OPINION: B.C.’s gas-pipeline protest will end in a whimper, not a bang – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 10, 2020)


While uncertainty surrounds the final outcome of a blockade that has halted construction of an important natural gas pipeline in northern B.C., be assured that the protest by a small group of Indigenous leaders and environmental activists has zero chance of jeopardizing completion of the project.

There is simply too much at stake, not the least of which is Canada’s international reputation for resource development – which is not great as it is.

The rest of Canada has become inured to environmental confrontations in British Columbia. There is a long, sharp history of them, one that continues to shape the nature and scope of the crusades we are witnessing today. They have become intertwined more recently with court decisions that have handed Indigenous groups more power than they’ve ever known.

But contrary to what many want to believe, these rulings have not handed Indigenous parties sovereignty over every endeavour that may affect them.

And despite the fear-mongering that has accompanied the B.C. government’s recent move to enshrine the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into law, the legislation does not give First Nations veto over industrial relations activities.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-bcs-gas-pipeline-protest-will-end-in-a-whimper-not-a-bang/