Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

RUSTAD -- I hope the rule of Canadian law will be respected and that Coastal GasLink can get back to building this nation building project, and all of the benefits that come with it

I was asked to do a CBC interview this past Sunday. I decided to put the whole truth out there regarding the Unistoten blockade in my riding. I have to say that I was disappointed that the CBC did not cover everything I said. So, here is an augmented version:

When I was Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, I worked tirelessly with the Wet’suwet’en people to try and find a resolution. 

We drafted a protocol and proposed funding to undertake a nation building exercise to help bridge the differences between the elected and hereditary systems. We offered to engage in land discussions, resource sharing and other agreements. We worked with them on support for services for children. There were a lot of things put on the table.

Unfortunately, the hereditary chiefs turned down almost all agreements even though we offered these paths with no strings attached.

During one meeting I overheard the hereditary chiefs speaking. They wanted to go back to court, to move forward a title case. However, they said they know they need to be unified in order to win as that is what it took in the previous court case. They needed to find a catalyst or cause to champion to try and bring the people together in order to move forward a title case. I can only assume opposition to the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline is what they believe will achieve this.

This is why I do not believe there is a negotiated settlement that will end with the pipeline being built.

The proposed re-routing option is not viable. There were no paths, no options, no realistic solutions that could be found. I’m sure the current NDP government has discovered the same thing which is why they are not engaging directly. This despite internal polling of the Wet’suwet’en people, undertaken by one of the elected chief and councils, showed that 65 to 70 percent of the people supported the project and benefits.

This is also why the only viable path I can see forward is to undertake the nation building exercise, combined with a negotiation to address title. It won’t end the blockade but it is the right thing to do.

Now, a little about the blockade and protestors ...

In 2015 I proposed going to the blockade and directly engaging with the protestors. My deputy minister said “Minister, I can’t let you do that.” I asked why not? He responded again “Minister, the folks at the blockade are just crazy. I can’t let you visit them.”

I used to get monthly briefings on the activities at the blockade when I was a minister. Those briefings included reports from the RCMP and others. Illegal buildings were constructed on crown land. Heavy equipment was operating in a salmon bearing river during spawning season to build a water intake for the buildings.

If anyone else had done this, the equipment would have been seized, the operators or company would have been fined $1 million+ and potentially someone would have been in jail. But no action was taken.

I received reports of fire arm weapon caches constructed as well as detailed defenses built at the blockade. One time, when an RCMP officer approached the gate, a horn went off and people came rushing to the gate from several locations.

To put it simply, these protestors are dug in and expecting a confrontation.

About 4 years ago, there was an incident. A couple of hunters returning late at night decided to do the wrong thing. They tried to light the previous wooden blockade on fire (it has since been replaced with a metal gate. They then drove off. A protestor ran out of the building and fired off a gun. This was a very dangerous situation and certainly not “peaceful”.

All of this information has been collected and documented over the years, and I suspect will come out as evidence should a future court proceeding be required.

As for the resolution to the blockade, I hope the rule of Canadian law will be respected and that Coastal GasLink can get back to building this nation building project, and all of the benefits that come with it.


Popular posts from this blog

THE SIDEWINDER -- Just quit your constant damned whining and do something positive about it

  Living in a democracy is a wonderful thing, but it comes with responsibilities such as voting and being involved. When the dust settled on Saturdays (October 24 th ) BC election, less than two thirds of the eligible voters * took the time to vote - but the loudest bitchers will probably be among the more than one third of voters who sat on their asses and complained about how all politicians are crooks, etc. How many of you constant whiners have ever done anything close to becoming involved; or do you just like sniveling to hear your own voice? Are you one the arseholes who likes to take advantage of everything our democracy has to offer, without ever contributing anything? And I don't want to listen to your crap about paying taxes, blah, blah, blah. There's more to making democracy work than simply voting and then sitting back and let others carry the ball for you. Too many people seem unwilling to get involved - and follow-up - to make sure elected po

The stats clearly demonstrate the need for professional and impartial advice at the time of purchase, renewal, and refinancing of mortgages

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION : Canadian Mortgage Trends   Canadians need guidance with their mortgages ... t hat’s the takeaway from a national survey released this week by, which found half of Canadians aren’t aware of the mortgage options available to them. Not only that, but Canadians are lacking in some other basic mortgage trivia, with an astounding 9 out of 10 respondents not knowing that mortgage interest is charged semi-annually: 28% think interest is compounded monthly; 17% think it’s bi-weekly; 17% think it’s annually; 28% just have no idea. Should we be concerned? Dustan Woodhouse, President of Mortgage Architects, and a former active broker who has written multiple educational mortgage books, thinks so. “ Sounds about right. We know about what we pay attention to, i.e., The Kardashians ,” he wrote to CMT. “ The material concern in this is how easy it makes it for the government to over-regulate the industry, with c

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more