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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Kamloops to a large group protesters on both sides of the pipeline debate on Wednesday.
A group led by Indigenous demonstrators reportedly stood on one side of the parking lot with a sign that read “PM Trudeau: Canada needs climate action now” while on the other side an opposing group of protesters in yellow vests carried signs reading “Carbon Tax Cash Grab” and “Trudeau for Treason.”
The Prime Minister’s first town hall of the year comes in the middle of a heated scene near Houston, B.C., where on Monday RCMP arrested 14 protesters blocking access to the LNG Canada project.
Blockades had been created by protesters who argue the government has not received consent from Wet’suwet’en house chiefs, who are hereditary and control the territory, rather than elected chiefs who govern the reserves.
Prior to his Kamloops town hall Monday night, Trudeau met with Mayor Ken Christian as well as Chief of Skeetchestn Indian Band, Dr. Ronald E. Ignace, and Chief of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Roseanne Casimir.
Social media responses to Trudeau’s town hall indicate that he is in for a fierce line of questioning regarding the pipeline blockade, which he commented as “not an ideal situation” earlier in the day.
Better be ready to answer questions about the violation of UNDRIP.— Kichelle (@kichelle) January 9, 2019
We have a few questions about what's happening on Wet'suwet'en lands, and how that aligns with UNDRIP? Oh wait, it doesn't. #cdnpoli— My Sea to Sky (@MySea2Sky) January 9, 2019
The federal riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo is held by Conservative MP Cathy McLeod and the Liberals see B.C. as a key battleground for the election in October.
With files from the Canadian Press.