Every day that you turn on your tv or your radio, one of the first headlines each hour is this blockade by protesters shutting down the railway which has inconvenienced many of us firsthand. Many of my friends’ children needed to find alternatives routes to get to and from school this week for reading week. A major hassle to reroute transportation for most and it doesn’t seem like it will improve in the coming days.
Native protesters have shut down the main Montreal-Toronto train corridor, other protesters blocked trains heading for New York and Michigan. The protesters, to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are opposing construction of a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia, have shut down all passenger train services in Canada and much of freight trains.
Here’s why we are in this predicament right now…
In British Columbia, all 20 elected band councils gave approval for the Coastal GasLink pipeline to be built across their lands, including the Wet’suwet’en band. But the heredity chiefs said elected officials only look after reservations, while they are responsible for all the land. Protesters have chosen to support the hereditary chiefs.
Canadian National Railway was granted a court injunction to end the Mohawk blockade, but law enforcement authorities have so far chosen not to enforce the injunction and remove protesters. In Vaughan, the railway also obtained a court injunction but when it was delivered to protesters, they burned it.
Pressure is mounting on the government to act to end the blockades as the rail shutdowns are damaging the Canadian economy. It is also damaging our international reputation as a reliable supplier, and our global partners need our economy and supplies moving rapidly without major interruptions. A rail disruption of this magnitude will soon constitute as an emergency for the Canadian economy.
Where is Trudeau in all of this?
Well he just got back from a world wind tour of Africa and other countries trying to secure a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. He cancelled his Barbados trip to supposedly deal with this issue.
This is a federal government issue and it’s up to the feds and Justin Trudeau to find the solution.
Justin Trudeau is facing growing calls from industry groups to remove crippling blockades of a planned gas pipeline through northern British Columbia, as talks between the government and protesters failed to resolve the crisis.
Even Conservative leader Andrew Scheer finally said something of significance the other day…
He said “racial activist were holding our country’s economy hostage” while Trudeau is out of the country doing meaningless global work. Even though he has nothing to lose by this statement, he is right, and Trudeau should show some leadership on this issue soon, before it gets out of hand.
These protesters are basically running roughshod over the rule of law and these protesters should be held accountable and arrested if need be. Imagine if you or l were to protest and we disobey the law, we would be arrested on the spot with no questions asked. Trudeau has said that Canada has failed our Indigenous people over generations, over centuries, and there is no quick fix to this issue. He has also said that we are a country that recognises the right to protest but we are a country of the rule of law and we will “make sure everything is done to resolve this through dialogue and constructive outcomes”.
Justin Trudeau has always walked a fine line when it comes to dealing with Indigenous issues and seeking reconciliation to many of their issues, especially the pipeline. Trudeau’s Liberal government is in a precarious position having failed to win another majority in last year’s national elections and is treading very softly on this blockade issue.
Its up to Justin Trudeau to solve the problem and no one else, this is a national issue affecting all of Canada, and it is imperative that the federal government and Trudeau take a more proactive role and show some balls to the true rule of law. Get this done, because it will create further animosity and continue to damage our economy.
Show us what you are made of… this is a great opportunity for you to make an important and relevant impact on Canadians.
Stand tall and show some hutzpah…