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.