad at the 63 km mark, they found significant damage had been done to heavy machinery, fencing, and portable buildings. Police did not encounter any further blockades or protestors as they made their way to the drill pad nor did they locate anyone at the site. The cost of damage done is extensive as seen in the photos.
"This is a very troubling escalation in violent criminal activity that could have resulted in serious injury or death. This was a calculated and organized violent attack that left its victims shaken and a multimillion dollar path of destruction," says Chief Superintendent Warren Brown, North District Commander. "While we respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest in Canada, we cannot tolerate this type of extreme violence and intimidation. Our investigators will work tirelessly to identify the culprits and hold them accountable for their actions."
The RCMP is appealing to the public for assistance about the incident. This type of criminal activity and level of violence impacts the entire community, so we are urging anyone that has any information about the individuals involved to contact the Houston RCMP at 250-845-2204.