Protesters supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in their fight against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline made themselves heard loud and clear this week.
Demonstrations and blockades have been set up across the country, forcing CN and VIA Rail to suspend operations on major routes.
Canada’s Indigenous Services Minister met with members of the Mohawk First Nation in Tyendinaga, Ontario this weekend, where a blockade was set up more than 10 days ago.
“I’m here to discuss in peace and friendship with a bunch of people that haven’t felt part of this country. They felt like allies at times and they’ve been betrayed.” said Minister Marc Miller.
CN obtained a court injunction to end the demonstration more than a week ago, but the Ontario Provincial Police haven’t enforced it. Miller says “modest progress” was made but declined to share the details. But he briefed the prime minister, who’s spent the weekend speaking with federal cabinet ministers as the pressure to find a resolution mounts.
B.C. Ferries now has an injunction to prevent demonstrators from blocking terminals, after Swartz Bay was cut off for several hours last month.
And after demonstrators blocked entrances to the B.C. Legislature and disrupted the Throne Speech Tuesday, an injunction was also granted to try and prevent it from happening again. And while a resolution may seem out of reach, experts say peaceful dialogue is a step in the right direction.
“There is nothing in a pipeline that’s worth anybody dying for. So as long as we’re on the right side of that line I think we’re probably doing ok and as long as the conversations continue, as long as there’s some progress being made.” said former Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs.
But with provincial budget day on Tuesday, many fear the injunctions will be put to the test.