2020 Canadian pipeline and railway protests

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2020 Canadian pipeline protests
Part of indigenous specific land claims in Canada
DateJanuary – March 2020
Location
Canada
Caused byCoastal GasLink Pipeline
Resulted inBlockades removed; agreement proposed
Parties to the civil conflict
Counter-protestors
  • Local activists and vigilantes[1]
  • First Nations LNG Alliance
Lead figures
  • Na’Moks (John Ridsdale)
  • Smogelgem (Warner Naziel)
  • Freda Huson
  • Dan George
  • Crystal Smith
Casualties and losses
Several arrested[2][3]

The 2020 Canadian pipeline and railway protests were a series of civil disobedience protests held in Canada. The main issue behind the protests was the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline (CGL) through 190 kilometres (120 mi) of Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation territory in British Columbia (BC), land that is unceded. Other concerns of the protesters were indigenous land rights, the actions of police, land conservation, and the environmental impact of energy projects.

Starting in 2010, the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs and their supporters made their opposition to the project known and set up a camp directly in the path of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, a path similar to that which would later be proposed for the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. Northern Gateway was officially rejected in 2016, but the CGL project moved through planning, indigenous consultations, environmental reviews and governmental reviews before being approved in 2015. However, the approval of all the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs was never granted. In 2018, the backers of the pipeline project gave the go-ahead to the CA$6.6 billion project and it began construction. Access to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline construction camps in Wetʼsuwetʼen territory was blocked and the Coastal GasLink project was granted an injunction in 2018 to remove the land defenders. In January 2019, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of British Columbia removed the blockades and CGL pre-construction work in the territory was completed. Subsequently, the blockades were rebuilt and Coastal GasLink was granted a second injunction by the BC Supreme Court in December 2019 to allow construction.

In February 2020, after the RCMP enforced the second court injunction, removing the Wetʼsuwetʼen blockades and arresting Wetʼsuwetʼen land defenders, solidarity protests sprang up across Canada. Many were rail blockades, including one blockade near Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory which halted traffic along a major CNR rail line between Toronto and Montreal and led to a shutdown of passenger rail service and rail freight operations in much of Canada. The Eastern Ontario blockade was itself removed by the Ontario Provincial Police. Blockades and protests continued through March in BC, Ontario and Quebec. Discussions between representatives of the Wetʼsuwetʼen and the governments of Canada and British Columbia has led to a provisional agreement on the Wetʼsuwetʼen land rights in the area.

Coastal GasLink pipeline project[edit]

The Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline is a 670-kilometre (420 mi) long natural gas pipeline designed to carry natural gas from mines in north-eastern British Columbia to a liquefaction plant located at the port of Kitimat. The project is intended to supply natural gas to several Asian energy companies, who are partners in the project. The pipeline's route passes through unceded lands of several First Nations peoples, including 190 kilometres (120 mi) of Wetʼsuwetʼen territory. Within the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory, the pipeline does not pass through reserves, only through traditional territory.[4]

The consortium developed its plans for the pipeline route in the early 2010s, securing the approval of several First Nations councils along the route, but did not secure the approval of the Office of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, the hereditary government of the Wetʼsuwetʼen peoples, although most of the elected band councils of the Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nations did enter into a benefits agreement with TCEnergy, the owner of the pipeline project. In 2014, British Columbia authorities approved the environmental assessment of the project, then approved permits to construct the project in 2015 and 2016. TC Energy was given final approval by its partners to begin construction of the project in 2018, still without the consent of all of the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs. Only one of the nine sitting house chiefs, Samooh (Herb Naziel) supports the project.[5]

Wet’suwet’en opposition[edit]

Background[edit]

The Wet’suwet’en are an Indigenous nation made up of five clans including the: Gilseyhu (Big Frog), Laksilyu (Small Frog), Gitdumden (Wolf/Bear), Laksamshu (Fireweed) and the Tsayu (Beaver Clan).[6] These five clans' territory lies in the central western portion of British Columbia. The language spoken by the Wet’suwet’en people is Babine-Witsuwit’en, one of the Athabaskan languages.[7] Their traditional government, predating Confederation, is a system of chiefs representing each clan, called the hereditary chiefs. The chiefs have been represented by the non-profit Office of the Wetsuweten since 1994, before having a joint office with the Gitxsan.[8][9] The elected band councils were created by order of the Government of Canada, under the Indian Act, to govern the reserves put in place, of which the Wet’suwet’en have several.

According to hereditary chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale), "it's the hereditary chiefs' duty to protect the territory".[10] According to Na’Moks, the pipeline "is going along rivers, it will go over rivers and even in some instances, it will go under. 190 kilometres of the proposed route will run through our territory. It threatens our water, our salmon, and our rights, our title, our jurisdiction".[10] The pipeline would also go through areas of cultural significance to the Wet’suwet’en.[11]

In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada issued the Delgamuukw-Gisday’wa decision, which ruled that aboriginal title exists as an exclusive territorial right for indigenous people.[11][4] The ruling was made in an appeal of a Supreme Court of British Columbia decision, which had ruled against recognition of Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan land rights. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a new trial was warranted, but encouraged a negotiated settlement.[4] The Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan then entered the treaty process with the BC government. However, the BC government's position that the Nations would only receive 4-6 per cent of their territory was unacceptable and the nations walked away from the process. Hence, the boundaries of the Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan nations' traditional territories are not yet recognized in Canadian law. In the absence of an agreement over aboriginal title and rights, the hereditary chiefs' position is that their full consent is required for any energy or resource projects within their territory, and the CGL does not have their consent.[12] The rights and title issue has also been the basis for several solidarity protests, which have also objected to the actions and presence of the RCMP within the Wet’suwet’en traditional territory (known in Babine-Witsuwit’en as yintah).[13]

Blockades, injunctions and RCMP interventions[edit]

2010[edit]

A banner with the words YINTAHʼ WËWATʼZENLÏ in red and beneath, the words "TAKING CARE OF THE LAND" in black
A banner at Unisʼotʼen camp in 2012

Beginning in 2010, the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs and their supporters set up barricades and checkpoints along the Morice West Forest Service Road that provides access to the construction of pipeline projects that threatened their territory, originally the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, and later also Coastal GasLink (planning for which began in 2012). The largest of those camps is Unistʼotʼen Camp, directly in the path of the pipeline, established in 2010 as a checkpoint, and has since added a healing centre.[14]

2018[edit]

After TC Energy received its partners' go-ahead in November, it appealed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia to grant an injunction to stop the blockade of its intended route through the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory. A temporary injunction was issued in December by BC Supreme Court Judge Marguerite Church to allow CGL pre-construction work.[15]

2019[edit]

On January 7, the RCMP conducted a raid to enforce TC Energy's injunction, removing the barricades on the Morice Forest Service Road and arresting 14 of the Wetʼsuwetʼen land defenders.[16] The RCMP faced criticism for the amount of force used in the raid, including police snipers. The RCMP set up a continuous presence along the road, setting up a local detachment called the Community Industry Safety Office.[17] The Wetʼsuwetʼen remained in place along the road, but did not make any further efforts to disrupt the CGL pre-construction work.[16]

In December, TC Energy prepared to start construction in the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory. It applied for an extension of the injunction order as the land defenders had resumed blockading access after the pre-construction work was done. This injunction was extended by Judge Church of the BC Supreme Court on December 31. The extension included an order authorizing the RCMP to enforce the injunction.[18] In her decision, Church stated: "There is a public interest in upholding the rule of law and restraining illegal behaviour and protecting of the right of the public, including the plaintiff, to access on Crown roads," and "the defendants may genuinely believe in their rights under indigenous law to prevent the plaintiff from entering Dark House territory, but the law does not recognize any right to blockade and obstruct the plaintiff from pursuing lawfully authorized activities." In a public statement, the Wetʼsuwetʼen chief rejected the decision.[19]

2020[edit]

On January 1, after rejecting the injunction, the hereditary chiefs ordered the eviction of the RCMP and Coastal GasLink personnel from the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory.[20]

On January 30, the RCMP announced that they would stand down while the hereditary chiefs and the province met to discuss and try to come to an agreement.[21] On February 3, the Office of the Wetʼsuwetʼen asked for a judicial review of the environmental approval for the pipeline.[22] All parties issued statements on February 4, 2020 that the talks had broken down.[23]

On February 6, the RCMP began removing the blockades on Wetʼsuwetʼen territory, arresting 28 land defenders at camps along the route between February 6 and 9.[24] The arrests included protest organizers Karla Tait, Freda Huson and Brenda Michell. All were released within two days.[25] The RCMP also detained several reporters and were accused of interfering with the freedom of the press.[14][26] Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip stated that "we are in absolute outrage and a state of painful anguish as we witness the Wetʼsuwetʼen people having their title and rights brutally trampled on and their right to self-determination denied."[27]

On February 11, the RCMP announced that the road to the construction site was cleared[28] and TC Energy announced that work would resume the following Monday.[29] After the hereditary chiefs made it a condition for talks with government, the RCMP closed their local office and moved to their detachment in Houston on February 22.[30]

Meetings with government[edit]

On February 27, 2020 meetings began between the hereditary chiefs and the Canadian and B.C. governments, represented by Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and B.C. Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser. The meetings were planned to last two days. They took place in Smithers, British Columbia. For the duration of those two days, the RCMP agreed to stop all patrols on the Morice West Forest Service Road and to shut down their mobile detachment (CISO) in the area. In addition, Coastal GasLink agreed to suspend operations in the territory during the talks.[31][32][dubious ] RCMP and CGL work resumed on the territory once the meetings were complete.[33]

On March 1, after three days of meetings, the Canadian Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister, the BC Indigenous Relations Minister and representatives of the Wet’suwet’en, including hereditary chiefs and matriarchs[34] announced a proposed agreement to address the Wet’suwet’en land rights, title and a protocol for addressing any future projects impacting on their territory. Specific details of the agreement have not been released.[35] It must be viewed by, and agreed upon, by the broader Wetʼsuwetʼen nation. The agreement is pending the ratification of an assembly of the Wet’suwet’en, to be done at a traditional feast, at which all clans meet to discuss important issues.[36][37]

On March 10, a statement was released from Theresa Tait Day, a former hereditary chief stripped of her title over her support of the pipeline project. Tait Day stated that the proposed agreement made on March 1 was not inclusive of the entire community, saying "the government has legitimized the meeting with the five hereditary chiefs and left out their entire community. We can not be dictated to by a group of five guys."[38] According to Tait Day, "over 80 per cent of the people in our community said they wanted LNG to proceed."[38]

Meetings were held among the individual clans of the Wet’suwet’en in the first few weeks of March.[39]

A planned all-clans meeting was postponed indefinitely as of March 17, for a variety of factors including concerns among the hereditary chiefs over the spread of COVID-19 and a death in the community (unrelated to COVID-19).[40][41][42]

Solidarity protests[edit]

Image of banner created by participants of a Wetʼsuwetʼen Solidarity event at Vari Hall, March 11, 2020. The banner is painted with the phrases "Wetʼsuwetʼen Solidarity", "stand strong", "hands off", "no pipeline on stolen land", " "Canada": respect indigenous land sovereignty"
Banner for an event in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs at York University on March 11

Protests on January 20, 2020 disrupted BC ferry service leaving from Swartz Bay, which is Victoria's main ferry link to the BC mainland.[43] BC ferries later obtained a preemptive injunction to prevent anticipated future demonstrations from blocking Vancouver-Victoria ferry service.[44]

Once the RCMP began to take down the Wetʼsuwetʼen blockades, protests sprang up across Canada in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs and the land defenders. On February 11, protesters surrounded the BC Legislature in Victoria, preventing the traditional ceremonies around the reading of the Throne Speech by the Lieutenant Governor.[45] Members of the Legislature had to have police assistance to enter or used alternate entrances.[46] Other protests took place in Nelson,[47] Calgary,[48] Regina,[49] Winnipeg,[50] Toronto,[51] Ottawa,[52] Sherbrooke,[53] and Halifax.[54][55]

Several major protests blocked access to the Port of Vancouver, Deltaport, and two other ports in Metro Vancouver for a number of days before the Metro Vancouver police began enforcing an injunction on the morning of February 10, 2020, arresting 47 protesters who refused to cease obstructing the port.[56][57][58]

Protests on February 16 and 17 temporarily blocked the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario and Thousand Islands Bridge in Ivy Lea, Ontario, two major border crossings between the United States and Canada.[59] At the same time, Miꞌkmaq demonstrators partially blocked access to the Confederation Bridge, the sole road link to Prince Edward Island.[60] On February 18, several activists were arrested for trespassing at BC Premier Horgan's residence.[61]

A nation-wide student walkout occurred March 4, with university students across the country showing their support for the Wetʼsuwetʼen protesters.[62][63][64]

The protests led to the creation of several hashtags, used widely on social media in relation to coverage of the protests. These include #ShutDownCanada,[65] #WetsuwetenStrong,[66] #LandBack,[67] and #AllEyesOnWetsuweten.[68]

Rail disruptions[edit]

A map of the Canadian National Railway system, showing the system marked in red lines across the continental United States and Canada.
Map of the Canadian National Railway system. Much of the network east of Toronto was temporarily shut down on February 13 due to protests and blockades in eastern Canada.

Other First Nations, activists and other supporters of the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs targeted railway lines for their demonstrations of solidarity. Near Belleville, Ontario, members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation began a blockade of the Canadian National Railway rail line just north of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on February 6, 2020,[69] causing Via Rail to cancel trains on their Toronto–Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa routes.[70][71][72] The line is critical to the CNR network in Eastern Canada as CNR has no other east–west rail lines through Eastern Ontario. However, in order to mitigate major economic disruption, CNR brokered a "workaround" agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to share tracks in order to avoid the Mohawk protesters.[73]

Other protests blocking rail lines halted service on Via Rail's Prince Rupert and Prince George lines, running on CNR tracks.[70][74] Protests on the CNR line west of Winnipeg additionally blocked the only trans-Canada passenger rail route.[75] Protests disrupted GO train lines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Exo's Candiac line in Montreal.[70][74] CPR rail lines were also disrupted in downtown Toronto and south of Montreal.[75] The Société du Chemin de fer de la Gaspésie (SCFG) freight railway between Gaspé and Matapedia was blockaded on February 10 by members of the Listuguj Miꞌgmaq First Nation.[76]

Starting on February 6, Via Rail announced passenger train cancellations on a day-to-day basis. Trains on the Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal routes were cancelled first. Prince George-Prince Rupert service was suspended on February 11. Canadian National Railway (CNR) rail freight traffic was also halted along these lines. Other Canadian routes were intermittently disrupted as well.[75]

On February 13, CNR shut down its rail lines east of Toronto.[75] On the same day Via Rail, which rents these lines for its passenger service, announced it would be shutting down its entire network, with the exception of the Sudbury–White River train line and the Winnipeg–Churchill train between Churchill and The Pas, until further notice.[77][78][79]

Amtrak international service from New York City to Toronto and Montreal was not affected. Amtrak rail service between Seattle and Vancouver on BNSF Railway Company lines was intermittently blocked; Amtrak's bus operation over the same route was not affected.[80]

CNR issued multiple injunctions against the protestors, including several separate injunctions against the Mohawk protesters near Belleville. The Ontario Provincial Police decided not to act immediately on the injunctions.[81]

The rail blockade of Prince Rupert was lifted on February 14.[75] On February 18, VIA announced partial restoration of passenger service starting February 20, between Ottawa and Quebec City.[82] Via later announced it would resume some south-western Ontario routes.[83] Trans-Canada passenger service was not restored.

On February 19, a group of about 20 protesters from a group called "Cuzzins for Wet’suwet’en" erected a blockade on a CN rail line in west Edmonton, Alberta. CN obtained a court injunction, and less than twelve hours after the blockade began, it was dismantled by counter-protesters after a CN legal representative arrived to serve the injunction.[84]

On February 19, activists set up a blockade on the Mont-Saint-Hilaire rail line in Saint-Lambert, Quebec, promising to stay until the RCMP leaves the disputed zone in Wetʼsuwetʼen territory.[85] The blockade caused Via Rail to postpone resuming service between Montreal and Quebec City. The Mont-Saint-Hilaire rail line was cleared on February 21, 2019 after Quebec Police arrived to enforce a CNR injunction.[86]

On February 20, another blockade of CPR tracks sprang up between Kamloops and Chase in British Columbia. The protesters left voluntarily on February 21, after the RCMP offered to leave the Wet’suwet’en land. The group vowed to return in four days if a dialogue was not started between the prime minister and the hereditary chiefs.[87] This was followed by CPR writing an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, asking him to speak directly with the hereditary chiefs.[87] The Mont-Saint-Hilaire rail line was cleared on February 21, 2020 after Quebec Police arrived to enforce a CNR injunction.[88]

On March 5, the rail blockades in Kahnawake and the Gaspé Peninsula were removed peacefully by the First Nations involved.[89]

In early March, Canada's medical officer had advised against gatherings, as part of the country's response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, and by the second week of March, most blockades had come down. Despite the widespread closures in response to the pandemic, CGL is continuing construction in the disputed territory. Pipeline opponents launched a letter-writing campaign urging the company to stop on March 21.[90]

Impact[edit]

Mohawk protesters stand by a snowplow covered in Iroquois and Mohawk Warrior flags near a level crossing at Wyman Rd with firewood and a wooden sign that reads "#RCMP get out".
Mohawk protesters by the level crossing at Wyman Road in Tyendinaga. This blockade along a critical rail line led to CNR shutting down its network in eastern Canada.

The blockades led to the shutdown of CNR's Eastern Canadian network, causing a complete halt of freight traffic from Halifax west to Toronto.[75] On February 19, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters estimated that CA$425 million in goods were being stranded each day of the shutdown.[91] An executive of the Business Council of Canada called the shutdown "potentially a catastrophe for the economy" and said that rail "is the backbone of infrastructure in this country."[92]

Due to a poor growing season which resulted in an unusually late harvest just before Christmas, Canadian wheat and barley shipments were already in a backlog and were further impacted by the rail blockades.[93] Spring farm supplies such as fertilizer were also delayed by the rail shutdown.[94] Canadian grain farmers have previously advocated to have rail transport declared an essential service.[93] Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Mary Robinson warned of "huge financial consequences" as farmers do not get paid until products are delivered to the market.[95]

Dennis Darby, president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, states that Canadian manufacturers rely on 4,500 rail cars per day, which represent both supply chain and delivery of finished products. Many of these products are too large or bulky to be shipped by other means. The total value of these deliveries amounts to CA$200 billion annually.[96] Chemicals trade group Responsible Distribution Canada warned of shortages of chlorine to purify drinking water.[95] Supply chains for chlorine, jet fuel and de-icing fluid all rely on rail transport: "You can't put it in a truck and send it down the 401" said an executive of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.[92] Mining, which accounted for 20% of Canada's 2018 exports, also moves "most" of its output by rail.[92] By February 21, 4,000 containers reportedly sat on the docks of Montreal waiting for transport and no grain had arrived for shipment at the port. In Halifax, the Atlantic Container Line has diverted to New York and Baltimore. In Vancouver, goods waiting to be shipped east led to a backlog of 50 ships waiting to be unloaded.[97]

The disruption of propane rail shipments was expected to lead to shortages and rationing,[98] during a time when many communities were experiencing extremely cold weather.[99] In Atlantic Canada, at the end of the propane supply line, reserves fell to a five-day supply by February 14.[96] Superior Propane, Canada's largest supplier, rationed distribution in Atlantic Canada.[97]

SCFG laid off five of its 30 employees on February 14.[76] On February 18, CNR laid off 450 employees for reasons related to the pipeline disruptions; the company has stated that as many as 6,000 of its 24,000 employees could be laid off.[100][101] On February 19, Via Rail announced temporary layoffs of up to 1,000 people due to the blockades.[102] By the first week of March, the majority of the laid-off Via Rail employees and all of the affected CNR employees were recalled.[103][104]

On March 13, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux released a report that the protests would leave "a minimal dent in the pace of economic growth", estimating that the blockades would reduce Canadian economic growth by 0.2% for the first quarter of 2020.[105] For the whole year, the expectation was for the GDP to fall by CA$275 million, about 0.01% of the total GDP, which Giroux referred to as "a blip", despite the warnings by businesses of shortages, referred to by the PBO as "overblown".[73] The PBO said that the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic would likely have a greater impact on the economy.[105]

Federal government response[edit]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said politicians should not be telling the police how to deal with protesters and that resolution should come through dialogue.[76] The Canadian government does not tell the police what to do operationally.[76] In any case, the police services are under provincial or municipal control.

On February 12, Canada's Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller began a dialogue with several indigenous leaders from different parts of Canada. On February 15, Miller met the Mohawks in a ceremonial encounter on the CNR train tracks to renew a 17th Century treaty between the Iroquois and the British Crown known as the Silver Covenant Chain. Miller then discussed the blockade with the leaders of Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte First Nation, along with Kanenhariyo, one of the primary organizers of the protest near Tyendinaga.[106] Miller asked for a temporary drawback of the protest but his request was refused after Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary Chief Woos, who was on the phone, stated that the RCMP was still on his territory and "they are out there with guns, threatening us." Leaked audio of the meetings included a Mohawk resident in the meeting telling the minister to "Get the red coats out first, get the blue coats out … then we can maybe have some common discussions".[107] Miller returned to Ottawa and met with Prime Minister Trudeau and other members of the Cabinet called the "Incident Response Group".[108] Trudeau had returned from a foreign relations trip to deal with the issue.[109]

On February 18, the House of Commons of Canada resumed after the winter break. Trudeau addressed the Commons asking Canadians for patience as the government sought a negotiated end. "On all sides, people are upset and frustrated. I get it. It's understandable because this is about things that matter — rights and livelihoods, the rule of law and our democracy." Opposition leader Andrew Scheer condemned the government's refusal to use the police to stop the illegal blockades, calling it "the weakest response to a national crisis in Canadian history. Will our country be one of the rule of the law, or will our country be one of the rule of the mob?" Trudeau held a private meeting with the other opposition parties' leaders, barring Scheer after his comments.[110]

On February 18, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) held a press conference in Ottawa. AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde called for all parties to engage in dialogue. "It's on everybody. It's not on any one individual. I'm just calling on all the parties to come together, get this dialogue started in a constructive way."[111]

On February 20, according to a statement from Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the RCMP agreed to move its personnel from Wetʼsuwetʼen territory to nearby Houston.[112] The next day, Prime Minister Trudeau held a press conference to state "Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient, but it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now. The government had made repeated overtures to the hereditary chiefs to hold meetings but had been ignored. You can’t have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table. Our hand remains extended should someone want to reach for it. We have come to a moment where the onus is now on Indigenous leadership."[113]

Shortly after Trudeau's statement on February 21, the Wetʼsuwetʼen Hereditary Chiefs released a statement reaffirming that discussions would continue once all RCMP and CGL personnel vacate the Wetʼsuwetʼen territory. At the same time, the Mohawk of Tyendinaga asserted that their rail blockade would be removed as soon as Wet’suwet’en legal observers confirm that the RCMP is off their land.[114] On February 24, the day of the Mohawk blockade removal by the OPP, Indigenous Services Minister Miller repeated that the Liberal government was "still open for dialogue" and willing to negotiate.[115]

Criticism[edit]

On February 24, in a statement signed and supported by over 200 Canadian lawyers and legal scholars, Beverly Jacobs and Sylvia McAdam of the University of Windsor, Alex Neve of Amnesty International, and Harsha Walia of the BC Civil Liberties Association responded to the calls for the "rule of law." In their opinion, it is the Canadian federal and provincial governments that are breaking international law, not the Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs. They also pointed out that the requirements laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples have continued to be ignored by Canadian courts, although Canadian governments have expressed a willingness to follow the UN resolution. They call for an end to the violation of indigenous persons' right to free, prior and informed consent.[116]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Counter-protesters tear down blockade on CN rail line in Edmonton". National Post. The Canadian Press. February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Tunney, Catharine (February 24, 2020). "OPP arrest 10 demonstrators at Tyendinaga blockade site, charges pending". CBC News.
  3. ^ "Arrests made in B.C., Ontario blockades, as anti-pipeline protests spread". The Globe and Mail. February 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Forester, Brett (March 10, 2020). "The Delgamuukw decision: When the 'invisible people' won recognition". APTN National News. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Forester, Brett (March 10, 2020). "Wet'suwet'en sub-chief who supports Coastal GasLink says supporters, elected chiefs aren't being heard". APTN National News. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  6. ^ "Clan System". Office of the Wet'suwet'en. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "Language". Office of the Wet'suwet'en. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "About Our Organization". Office of the Wet'suwet'en. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  9. ^ Forester, Brett (March 10, 2020). "The Delgamuukw decision: When the 'invisible people' won recognition". APTN National News. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Hamelin, L.; Pimentel, T. "'We've got a real divide in the community:' Wet'suwet'en Nation in turmoil". aptnnews.ca. APTN News. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Kestler-D'Amours, Jillian (March 5, 2020). "Ruin Our Territory—for What?". The Nation.
  12. ^ Carrigg, David (March 2, 2020). "Wet’suwet’en who refused pipeline money hope talks lead to land title". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  13. ^ Devlin, Megan (March 1, 2020). "Wet'suwet'en chiefs, government ministers draft rights and title arrangement". The Daily Hive. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  14. ^ a b McIntosh, Emma (February 10, 2020). "RCMP breach final Wetʼsuwetʼen camp in the path of Coastal GasLink pipeline". Canada's National Observer. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Prince George Citizen (December 24, 2018). "Judge expands Coastal GasLink injunction against pipeline blockade". jwnenergy.com. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Follett Hosgood, Amanda (February 21, 2020). "Amidst National Crisis, Province Gives Unist'ot'en an Ultimatum". The Tyee. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  17. ^ Dhillon, Jaskiran; Parrish, Will (December 20, 2019). "Exclusive: Canada police prepared to shoot Indigenous activists, documents show". The Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  18. ^ Lindsay, Bethany (December 31, 2019). "B.C. Supreme Court grants injunction against Wetʼsuwetʼen protesters in pipeline standoff". cbc.ca. CBC News. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  19. ^ The Canadian Press (January 2, 2020). "Coastal GasLink lands win against protesters in B.C. Supreme Court". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Sajan, Bhinder; Kotyk, Alyse (January 20, 2020). "Pipeline protest impacts multiple BC Ferries sailings". bc.ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  21. ^ Uguen-Csenge, Eva. "RCMP to stand down as Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs and province start de-escalation talks". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  22. ^ "Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs Launch Court Challenge to Coastal GasLink Pipeline's Environmental Approval" (PDF). wetsuweten.com (PDF). February 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Bellrichard, Chantelle (February 5, 2020). "Talks break down between province, Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs over Coastal GasLink pipeline standoff". cbc.ca. CBC News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  24. ^ Berman, Sarah (February 11, 2020). "RCMP Says It's Done Raiding Wet'suwet'en Land—For Now". vice.com. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  25. ^ Bracken, Amber; Cecco, Leyland (February 14, 2010). "Canada: protests go mainstream as support for Wetʼsuwetʼen pipeline fight widens". The Guardian.
  26. ^ Mae Jones, Alexandra (February 10, 2020). "Journalists say RCMP blocking efforts to cover police raids on Wetʼsuwetʼen camps". ctvnews.ca. CTV News. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  27. ^ Wadhwani, ASHLEY (February 6, 2020). "VIDEO: Six arrested as RCMP enforce injunction at Wet'suwet'en anti-pipeline camps". Victoria News.
  28. ^ Berman, Sarah (February 11, 2020). "RCMP Says It's Done Raiding Wetʼsuwetʼen Land—For Now". vice.com. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  29. ^ Bellrichard, Chantelle (February 11, 2020). "Coastal GasLink returning to work in injunction area in Wetʼsuwetʼen territory". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  30. ^ Boynton, Sean (February 22, 2020). "RCMP 'temporarily' close office on Wet'suwet'en land, chief says more talks next week". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  31. ^ Little, Simon; Boynton, Sean (February 27, 2020). "First day of meetings between ministers, Wet'suwet'en chiefs wraps up on positive note". Global news. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Alam, Hina (February 27, 2020). "Federal, B.C. ministers begin pipeline talks with hereditary chiefs". CTV News. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  33. ^ Morgan, Geoffrey (March 2, 2020). "Work to resume on Coastal GasLink after Wet'suwet'en chiefs, ministers reach draft arrangement in pipeline dispute". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  34. ^ Boynton, Sean (March 1, 2020). "Proposed agreement reached between Wets'uwet'en chiefs, gov't ministers after 3 days of talks". Global News. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  35. ^ Boynton, Sean (March 1, 2020). "Proposed agreement reached between Wets'uwet'en chiefs, gov't ministers after 3 days of talks". Global News. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  36. ^ Boynton, Sean (March 1, 2020). "Proposed agreement reached between Wet'suwet'en chiefs, gov't ministers after 3 days of talks". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  37. ^ "Office of the Wet'suwet'en - Governance". Office of the Wet’suwet’en. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  38. ^ a b Tumilty, Ryan (March 11, 2020). "Pipeline project was 'hijacked' by 'group of five guys,' former Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief tells MPs". National Post. Postmedia.
  39. ^ Carrigg, David (March 9, 2020). "All five Wet'suwet'en clans meet to discuss tentative land titles agreement". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  40. ^ Jang, Brent (March 17, 2020). "Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs postpone all-clans meeting". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  41. ^ Wood, Stephanie (March 19, 2020). "Coronavirus forces Wet'suwet'en to explore online talks on rights and title agreement". The Narwhal. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  42. ^ The Canadian Press (March 18, 2020). "Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief in self-isolation says meetings have been postponed". vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca.
  43. ^ Sajan, Bhinder; Kotyk, Alyse (January 20, 2020). "Pipeline protest impacts multiple BC Ferries sailings". bc.ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  44. ^ Holliday, Ian (February 15, 2020). "BC Ferries wins injunction against protesters at Swartz Bay". vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  45. ^ CTV News Staff (February 10, 2020). "Anti-pipeline protesters remain at B.C. legislature in Victoria as arrests made in Vancouver". vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca. CTV News Vancouver Island. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  46. ^ Zussman, Richard (February 11, 2010). "Wetʼsuwetʼen solidarity protesters block entrance to B.C. legislature ahead of throne speech". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  47. ^ Metcalfe, Bill (February 11, 2020). "Nelson residents gather in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen chiefs". Nelson Star. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  48. ^ Pearson, Heide (February 10, 2020). "Wetʼsuwetʼen support rally blocks Calgary's Reconciliation Bridge". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  49. ^ Giesbrecht, Lynne (February 9, 2020). "More than 100 Reginans rally in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen pipeline protest". Regina Leader-Post. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  50. ^ DePatie, Mason (February 10, 2020). "Wetʼsuwetʼen support protest to shut down Portage Avenue on Monday". winnipeg.ctvnews.ca. CTV News Winnipeg. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  51. ^ Rocca, Ryan (February 9, 2020). "Protesters opposing B.C. pipeline block rail line in Toronto". globalnews.ca. Global news. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  52. ^ Hemens, Aaron (February 8, 2020). "Hundreds rally in Ottawa in solidarity with Wetʼsuwetʼen First Nation". The Fulcrum. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  53. ^ Lambie, Gordon (February 11, 2020). "Sherbrooke joins growing wave of Wetʼsuwetʼen demonstrations". The Record e-edition. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  54. ^ D'Amore, Rachael (February 10, 2020). "Wetʼsuwetʼen: Here's where solidarity protests are happening across Canada". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  55. ^ Johnson, Rhiannon (February 10, 2020). "RCMP arrests in Wetʼsuwetʼen territory spark protests nationwide". cbc.ca. CBC News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  56. ^ Staff (February 10, 2020). "B.C. pipeline protesters vow to ignore injunction, keep Vancouver ports blocked". globalnews.ca. Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  57. ^ Carrigg, David (February 10, 2020). "Metro Vancouver port blockade prompts injunction, 47 arrested on Monday morning". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  58. ^ Austen, Ian (February 10, 2020). "Canadian Police Move Against Pipeline Blockades". The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  59. ^ "Two new blockades on weekend close Rainbow Bridge and Thousand Islands Bridge for hours". National Post. February 18, 2020.
  60. ^ Moore, Angel (February 16, 2020). "Wet'suwet'en solidarity reaches Prince Edward Island". APTN National News. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  61. ^ Azpiri, Jon; Little, Simon (February 18, 2020). "3 arrests after protesters attempt to block B.C. Premier John Horgan's home ahead of budget". globalnews.ca. Global News.
  62. ^ "National Student Walkout in support of Wet'suwet'en scheduled for Wednesday". Queen's University Journal. March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  63. ^ "UPEI students walk out in support of Wet'suwet'en chiefs". The Guardian. March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  64. ^ "B.C. students join nationwide school walkout in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs". cbc.ca. CBC News. March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  65. ^ Hopkin, James (February 20, 2020). "Protesters stand in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en (12 photos)". SooToday.com. Retrieved March 20, 2020. A series of protests - including ongoing blockades of rail lines - began happening across Canada after the enforcement of the injunction, inspiring the hashtag #ShutDownCanada.
  66. ^ "Country erupts into Wet'suwet'en solidarity demonstrations: A week in pictures". APTN National News. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  67. ^ Houska, Tara (March 14, 2020). "The Wet'suwet'en crisis has exposed deep-seated racism in Canada". Al Jazeera. Retrieved March 20, 2020. Angry comments proliferate across online comment boards, death threats fill the inboxes of Native front-line resistors posting photos of solidarity actions with #WetsuwetenStrong and #LandBack hashtags.
  68. ^ Eagland, Nick (February 16, 2020). "Who is behind solidarity action for Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs?". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved March 20, 2020. The demonstrators are alerting each other to action using the hashtags #WetsuwetenStrong, #ShutdownCanada and #AllEyesOnWetsuweten.
  69. ^ Spitters, John (February 7, 2020). "PHOTOS: Tyendinaga protesters stop train traffic". Quinte News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  70. ^ a b c Mazur, Alexandra (February 10, 2020). "B.C. pipeline protests continue to halt Ontario trains for 5th day in a row". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  71. ^ "VIA Rail Passenger Trains Impacted by Tyendinaga Mohawk Blockade". NetNewsLedger. February 10, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  72. ^ Gallant, Jacques; Hunter, Paul (February 8, 2020). "Protests shut down Ontario rail lines in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen Nation". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  73. ^ a b Forester, Brett (March 13, 2020). "Rail disruptions 'overblown' by rail companies, politicians says Parliamentary Budget Officer". APTN News. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  74. ^ a b Cook, Benson (February 10, 2020). "Pipeline demonstration halts service on Exo's Candiac line in Montreal". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  75. ^ a b c d e f The Canadian Press (February 15, 2020). "A timeline on rail disruptions by anti-pipeline protesters across Canada". The Province.
  76. ^ a b c d Atkins, Eric; Curry, Bill; Perreaux, Les; Stone, Laura (February 14, 2020). "Trudeau will not direct police to break up pipeline protests, sticks to negotiated strategy". The Globe and Mail.
  77. ^ Tasker, John Paul (February 13, 2020). "Via Rail cancels most trains nationwide, CN closes Eastern Canadian network as Indigenous protests continue". cbc.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  78. ^ Shah, Maryam (February 13, 2020). "Via Rail cancels most trains across the country as CN shuts down rails in eastern Canada". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  79. ^ Slaughter, Graham (February 13, 2020). "VIA Rail cancels trains across Canada, CN shuts down Eastern Canada network amid pipeline protests". ctvnews.ca. CTV News. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  80. ^ Slepian, Katya. "Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by pipeline protesters". Kamloops This Week.
  81. ^ Coletta, Amanda (February 18, 2020). "Why protesters are shutting down Canada's rail service". Washington Post.
  82. ^ Via Rail (February 18, 2020). "PARTIAL VIA RAIL SERVICE TO RESUME BETWEEN QUÉBEC CITY AND OTTAWA". media.viarail.ca (Press release). Via Rail. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  83. ^ Via Rail (February 18, 2020). "VIA RAIL SERVICE TO RESUME IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO". media.viarail.ca (Press release). Via Rail.
  84. ^ Johnson, Lisa; Wyton, Moira (February 19, 2020). "Counter-protesters break down rail blockade in west Edmonton as CN wins injunction against pipeline opponents". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  85. ^ Boynton, Sean (February 19, 2020). "Via Rail cancels plans to resume Montreal-Quebec City service as new blockade pops up". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  86. ^ The Canadian Press (February 21, 2010). "Quebec rail blockade abandoned by protesters after riot police arrive to enforce injunction". National Post. Postmedia.
  87. ^ a b Thomson, Cameron (February 21, 2020). "Blockade of CP Rail tracks in Chase temporarily lifted following negotiation". Salmon Arm Observer.
  88. ^ The Canadian Press (February 21, 2020). "Quebec rail blockade abandoned by protesters after riot police arrive to enforce injunction". National Post. Postmedia.
  89. ^ Shingler, Benjamin (March 5, 2020). "As Quebec rail blockades come down, supporters demand Indigenous rights be respected". cbc.ca. CBC News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  90. ^ Berman, Sarah (March 25, 2020). "There's Still No Deal in Wet'suwet'en But Pipeline Construction Is Ongoing". VICE. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  91. ^ D'Amore, Rachael (February 19, 2020). "CN Rail layoffs will 'further complicate' tangled supply chain, industries say". Global News. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  92. ^ a b c Naomi Powell; Emily Jackson; Julia Mastroianni (February 15, 2020). "Anti-pipeline blockades paralyze country's transport infrastructure". Vancouver Sun. FP. p. D1.
  93. ^ a b CTV News Edmonton Staff (February 17, 2020). "'Nearing a crisis situation': Rail blockades creating backlogs for farmers". edmonton.ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  94. ^ Jinah, Zayn (February 16, 2020). "'We are dependent on rail': Ontario grain farmers feeling the impact of rail stoppage". kitchener.ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  95. ^ a b Reynolds, Christopher (February 16, 2020). "Industry warns of empty shelves as CN rail blockade reaches ninth day". canadianshipper.com. The Canadian Press.
  96. ^ a b MacLeod, Meredith (February 14, 2020). "As economic impact of rail blockades grows, protesters say fundamental rights are at stake". ctvnews.ca. CTV News.
  97. ^ a b Reynolds, Christopher (February 21, 2020). "Blockade trips up Canada's biggest ports as shippers steer clear of rail closure". The Canadian Press.
  98. ^ Draaisma, Muriel (February 16, 2020). "Rail blockades to lead to shortages of propane and consumer goods, 2 national groups say". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  99. ^ Sudbury Star Staff (February 13, 2020). "Sudbury, much of northeast under extreme cold weather advisory". The Sudbury Star.
  100. ^ Davie, Emma (February 16, 2020). "CN Rail lays off staff as pipeline protests limit deliveries to Maritimes". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  101. ^ Staff; The Canadian Press. "Wet'suwet'en protests: CN Rail to lay off around 450 workers amid rail blockades". globalnews.ca. Global News.
  102. ^ CBC News staff (February 19, 2020). "Via Rail issues temporary layoffs to nearly 1,000 workers as blockades continue". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  103. ^ The Canadian Press (March 7, 2020). "Via Rail service resumes on most routes following weeks of disruption". CBC. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  104. ^ The Canadian Press (March 3, 2020). "CN employees heading back to work after temporary layoffs as blockades wind down". ctvnews.ca. CTV News. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  105. ^ a b "Wet'suwet'en solidarity blockades had minimal impact on Canadian economy: PBO". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  106. ^ Marc Miller [@MarcMillerVM] (February 13, 2020). "Yesterday evening, I sent this email to Kanenhariyo, Chief Maracle and Regional Chief Archibald in regards to the current situation in Tyendinaga. #cdnpoli" (Tweet). Retrieved February 14, 2020 – via Twitter.
  107. ^ Barrera, Jorge (February 16, 2019). "Inside the meeting between Mohawk and Canada's Indigenous services minister". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  108. ^ "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convenes the Incident Response Group to address infrastructure disruptions caused by blockades across Canada" (Press release). Ottawa, Ontario. February 17, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  109. ^ Berthiaume, Lee (February 16, 2020). "Trudeau cancels visit with Caribbean leaders amid protests, rail shutdown". Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  110. ^ Tasker, John Paul (February 18, 2020). "Trudeau asks for patience as rail blockades continue, bars Scheer from leaders' meeting". cbc.ca. CBC News.
  111. ^ Tasker, John Paul (February 18, 2020). "Trudeau asks for patience as rail blockades continue, bars Scheer from leaders' meeting". CBC News. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  112. ^ "RCMP have agreed to move away from barricaded area in Wet'suwet'en territory: Blair". globalnews.ca. Global News. February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  113. ^ Tumulty, Ryan (February 21, 2020). "The barricades need to come down now': Trudeau says he can no longer wait for negotiations on rail protests". National Post. Postmedia.
  114. ^ Stafford, Tori (February 21, 2020). "Tyendinaga Mohawks, Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs lay out 'path to peace'". Kingstonist. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  115. ^ Tumulty, Ryan (February 24, 2020). "Liberals still 'open for dialogue' with Indigenous protesters as police dismantle blockades". Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  116. ^ Jacobs, Beverly; McAdam, Sylvia; Neve, Alex; Walia, Harsha (February 24, 2020). "Settler governments are breaking international law, not Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, say 200 lawyers, legal scholars". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 3, 2020.