Thursday, February 13, 2020

Increasing Chaos

The chaos surrounding the natural gas pipeline in British Columbia is spreading across the country. And Linda McQuaig is struck by the difference between how the Trudeau government treats Jason Kenney and Canada's native people:

I admit to being against further oilsands development, making me a person of interest to the sleuths in Kenney’s $30-million “war-room” who are tasked with vilifying oilsands critics. Of course, they’re really hoping to unmask “foreign-funded special interests,” and I don’t have a single dollar of foreign backing. Still I do what I can!
The war room is just one of the Alberta premier’s bullying tactics, along with threatening Western separation, as he tries to intimidate critics and pressure the Trudeau government into approving the proposed Teck mine, a vast 293-square-kilometre open pit mine, which would be the biggest tarsands mine yet.
Meanwhile, there’s a willingness to play hardball when opposition is coming from Indigenous people and powerful business interests are against them.
These hardball tactics have been on display in northwestern B.C. in recent weeks as Wet’suwet’en Indigenous protestors, trying to block a pipeline from crossing their land, have been confronted with highly militarized RCMP officers dressed in combat fatigues, bearing assault rifles and police dogs.
Chainsawing though a gate marked “Reconciliation,” the RCMP have forcibly removed the occupiers — that is, people occupying their own land — amid prayers for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, sparking nationwide protests. Most of the media attention has focused on how disruptive the protests have been to southern train travel.

We are faced -- in stark terms -- with the central question of our times: Will money triumph over the planet? That may sound melodramatic. But I believe that, in the end, that's the question we must answer.

At the moment, money seems to have the upper hand.

Image: CBC


the salamander said...

The ‘Calder’ case 1973 – The Delgamuukw vs The Queen case - decided by Canada’s Supreme Court in 1997 – The Tsilqot’in Case in 2014. I have read the Delgamuukw judgement in its entirety twice. Let me repeat I am currently a senior and a house painter, not a lawyer. Also, there are many links to Our Governments quest on behalf of Big Business, especially Big Energy to 'Gain Certainty' ie control of First Nations territories in the path of pipelines or logging tracts, drilling, pollution, commercial fishing, mining, salmon farming, real estate, water rights etc etc

Let's first and foremost as Canadians, stand for Truth, Fact, Reality, Honesty.. In my view 'the Law of the Land' must be rooted there. Last night I observed a Mainstream Television host arguing the Wet'suwet'en protest situation, and in typical Mainstream Media error. Its was CTV & Question Period. He defended The Law and the rights of Canadians to expect Protest such as we are seeing to respect the recent Supreme Court decision, allowing the Coastal GasLink injunction. ie Stop Protesting

What ?

The reason 'a new trial' was required back in 1997 was due to specific filing errors mainly, that would be corrected and resolved in a new trial. The question of Aboriginal Title was resolved and declared indisputable. The BC lands or territories having never been ceded, were indeed controlled by the respective First Nations. They alone could determine the value of 'allowing' commercial enterprises passage or land use etc

The new trial would resolve the very specific geographical boundaries of each of the Territories under Aboriginal Title. That new trial directive has been succesfully delayed, ignored, deferred, quasi legally balked.. and thus The Supreme Court directive defied.. Indefinitely. In the meantime, we see the joint effort, the collusion of OUR Federal and OUR Provincial Governments (OUR Public Servants, paid and pensioned by US) to misrepresent the status quo via flowery protestations of 'we have work to do, together' ' we are partners with The First Nations'.. ie their twisted, deceitful interpretation and defiance of OUR Supreme Court. Main Media happily pimps the opinions of such as Evan Solomon out.. crying 'the Supreme Court says they do not have a veto !' Au contraire mr Solomon.. the injunction you speak of is based upon a clear infringement upon Aboriginal Title as per those three landmark decisions.. try to keep up !

I have tried to illuminate this via Susan On The Soapbox comments and also via The Disaffected Lib - Mound among others

The only remaining question is at what point does Our Supreme Court inquire why the delay of 22 to 23 years to schedule the new trial and whether at this point, the respective Governments shall be responsible for all court costs, including those of the offended party, The First Nations. Is The Supreme Court also at fault here ? One might also ask if an elected Government acting in Contempt of The Supreme Court must resign ? Surely there are real consequences ? Mr Trudeau ? Mr Horgan.. and going back, Mr Harper ? Mrs Clark ?

Steve Cooley said...

Victoria's newspaper, TimesColonist, has two commentaries in it today. One is by the current major and the other by an Indigenous scholar. Neither claim to have a solution to the problem and both try to explain the impasse.

A quote from the scholar - "First Nations and their supporters are entirely within their rights to rebel, to engage in civil disobedience for there are two sets of laws in this land – Indigenous law and settler law. Today, settler law stands on trial, and Indigenous law fully backs the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are exercising their lawful rights on their territory."

Most of us understand the saying that all men are equal and some men are more equal than others. This gas pipeline is a current illustration of this age old cynical truism.

Toby said...

It's interesting to compare the RCMP approaches to the pipeline blockade with its investigations of the missing and murdered women along Hwy 16. When powerful resource corporations demand the Mounties are out in force. When poor women disappear . . .

Anonymous said...

Money may seem to have the upper hand for now, but the planet can't be bought it corrupted by it. My money's on the planet in the long run.


Owen Gray said...

One thing is for sure, sal. This is not just about a pipeline. This is about all kinds of unresolved issues.

Owen Gray said...

We founded this country on two types of law, Steve -- British Common Law and French Civil Law.By now it should be abundantly clear that we have to make room for First Nations Law.

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Toby. We don't have equal treatment under the law.

Owen Gray said...

I hope your right, Cap.

The Disaffected Lib said...

At the moment, Owen, money is on the move. Much as Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, their counterpart at the Bank of France and others have warned for years, the Carbon Bubble may be about to burst.

This month has witnessed a series of seismic shocks. CNBC's brash investment guru opened it with a declaration that fossil energy was over, finished.

"You can tell that the world's turned on them, and it's actually kind of happening very quickly," said Cramer. "You're seeing divestiture by a lot of different funds. It's going to be a parade ... that says look, 'These are tobacco, and we're not going to own them.'"

Four days later, the world's largest investment firm, Blackrock, announced that it was exiting fossil fuels, starting with the high-carbon stuff. Blackrock manages $7 trillion and, when it moves, the rest of the market follows.

That first week wasn't out when new estimates came out for construction of Trudeau's Folly, the Trans-Mountain pipeline. The feds had lowballed it by 70 per cent.

The hammer fell yesterday when the New York Times reported on the flight of capital from high-carbon fossil fuels. This time they named names. This time they named Alberta, the Tar Sands and bitumen.

"...on Wednesday BlackRock, the worlds largest asset manager, said that one of its fast-growing green-oriented funds would stop investing in companies that get revenue from the Alberta oil sands.

"They are the latest in a flood of banks, pension funds and global investment houses starting to pull away from fossil-fuel investments amid growing pressure to show they are doing something to fight climate change.

"'If you look at how destructive oil sands can be, there’s a very strong rationale,” Armando Senra, head of BlackRock’s iShares Americas funds, said in an interview, saying that Alberta’s oil fields, along with coal, are “the worst offenders, if you want, from a climate perspective."'

Even major insurers won't touch Tar Sands operators any longer.

"Some of the world’s largest insurance companies, including AXA, Swiss RE and Zurich Insurance, announced they would stop providing coverage to projects in the oil sands, which are sometimes referred to as tar sands, as well as no longer investing money in those projects.

"In December, the American insurer The Hartford said it would no longer insure or invest in companies that get more than a quarter of their revenue from oil sands or thermal coal mining."

It wasn't that long ago when a Liberal leader declared Athabasca, "the beating heart of the Canadian economy for the 21st century. It will be three years next month that Ignatieff's successor told a gathering of oil barons in Houston that, "No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there." He then went on to brand his father's energy policy a blunder.

We appear to be witnessing Mark Carney's warning unfolding. Carney, the previous governor of the Bank of England, and their counterpart at the Bank of France, have repeatedly warned that the stock markets and bourses of the world were sitting on a time bomb in the form of $27 trillion dollars sunk into proven fossil fuel reserves. Those warnings fell on deaf ears in Ottawa and Edmonton.

Now Jason and Justin are being overtaken by events. I expect both men figured the collapse wouldn't happen on their watch. They certainly acted as though they could kick that can down the road. It would be the next guy's nightmare.

Kenney's approach is to set up a war room to find someone, anyone to scapegoat. It will be environmentalists, not investment giants named Blackrock, who will be his target. As for Trudeau, he'll probably bungle the whole mess. The Teck mine? He won't make his decision based on the merits. His focus will be on preserving his own political skin.

zoombats said...

For anyone interested or who might have missed it, Democracy Now has an informative interview with Molly Wickham
a land defender and matriarch of the Gidimt’en Clan of Wet’suwet’en Nation and Pamela Palmater
Mi’kmaq lawyer and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She is the chair in indigenous governance at Ryerson University.

Owen Gray said...

There are times in history when the beating heart of an economy goes into cardiac arrest, Mound. Fossil fuels -- the bedrock of the Industrial Revolution -- have outlived that Revolution. The world is moving on. Albertans, and those who support them, will be left holding the bag.

Owen Gray said...

Thnaks for the tip, zoombats. I'll take a look.

tf said...

To follow the thread hinted at by Linda McQuaig -
Jason Kenney threatens to separate a province from Canada if Alberta doesn't get it's way.
How do pipeline or mine supporters react to Kenney's threats?
On the other hand - opponents of the pipeline or mine or dam are threatened with arrest and courts approve injunctions against them.
I want to see courts approve injunctions against Alberta for intimidations and threats.
Then I might start to think the laws are equal.
Right now, governance and the rule of law is one-sided in favour of the powers-that-be.

e.a.f. said...

Can't even say money has the upper hand. this is the RCMP as a law unto its own. who asked the RCMP to do what they are doing? Over a month ago it was reported the RCMP were training for this. When I wrote the Cabinet Minister responsible regarding the RCMP coming to B.C. with assault weapons, they acknowledged receipt of my letter and that is all I ever heard.

I do not view any of this as chaos, but the natural order when people have been ignored for decades, lets give it a nice round number and lets go with a hundred years of being ignored, even when they win court cases. the natural order is people protest and that is what is being done. It is doubtful the rail roads and ports thought they would be targeted so its come as some surprise this has been taken into the urban areas. Corporations, politicians, the MSM most likely expected this would stay in the north. surprise. No one pays attention when its kept in the North. that was very well demonstrated when people protested Site C in the North.

Its good to see the young people protesting. Our age group protested nuclear weapons, the war in Vietnam, the draft, segregation, the lack of abortion rights, etc. Then all went silent until, in B.C., we had the Claquaot Sound demos or the War in the Woods. O.K. the Battle in Seattle was pretty decent and so were the protests in Toronto. then silence.

In my view, Indigenous young people thought there might be changes once Trudeau was elected. There were some, but not enough. They started dumping mercury in the water in the 1960s. Fishing has been shut down for 40 years and still no clean up. The Canadian government didn't even bother with the issue until Japanese Scientists came over and confirmed the band was being poisoned.

All over Canada the Indigenous People have been treated as second class citizens and nothing has changed. The pipeline protests have simply ignited the whole mess of being treated unequally.

Its actually almost humourous that people complain about being inconvienced. the protestors should go elsewhere, they're just trying to get to work, etc. Well welcome to the real world. How about the Indigenous people who were just trying to stay alive. Not many cared or even knew about how many murdered and missing Indigenous women there were in this country. Most people don't know about Grassy Narrows. New comers to Canada and younger people don't know about OKA.

Its not about the money. Its about power and who has it. The RCMP see this as an opportunity to exercise their power. They have been the supressors of Indigenous Rights. So I do wonder who gave the RCMP the right to go into tradition lands of the Wet'suwet'en. its about time Indigenous Law and culture were respected and accepted in this country.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, tf. Right now, the powerful have the upper hand.

Owen Gray said...

Just up the road, e.a.f, there is a railroad blockade. An injunction was issued several days ago. But, so far, the police have not moved. It's going to take patience to resolve this situation.

e.a.f. said...

Patience is always in short supply once the profit margins of corporations is impacted or the "average" voter starts to complain their commute to work is being inconveinced by protestors. Now it maybe the government/RCMP thinks protestors will get tired and go home, but this time perhaps not so much. The current crop of young people have seen how their people have been ignored for decades.

We can expect some of the right wing politicians to start flapping their gums with all sorts of nonsense about law and order, etc. In B.C. we have the B.C. Lieberal (Cons) Jas Johal, carrying on as if it were the end of the world. HE JUST doesn't offer any solutions

Owen Gray said...

Andrew Scheer hopped on that bandwagon today, e.a.f.