CALGARY – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he’s concerned blockades in support of First Nations opponents to a northern British Columbia natural gas pipeline are a “dress rehearsal” for opposition to future energy projects.
Demonstrations have blocked railways, ports and bridges across the country in solidarity with those fighting the Coastal Gas Link project that crosses the traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
Kenney describes the protests as “ecocolonialism” from southern Canadians “projecting their own fringe political agenda.”
He says they are not about Indigenous rights because 20 elected First Nations band councils along the pipeline route support the project.
He adds anyone demonstrating because of the its climate impact is also hypocritical.
Kenney says that’s because the pipeline would enable countries such as China to burn liquefied natural gas from Canada instead of dirtier coal.
“This is not about Indigenous people. It’s not about carbon emissions. It’s about a hard-left ideology that is frankly opposed to the entire modern industrial economy and I think it’s about time that our police services demonstrated that this is a country that respects the rule of law,” Kenney told reporters in Calgary on Tuesday.
“Allowing people to completely destabilize the lives of tens of thousands of people, costing all of us untold costs in our economy by shutting down ports and bridges, highways and railways, in opposition to the express democratic wishes of First Nations is outrageous and it has to end.”