When B.C. premier John Horgan said “the rule of law applies” in reference to the Coastal GasLink pipeline conflict, he meant that he would abide by an injunction granted by a provincial court to allow the company to enter and operate on Wet’suwet’en territory.
In doing so, he discounted a number of legal elements — and even an entire system of law — that arguably supercede the B.C. courts.
And thus he also unwittingly raised larger questions about the legal aspects of the conflict.
Whose laws apply? And which laws?
The rule of law is far more complicated in this case than simply following an injunction. A pre-existing system of Indigenous governance, Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and a United Nations declaration all bring into question the legal validity of the injunction granted to Coastal GasLink.
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