Where is the willingness to suffer for your beliefs?

Thoreau, Gandhi and King understood that going to jail was a reasonable price to pay for protest. Why don’t we accept that today?

Where is the willingness to suffer for your beliefs?In 1849, American philosopher Henry David Thoreau was angry at his government’s actions in the Mexican-American War and at the continued legality of slavery in the United States. He published an essay entitled Civil Disobedience, in which he stated that that the evils of war and slavery should be confronted by citizens through withholding their…

Trust the Wet’suwet’en to make the best possible decision

I have no right to tell my neighbours what to do with a natural gas pipeline. We should leave it in their hands

Trust the Wet’suwet’en to make the best possible decisionSwiss physician and author Paul Tournier said, “The worst thing is not being wrong, but being sure one is not wrong.” I wrote a column several weeks ago stating that I support the Wet’suwet’en in their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline being built through their territory. What I have come to realize is that…

Alberta needs a better deal from better neighbours

Quebec and B.C. are committing constitutional mutiny, preventing Alberta from developing solutions to being landlocked. It’s time for independence

Alberta needs a better deal from better neighboursWhen it comes to trading in markets beyond its boundaries, Alberta would have better options as an independent state than under the status quo currently blocking some of its resources. Alberta is landlocked and landlocked states depend on their neighbours for access to trading seaports. It’s the reason some people quip that an independent Alberta…

Building informed consent for a mega-project

Following a step-by-step and community-by-community process to develop a socio-economic plan

Building informed consent for a mega-projectBy the spring of 1984, it was time to seriously start developing the socio-economic plans for the Polar Gas pipeline’s construction, and it was clear that the Polar Gas team needed to grow on the ground. As a result of strong and fair Sahtu Dene community criticism of the first draft of the proposed pipeline…

Wet’suwet’en protests throw us all into chaos

While the project is a win for the province, the country, the environment and B.C.’s First Nations, these hereditary chiefs don’t see it that way

Wet’suwet’en protests throw us all into chaosSupport continues for the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation blocking authorized construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia. In spite of court injunctions and government pronouncements telling them to desist, they seem prepared for a long and protracted struggle, “having no intention of allowing Wet’suwet’en sovereignty to be violated.” This…

Bending pipe to fit the Dene culture

Selecting a pipeline route through Aboriginal title lands requires care, consultation and attention to detail

Bending pipe to fit the Dene cultureI remember waking up in the small log cabin I had been given as lodgings on my first trip to Fort Good Hope to explain the route selection process of the Polar Gas Pipeline. There was a small stove close to my bed, and a stack of dry wood and kindling for heat. Outside it…

Scheer in tune with Canadians over rail blockades

This is one of those moments when a leader needs to show their mettle in bringing a difficult crisis to a natural conclusion. Justin Trudeau failed

Scheer in tune with Canadians over rail blockadesCanada has been involved in a political crisis for nearly three weeks. Nationwide protests by radical activists siding with the Wet’suwet’en tribe’s hereditary chiefs against the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C. are ongoing. Some politicians were blocked from entering provincial legislatures or, in the case of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland,…

Pipeline politics or industry insensitivity?

The initial Mackenzie Valley Pipeline site selection process demonstrated how industry can be utterly insensitive to impacted communities

Pipeline politics or industry insensitivity?Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot about the Coastal GasLink pipeline project route in northern B.C. Some historical perspective might inform the debate. We’ve read that the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have a favoured alternate route but for various reasons the company can’t support it. Given that I haven’t been on site and…

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en people

Divide-and-conquer tactics have been used by colonial powers for hundreds of years to get Indigenous groups to succumb to their wishes

I stand with the Wet’suwet’en peopleCanadians take pride in our identity as a peaceful nation that celebrates diversity. These are indeed wonderful ideals but to be authentic, they need to be lived. In 1990, a community in Quebec wanted to expand its golf course and claimed the right to traditional Indigenous lands. The Mohawk people blocked this process and when…
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