Yellow Vest Protestors gather Oliver Street on Saturday, April. 20 as part of a protest against Justin Trudeau and many of his policies. (Patrick Davies photo)

LETTERS: Local yellow vest protestors still going ‘wrong’


In passing Herb Gardner Park these past few weeks, it is not hard to miss the yellow vests (YV) and the signage arrayed along Oliver Street once per week. According to the 20 April 2019 article in the Williams Lake Tribune, the yellow vests are “a group of dedicated protesters [who] have made it their mission to raise awareness about the issues they’re concerned about.” Raising awareness, or contextualizing, is one thing, but building strawmen fallacies is another.

One topic that comes up in their signage is carbon pricing but that does not make sense, especially when the federal carbon tax is a revenue neutral tax with corresponding rebates.

One would think there would be better things to protest than zero sum fiscal policies, especially when many economists like Mark Jaccard and Christopher Ragan have shown that carbon pricing is one of the most effective methods for reducing jurisdictional GHG emissions. Regardless, it is worth pointing out that the YV have proposed no meaningful policy solutions to combating climate change.

Complaining for the sake of complaining has extremely limited value.

READ MORE: France’s Yellow Vest movement lands in lakecity

Furthermore, the YV opposition to the United Nations Global Compact for Migration is rooted in an unsubstantiated fear of losing control of borders. The UN is not supplanting Canadian sovereignty. That is not how international law works. As stated by the UN, the Compact “is non-legally binding.

It is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights, and recognizes that a cooperative approach is needed to optimize the overall benefits of migration, while addressing its risks and challenges for individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit and destination.” That is explicitly not infringing on Canadian sovereignty.

In fact, the UN was formed in the interests of preventing the rise of supranational entities which infringed on other states’ sovereignties.

The YV movement also has deeply problematic components. It has been well documented that Yellow Vests Canada has deep ties to transphobic, homophobic, and racist movements, according to the independent nonprofit Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN). CAHN and the Yellow Vests Exposed network have documented dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of toxic discourse from the YV movement directed at marginalized groups. As reported by CBC-Edmonton reporter Elizabeth Hames in January 2019, YV ties to Nazi groups across the country like the Wolves of Odin and the Proud Boys are troubling to say the least.

READ MORE: Yellow vest protests going strong

These ties compromise any claims to inclusivity. Furthermore, the presence of spin-off red MAGA hats at these protests harkens back to Trumpian imagery. These less-than-subtle references to a contemporary American administration which peddles fascistic rhetoric are at best misplaced, if not outright disturbing.

Essentially, these protests are less about raising awareness and more about promoting baseless partisan ideology all the while misrepresenting the facts. It is mythologizing, not contextualizing.

Joe Borsato

Williams Lake

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Barkerville’s sixth annual Indigenous Celebrations takes place Saturday, July 20

This year’s event will also be the soft launch of Indigenous programming at the historic site

Council moves to develop more ‘realistic’ budgets

Part of a new budget and timeline plan proposes a zero per cent tax increase in 2020

New Performances in the Park organizer needed for 2020

Are you interested in taking over this popular community event?

CRD estimates 47 properties impacted by flooding in Chilcotin

Ministry of Agriculture visits producers impacted

Williams Lake Cycling Club hosts mountain bike film Thursday evening, July 18

Doors open at 6 p.m., the show Return to Earth starts at 7 p.m.

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Police identify pair found dead along highway in northern B.C.

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Most Read