Liberal MPs defer call for immediate blockade debate at committee

Liberal MPs defer call for immediate blockade debate at committee

OTTAWA — Liberal MPs have temporarily thwarted an attempt by a Bloc Quebecois MP to immediately debate the “Indigenous crisis” involving rail and road blockades across the country at a Commons committee.

Bloc MP Sylvie Berube wants to call the Wet’suewet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a major natural-gas pipeline on their traditional B.C. territory to testify before House of Commons’ committee on Indigenous and northern affairs.

Berube says the protests blocking rail and road traffic in Quebec and across the country have caused a state of crisis and wanted the committee to immediately begin debate on her motion calling for a study of the matter.

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq and Conservative MP Jamie Schmale both agreed the issue is pressing and should be addressed and debated right away.

But Liberal MPs would not waive the 48 hours of notice required for a motion to be debated, although they did agree to put it at the top of the agenda for a meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the federal government is still trying to find an agreement on the hereditary chiefs’ demands that the RCMP leave their territory, after leaving an outpost on an access road to the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020


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