OPP inaction [on De Beers roadblock] results in ‘lawless’ north – by Brian Lilley (Toronto Sun – Feburary 22, 2013)

Above Commentary by Ezra Levant on February 21, 2013


Lawyers for the Ontario Provincial Police will appear in court Friday to provide excuses for their inaction in enforcing a court order near the De Beers diamond mine in Northern Ontario.

There are no excuses, and in my view the police force, including OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis, should be cited for contempt. This all stems from a half-dozen protesters from the Attawapiskat First Nation who decided to blockade the winter road that services the mine.

The road is used for resupplying the work site with fuel and equipment too heavy to fly in.

“Due to the blockade, we have lost a total of 14 of the available 20 days to deliver the critical freight and fuel to resupply the mine,” De Beers said in a statement. “Should we not be able to complete the program as planned, we are concerned for the health and safety of our employees at site and the future of our mine.”

That all seems lost on the protesters, who are now supported by their chief, Theresa Spence. Now before you go thinking this is a protest over treaty rights, it’s not. This is a fight over money and who should get what.

Speaking in court Wednesday, Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Riopelle said the men at the blockage are “individuals with private financial interests, holding a large multinational corporation to ransom. It smells of coercion.”

Coercion is right.

The men apparently have a beef with De Beers over trap lines they say were affected by the mine and the protest has since grown to include a list of other issues, including job training and housing, according to statements made by those involved.

This is nothing but a shakedown that is being aided and abetted by the police. The protesters are illegally blockading a road in attempt to get more money out of the mining company. That should be enough for their arrest, but the OPP say no.

According to a report by QMI Agency reporter Ron Grech, the OPP’s lawyer Chris Diana said the job of the police force was to appear neutral.

For the rest of this column, please go to the Toronto Sun website: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/02/21/opp-inaction-results-in-lawless-north

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