Coun. Gordy Robson (THE NEWS – files)

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

Maple Ridge Councillor Gordy Robson got himself into a disagreement with a supporter of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on the weekend.

On Friday afternoon Julena Breel, a clinical counsellor who works with First Nations youth in Prince Rupert, sent an email to mayor and council asking them to consider releasing a statement of solidarity with the hereditary chiefs in regards to their opposition of the Coastal GasLink project – a 670-kilometre pipeline from the province’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast.

She noted her hometown of Victoria issued a statement of support, and she included their statement in the email, so Maple Ridge’s mayor and council would have an idea of what has already been done.

READ MORE: What the Wet’suwet’en case says about how Canadian courts address Indigenous law

Late Friday, Breel received a response from Robson that upset her.

“I am so sorry that you don’t accept the decisions of your elected councils,” Robson wrote. “My solidarity is in support of their decisions to help their people. I think you’re embarrassing your band members.”

Breel, who called herself an, “uninvited white settler” in her email to mayor and council, took exception to the last line.

“[This] makes it clear to me Mr. Robson did not take the time to read my message and rather chose to reply with a canned response targeted towards Indigenous peoples,” she told The News.

“This is bullying, intimidation, and misplaced racism.”

READ MORE: Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Robson said Saturday that the Coastal GasLink pipeline controversy is something council should not be getting involved in, especially since the issue is not happening in Maple Ridge.

But he clarified the remarks were his own and not those of council.

“It would just be me,” he said. “Nothing to do with council. It has never been before council, nor should it be before council.”

Regarding the last line of his electronic reply to Breel, Robson admitted he made a mistake but also noted his frustration with the situation he was asked to comment on.

“I guess I shouldn’t have said that,” he said. “But it does [annoy me] that they’ve been through so much, these bands, and they’ve had discourse through their own bands and it’s a shame that they can’t get together and form a democracy and come up with a unified position.”



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Pipelinepipeline politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Northern Health recommends self-quarantine for people returning from Hubei

The healthcare provider said it isn’t neccessary for healthy children to wear face masks

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

Village crews restore water service

A contractor inadvertently damaged a line

Coastal GasLink goes back to work at Houston site

RCMP dismantle compound at Houston Community Hall and withdraw extra officers

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read