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Cut off taxpayer funding of questionable “hereditary chiefs”

The “hereditary chiefs” have done a masterful job of pulling the wool over many people’s eyes. It’s time to expose them for the moochers, hypocrites, thugs and impostors they really are.

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Right from the start, I found it disconcerting to see the reverence that pipeline protesters show for the so-called hereditary chiefs, and the disdain they show for the elected Wet’suwet’en band officials. 

Most Canadians – indeed most people in developed countries around the world – consider it to be progress when the power of a hereditary monarch shrivels away to nothing and the population is instead governed by elected representatives. Only radical Canadian aboriginals and their white socialist allies, it seems, want to abandon democracy and move back to hereditary oligarchy. 

Things get even stranger when you look at who, exactly, the alleged hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs are. Here’s their website: the Office of the Wet’suwet’en. They’re actually an incorporated non-profit organization.  The “About Our Organization” page boasts that the organization “does not receive core funding (continuous funding from one year to the next) from any form of Government.” That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? 

However, the words “core funding” turn out to be weasel words. The company’s financial statements tell a very different story. Here’s an extract from the statement for the year ended March 31, 2019. 

A total of $5,033,494 – more than 83 per cent of their year’s gross revenue – came from various government sources, federal and provincial. (I.N.A.C., incidentally – revenue line 5 – stands for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.) 

Now, perhaps it’s true that they have to go cap in hand every year and ask for the money, rather than receiving it as “continuous” funding, but still, it’s grossly disingenuous for them to imply that they don’t receive government funding when it’s abundantly clear that they couldn’t exist without it. Indeed, Note 10 of the financial statement is entitled “Economic Dependence” and states: “The Society is dependent upon continuing to secure adequate government funding if it is to maintain its current programs.” 

Things get even more ludicrous when one considers the ostentatious exhibition the chiefs made of themselves at a recent press conference at Tyendinaga, Ontario, where they grandiosely demanded “nation-to-nation” talks in order to terminate the blockades. Nation-to-nation? When one nation supports the other “nation” to the tune of 83 per cent, the relationship looks to me more like a long-suffering parent facing off with a cocky, rebellious teenager.

Now look at Note 1 from the same financial statement: 

The Society is supposed to be engaging in treaty negotiations with the federal and provincial governments for the purpose of resolving land claim and governance issues. Note its formal name at the top of the financial statement: Wet’suwet’en Treaty Office Society. That name is not even mentioned on its website.  

Several other BC aboriginal groups have gone through the negotiation process and come out at the end with a signed treaty satisfactory to all sides. However, according to the website of the B.C. Treaty Commission, the Wet’suwet’en “hereditary chiefs” signed a Statement of Intent to negotiate such a treaty all the way back in July, 1994 – more than a quarter century ago. The negotiations produced a simplistic “Framework Agreement” one year later, and haven’t progressed at all since then. Only three stages of a six-stage process have been completed. 

In fact, the “hereditary chiefs” actually stopped negotiating with the government back in 2009, as their office staff member admitted in response to questions from Rebel Media reporter Keeane Bexte in this video (at about 6:30 minutes in). But that hasn’t stopped the flow of money. 

I’ve heard rumours that the “hereditary chiefs” receive grants from the radical US environmental group the Tides Foundation, but Tides isn’t mentioned in the financial statement. Perhaps the Tides grants are buried in the $355,592 of “Other” revenue. But even so, Tides money would be a mere drop in the bucket compared to the whopping $1,462,040 surplus that the organization generated thanks to federal and provincial government funding. Take note: they had a surplus at a time when the federal government is running deficits.

Make no mistake about it: the group that is currently wrecking Canada’s economy and wants to wreck B.C.’s economy far into the future is doing all this on the federal government’s and B.C. government’s dime. Or more precisely, on the taxpayer’s dime. (The society, of course, is exempt from income tax.) Perhaps the two governments should simply say that the flow of money will cease until the flow of goods across railway tracks resumes. 

As if that weren’t enough, there is a treasure trove of startling facts about the society and the “chiefs” at a well-written website whose author – wisely, in my opinion – goes by a pseudonym. He is apparently an aboriginal residing in Bulkley Valley, B.C. Published at JLSreport.com, it contains this gem, complete with corroborating photographs: the society’s office is heated by liquid natural gas (LNG) that flows there through a pipeline constructed in 1968 and owned by Pacific Natural Gas Ltd. That existing pipeline already runs across the land they are purportedly trying to keep free from pipelines. 

Rita George – an 80-year-old matriarch of the Wet’suwet’en tribe – has had the courage to come forward in a video posted at the J.L.S. Report site, alleging that certain individuals who purport to speak on behalf of the Bear Clan never consulted with the matriarchs or elders of that clan. She doesn’t want the world to believe that the matriarchs support what’s being done in their name. She accuses the “hereditary chiefs” of abandoning the true, ancient ways of their people. She says she and other elders are being attacked and need protection. Her sons and daughters are being bullied. She and her sister were forced to leave an event that they had paid to attend. 

Then there’s this page, which alleges that some of those claiming hereditary chieftain status aren’t even the people who are genuinely entitled to those hereditary titles. This is reminiscent of English history, with its centuries of scheming and intrigue over who would get to wear the crown. That was one of the reasons why Englishmen strove to strip monarchs of their power and transfer it instead to elected governments – so that at least once every four years or so, they could throw out the latest cadre of crooks. 

The “hereditary chiefs” have done a masterful job of pulling the wool over many people’s eyes. It’s time to expose them for the moochers, hypocrites, thugs and impostors they really are. 

Hinda Chana is known to the Western Standard, but writes under a pseudonym to protect herself and property during the militant occupations taking place in eastern Ontario. 

Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Schuler the black sheep of the Manitoba Tory family

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

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One Manitoba MLA — the only one of 57 — has the courage to fight for the right to protect private health information. 

The rest are either timidly silent or scampering to microphones to vilify this flock member for daring to not run with their sheep in-crowd. 

Progressive Conservative Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler is on the verge of getting ousted from Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet and banned from the legislature for refusing to reveal his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Stefanson decreed a COVID-19 vaccination mandate effective December 15 for everyone entering the building.

Years of hard work — Schuler was first elected in 1999, won five subsequent elections, and has held impressive posts — suddenly matter not. 

What about the constituents who democratically elected him to represent them? Pfft. Nobody cares.

Like health workers, teachers, oil workers, police officers, firefighters, restaurant employees, Manitobans from all walks of life who won’t comply with questionable, harsh forced mandates, Schuler may be deprived of a right to earn a living

And the lone elected voice of reason in perennial COVID-19 hysteria will be muzzled. 

The right to work is now taken away just because something irks elected officials. Not providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination irks them so much they casually destroy careers and lives.

Maybe Schuler’s vaccinated. Maybe he isn’t. He says it’s nobody’s business but his.

“As stated in the house, no one in Caucus is opposed to vaccinations, however, my personal health information is a private matter and I do not discuss my personal health information publicly,” said the Springfield-Ritchot MLA in a written statement to Western Standard.

He refuses media interview requests. Can’t blame him.

The Winnipeg Free Press polled all MLAs about their vaccination status. Aha! Schuler and Seine River PC MLA Janice Morley-Lecomte were outed for refusing to cough up personal information. Morley-Lecomte buckled to pressure and confirmed she’s vaccinated.

No one appears to have a problem with media infringing on liberty and freedom by giving itself licence to poke into something that — until COVID-19 was sacred — an individual’s right to keep health information private. 

In this COVID-19 madness, the obliging media increasingly oversteps boundaries it’s supposed to protect.

Angus Reid recently found 70% of 1,000 Canadians surveyed believe employees should be fired if they refuse to be vaccinated. That means they must reveal vaccination status which is private health information.

Would those surveyed feel the same way if a reporter chasing a story asked them about that embarrassing rash in private places, an abortion, reliance on anti-depressants, or any other medical conditions?

If so, it would be useless to run to one’s MLA for help. Readers revealed to me that one Manitoba MLA flippantly told an oil worker who refused the vaccine for religious convictions to just go get vaccinated. He lost his job. Another MLA coolly told a constituent to go hire a lawyer if she didn’t like the rules.

Schuler’s vaccination status commanded new attention when it was revealed that a 70-year-old assistant in his constituency office died of COVID-19. 

No details were provided on whether the assistant was vaccinated or where she contracted COVID-19. 

But NDP house leader and justice critic Nahanni Fontaine pounced, calling for Schuler to be booted from cabinet, saying it would be “unconscionable” if he remained.

To his credit, Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said it would be wrong to jump to conclusions about the tragic death, but yes, Schuler should be tossed.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon told media she’s a “vaccine ambassador.”

“I’ve always tried to lead by example in my life. I’m a vaccine ambassador, and if others want to follow my lead, I strongly encourage them to do so,” said Gordon, who with two other cabinet ministers was outed for violating mandates whilst frolicking at a gala sans masks and social distancing.

Schuler has been participating in question period virtually for a few months. The chamber already only allows MLAs in who have received two doses.

Nonetheless, Stefanson imposed a tougher rule — get vaccinated or get banished. 

Back to the NDP’s Fontaine who told the Winnipeg Sun MLAs must “step up.” 

“And if MLAs don’t stand up, who the heck is supposed to step up?”

Oh, the irony of chastising an MLA who is doing exactly that. Schuler is stepping up heroically, not only for himself but for all being bullied into sharing personal information.

Former Ontario privacy commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian recently told Blacklock’s Reporter she rejects vaccine passports in any form.

“You’re talking about people’s personal health information. That is between your doctor and yourself. Now all of that has changed … I find it abhorrent,” said Cavoukian.

“People’s health status is considered to be the most private, sensitive information they have … The problem is privacy protection measures, once they are lifted in an emergency, are seldom restored.” 

Schuler appears to understand the sinister ramifications of that. This is about more than him.

The premier and MLAs who choose to represent only Manitobans who dutifully obey them may silence him.

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

Baaaa….

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

LOGAN: It’s time to divest from Suzuki

“It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most – his donors.”

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Eco-alarmist David Suzuki has become more than just your everyday environmental activist — he’s become a well-known Canadian brand.

And it’s a brand that helped create the David Suzuki Foundation, which in 2020 raised more than $13 million for various environmental causes.

But what happens when the namesake of your charitable foundation not only feeds into, but repeats the dangerous rhetoric being employed by extreme environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion?

It was at an Extinction Rebellion event in Victoria in November that Suzuki crossed the line between peaceful activism and extremism.

“There are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” vowed the 85-year-old activist, best known for hosting CBC’s The Nature of Things.

And he wasn’t ready to back down following the outrage sparked by his comments, telling Victoria’s CHEK News it was “absurd” for people to think he was inciting violence and didn’t regret his comment.

“I meant it. I said it. I regret that the media … would take the context of that article, which was a fine report, and put the headline that totally slants it as if I’m inciting violence,” Suzuki said.

The Foundation that bears his name was quick to distance itself from the co-founder’s comments, saying Suzuki wasn’t speaking on their behalf.

Suzuki eventually apologized for his remarks, saying they were said out of “extreme frustration,” and not meant to support violence.

But despite the apology, Suzuki refused to condemn Extinction Rebellion’s defense of his own comments, which only further raised the temperature.

“Not only will pipelines be blown up, but we can be certain that world leaders will be put on trial for treason or worse — be killed,” said Extinction Rebellion’s National Action & Strategy Coordinator Zain Haq, doubling down on Suzuki’s comment.

It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most — his donors.

You can send a letter today to the David Suzuki Foundation’s largest donors telling them that his violent rhetoric is unacceptable. Just click on this link.

If activists like Suzuki won’t hold themselves accountable, you can do your part to make them accountable to the people who write their paycheque.

Let these companies and foundations know that it’s time to divest from Suzuki!

Guest column by Shawn Logan with the Canadian Energy Centre

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