The Idle No More movement is about to declare war on Stephen Harper's vision of Canada, The Petro Power. According to this morning's Globe and Mail:
Allan Adam The chief of Alberta’s Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said in an interview that local resentment will fuel a movement to block the main artery linking Fort McMurray to the south. “The protest will last through the summer and the blockade of Highway 63 is going to happen if things don’t change,” Mr. Adam said. “If he’s going to stonewall the first nations people, we can stonewall the highways too.”
Mr. Adam, 46, said many in the oil-sands region are tired of what he calls the Harper government’s unending push to weaken the country’s environmental laws. The prominent first nations leader has long raised concerns about how bitumen projects affect health in the Athabasca River region – his band has claimed higher cancer rates among its members, and more catches of deformed fish. “We’ve been Idling No More since 2007,” he said on Sunday.
The movement was fuelled by Bill C-45 -- the government's recently passed Omnibus Budget Bill -- which negated most of Canada's environmental legislation, particularly the Navigable Waters Act. It was a clear violation of the Indian Act and was the spark which lit the fuse.
The coming battle is between two visions of Canada -- the" petro power" and what John Ralston Saul has called the "Metis Nation." Back in 2006, Harper told an American think tank, "you won't recognize Canada when I get through with it."
Canada's native peoples are dedicated to the Metis vision of Canada. The courts are with them. Now the question is, "Are Canadians with them?"
It's crunch time.