Clear the tracks

Beth Bailey, Executive Director

We’re back on track at Suits and Boots – today’s newsletter will now get us back to regular updates, ideas and calls to action. You’ll be hearing from us on  a weekly basis now – so thanks for your patience and ongoing support.

One thing that is definitely NOT on track is the Canadian economy, held hostage by protestors against the Coastal GasLink project in BC who are blocking railways, bridges and major road intersections across Canada.

We all know that Canada’s resource sector cannot thrive without strong leadership, from Boots on the ground, Suits in the offices of Canada’s leading resource companies – and most importantly of all, with political leadership in Ottawa from the government of the day. Events over the past week show we clearly aren’t getting leadership in the Prime Minister’s office while the Coastal GasLink protests hit full stride.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was missing in action, campaigning for UN Security Council votes in Africa. He called for “dialogue” and flew off to another meeting in Munich while, in the meantime rail traffic ground to a halt. The result: business disruption; layoffs; cancellations and general mayhem resulting from a small group of protestors who were clearly flaunting the rule of law.

Clearly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far failed miserably in showing leadership at a time of crisis. Quite the contrast from another Prime Minister who showed leadership and backbone in another time of crisis 50 years earlier. That Prime Minister was named Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Thanks to radio broadcaster Charles Adler for tweeting out last week some film footage he dug up from the CBC archives, showing Trudeau Sr. during the FLQ crisis. Click here to see what real leadership in a time of crisis looks like.

There are a number of actors and a number of angles on this whole issue that are important to clearly understand. Here is an excellent overview provided to us by our friends at Modern Miracle Network that we thought you might find very useful.

Information on Coastal GasLink Project

Support Points For Coastal GasLink

All 20 Elected First Nations signed agreements in support of Coastal GasLink
https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/wetsuweten-members-back-to-work-on-coastal-gaslink-pipeline5/6  or nearly 85% of the elected Wet’suwet’en band councils support
https://www.resourceworks.com/hereditary-chief

Majority of public supports Coastal GasLink
http://angusreid.org/coastal-gaslink-wetsuweten/

Majority of public opposes protests
http://angusreid.org/coastal-gaslink-wetsuweten/

Blockade protests not supported by those in favour.
https://www.wltribune.com/news/tsilhqotin-chief-joe-alphonse-hopes-for-united-position-from-wetsuweten-nation-as-a-whole/Total support around 13 000 Indigenous people represented by 20 elected First Nations. 
https://theprovince.com/news/bc-politics/mike-smyth-the-inconvenient-truth-for-pipeline-blockadersFirst Nations support the pipeline to alleviate poverty.
https://aptnnews.ca/2018/12/01/the-opportunity-we-have-is-immeasurable-b-c-first-nation-waits-for-lng-facility/B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the Indigenous law by which the hereditary chiefs claim their legitimacy doesn’t supersede Canadian law.https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/b-c-s-top-court-rules-for-6-6-billion-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-against-indigenous-law
Opposition to Blockades

Small opposition of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs
https://aptnnews.ca/2018/12/21/hereditary-chief-in-b-c-says-community-needs-lng-pipeline/Blockades and protests are being co-opted by non-indigenous groups such as road blockade in Komox valley, but claimed to be. 
https://www.cheknews.ca/komoks-first-nation-not-involved-in-highway-19-blockade-chief-rempel-says-646022/Most of the protesters have little knowledge of the project or are misinformed.
https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/mike-smyth-a-wild-day-at-the-legislature-as-pipeline-protests-continue/wcm/bec63d5f-c7d1-4d2c-845c-c0be1786cd1cLarge social media influence from non-indigenous voices creating larger divide
https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1226137808865243136Hereditary Chiefs opposed to project are silencing hereditary chiefs who are in favour, removed title and put on their supporters.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-wetsuweten-chiefs-remove-hereditary-titles-of-three-women-who/Does not have the support of general public and First Nations impacted by Coastal GasLink.
https://www.burnslakelakesdistrictnews.com/local-news/most-first-nations-in-northern-bc-support-lng-pipeline-2/

So now – let’s hear from you. What do you think of these blockades? What action should the RCMP, provinces or federal government take?

Let us know – email now

And what role do you think we should play in this at Suits and Boots? How do you think we can help?

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your continued support.

Beth Bailey
Executive Director

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