Marching down Highway 16 in February 2019 in Smithers. B.C., chiefs gather in Smithers to support Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ position on Unist’ot’en camp and opposition to Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline. (Chris Gareau photo)

LETTER: Pipeline protests prove negotiations impossible

To the editor:

It is my understanding that duly elected Wet’suwet’en Councils in the area transversed by the proposed pipeline have successfully negotiated an agreement with the pipeline developer where both groups benefit economically by construction of the pipeline.

Subsequently, an Indigenous faction which did not take part in the negotiations, and whose agreement to the pipeline construction was not required, has organized a countrywide protest which is costing Canada’s economy huge losses. The courts have ruled, unanimously, that the agreement should be honoured and the obstructing (blockading) protests cease.

While the Hereditary Chiefs and their supporters have the right to demonstrate, their obstructing activities are therefore acting in criminal Contempt of Court, and they should immediately cease their actions which are negatively affecting Canada’s economy and the right of Canadians to carry on their economic activities and their right to access their places of employment without harassment.

What this is now telling the rest of Canada is that it is not possible to reliably come to any legitimate legal agreement, on any matter, between any Indigenous group and any other entity in Canada without some Indigenous individual or supporting group objecting and possibly generating economic damage to the rest of Canada.

It seems reasonable that the resulting costs and losses being experienced by the rest of Canada as a result of these Indigenous actions should be borne by the Indigenous communities which are supporting these costly negative actions. Period!

Yours seriously concerned,

Vern Polotikis, Vernon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

UPDATE: Good Samaritan delivers stolen sentimental mail

Some items stolen from boxes in the BX area were returned to the rightful owner

WATCH: Armstrong retirement community adapts amid COVID-19

Heaton Place rethinks programming to ensure residents stay safe, healthy and entertained

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Answer your phone, Vernon school district says

No caller ID or unknown callers could be your child’s teacher reaching out

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Most Read