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Prime minister pleased tensions are easing at site of B.C. pipeline protest

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says arrests at a blockade this week shows the government needs to properly engage with Indigenous Peoples and build a different relationship than it has had in the past.

During a stop today at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Trudeau says he was pleased to see tensions had eased between police and First Nations outside a proposed natural gas construction zone in northern British Columbia.

He says he knows there will be questions about the actions of police and how things may have been done differently when they served a court injunction obtained by the company building the pipeline.

Trudeau says it’s time to figure out how to make sure there is proper engagement with more respect when projects are built.

At a town hall meeting in Kamloops on Wednesday night, Trudeau was interrupted and shouted down by some Indigenous people in the crowd who were angry over the arrests of 14 people on Monday.

Will George accused the prime minister of lying about wanting to reconcile with First Nations, while a woman in the crowd asked him what he would do to stop the oppression of her people.

Trudeau replied that Canada has a “long and terrible history” with First Nations but his government is working toward reconciliation.

Kamloops is the first of what’s expected to be a series of town hall events for the prime minister in different regions of Canada.

The Canadian Press

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