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Indigenous protests spreading across country

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Protests are springing up across the country in support of a small indigenous band trying to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The protests have been stepped up in the wake of the RCMP raiding and removing the protesters’ main camp, near Smithers B.C.

Protesters are showing their support for Wetʼsuwetʼen hereditary chiefs. A total of 21 activists have been arrested since the RCMP raid began on Thursday.

Demonstrations have been held across Canada – including blocking rail lines, ports and ferry terminals – inconveniencing thousands of people.

demonstration in edmonton

Several activists were arrested Monday morning as they blocked access to ports in Vancouver.

In Calgary, 200 protesters shut down the Reconciliation Bridge on Monday. Police allowed them to block the road for two hours. 

In Victoria, several bridges were blocked.

In Edmonton, students at the University of Alberta planned to walk out of classes.

vancouver rally

At one B.C. blockade, the focus seemed to be on a fed up driver who took matters into his own hands.

B.C. blockade

On Friday, Mohawk members in Ontario parked a dump truck with a snowplow blade near a rail line, halting the Toronto-Ottawa corridor.

At the main camp. a near constant Twitter feed is getting out their side of the story.

The pipeline has the support of all First Nations along the route, but hereditary chiefs of Wet’suwet’en Nation, through which 28% of the 670-km route passes, oppose it.

A group of unelected hereditary chiefs had set up a camp near Smithers and have kicked out Coastal GasLink workers.

The RCMP said they have found traps like felled trees and three stacks of tires along with flammables along the access road.

On Jan. 7, 2019, RCMP arrested 14 protesters along the B.C. logging road. 

International attention was drawn to the issue when a British newspaper reported RCMP were ready to shoot protesters when they broke up the camp. The RCMP denied the story.

On Dec. 31, the B.C. Supreme Court granted CGL an injunction against members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation from blocking the pipeline route near Smithers, B.C.

But the situation has been further complicated after an Jan. 3 indict by the Unist’ot’en, a smaller group within the First Nation, that they intend to terminate an agreement that had granted the company access to the land.

The RCMP checkpoint had been set up at the 27-km mark of the forest service road “to mitigate safety concerns related to the hazardous items of fallen trees and tire piles with incendiary fluids along the roadway.”

The $6.6 billion pipeline, to be operated by TC Energy Corp, would transport gas from near Dawson Creek in northeast B.C. to Kitimat on the coast and supply Canada’s largest liquefied natural gas export terminal, called LNG Canada, which is under construction.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: @Nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

Manitoba announces quarantine rules for all visitors and returning residents

Alberta officials announced they have seen 20 cases of the virus variant from Great Britain and five from South Africa – something Manitoba wants to avoid

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Thinking of visiting friends and family in Manitoba – prepare yourself for a 2-week quarantine.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday that anyone coming into the province – including those from the West – will have to quarantine for 14 days.

“These measures are necessary to protect us from a more deadly version of the coronavirus that is not, as some would sadly hope, a short-term thing,” Pallister said at a press conference.

“If I have a regret from last year, I would suggest it was that we were trying too hard to educate, perhaps, and not enough maybe to make it clear that there are serious consequences if you don’t want to abide by the rules.

“We don’t want to make those mistakes again. We want to learn from them.”

The order also applies to Manitoban returning home and is designed to stop non-essential travel, by land or by air.

The rules come into effect Friday at midnight. Anyone who lives east of Terrace Bay, Ontario, will not have to isolate.

Alberta health officials announced Monday they have seen 20 cases of the virus variant from Great Britain and five from South Africa. That’s something Manitoba wants to avoid.

“Early analysis shows, depending on the study you’re reading, that it can be up to 70 per cent more communicable and have the same impacts on morbidity, mortality and hospitalizations, if not worse, depending on what study we’re looking at, compared to what we have in the community right now,” acting deputy chief public health officer Dr. Jazz Atwal said in a conference call on Tuesday.

“We want to try to get ahead of it. We want to try to protect Manitobans, right? We want to ensure that those things are in place that mitigate that risk of that virus coming into Manitoba and if it does come into Manitoba, that we’re able to respond to it quickly.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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News

Former finance minister Morneau drops bid to head OECD

Morneau said he hasn’t been able to gather enough support to win the job.

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Former Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau – forced to resign during the WE scandal – says he is dropping efforts to become the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In a Tuesday tweet, Morneau said he hasn’t been able to gather enough support to win the job.

“I am proud to have had this opportunity to talk about issues that matter to Canadians and to the world,” Morneau said.

The OCED is an intergovernmental economic group with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Morneau resigned August 17, after clashing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of the WE charity scandal.

Morneau also resigned as a Toronto MP effective immediately.

Reports out of Ottawa said Trudeau was unhappy with Morneau over how his department crafted some policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as Morneau’s testimony at the finance committee studying the WE charity scandal.

Morneau told the finance committee that he had forgotten to reimburse $41,000 in free travel offered by WE to his family and himself back in 2017 until the day before the committee meeting.

“I wish that in hindsight, we had done things differently around the WE Charity. As I’ve said, I think that it would have been more appropriate for me to recuse myself from that decision,” Morneau told reporters.

“I’ve done my best, I’ve apologized for that, and then move forward. And I know that the important work that we’re doing is more important than that problem that we that we had.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Energy

Tory MPs banned from wearing face masks supporting energy industry

The Speaker made the ruling after Liberals MPs complained about the masks during an emergency debate on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project

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The Liberal Speaker of the House of Commons has banned Conservative MPs from wearing face masks that show support for Canada’s beleaguered energy industry.

The Speaker made the ruling Monday night after Liberals MPs complained about the masks during an emergency debate on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project by US President Joe Biden.

“This is absurd! The Liberals just pushed to have Conservative MP’s stripped of their face masks because they support Canadian #oilandgas,” tweeted Melanie Paradis, the director of communications for Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole.

“Speaker just ruled Conservative MP’s can’t wear their oil & gas face masks!!! #cdnpoli

Alberta has billions of dollars tied up in the project, with $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money handed to TC Energy already, along with $6 billion in loan guarantees.

Premier Jason Kenney told a Wednesday press conference he had “no regrets” about staking so much taxpayers’ money on the project.

Kenney has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his help getting the money back. Kenney has also said Alberta will sue.

During the Democratic primaries and campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta. He made the vow before Alberta invested it’s money.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would have run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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