Canadian News Feb 20, 2020 12:41 PM EST

RCMP offer to withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory

The RCMP offered to leave their position on Wet’suwet’en territory—a move Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says he’s hopeful will lead to a resolution.

RCMP offer to withdraw from Wet’suwet’en territory
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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The RCMP has offered to leave their position on Wet’suwet’en territory—a move that Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says he’s hopeful will lead to the removal of illegal barricades across the nation’s railways.

“I’m very hopeful that that will satisfy the concerns that were raised,” said Blair of the situation.

“I think the RCMP have made a very sound operational decision based on the current circumstances.”

A letter obtained by CBC from RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan to the hereditary chiefs offers “temporary detachment” from nearby protests sites, to the town of Houston, British Columbia, “so long as Morice West Forest Service Road remains clear.”

The RCMP has confirmed that the letter was sent.

“As always, we encourage dialogue over enforcement with a goal of a long-term solution,” wrote Strachan, requesting a meeting “in the near future.”

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett will be meeting with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Hereditary chiefs have refused to meet with the federal and provincial government, making clear that no meeting would be had until the RCMP leave their territory.

Blair says he believes the barricades should come down.

“We have met the condition that those who were on the barricades had said was important to them before they would change their posture,” he said.

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