Horgan’s tainted legacy

Wednesday, February 12 2020

The Wet’suwet’en Nation has captured the support of First Nations, as well as Canadians, as demonstrated through protests and rallies held across the nation in the past week.

And well they might - as the federal and provincial government both continue with absolute silence on putting a halt to a project which does not have the approval of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

Whether there’s a court injunction; or any other kind of decision handed out through the Canadian legal system - that same system, at the Supreme Court level, has said the Wet’suwet’en, who never signed any treaties, hold unceded rights to their lands. 

It’s called the Delgamuukw decision. It should be used as the blueprint on which any level of Canadian government should build their decisions when it comes to projects within the traditional lands of those First Nations who have never signed a treaty. For that matter, it should be a blueprint for projects even within territories where there is a treaty. Somehow, amidst all the rhetoric and political posturing, both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan have forgotten or ignored the Delgamuukw decision.

People across Canada are not going to let this go.

The fact that there is such a widespread demographic - including numerous unions across Canada - showing up to show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en should be a huge indicator to Horgan. Blocking ports. Blocking highways. 

Blocking in the Legislature. Where Horgan announced what should have been his government’s legacy - the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international set of standards to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Instead, that legacy will now be the NDP decision to push forward with the LNG deal, to force the pipeline through unceded lands, and the image of RCMP officers cutting through a sign on which was written, “Reconciliation.”