MLA Donna Barnett’s weekly column addresses the ongoing protests in Victoria. (Nina Grossman/Victoria News Staff)

OPINION: All eyes on B.C. to deal with protest crisis: MLA Barnett

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett airs frustrations over last week’s protests in Victoria, across they country

The Speech from the Throne is usually an opportunity for the government-of-the-day to brag about its accomplishments and promote its vision for the coming year.

It usually involves the speech being delivered by the Lieutenant Governor, marching bands and 21-gun salutes.

But none of that happened last week because the Legislature was under lock-down due to anti-pipeline protests that were well orchestrated all across Canada. MLAs were denied access through the doors of the Legislature, including Green Party members.

Interim Green Party Leader, Adam Oslen, who grew up on the Tsartlip First Nation reserve on Vancouver Island, was also turned away from screaming protestors. Olsen later said in the Legislature: “I have great difficulty characterizing much of what I experienced … as peaceful.

Even Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin had to enter through a tunnel across the street from the Legislature.

It’s now obvious this is more than just a grassroots movement. Rotating demonstrations that shut down bridges, trains bridges and highways in B.C., were also executed across the country.

Read more: Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

This reveals a well-organized and well financed organization comprising social justice warriors, climate change activists and anti-capitalist movements.

Caught right in the middle of this is a now deeply divided Wet’suwet’en First Nation. All twenty elected band councils that live along the pathway of the natural gas pipeline – including the Wet’suwet’en – have signed agreements with Coastal Gaslink.

It will provide employment and millions of dollars in benefits to 13,000 aboriginal people, yet activists chose to ignore these facts and are siding with five of the thirteen hereditary chiefs who oppose the project.

Demonstrators care little about the deep – and possibly permanent – divisions erupting between friends and family belonging to the Wet’suwet’en.

The economic damage is also adding up across the country and all eyes are now on B.C. to deal with the crisis. People are asking why there is no leadership from Premier John Horgan, and why the government isn’t looking after the interests of all British Columbians?



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Indigenous

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

Just Posted

WASHOUT: Slide at Soda Creek MacAlister Road makes road impassable

Next update on DriveBC is expected on Monday, March 30 at noon.

Spreading joy through music: Local musicians brighten everyone’s day on social media

LeRae Haynes and Evan Jensen post two songs online every day

LETTERS: COVID-19 will impact us all, one way or another

Let me say that our hospital staff are heroes

COLUMN: Small scale logging contractors have to be versatile

There is logging activity in the Fox Mountain area with chip trucks heading into town

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read