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Singh's selective silence on Wet'suwet'en
Three federal NDP MPs are asking their leader to call out B.C. Premier John Horgan for deploying the RCMP on unceded Indigenous land
More than 1,000 New Democrats have signed a petition calling on party leader Jagmeet Singh to name names when condemning the RCMP’s mass arrests of land defenders blocking the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet'suwet'en territory.
Signatories of note include NDP MPs Matthew Green, Leah Gazan and Lori Idlout, Ontario NDP MPP Joel Harden, documentarian and 2021 federal NDP candidate Avi Lewis, and former NDP MP Romeo Saganash.
It’s based on a statement by Young New Democrats of Quebec that calls on Singh and deputy leader Alexandre Boulerice to demand the B.C. Premier John Horgan’s NDP call off the Mounties.
From CBC News:
The move places Singh in a difficult position — jammed between the wishes of many NDP members and his political need to avoid criticizing the only NDP government in the country.
In November, the RCMP arrested at least 29 people, including a Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief's daughter and two journalists, for breach of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction preventing any obstruction of work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
The $6.6 billion pipeline is designed to carry natural gas, obtained by hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — in northeastern B.C., to a $40-billion LNG terminal on the province's North Coast for export to Asia.
Singh has said he’s “absolutely concerned” about the RCMP’s actions, and the federal Liberals’ complicity in them, but refuses to utter Horgan’s name.
Jay Woodruff, a federal NDP executive, said Singh must forego political expediency and distance himself from the B.C. party if necessary.
"The situation has caused an identity crisis in the party and … it's creating a situation where members are leaving because the party is just acting so against what people stand for,” Woodruff told the CBC.
As Coastal GasLink boasts, the project has the support of 20 elected bands across the route of the pipeline, but is opposed by Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary leadership.
However, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that the elected bands are a colonial imposition on Indigenous peoples, which is why it ruled that Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have jurisdiction over traditional lands in the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia ruling.
Edited by Eric Wickham
In other news …
Daniel Therrien said in his annual report for 2021 that while government surveillance is decreasing, the buying and selling of personal information by corporations is a major cause for concern.
Therrien’s office doesn’t have the power to enforce anything, so he’s calling on the government to strengthen its regulatory capacity in upcoming legislation on private-sector data handling.
Shoshana Zuboff’s excellent 2019 book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism outlines how big tech companies leverage users’ data to turn a profit.
Canadian athletes will still participate in the 2022 winter games, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he won’t be sending any government officials there due to China’s “repeated human rights violations.”
Canada joins Australia, the U.S. and U.K. in this wholly symbolic gesture.
The Chinese foreign ministry, citing Canada’s “heinous crimes against Indigenous people,” said Canada is in no position to play “human rights preacher.”
Former, and possibly future, Green Party leadership candidate Dmitri Lascaris wrote on his blog that Canada’s talk of human rights in China is more than a bit rich, considering its ongoing support for American, Saudi, Emirati and Israeli abuses.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) didn’t adequately inspect workplaces that hired temporary foreign workers, Auditor General Karen Hogan said Thursday.
According to the audit, ESDC started doing exclusively online inspections at the outset of the pandemic, and essentially rubber stamped workplaces as being compliant with distancing and quarantining protocols without proof.
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