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KAY: Green extremists ignore indigenous voices that don’t fall in line

Barbara Kay’s debut column with the Western Standard.

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In mid-November, a handful of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in BC spearheaded yet another attempt — thwarted by the RCMP — to scuttle Coastal GasLink’s $6.6 billion natural gas pipeline. The half-completed pipeline will run 670 km from Dawson Creek in northeast BC to Kitimat on the west coast, there to be processed in an $18-billion terminal financed by LNG Canada’s joint partnership, then exported as low-emission liquified gas to replace high-emission coal-based energy in client Asian countries.

In their latest act of mischief earlier this month, the scofflaws blockaded a workers’ camp, trapping up to 500 workers without food or water before the blockage was dismantled; they stole or vandalized heavy machinery, and they caused destruction to forestry roads sufficient to bring the movement of police and industry personnel to a halt. 

It certainly doesn’t help matters when prominent voices on the left egg on the activists. Longtime political gadfly David Suzuki was roundly criticized when he opined, at an Extinction Rebellion event, that “there are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.” This was a shockingly imprudent impulse. Most of Canada’s energy and transportation hubs run through native lands that cannot be adequately policed against sabotage. (He has since apologized, but the unfiltered instinct to say it remains “problematic,” a word frequently trotted out by progressives when critiquing the manifold perceived sins of conservatives.)

It also doesn’t help when our political and cultural elites continually harp on Canadians’ inherent shame as collective genocidaires, not to mention endless land acknowledgements that beg the question of why we seem to admit the land was “stolen,” but don’t give it back. 

Instead of inviting reconciliation, our various forms of breast-beating are inspiring revanchism. The mantra one hears with increasing frequency amongst indigenous activists these days, “Land Back,” means exactly what it says. Those chanting it have been encouraged to believe, by non-indigenous allies in government, academic and environmental-activist circles, that their hunting and gathering ancestors understood the concept of land “ownership” as we do today, and that consequently, 3% of the Canadian population deserves legal title to a third of our land mass. 

That is not going to happen, and such lines of thought should be discouraged by everyone with political and cultural influence. The 1997 Supreme Court Delgamuukw ruling made clear that Wet’suwet’en land title is limited, and that the Crown has use of the title land for the public good.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault recently tweeted: “Indigenous peoples have been stewards of this planet since time immemorial. The fight against climate change is not possible without their knowledge and leadership.” But whose leadership exactly? Elected band council leaders who signed on to the pipeline project, or a small group of unelected hereditary chiefs who do not enjoy support from more than a tiny fraction of their people? There is little clarity on this important distinction from government officials.

And whose “knowledge”? The CGL met the highest environmental standards in planning its project. They complied with all provisions set out in eight provincial and federal regulatory environmental Acts. They requested meetings with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (which represents the hereditary chiefs) to discuss issues related to the project over 40 times, with no response from them. If the hereditary chiefs had “knowledge” it was important for CGL to know, they had ample occasion to share it and chose not to.

None of our climate-obsessed progressive elites ever emphasize what an economic boon and lifeline to independence this pipeline and other eco-responsible projects are to indigenous peoples (a far greater boon than government handouts). While indigenous Canadians make up 3.3% of our general workforce, they represent 7.4% of the country’s oil and gas sector workforce. 

As for indigenous peoples being “stewards” of the planet: Even if we all agreed that indigenous people are “stewards” of the land, why should we assume that all indigenous people are of the same mind as Steven Guilbeault in his opposition to resource development? There is plenty of diversity amongst stakeholder populations, including amongst the hereditary chiefs. Yet the establishment media rarely draw attention to this diversity, preferring, as befits the modern, culturally self-loathing progressive spirit, to romance the anarchic dissenters.

Majority Wet’suwet’en opinion is pro-resource development, and it is time their voices were heard and respected. I, therefore, recommend a visit to the Canada Action site, where you will find many strong statements such as these below: 

  • “There’s quite a bit of support for this project,” says Bonnie George, Witset First nation, Wet’suwet’en. “But people are afraid to speak up because, in the past few years, people that [have] spoken up were either ostracized…[or] ridiculed, bullied, harassed, threatened, and being called a traitor – a sellout….There’s a small group of members from the Wet’suwet’en Nation that doesn’t support the [CGL] projects.”
  • “Twenty First Nations participated extensively during five years of consultation on the pipeline and have successfully negotiated agreements with [CGL]. This is on the public record,” says Karen Ogen-Toews of the First Nations LNG Alliance.
  • Theresa Tait-Day, a hereditary chief of Wet’suwet’en Nation, says the voices of female hereditary chiefs “are not being heard. “We have been working particularly with LNG and [CGL]. Our people wanted a benefit and they wanted to be able to make a decision on a positive note. However, we’ve experienced lateral violence and coercion since then by the five chiefs who claim to represent the nation” (since then, two chiefs of the five have dropped out of activating)…The protest organizers are conveniently hiding beneath our blanket as indigenous people, while forcing their policy goals at our expense.”
  • The Haisla Nation are associated with the Kitimat terminal project. Speaking for them, Crystal Smith says, “I’ve seen the impacts first hand. I’ve felt the impacts firsthand. The focus for us is the long-term careers. For the first time, we’re funding culture and language programs…This independence is what we want. This is what we need more of in our community. We need to heal our people. No other government…has been able to heal our people the way they need it.”
  • Also for Haisla Nation, former chief councillor Ellis Ross: “Professional protesters and well-funded NGOs have merely seized the opportunity to divide our communities for their own gains…and ultimately will leave us penniless when they suddenly leave.”
  • “This is one of the biggest projects in Canada, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?” asks Derek Orr, former chief, McLeod lake Indian Band.

Who indeed? Only virtue-signalling enviro-alarmism obsessives, irresponsible disruptors who get a thrill out of “direct action” that sows chaos and disorder, and patronizing Nanny Statists who prefer that indigenous peoples continue to boil their drinking water than admit that responsible capitalism providing work, resources and human dignity is the way forward for Indigenous populations.

Barbra Kay is a Senior Columnist for the Western Standard

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Hutsul Honey

    November 30, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Really good to see Barbara Kay here!!!

  2. Tony

    November 27, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    How long can we rely on romanticized notions of the way indigenous people lived hundreds of years ago when making important decisions about the future of everyone in this country?

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Energy

Energy report tells feds to incentivize moves away from oil

The IEA calls for the Canadian government to creating transparent changes to the oil and gas industry but incentivizing technology changes and creating emergency oil stocks.

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A new report says Canada should further invest in clean in electricity and that our country is already among the cleanest energy production in the world.

The International Energy Analysis (IEA) came out with a report outlining recommendations for Canada’s energy future, including balanced decarbonization across the country.

That means higher coordination between federal, provincial and territorial levels to set clear targets for energy efficiency in buildings, transport and industry sectors.

The IEA calls for the Canadian government to create transparent changes to the oil and gas industry but incentivizing technology changes and creating emergency oil stocks.

Canada’s electricity system is one of the cleanest globally according to the IEA report, as 80% of supply is from non-emitting sources such as hydropower and nuclear power.

“Canada’s wealth of clean electricity and its innovative spirit can help drive a secure and affordable transformation of its energy system and help realize its ambitious goals,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“Equally important, Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions — of both carbon dioxide and methane — from its oil and gas production can help ensure its continued place as a reliable supplier of energy to the world.”

The report follows Environmental Minister Steven Guildbeault’s announcement for Canada to be ready to eliminate fossil fuels in 18 months, with zero-emission cars and stricter methane regulations.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole expressed concern on Twitter with the zero emission plans, calling attention to the need to invest in the oil sector rather than turn away from it.

Energy makes up over 10% of Canada’s GDP, being a major source of capital investment, export revenue and jobs, making the net-zero goals both a challenge and opportunity.

Since the last IEA review in 2015, Canada has made international and domestic commitments dedicated to transforming the energy sector, including a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40‑45% by 2030.

Canada is also a part of the United Nations zero-emission 2050 target that involves over 130 countries worldwide.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard.
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Energy

O’Toole mocks Guilbeault’s two-year fossil fuel plan

Full implementation of this ethanol use would create a 60% increase in heating a home, according to the advocacy group Canadians for Affordable Energy.

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The federal cabinet is planning to phase out the use of fossil fuels in the next 18 months, but didn’t mention how much Canadians rely on fossil fuels and what costs this initiative entails.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in the next two years Canadians should also see more stringent methane regulations and zero-emission vehicle standards.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was opposed to the proposition, and highlighted the need for using Canada’s fossil fuel industry and supporting those who work in it.

“Canada is a cold country. We need fossil fuels, natural gas, to heat our homes,” said O’Toole in a video standing in front of a freezing cold House of Commons.

O’Toole tweet

“Someone so disconnected from reality that he’s making policy that will hurt our country. Division and absolute disconnect from reality.”

Guilbeault stressed the need for faster action on environmental initiatives by the Liberal government.

“I mean, maybe 2024, but that’s the type of time frame we have to work with and it’s going to be tough because on the one hand, some people are going to criticize us for not giving them enough time to be consulted, but the state of climate change is such that we need to learn to do things faster and that’s certainly true of us as a government,” he said.

Guilbeault acknowledged many of his proposed environmental actions will cause significant costs to consumers, but stated the luxury of waiting to make environmental changes is something Canadians don’t have any more.

The Clean Fuel Standard, implemented in 2021, mandated higher use of renewable energy in everyday consumption which includes tripling expensive ethanol content in gasoline and increasing carbon taxes.

Full implementation of the ethanol use would create a 60% increase in heating a home, according to the advocacy group Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Guilbeault complained about regulators taking too long to finalize the Clean Fuel Standard, as the regulation took five years to finalize and implement.

“One of the things I told stakeholders when I was in Toronto recently and then in Calgary, one of the things I told the department as well is we don’t have that luxury anymore,” said Guilbeault.

“We don’t have five years to consult every time we want to introduce a new measure.”

Canada’s two major parties are opposing on the matter.

O’Toole ended his statements on Twitter saying the Conservative party will keep fighting to keep Canadians warm and fossil fuel jobs safe.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Energy

Energy report says fossil fuel usage set to plunge in Canada

The news was met with glee from Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

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The use of fossils fuels in Canada is set to drop drastically in the next three decades, says a new report.

The Canada Energy Regulator predicts fossil fuel use will fall by 62% by 2025.

The forecast predicts Canadians will use significantly less gasoline and diesel over coming years, resulting in a 43% decline in the use of refined petroleum products by 2050.

Electricity use could rise by as much 45% as people change over to electric vehicles.

The report predicts wind and solar power will be used to help meet the rise in demand.

The news was met with glee from Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

“Some welcome news from The Canada Energy Regulator: fossil fuel use will fall by 62% in Canada by 2050. We’re making progress, the work continues!” he tweeted.

The forecast calls for Canadian crude oil production to peak at 5.8 million barrels per day in 2032, and then to decline to reach 4.8 million barrels per day in 2050.

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