02.17.2020 09:20 AM

Meet you on the barricades


  1. the real Sean says:

    It would have been helpful to have an indigenous person in a prominent Cabinet position at this precise moment. Alas that person made the unforgivable mistake of following the law, telling the truth and offering competent professional advice. We now know that person was only there for show.

  2. A. Voter says:

    Can the protesters be arrested? Can the protesters be sued for business losses? If anti-abortion activists used the same tactics, would they get the same hands-off treatment?

  3. HarryR says:

    Alas, Canada, with her toothless gums, has no bite but can only suck. Double entendre intended.

  4. Doug Brown says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. If blockades are easy to implement, the penalty for doing so must be timely, certain and consistent. Otherwise, such activities will become common. By failing to implement rule of law, this government drifts ever closer to illegitimacy.

  5. Nick M. says:

    I think it’s time Chrystia Freeland becomes PM.

    She is bi-cultural. Laurentian Elite and North Western Canadian.

    I have lived in downtown Toronto, volunteered so much for the NDP, that Howard Hamptons chief organizer would call me NDPs greatest volunteer.

    I now live in Edmonton. My First job out west was in Dawson Creek.

    The old me, a left wing progressive urbanite from Eastern Canada’s Toronto who thought he was so smart, is blinded by his own ignorance of what is happening out here.

    Thats why I don’t think that Eastern Canadians who thought it a good idea to have Jody as presiding Minister of the Indian Act are the leadership we need right now.

  6. Mike Jeffries says:

    With Bloc support, with Bloc detesting pipes, and with Quebec going to get money for Bombard. losses Justin can focus on getting his cherished UN seat. Blame Ontario for this. I blame them!

  7. Yet Another Calgarian says:

    The protesters aren’t exercising a right to protest they are exercising a veto. Once the job losses from this start piling in Ontario I expect things will change rapidly.

    Or the Prime Minister will.

  8. William R Morrison says:

    “plenty of places to go” but not presumably an infinite supply of anarchists willing to be arrested.

  9. PJH says:

    Oh there will be action taken by the Federal gov’t now….Downtown Torontonian condo owners Biff and Muffy have been prevented from getting their Grande half-caff soy latte from their favourite Starbucks…..Biff: “I mean really!”


    • Downtown Torontonian condo owners take the subway under Bloor, which wasn’t impacted. Most protests and parades in Toronto take place on streets with subways to minimize transit distribution.

  10. Steve Teller says:

    Or, said another way: Criminals will always find a new place to commit their crimes.

    Because that’s what these railway-barricades are in many places: a criminal act in defiance of a legally-binding court order. And a criminal act that doesn’t even have the support of most Indigenous people.

    Yet some morons still see this as some sort of noble venture.

  11. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Let’s put the blame where it squarely belongs: on the last ten Governments of Canada. All of them could have made a politcal decision that would likely have solved this but no they prefer to be paternalistic and subtly racist.

    Meanwhile, they aren’t any better when it comes to parity in educational financing…is it normal or just in 2020 that the AFN has to sue the shit out of Ottawa so FN children are not treated as second-class in this hypocritical country of ours?

  12. Robert White says:

    Police are mere functionaries of government and as such their position is one of bystander. PMO can’t offend First Nations, and First Nations has a righteous beef with the Liberal Party.

    OPP et al. will merely watch until ordered otherwise. Warren is right, there are plenty of spots to occupy at will. Civil disobedience is like that, eh.

    God bless civil disobedience.


    • Steve Teller says:

      God Bless It, hey? Really?

      Sounds like a nice throwaway phrase, until it is your town they are isolating; your livestock that die because no heating propane can be delivered; your crop that can’t be brought to market; your First Nation whose will is being subverted by alleged “supporters” thousands of kilometers away that are robbing you of resource revenue; your First Nation’s name that is being stolen under false premises.

      Not sure whose “god” is blessing these blockaders, but it sure isn’t the sort of God that I believe in.

  13. Seb says:

    The Wet’swuwet’en people are being used and abused, by a bunch of foreign funded eco-terrorist! They are acting in favour of what could only be described as an Native mafia family. Two of the previous Hereditary Females were drummed out of their positions. Two of the opposing Hereditary Chiefs ran for Tribal council and were soundly defeated. There is a lot more to this story, than is being reported!https://www.resourceworks.com/unistoten

    • lyn says:

      Seb: I read the same article something stinks D. Suzuki name was also mentioned. He must be funding some of the activists to build homes right on the GPS route for the pipelines and LNG line routes!! Very interesting htpps://www.resourcworks.com/unistoten a must read!

  14. Gilbert says:

    I doubt Pierre Trudeau would have been so passive.

  15. Fred from BC says:

    ” There is a lot more to this story, than is being reported!https://www.resourceworks.com/unistoten

    Great link, Seb. Should be required reading for anyone expressing support for these ongoing protests.

    (the BC government gave 400,000 dollars last month to build a protest camp directly in the path of the pipeline? WFT??)

  16. Paige says:

    Welcome to the new war in the woods. After ten years the agreements from the last one are just starting to be abrogated and reviled. Obviously time for a new sequel.
    Seriously though…Isn’t it enlightening just how fragile our infrastructure is? That 50 natives can cause $400000000 in lost GDP daily (or so the internet says). Think what would happen if Canada had any actual enemies.

  17. Gord says:

    If I felt that the protestors were legitimate representatives of Indigenous Canadians and their concerns, I’d be more inclined to agree with you.

    But what we have is a tiny, vocal minority that are acting in opposition to the will of elected (and in many cases, hereditary as well) band leaders. If we are going to have a nation-to-nation relationship, then it seems to me that the Crown is only obliged to deal with the democratically elected leadership of the First Nations.

    What’s more, many of the protestors are not Indigenous at all, but are using the so-called interests of Indigenous Canadians as a fig leaf to advance their own social and economic agendas.

    • Steve Teller says:

      You are using facts in your argument. We are way past that now. The media, whether due to laziness or incompetence, now regularly say that the blockaders are “in support of the Wet’sut’weten”, which is a lie. They are shutting down the economy in “support” of the hereditary chiefs, which are NOT the Wet’sut’weten people nor even their elected leaders.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Absolutely fair points. But what trumps (really, really bad word) that IMHO, is the concept of minority rights, disenfranchised, disgruntled, axe-grinding or otherwise. Trudeau or any and all of his predecessors have produced an unmitigated disaster on this file. FNs have never been seen as the true economic stakeholders and partners that they are and should be across the board. That’s the important reality big picture, not who the hereditary chiefs are or who gets elected to band councils.

      • The Doctor says:

        Well that raises an interesting point. So much partisan political rhetoric and media coverage is inane, one-sided and misinformed that a lot of Canadians just assume that all aboriginal people are 100% opposed to any and all resource extraction projects or industries. Yet the reality on the ground is far different. You should see the statistic on aboriginal employment in the mining industry in Canada, for example. It’s a huge number, and something that your average lefty latte sipper in The Annex has no clue about.

      • Paige says:

        There is a reason there are almost no treatys in this side of the Rockies. Back east the Europeans met independent nations and negotiated treatys as required. Whether those treatys proved to be bad deals for the natives isn’t important , they have been working at modifying and reinterpreting those documents ansd will continue to do so. West of the Rockies, this land was purchased from the Oregon Territory. It’s not unreasonable to assume all first nation rights in the territory were extinguished by conquest by the Americans before we purchased them

    • Paige says:

      In the near term it doesn’t matter if the protesters are legitimate indigenous people. There’s a lot of self satisfied joy in being able to shut down Canada among the protest clique. I was reading in the Nat Observer how the organisers were so empoweredbecause they have been at every protest since the olympics and they finally have an issue the public supports.

      The whole question of who is an legitimate indian wont be solved any time soon, as in not within our lifetime). Will indigenous national identity be determined by birth, by adoption, by blood quantum?

      I’m an old white guy who grew up in transient work camps in northern BC and so should be one to wish for the status quo to protect the life I have made for my family, but the fact is I see that the lack of effective reconciliation with the natives is the single greatest failing in our society.

      The other thing I know is there is no way the natives are going to be rushed into settlement of outstanding issues. Actually achieving a mutually acceptable agreement with a first nation will take at minimum a decade. We have to repeat this process hundreds of times. There is no hope.

  18. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    To put it another way, during my first CPC incarnation, was I any less a Conservative than the average Jane and Jo because I reflexively took Harper on from the get-go, in actuality from the moment he became Alliance leader? Did that make me any less of a Conservative than the plurality who quite deliberately went out of their way to suck his ass? The answer is No. Did exactly the same thing with Trudeau from the moment he booted JWR and JP from caucus.

  19. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    And while I’m at it, it wasn’t MY job to do the heavy lifting in challenging the PM in cabinet. That was the job of my ministers, the ones I most admired: Freeland, Goodale and my candidate, Marc. I can only imagine that Chrystia put personal political considerations first. As for Ralph and Marc, I have no idea. Let’s just say it wasn’t their finest political moment for any of them, when they failed to step up. In other words, they were no Stock around the cabinet table.

  20. Henry says:

    ” The protestors can just move to another spot.”

    They can’t move on to another spot if they’re in jail where they belong. Good stiff prison sentences will quickly put an end to this criminal nonsense!!

  21. Douglas W says:

    Rule of law applies: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou & extradition process.
    Rule of law does not apply: rail blockades.
    So much for rule of law.

    • Gord says:

      Also, rule of law applies: Indigenous land claims, enforcement of treaty rights, endless litigation over consultation in major projects, adequacy of environmental reviews, enforcement of s. 35 rights.

      There is a particularly asinine column from lawyer Corey Shefman in today’s Globe in which he urges us not to use “rule of law” as a “weapon” against Indigenous people. Never mind that he makes a very good living wielding that same “weapon” on behalf of his Indigenous clients.

      It never ceases to amaze me how some Indigenous groups are more than happy to resort to the courts and common law when it suits their interests, while dismissing them as “colonial relics” when it doesn’t.

  22. lyn says:

    The Quebecois is purposing a motion to stop Teck Resources mine in Alberta. Also Ontario’s Queens University has a petition to stop Teck Resouces mine from going forward. What the h*ll is wrong with all these people trying to stop Alberta from employing it’s population. We need a new PM as Trudeau is dead in the brain as far as I’m concerned!!

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Trudeau knows he has to do right by Alberta. That’s why Liberals and Conservatives will ultimately make sure that it goes through, as it should.

      Now, for all of you in Alberta, put maximum pressure now on Kenney to start working on a transition plan away from oil and gas. That work has to begin now. Kenney knows that perfectly well but doesn’t have the guts to come clean with Albertans. He’d rather BS them into thinking that O & G is good for another 100 years…when it ain’t.

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