Hereditary chiefs, Ottawa would disenfranchise indigenous people

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Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller talks with reporters after meeting with representatives of the Hohawk nation.

Was there ever more pathetic a sight than seeing Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller blather on about the need for dialogue in order to solve the shutdown of rail traffic across large swaths of the country?

Miller met with Mohawk protesters who have erected a rail blockade in Ontario on Saturday. He said in his mewing voice that what we have is a failure to communicate.

“Tonight, we made some modest progress by opening up a dialogue with the people standing out there in the cold and doing so for eight or nine days,” the minister told reporters. “We talked openly, frankly, painfully at times, and sometimes with humour. There’s a lot more work to be done.”

Oh please.

You do not “dialogue” with terrorists.

Terrorists? What else do you call the protesters who have blockaded rail lines, roads, bridges in an effort to force government to accede to their wishes?

That will only encourage anyone with a grievance to copy the tactic.

This is supposed to be a civilized country, one that resolves disputes in courts of law and at the ballot box.

Miller should have told the protesters there would be no dialogue, no negotiations until the illegal blockade had been removed.

Instead, the minister made it clear that he sides with the protesters and basically agrees with them that the root cause of anger lies at the feet of Canada.

Please.

This is such nonsense. The dispute which spawned this protest is a travesty of the first order. The vast majority of indigenous people support the CoastalGasLink pipeline. Fully 20 native communities have voiced their approval. Their elected chiefs have asked their people what they want. Eighty-five per cent have said they want the pipeline and the revenue and jobs that come with it.

That is all that should matter. The people have spoken. The indigenous people have spoken.

But a handful – and it is truly a handful – of so-called hereditary chiefs claim to represent their people and are determined to exert authority over democratically elected representatives.

That is utter nonsense. This is not the 15th Century. Self-selected, hereditary leaders do not get to make those choices for people.

If we allow this, we will disenfranchise indigenous people. We will abrogate their democratic rights.

No. A thousand times no. We are a democracy. We want all our citizens indigenous and non-indigenous to thrive, to be able to voice their opinions, to elect their own leaders.

If only we could aspire to be logical…

protestIs anything possible if only you believe in it?

There is a myth that belief can be translated into reality.

But can belief really be turned into reality?

Well, pop psychologists and their media supporters tell us daily that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

I suppose it’s been part of Western culture for a very long time. We’ve had our giant killer stories for eons. They’re supposed to be inspirational.

Certainly, in the realm of personal growth we tell our children they can be anything they want to be if only they believe in themselves.

God knows media personalities keep showing us examples of rag to riches stories and stories of people who overcame adversity.

The thing is it’s not really true.

For every story of a little boy that worked hard to become a famous musician, there are ten thousand other little boys or girls that failed.

After all, it’s not just a matter of hard work or desire. You need talent and ability. And not everyone has talent and ability.

Think about it. Why would we celebrate great artists or athletes if talent was in everyone.

We see the same thing applied to other aspects of our lives – this is aspirational thinking.

There’s hardly a day that goes by without some politician promising to end poverty, bullying or save the planet, for example.

There are politicians who promise us we can run cities, states and entire countries on renewable energy in a matter of three decades.

These are aspirational goals, not practical goals.

We will never eliminate poverty or bullying.

We will never run the world on renewable energy.

So let’s stop pretending belief is all we need. Let’s understand this kind of thinking really is a carry-over from our ancestors’ magical thinking.

The big problem with aspirational thinking is that it raises expectations. If all we need to get the job done is a positive attitude and belief, well let’s get it done. There’s nothing standing in our way.

What happens, though, when harsh reality rears its ugly head?

Disappointment. Frustration. Anger.

We see this daily now. When people are confronted with reality, they become children stomping their feet.

Of course, the politicians and media are there to make a whole new set of promises.

That’s how it works. Promise. Fail. Promise. Repeat ad nauseum.

What’s a few dead Canadians when there’s a security council seat on the line?

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Premier Trudeau as a hearty handshake for Iran’s foreign minister, while Canadian Foreign Minister Champagne has a WTF moment.

For most Canadians Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s quest for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council is something of a puzzle.

After all, most Canadians have more immediate concerns. Things like keeping a roof over their heads and putting food on the table and whether the trains will be running today always weigh heavier than a single vote on a council that is dominated by the big five powers.

There are some Canadians, of course, for whom symbolism matters a great deal. Those are the woke folks who believe that we should be leading the battle to convert to renewable energy even though it is impossible. They’re the folks who think transwomen should be allowed to compete against cis women because, you know, women are women.

In other words, it’s about progressive street cred. Trudeau says he wants the seat because it would make the country’s job of pushing for gender equality, LBGTQ rights, climate change action so much easier.

Sure. Whatever.

Trudeau has been dropping a few million here and a couple of hundred million there in his quest for the council seat. He’s more than willing to spend the entire $3 billion foreign aid budget if it got him that seat.

Now, he touring Africa. He told the Senegalese he’s happy to develop their oil and natural gas industry. Imprison gays? Hey, different strokes for different folks.

Is he above shaking hands with Iranian dictators who shot down our citizens? Hell, no. They have a vote.

That seat. It’s all about that seat.

If he gets that seat, he can boast he’s done it. Canada is a world leader. My socks did it. My hair did it. My name did it. Take that Harper. Now you can all get back to loving me, blackface and all.

It’s about hanging onto power. The Liberals came within a hair’s breadth of losing last time around. They actually lost the popular vote and only hung on thanks to a few woke ridings. If the NDP had done better, it would have been a Conservative victory.

So the Liberals will support Trudeau in his quest.

Of course, if he can’t get the trains running again, that support will vanish. Even Liberals are not that stupid.

Wet’suwet’en conflict is not what most think

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What most people do not understand about the dispute over Coastal GasLink’s pipeline to Kitimat B.C. is that at the root of the conflict is a conflict between hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs.

In the media, the conflict is portrayed as one between hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs and an energy company seeking to steal their land.

Rarely, is it mentioned that the elected representatives of the Wet’suwet’en people, in consultation with their people, have overwhelmingly voiced their approval of the pipeline and entered into agreements with the company and the provincial government.

Let that sink in. The elected chiefs who have authority given them by the people in lawful elections have given their approval.

In other words, the rest of Canada is caught up in a conflict between hereditary chiefs and elected chiefs, between an archaic system of governance and one that recognizes the rights of individuals.

The conflict has been simmering for decades and been the subject of a number of court cases, with the province’s high court ruling in favor of the elected chiefs and the Supreme Court of Canada ruling essentially that the issue needed to be resolved through negotiation.

Matters came to a head in 2019 when the male hereditary chiefs sought to extend their control and stripped three women who were elected chiefs of their hereditary titles for opposing them and supporting the pipeline.

As a consequence, there now only nine hereditary chiefs (all male) and four vacant hereditary chief positions for the 13 clans. The hereditary chiefs are opposed to the pipeline, while the very people they are supposed to represent are overwhelmingly in favor of it.

It doesn’t get any more stupid than this.

In effect, all the supporters of the hereditary chiefs are arguing that the Wet’suwet’en people themselves should bow down before unelected leaders.

Nonsense. This is the 21st Century. This is Canada. We do not disenfranchise people. We do not support patriarchal, archaic systems.

Majority of First Nations support pipelines

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Anti-pipeline demonstrators block the intersection of Cambie Street and Broadway in Vancouver.

One of the truly great injustices suffered by First Nations people is the selective outrage of the liberal media.

There is little argument that Canada’s indigenous people do not fare as well as their non-indigenous people. They earn less money, their living conditions are atrocious in many instances and they simply have fewer opportunities.

What too many people do not understand is that most indigenous people know all of this and want to do something about it. They don’t want handouts, they want jobs and opportunities.

That’s why 43 First Nations and other indigenous groups support the TransMountain pipeline, while only 12 are opposed.

As for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, it is supported by ALL First Nations along the route, with the exception of a handful Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

There’s a good reason why indigenous people want that development. Their right to be consulted has paved the way for mutual-benefit agreements with energy companies and governments. These MBAs mean millions of dollars up front, plus tens of millions over the life of the pipeline. First Nation MBAs involved with Coastal GasLink will also receive cash payments from the province’s resource-revenue sharing pprogram.

The benefits, however, don’t end just there. The agreements also include valuable guarantees of employment, job training, and contract set-asides. Those benefits are actually of greater benefit in the long run, because they are the doors of opportunity.

Ironically, the pipelines are being opposed by First Nation groups that are mostly located on the coast near Vancouver where the economic opportunities are greater.

For example, the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations, who were prominent in the opposition to Trans Mountain, are active in real-estate development.

Squamish, in fact, has a lucrative contract with a small LNG export facility.

Most people do not know that Tsleil-Waututh’s opposition has also been funded for the last decade by the Tides Foundation.

As Vivian Krause has shown, Tides also subsidizes many environmentalist organizations opposed to Trans Mountain and other pipelines.

Yet in the media, the conflict is portrayed as poor native people fighting for their rights against colonialists.

It’s a disgusting and racist narrative. The majority of poor natives are being sacrificed to appease liberal guilt.

It doesn’t get more stupid than this.

Extremists winning in Canada

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It ought to be clear to most Canadians that the extremists are in charge of Canada.

All across the country, extremists – be they supporters of aboriginal rights or climate alarmists – act with impunity.

  • Over the weekend VIA Rail was forced to cancel 18 of its trains affecting service between Toronto and Montreal because of blockades erected by supporters of the hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs.
  • Canadian National Railway traffic was also blocked along the corridor east of Toronto.
  • In Courtenay, B.C. RCMP officers arrested a man dismantling a barricade erected by Wet’suwet’en supporters.

This small group of protesters is flouting the law and gaining the adulation of the media despite the fact that the vast majority of Canadians support construction of the TransMountain pipeline and that of the Kitimat pipeline.

That level of support is no surprise. The majority of Canadians are governed by common sense. They know full well that the pipelines, energy production in general, serves the national interest. They also know that all these projects have been forced to undergo the most rigorous of vetting procedures. Last but not least, they know that these energy projects are of immediate and long term benefit to the indigenous peoples claimed to be represented by the protesters.

Majority support, however, carries little weight in a country where the ruling Liberal party hangs on by a thread of support in a handful of ridings where progressives hold sway.

As a consequence, it is looking more and more likely that the Trudeau government will not approve the TeckFrontier project, that it will be delayed and forced to undergo yet more vetting.

If the project is delayed, it will signal investors around the world that Canada will not approve any more energy projects that involve fossil fuels.

That decision will cost the nation billions upon billions of revenue and thousands upon thousands of jobs.

Worst than that, however, it will lead to the breakup of the country. Westerners will not abide two sets of rules for projects. They will not sit idly by while a cement plant in Quebec which will emit more CO2 is green lighted without even an environmental report and every energy project in Alberta is quashed.

The demand for Alberta’s independence will reach unprecedented levels. So much so that not even a federalist quisling such as Premier Jason Kenney will be able to ignore the calls for a referendum.

Is Kenney ignorant or stupid?

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addresses panel in Washington.

There is ignorance and there is stupidity. Ignorance can be fixed. Stupidity cannot.

We see this daily in every single article, speech and telecast extolling the virtues of so-called green energy.

So it was disheartening to say the least to see Alberta Premier Jason Kenney talk about the inevitable transition to green energy.

In Don Braid’s column in the Calgary Herald, Kenney is quoted as telling a panel at Washington’s Wilson Center:

“Over the next decades as we go through the energy transition, we all know that there will be a continued demand for crude. It is preferable that the last barrel in that transition period comes from a stable, reliable liberal democracy with among the highest environmental, human-rights and labour standards on earth.”

As Braid noted, the words hang in the air for Albertans. “Energy transition. Last barrel. Transition period. Six not-so-little words we’ve never heard clearly from Kenney before.”

As Kenney sees it, “There is no reasonable person that can deny that in the decades to come we will see a gradual shift from hydrocarbon-based energy to other forms of energy.”

What Kenney doesn’t say is that it is government not the market that is attempting to drive this transition away from hydrocarbon-based energy.

Nor does the premier say that it is only the governments of the West that are pushing renewable energy.

In the rest of the world, fossil fuels are being embraced. India is building hundreds of coal fired electricity plants. China is building thousands.

Here in the West, however, too many of our politicians have fallen for the idea that CO2 emissions pose an existential threat to the world because of the mistaken belief that rising emissions will cause inordinate warming.

It is such nonsense. Anyone who has studied geology knows full well that 8,000 years ago, the earth was 3 C warmer than it is today. That was the Holocene Optimum.

holocenecooling
It’s been cooling for 8,000 years while CO2 levels have been rising.

It’s called an optimum because the world was very livable. Northern Africa was a lush, green paradise where humans thrived along side giraffes, elephants, gazelle. Ancient art attest to this paradise.

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Rock Painting with giraffes from Tassili in southern Algeria.

But the earth has been cooling since that time and today Northern Africa is a desert.

Now, the Holocene Optimum occurred when CO2 levels were 280 ppm. How was that possible if CO2 is the control knob of the climate? How have global temperatures declined in the following 8,000 years as CO2 rose?

Even if you accept that CO2 will increase temperatures, the wholesale embrace of renewable energy is hardly the answer.

Renewables are unreliable. The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine.

So how do you run a factory or heat a home when there is no electricity being produced? How?

Batteries? There are no grid size batteries capable of keeping the lights on for more than a few minutes. There can be days when the wind is not co-operating. In the winter there can be weeks when you do not see the sun.

If renewables were truly the answer, then developing nations would be leap frogging the West as they grow their economies. But they understand they CANNOT grow their economies without fossil fuels.

So when Kenney talks about transitioning away from fossil fuels, I shake my head. Is he merely ignorant or is he stupid? Pray it is the former and not the latter.

Lawlessness cannot be tolerated

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Last time I looked, I was pretty sure we were living in the 21st Century and that we lived by a set of laws, but with each passing day where law enforcement officers fail to uphold the law, I am beginning to wonder.

I refer, of course, to the continuing illegal blockades erected in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

The actions and demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs has attracted a great of deal of media attention and garnered support for the chiefs around the world.

At issue is the work of Coastal GasLink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., which is building a natural gas pipeline between Dawson Creek and Kitimat, where there is a major facility to liquefy and ship product to Asia.

Now, the project has the blessing of Ottawa, the B.C. government, as well 20 First Nation communities along the route, including elected chiefs and band councils representing the Wet’suwet’en peoples.

A lot of people have no idea that elected Wet’suwet’en chiefs and council members support this pipeline. Most of the news articles rarely make mention of that “little” detail. Nope. What the news stories go on and on about is the fact that the hereditary chiefs are opposed to the pipeline.

As a consequence, you get folks across the country erecting barricades on train tracks or streets in support of the chiefs, with protesters making claims that the First Nation rights are being abrogated by modern day colonialists.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The hereditary chiefs have no standing today. First Nation people elect their representatives and are in charge of their own lives.

The Wet’suwet’en people have voiced their support for the pipeline and stand to benefit from the revenue and jobs it creates.

Furthermore, that is what the courts have ruled and have granted Coastal Links an injunction to that effect.

Unfortunately, the RCMP appear to be incapable of enforcing the law and while they have made a few arrests, the blockade of the road remains intact.

Worse, police have done nothing to stop the erection of sympathetic blockades elsewhere in the country. Just recently protesters blocked train traffic in Ontario and vehicle traffic has been blocked in a number of other cities.

The law, a result, is being called into disrepute. It is one thing to protest. That is everyone’s right. But it is quite another thing to flagrantly break the law with impunity. Lawlessness can never be tolerated in a free and democratic country.

Failure to approve Teck Frontier will see Alberta seeking independence

teckWith the deadline for the Trudeau government on whether to approve the Teck Frontier oilsands venture coming at the end of the month, news reports that the $20 billion project may not get the green light ought to worry right thinking Canadians.

The project, which has the support of all First Nations affected as well as the Alberta government, would create 7,000 jobs initially and some 2,000 permanent jobs thereafter.

For a province that has been wracked by unemployment and finds itself in the beginnings of a recession, the project would be a much needed boost to Albertans’ confidence. It would also reassure investors that the country is not adverse to resource development.

However, a report carried by Reuters suggests that the Liberal Party is preparing an aid package in the event the project is not green lighted.

According to the Reuters report, citing anonymous sources, the Trudeau government is considering an aid package which would include a cash injection to help clean up thousands of inactive oil and gas wells abandoned by bankrupt companies, as well as changes to how tax revenues are shared across the country.

That the Trudeau government is even hesitating to approve the project is astounding. Teck Frontier has undergone a 10 year approval process and has succeeded in meeting stringent regulatory conditions. There is no good reason to cancel the project.

Still, some Ontario and Quebec Liberals are calling for its cancellations on the grounds that its emissions do not fit with the government’s climate change plans and need to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s 2030 targets.

So once again it would appear that the province’s economic future is being sacrificed on the altar of virtue signaling.

The fact of the matter is that Canada’s CO2 emissions are irrelevant. The country produces a mere 1.6 per cent of global emissions. China and India are by far the largest producers. In fact, by 2050 China will be producing fully half of all CO2 emissions.

Demanding that Canada gut a province’s economy while accomplishing nothing is the height of madness.

It is little wonder, then, that the demands of independence could be heard loud and clear in the wake of the Reuters article.

There is a growing sentiment in the province that Alberta will never get a fair deal in Canada and that the only recourse left is outright separation.

With hard core support for independence at about 25 per cent, a rejection of Teck Frontier could easily reach 60 per cent in a matter of weeks.

As Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said while in Ottawa for meetings, Ottawa-appointed officials are unlikely to grasp the depth of sentiments felt in Western provinces against the federation.

“As much time as people like the deputy prime minister and Jim Carr have been spending in Alberta and Saskatchewan — and we really appreciate it — they don’t live there. They don’t see it and hear it every day.

“I don’t think people outside Alberta appreciate really how delicate and how dangerous the political discourse and rhetoric is.”

Indeed. Many Albertans will argue the time to leave is now.