‘Canadians have been patient’; Trudeau says barricades must come down

Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a news conference Friday where he said the government has tried its best to resolve the situation. Photo: Brett Forester/APTN

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s time for the rail barricades “paralyzing key infrastructure” across Canada to come down.

“This is unacceptable and untenable,” Trudeau told a Friday afternoon news conference.

”Canadians have been patient, our government has been patient.”

But the economic impact has hurt too many people as the blockades enter their third week in solidarity with hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern B.C., he told reporters.

Hereditary chiefs and their supporters oppose construction of a pipeline that will carry fracked natural gas across their traditional territory and have defied an injunction giving Coastal GasLink (CGL) access.

Elected band councils have signed off on the project, and the conflict has grabbed international attention.

Behind the scenes, Trudeau said there have been high-level attempts to reach “a peaceful resolution.”

But he said hereditary chiefs have consistently rebuffed the government’s overtures.

“We have exhausted our capacity to engage in a positive, substantive and active way to resolve this,” Trudeau said.

“The barricades must come down.”


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At the same time, he said the chiefs have made “a series of different requests and demands,” namely that CGL leave the area entirely.

Their first “ask” to have the RCMP leave their territory has been met, the prime minister added, noting the RCMP did “independently” decommission their post.

But the government can’t negotiate Indigenous rights and title by itself, Trudeau said, and for that reason he was ending the dialogue and calling on Indigenous leaders to convince protesters to remove the barricades.

“The onus is on them,” he said.

Failing that, the prime minister said the next step would be police enforcement of laws and injunctions.

And he hoped there would be no violence.

But the longer it dragged on, the more the standoff was hurting Canadians and the country’s work on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, Trudeau added.

In the meantime, he said he would leave the door open to Indigenous leaders to meet with government.

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for aptnnews.ca. A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.


3 thoughts on “‘Canadians have been patient’; Trudeau says barricades must come down

  1. He doesn’t even realize how insulting his statements are!! He needs years of quality, in-person Cultural Safety training.

  2. Gee, it must be tough to not have access to important materials, like pricey clothing etc. Meanwhile we the Indigenous community have to wait years for the essentials in life. I recall our elders telling me that they could smell the white man long before we saw them. We fed them when they were starving, introduced them to our feast now called Thanksgiving. Without us they would not have sign language, aspirin etc……

  3. straight talk
    Go to the site they wanted you to go. we would see how the people like it if it went through there stolen land. You government people just do not listen. Trudeau you puppet for another 3 yrs. Sheer another dum dum you were leaving kkanada you and Alberta but remembered you were not wanted in your own country. EH. Moe could not run a farm nor a province of hillbillies EH

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