Tag Archives: Matt Simmons

Frustrated with government, Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs wavering on support for B.C. pipeline

Editor’s note: The Wet’suwet’en Nation is about 300 miles due north of Campbell. While there is no statistical data to show how widespread this sentiment is, a number of local residents have expressed sympathy for their struggle against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline. Max Thaysen, the current Alternate Director for Cortes Island, was a legal observer when the RCMP ‘invaded’ Wet’suwet’en Territory on February 7, 2020. There were protests in support of the Wet’suwet’sen on Cortes Island and in Campbell River. Many Quadra Island residents participated in the latter. When former MLA Claire Travena held a BC Ferries meeting on February 28th, 2020, she was forced to devote the first 20 minutes to a discussion of the Wet’suweten crisis.

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

On a bitterly cold morning in early March, Gitxsan Simgiigyat (Hereditary Chiefs) stood outside the provincial  Supreme Court building in Smithers, B.C., their regalia fending off the  icy air.

“Our way of life has been subverted by the  Canadian government,” Simogyat (Chief) Molaxan Norman Moore told a  gathering of supporters and observers, his voice reverberating off the  drab concrete building.

Inside, proceedings continued for a Hereditary Chief of the neighbouring Wet’suwet’en Nation, who was found guilty of criminal contempt  in February. The Simgiigyat organized the demonstration to show their  support for Dinï ze’ (Hereditary Chief) Dsta’hyl, who was arrested in  October 2021 after decommissioning Coastal GasLink machinery at pipeline construction sites on his Likhts’amisyu Clan territory. 

Continue reading Frustrated with government, Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs wavering on support for B.C. pipeline

The door to B.C.’s liquefied natural gas export sector is about to open. Here’s what you need to know

Editor’s note: In February 2013, the Christy Clark government proclaimed “LNG development is poised to trigger approximately $1 trillion in cumulative GDP within British Columbia over the next 30 years.” Eleven years later, the list of ‘proposed or under construction projects’ has shrunk from 20 to 7. The only local proposal, Discovery LNG in Campbell River, is no longer on the list. 

According to Natural Resources Canada, “LNG Canada, in Kitimat, BC, will be Canada’s first large-scale LNG export facility once complete, aiming for first exports by 2025. The majority of the other projects target beginning operations between 2027 and 2030.”

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

As Teresa Waddington proudly proclaimed LNG Canada is on track to wrap up construction in Kitimat, B.C., this year, the room full of hundreds of attendees at the BC Natural Resources Forum erupted in cheers.

“We are 90 per cent complete, bringing Canada’s first LNG export facility to life,” she said in mid-January, at the annual gathering of industry bigwigs and hopefuls, First Nations leaders, provincial and federal politicians and civil servants who had travelled from around the province to Prince George for the event.

Continue reading The door to B.C.’s liquefied natural gas export sector is about to open. Here’s what you need to know

A mistake is a gift: decolonizing journalism includes missteps and teachings

Editor’s not: The story of one man’s experience navigating the new world of more culturally sensitive journalism.

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

The Nisg̱a’a word for respect is kwhlixhoosa’anskw. 

Driving up to Nisg̱a’a territory to bear witness to a ceremony and take part in a feast, I knew there was going to be a lot of media at the events and I was concerned I might see some extractive or disrespectful behaviour. As a non-Indigenous journalist who lives near Nisg̱a’a lands, I am committed to decolonizing my journalism and know how easy it is to make a mistake.

I was worried there would be a lack of kwhlixhoosa’anskw. 

Continue reading A mistake is a gift: decolonizing journalism includes missteps and teachings

‘Hard to believe it’s real’: B.C.’s energy regulator repeatedly gave Coastal GasLink a pass on alleged environmental infractions

Editor’s note: Another account of how government regulators are not equipped to do their job and the resulting lack of oversight may be putting the public at risk.

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

When officials from the BC Energy Regulator travelled to Wet’suwet’en territory in September 2022, they were planning a routine inspection of a fish-bearing stream.

Two years had passed since Coastal GasLink completed installation of a section of pipeline through the stream, a tributary of Tchesinkut Creek, near the community of Burns Lake in northwest B.C.

They discovered Coastal GasLink had never finished restoring the waterway and, for two years, pipeline construction had been impacting fish habitat. It was a mess. 

Continue reading ‘Hard to believe it’s real’: B.C.’s energy regulator repeatedly gave Coastal GasLink a pass on alleged environmental infractions

‘Sell them for nothing or watch them starve’: farmers face difficult decisions amid B.C. drought

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

When Yoenne Ewald’s hay supply fell through this spring, she was devastated. Without hay, she can’t feed her cattle. Like most farmers, she’s tough and used to troubleshooting unexpected problems but the stress this year has been on another level.

“The options are to sell them for nothing or watch them starve,” she says on her farm just outside of New Hazelton, B.C. 

Continue reading ‘Sell them for nothing or watch them starve’: farmers face difficult decisions amid B.C. drought