Hearing put over to April for Coastal GasLink pipeline protesters in B.C.

Justice Marguerite Church agreed with a request to put the matter over to April 15

Fourteen people arrested while protesting a pipeline in northwestern British Columbia will have to wait about two months to learn if contempt charges against them will be pursued as a criminal or civil matter.

The 14 were in court in Prince George Monday after being arrested Jan. 7 when heavily armed RCMP officers dismantled a blockade south of Houston, B.C.

Justice Marguerite Church agreed with a request to put the matter over to April 15 to give more time to go over disclosure and allow the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch to consider how to proceed.

Whether to move to the matter to Smithers, closer to where the defendants live, will also be considered at the April hearing.

READ MORE: Unist’ot’en demand work stoppage of Coastal GasLink pipeline project

Arrests began after Coastal GasLink won an interim injunction prohibiting protesters from impeding pre-construction work on the $6.2-billion pipeline which would carry natural gas from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat.

The gas would then be liquefied for shipment overseas as part of the recently approved $40-billion LNG Canada project.

Meanwhile, those opposing a permanent injunction against any further blockades of the pipeline now have until Feb. 20 to make their case after the deadline was extended from Jan. 31.

Coastal GasLink has been given until May 31 to file its response. (Prince George Citizen)

Prince George Citizen, The Canadian Press

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