FILE — An anti-pipeline protest was held in Prince Rupert on Jan. 8, coordinated with protests happening across the country in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation people opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline. (Matthew Allen/The Northern View)

Letter: Deeper reporting needed

I would have expected the Morning Star to have published a more balanced and informative article.

With the ease of access to information afforded by the internet, I would have expected the Morning Star to have published a more balanced and informative article then what appeared on page A13 of the Jan. 11, 2019 edition of the paper.

The writer of “Shuswap chiefs decry action against anti-pipeline protests” made no attempt to provide the reader with the information necessary to understand that this situation is largely the result of a power struggle between the elected band council and hereditary chiefs within the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. A Nov. 29, 2018 news article from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (ATPN) reported the following:

When LNG Canada announced the $40-billion pipeline approval in October, it said it had unanimous support from all northern B.C. First Nations. But the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation are opposed — even though their elected band council has endorsed the project. (APTN)

The APTN news article goes on to report on how the Haisla Nation intends to use pipeline money to help its people. Chief Councillor Crystal Smith’s recent “open letter to opponents and critics of LNG development” further expands on the Haisla’s support of the pipeline. The Morning Star article quotes Wayne Christian as having said “that Shuswap chiefs support…the nation’s male and female hereditary chiefs”. The support shown for the female Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs will be welcome, given that they are getting none from their male counterparts with whom they disagree:

“We don’t want [LNG Canada] money,” said Chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale). “We’ve stripped the names from three female hereditary chiefs for supporting the pipeline. A name is more important than money.” (APTN)

More rigour is required in the reporting of news stories, particularly when the issue is so polarized. The Morning Star’s failure to adequately inform its readers encourages unnecessary and costly strife, and aids and abets Reuben George’s call to make B. C. a “battleground.”

Maureen Evans

P.S. The Coastal GasLink pipeline does not “carry liquefied natural gas from the Peace Region” as stated in your article but, rather, natural gas which is then liquefied at the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.

Maureen Evans

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