Critics say Doug Ford’s goal of keeping an aging nuclear plant online is ‘playing with fire’

Energy minister Greg Rickford (centre) with Premier Doug Ford and Lieutenant General Elizabeth Dowdeswell at his swearing in at Queen’s Park, Toronto, on June 28th 2018. Photo by Alex Tétreault

The Pickering nuclear power plant is already operating beyond the terms of its natural life. Critics warn that the Ford government’s move to eke out a little bit more power from the site is playing with fire.

Energy Minister Greg Rickford said on Tuesday that Ontario Power Generation, the provincial agency that operates the site, had proposed keeping four of its six operational reactors going for one year past the already-extended deadline of 2024.

But critics warn that even one extra year of operations at the site is a risky undertaking.

“They are already skating on thin ice, and this is only going to make it even thinner ice,” said Gordon Edwards, a scientist and the founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

That’s because the zirconium alloy used in the hundreds of tubes holding nuclear fuel in Pickering’s reactors are exposed to intense radiation, very hot water, and high pressure, he said.

“As it gets older, the metal is getting progressively more brittle, meaning it is more inclined to break, more inclined to crack, more inclined to split, and that is very dangerous,” Edwards said.

An undated aerial view of the Pickering nuclear power plant, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy of Ontario Power Generation. 

It costs billions of dollars to replace the tubing, which is what is being done at the refurbishments at the two other nuclear plants in Ontario, in Darlington and on the Bruce Peninsula.

Ontario is spending some $25 billion between 2016 and 2031 to extend the life of 10 reactors at those sites and maintain the province’s nuclear power capacity at 9,900 megawatts . Ontario’s peak demand has meanwhile fallen from just below 20,000 megawatts in 2005 to under 18,000 megawatts in 2016.

Nuclear power from Pickering, Darlington and Bruce supplies about 60 percent of Ontario’s total electricity needs.

Anti-nuclear advocates at Ontario Clean Air Alliance said in response to the extension news that Pickering “relies on seriously outdated technology” and is designed in such a way that a problem with any one of its six operational reactors could create a cascading effect on the others.

Angela Bischoff, a director at the group, also said that the plant has been plagued with safety problems over the years, including an accident in 1983 in which a pressure tube suffered a metre-long rupture and a loss of coolant. Coolant loss can cause a surge of power to occur in the reactor core. The site was shut down and two of the four reactors were eventually replaced (and two mothballed) at a cost of $1 billion.

Then in 1994, another pipe break resulted in a major loss of coolant and a spill of 185 tonnes of heavy water. Emergency measures to cool the core averted a meltdown.

A chart produced by Ontario Clean Air Alliance shows the relative cost of nuclear and other non-polluting sources of energy

The news that the Ford government was looking to extend the Pickering plant’s operational life was first reported by the Toronto Star on Monday.

The proposal would need to receive approval from the industry’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

A spokesperson for the regulator said it has not yet received notice that OPG intends to amend the terms of its licence. If and when such a notice is received, it would be reviewed by staff who would then make recommendations to the commission.

The application would also be subject to a public hearing “focused on safe operations and the protection of health, safety and environment,” senior communications advisor Isabelle Roy wrote in an email.

“It is important to emphasize and reiterate that the Commission will not issue a licence amendment, or any licence, unless it is satisfied that it is safe to do so and that there are adequate measures for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons and the maintenance of national security and international obligations,” she added.

Pickering was initially expected to safely produce power for some 230,000 full power equivalent hours, which is equal to about 30 years of typical operation.

The CNSC upped that to 247,000 hours in 2014, and in 2018, when the CNSC approved the extension of Pickering’s life to 2024, it said its reactors could stretch that to a maximum of 295,000 hours.

It is not clear if the Ford government’s proposal will include exceeding that limit.

When Quebec closed its sole nuclear facility, Gentilly-2, in December 2012 it was approaching the 210,000 full power equivalent hours it was designed to withstand.

Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Quebec’s then-CEO, told the province’s National Assembly soon after that he was no more inclined to operate it past that limit than he would “climb onto an airplane that does not have its permits and that does not meet the standards.”

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner said he is “not ideologically opposed to nuclear” but warned that “you don’t want to tempt fate or roll the dice too many times before something goes wrong.”

“It is well past its best-before date,” he said. “It seems really irresponsible on the premier’s part.”

He also pointed out that the Ford government had promised to lower electricity costs, yet is choosing expensive nuclear refurbishments and extensions over cheaper alternatives. These include efforts to improve energy efficiency and conservation, for which Ford has cut funding. Ford’s government has also spent at least $231 million to cancel hundreds of wind and solar projects, including two that were nearing completion, and rejected a deal with Quebec to import some of its excess hydro-electric power.

“They’re chasing nuclear dreams when we have lower cost options available to us,” he said. SOURCE

 

Doug Ford Wants Education in Ontario To Be More Like Education in ‘Alabama’. Here’s Why That’s a Bad Idea.

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Ford government’s plan to bring Alabama-style e-learning to Ontario would damage education system, education experts warn

Doug Ford’s plans for education, which includes eliminating several thousand teacher jobs and replacing them with American-style online learning courses, could do great damage to Ontario’s education system, experts in online learning say.

This week, the Toronto Star obtained a secret document exposing the Ford government’s plans to cut education by “progressively increasing” enrollments in cheap e-learning courses, with the goal of allowing teenagers to obtain high school diplomas “entirely online” by 2024.

The Ford government announced plans last year to make students complete four mandatory online courses in order to graduate, starting this school year.

Ford’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce has defended the move by noting several Republican-held US states already have mandatory e-learning.

Lecce has pointed to “Alabama” and “Arkansas” as good examples of the education model he wants to import to Ontario.

Many experts say that would be a very bad idea.

“The US has a lot of virtual schools that are publicly-funded private entities that really just make a profit from the enrolment of students in e-learning,” University of Toronto researcher Beyhan Farhadi told PressProgress.

Farhadi, whose research focuses specifically on e-learning, stressed online learning is no match for human teachers and physical classrooms.

“I haven’t found any work that suggests that online learning is comparable to face-to-face instruction.”

Farhadi also noted that some US states Ford’s education minister has pointed to as success stories are now scrambling to bring back more face-to-face contact with human teachers due to poor test scores.

According to a 2018 report by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, the pass rate for students in online courses in Michigan was as low as 60%. The pass rate among students from low-income households was even lower, dropping to 48%.

“Michigan … has done a lot of research on its e-learning program, and it’s been shown to be a failure year after year,” Farhadi explained. “Most states that required e-learning have now moved to integrated options that allow students to take their online requirements through blended learning.”

Tony Bates, an author of several books on online learning, says Ford’s government is making a very big mistake if it really thinks it can replace human teachers with “automated teaching.”

“There’s a greater need for (high school) students to be in school, on campus, because they often don’t have the independent learning skills needed for studying online.”

“In some of the US states, there has been almost no human teacher support,” he said, noting that the US states Ford’s government is pointing to as models for Ontario’s own education system are “highly automated.”

“Copying the US K-to-12 system in any respect is a backward move for Canada,” Bates added.

“There’s lots of problems with the US school system.” SOURCE

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We have good reasons to be alarmed about nuclear reactors

A Tokyo Electric Power Co. official wearing a radioactive protective gear conducts a tour of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

Let me tell you about nuclear reactors and me.

Because suddenly, on Sunday, a nuclear calamity was on everybody’s mind, GTA residents jolted into a queasy awareness of the aging Pickering facility when emergency officials “accidentally” issued a false alarm during testing of the alert system.

A vast complex hunkered down on the shore of Lake Ontario which, we learned just a day later — lousy timing — the Doug Ford government now intends to extend the life of the facility beyond its planned 2024 shuttering.

One of the largest nuclear power stations in the world — with six active CANDU reactors — and one of the oldest. Should have been taken offline years ago, as environmentalists urged.

It does not engender much faith in the competence of the nuclear station’s management when they botch a simple communications exercise. Two hours passed before they reversed the erroneous warning. What if it had been a real emergency? Is it seriously possible that Ontario Power Generation is still relying on Amber Alert-type notification for the public’s protection?

Not to scare the bejeezus out of folks, but …

An emergency alert sent to cellphones through the provincial emergency reporting system around 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2020, was a "human error" sent during a routine training exercise, Ontario's solicitor general said.

An ordinary chest x-ray measures 0.1 millisievert (mSv) of radiation. The average person in North America is exposed to about 3 mSv a year — “background doses” — from natural radiation, which includes cosmic radiation from outer space.

Exposure to 4 sieverts of radiation will kill one out every two people. Just 1 sievert can lead to hair loss, cataracts and infertility.

Six years after the 2011 meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima generating station in Japan — caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami — a robot was finally able to access a location near the reactor 2 core to measure then-current radiation levels: a jaw-dropping 530 sieverts of radiation per hour.

This is the “clean” energy promoted by many as a substitute for coal-fired plants to reduce emissions causing climate change.

I mention this because, on my way to cover the earthquake within two days of the event, I forced my driver/fixer to detour to the stricken station. A 30-kilometre exclusion and evacuation zone had been imposed. We proceeded to within one kilometre of the facility. Then a blizzard came out of nowhere. The snow chains on the car snapped. We were stuck — for eight hours. That’s how long it took for emergency crews to rescue us.

I could feel my ovaries melting.

An aerial view of the Chernobyl nucler power plant, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident, is seen in this May 1986 file photo, two-three days after explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Fukushima was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, which was the worst in history, though only one of the reactors had exploded — spewing 20,000 roentgens of ionized radiation per hour.

It was entirely due to human error. A flawed Soviet reactor design coupled with serious mistakes made by a plant crew conducting tests within a bureaucratic environment of sloppy safety measures. Five per cent of the radioactive reactive core was released into the atmosphere and cascaded downwind. Two men died that night, another 28 within a few weeks as a result of acute radiation poisoning. We’ll never know — Moscow will never reveal — how many cancers and deaths have since been attributable to the meltdown, though Greenpeace, admittedly not a credible source, predicted an eventual related death total of 93,000. The World Health Organization estimated some 4,000 subsequent deaths.

Cancer rates around Chernobyl are unusually high, 65 times normal according to some reports.

When I went to Chernobyl in 2009, upwards of 4,400 Ukrainian children and adolescents had already undergone operations for thyroid cancer.

Equipped only with a hand-held Geiger counter to measure hot-hot-hot spots around the facility — crippled No. 4 reactor since entombed in a 10-storey sarcophagus of lead-and-steel shielding — and the surrounding, abandoned, postnuclear town of Pripyat, I spent a couple of weird days in the badlands of Chernobyl, most contaminated place on the planet. The fallout was 400 times more radioactive than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Pripyat is a modern-day Pompeii, left in situ when government forced its inhabitants to evacuate lickety split. Within a year of the catastrophe, 400,000 Ukrainians from around the region were relocated.

Equipped only with a hand-held Geiger counter to measure hot-hot-hot spots around the facility and the surrounding, abandoned, postnuclear town of Pripyat, I spent a couple of weird days in the badlands of Chernobyl, writes Rosie DiManno.

Yet some of the old folks came back (illegally) to their little farms, willing to risk cancer in familiar and beloved surroundings where the topsoil is so toxic than no produce grown within the 30 kilometre exclusion zone can be sold except to other Pripyat residents. Nor can their domestic animals be sold for meat.

I spent several hours in the company of three babushkas, clinking shot glasses of rotgut, a moonshine made from fermented sugar and potatoes, which the elderly ladies insisted was the best antidote for radiation sickness. Then I slept in a dormitory formerly occupied by Chernobyl scientists — sharing a lump bed with a dozen feral cats.

Spooky town, providing a glimpse of what a postnuclear world would look like. Because rare as generator station accidents may be, they do happen. We delude ourselves into thinking we’ve harnessed the power of God. Then someone presses the wrong button and … whoosh.

So yeah, a wee email booboo at Pickering was nothing to pooh-pooh about. And it’s alarming that the province would quietly approve extending the facility’s lifespan beyond its planned 2024 closure, a story broken Monday by the Star’s Robert Benzie. As Benzie reported, the plant’s operating licence was renewed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in August 2018, with $75 million invested in maintenance. It will continue to operate until at least 2025. Then, a further 40 years before the plant is fully decommissioned, done in stages to allow for the safe disposal (storage) of used fuel.

Colour me ashen but I don’t like the sound of “maintenance” for an old crone nuclear plant, as if putting a patch on a bicycle tire. I don’t like nuclear plants at all, smack in the middle of a densely populated urban region. And I really don’t like the move-along nothing-to-see-here reassurances from bureaucrats.

I’ve seen the wreckage.

But maybe you just rolled over on Sunday morning and went back to sleep.

Rosie DiManno

Ontario prepares to extend life of nuclear plant at centre of false emergency alert

VIDEO

The owner of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station has proposed extending the plant’s life beyond its original shutdown date of 2024, the office of Ontario’s energy minister confirmed to BNN Bloomberg.

“[Ontario Power Generation’s] proposal does include operating four of the six units one year past 2024,” a representative for Greg Rickford told BNN Bloomberg in an email.

The representative added the extended timeline requires “further consultation” and approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

Reached by email, the CNSC said OPG has not yet submitted documents indicating its desire to operate the Pickering plant past 2024.

“Given that the current Pickering Nuclear Generating Station licence does not allow operation beyond December 31, 2024, any request to operate beyond this date requires the approval of the commission,” a CNSC spokesperson wrote in an email.

The Toronto Star was first to report that Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet “quietly approved” prolonging the life of Pickering’s nuclear power plant.

Rickford did not confirm whether the government has approved the extension, but in an email to BNN Bloomberg noted the Conservatives have “consistently expressed that the safe operation and decommissioning of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is a top priority.”

The plant was recently in the news after emergency officials erroneously sent an alert to Ontarians early Sunday morning warning of an “incident” at the plant that didn’t involve the “abnormal” release of radioactivity. That false alert is now the subject of an investigation.

Rickford said OPG’s proposal for an extension is backed by “industry experts, including the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).”

“An optimized schedule would also allow workers, families and the region additional time to plan for the full decommissioning of Pickering,” Rickford wrote.

The IESO said extending the Pickering plant could help meet Ontario’s electricity demands between 2023 and 2025, when some non-nuclear energy contracts are set to expire and several “nuclear refurbishments” will be underway.

In an email to BNN Bloomberg, a representative for the IESO said it shared its findings with the province.

Pickering’s first four nuclear reactors went into service in 1971, according to OPG’s website. An additional four reactors entered operations in the early 1980s.

OPG’s website indicates the plant generates roughly 14 per cent of Ontario’s power and is responsible for employing approximately 4,500 people around the region. SOURCE

‘Rule of law’ isn’t only B.C., Canadian law: Bellegarde

(Perry Bellegarde is national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. APTN file)

Perry Bellegarde is not happy with B.C. Premier John Horgan’s spin on the “rule of law.”

The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said his members support the “governance and decision-making process of the Wet’suwet’en people. Canada and British Columbia must do the same.”

It’s the second time Bellegarde has involved himself in the pipeline dispute playing out in northern B.C.

Last January the national Indigenous leader told RCMP to stop their violent incursion on Wet’suwet’en traditional territory south of Houston, B.C.

Now Bellegarde said the “rule of law” cited by Horgan Monday as a reason Coastal GasLink construction should continue isn’t only Canadian law.

The “rule of law” includes honouring First Nations laws in their traditional territories,” Bellegarde told APTN News.

“The necessity of respecting those laws and traditions is further underlined by the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Right now, the federal government and BC government must meet with the Wet’suwet’en leadership and immediately work to resolve this matter through dialogue not violence.”

Horgan, whose NDP are in power thanks to a partnership with the B.C. Green Party, said adopting UNDRIP doesn’t give Indigenous opponents a veto over the multi-billion-dollar project to ship natural gas to foreign markets.

“I don’t understand why we’re having this conversation,” agreed Ellis Ross, a former Haisla chief in northern B.C. and now Liberal MLA.

Two types of law

“We don’t have two types of law…We can’t pick and choose which law we’re going to abide by today and just decide that, ‘OK, some certain groups of people can define their own laws.’”

But Kate Kempton, an Indigenous rights lawyer in Toronto, said Canada could absolutely have two parallel laws.

“Unless and until Crown governments recognize that or accept that a space needs to be carved out for an equal status Indigenous legal realm in Canada…you’re going to end up with a very imperfect and unfair set of answers.”

Kempton said New Zealand and Australia have made such a space.

“Suppose an Indigenous law was as applicable here as Canadian law. That would mean that Coastal GasLink would have to get a set of permits from the Crown government, but they’d also need a set of permits from the relevant Indigenous government.”

Kempton said Wet’suwet’en pipeline opponents are staring down colonial governments and corporations as part of Indigenous self-determination.

“What the Crown governments have to do instead of continuing to fund poverty, they need to find a way for real economic support in the trillions of dollars to go toward Indigenous governments to figure out for themselves how self-determination, self-governance is going to work.”

Then, instead of fighting each other in court or at barricades on the ground, Kempton said they would know “what is our government, who’s in it and who’s going to decide when there’s an external project within our Nation yes or no” – instead of elected versus hereditary versus Canadian.

“Right now, the support and structure isn’t there so you end up with this messy situation reflected in this case,” the lawyer added.

Watch Todd Lamirande’s story on the latest from Wet’suwet’en Territory

The ‘messy situation’ in B.C. has attracted the attention of  international and national civil and human rights groups.

The United Nations, Amnesty International, B.C. Human Rights Commission and B.C. Civil Liberties Association all released statements slamming the position of Canada’s elected politicians on Indigenous rights.

“All of your governments have recognized that significant shifts are required to move forward with reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and show full regard for their rights in the Constitution and under international law,” said Amnesty’s English and French secretaries general Alex Neve and France Isabelle-Langlois.

“If promises to do so are not met with concrete action, very much including tough and challenging decisions such as those required here, then the words remain empty.  That is the shameful history that Canada absolutely must leave behind.”

Ross, who supports the pipeline project and the jobs it offers Indigenous communities, was critical of the UN alleging Canada’s resource projects are racist.

“The UN is highly irresponsible in not talking to everybody to get a complete picture of what’s happening here in B.C. over the past 14 years,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“They took one story out of B.C. and they figured that all the Aboriginals in B.C. are being trampled on and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

In a replay of last January, RCMP took control of a section of unceded Wet’suwet’en Nation land Monday in what they termed a safety measure.

They are blocking traffic from moving in and out of the narrow Morice West Forest Service Road south of Houston that winds its way through snowy forest land to camps operated by the Gidimt’en and Unist’ot’en clans.

CGL claims camp members interfere with its ability to construct the pipeline and won an interlocutory injunction from a B.C. Supreme Court judge. It said it was up to the RCMP to enforce the injunction.

Preserve the safety

“Our duty is to preserve the safety of everyone involved in this dispute, and to prevent further contraventions to the BC Supreme Court ordered injunction,” said Dawn Roberts, in a release from B.C. RCMP.

“As a result, an access control checkpoint has been established at the 27 kilometer mark of the forestry road. The purpose is to mitigate safety concerns related to the hazardous items of fallen trees and tire piles with incendiary fluids along the roadway, as well as to allow emergency service access to the area.”

The felled trees and tire piles were discovered last week by CGL workers and reported to the RCMP.

“We remain committed to facilitating the ongoing dialogue between Indigenous communities, Coastal GasLink and Government, in the hopes that these efforts will result in a safe and peaceful outcome,” Roberts added in the release.

She said people allowed to pass the police checkpoint were:

-All hereditary and elected chiefs;

-Elected and other government officials;

-Journalists with accreditation from recognised media outlets;

-Persons providing food, medicine or other supplies or services required for the well-being and safety of persons behind the blockades;

-Other persons as approved by the RCMP operations commander or delegate.

“For purposes of safety, all persons entering must indicate their specific destination, estimated time of return and indicate their understanding of the hazards present. Vehicles and persons entering will be logged to ensure awareness of who has entered and safely exited. All other vehicles will be turned away,” the release added.

“All occupants of vehicles exiting the area who were not already spoken to on their way in will be briefly detained per paragraph 10 of the BC Supreme Court injunction, asked for identification, and provided a copy of the court order before they are permitted to go on their way.”

Meanwhile, the interim leader of the B.C. Green Party was not available for an interview Tuesday.

And the president of CGL again asked for a meeting with the hereditary chiefs.

“We believe that by working together, we can address the interests of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en while continuing to provide significant benefits to the Wet’suwet’en and other Indigenous communities,” David Pfeiffer said in a letter posted to the company’s website Tuesday.

The chiefs, who don’t want the pipeline on their unceded territory, were in meetings Tuesday. SOURCE

RCMP, let journalists witness Unist’ot’en Camp

Photo from Facebook page of Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en territory.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have fought for many years to keep three pipelines from running through their land in northern B.C. At stake, the protesters say, is their way of life, their culture and their system of governance which was recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark Delgamuukw decision in 1997.

I remember when the Wet’suwet’en first erected the Unist’ot’en Camp to uphold the clans’ decision to prevent Enbridge, Chevron and TransCanada from building pipelines on their unceded lands in 2010. Tensions rose as they built a blockade and confronted workers who attempted to cross it, saying they had no permission to be on their territory.

Last December, a report by the Guardian newspaper sent shock waves across Canada. The Guardian said it had uncovered documents showing that the RCMP discussed shooting Indigenous clan members and supporters, all in the service of gas and oil. “Notes from a strategy session for a militarized raid on ancestral lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation show that commanders of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), argued that “lethal overwatch is req’d” — a term for deploying an officer who is prepared to use lethal force.

Is this reconciliation? Hardly.

Is this making amends for residential schools, colonialization, the taking of lands and wealth? You bet it’s not.

Shockingly, a tweet from the Unist’ot’en Camp stated today the RCMP has blocked roads for 27 kilometers leading up to the site, barring media from witnessing and documenting their actions.

“We do not want to see a repeat of last year’s behaviour, when the RCMP used an exclusion zone to block journalists’ access, making it impossible to provide details on a police operation that was very much in the public interest,” Canadian Association of Journalists president Karyn Pugliese said in a tweet.

Pugliese has it right.

Even without the Guardian‘s report of the RCMP’s apparent willingness to use lethal force to remove people from the blockade, the RCMP should not be allowed to stop journalists from witnessing their actions.This is Horgan’s Scott Morrison moment. Like the Australia PM, Horgan is pushing fossil-fuel expansion in face of obviously dire climate change.

Now would be an excellent time for the B.C. Greens to show some backbone. Put Horgan’s govt on the line. If he proceeds against the Wet’suwet’en, dissolve the coalition. Force a new election.
As long as B.C. is going to follow neoliberal policies, the B.C. Liberals may as well be in power. But progressive voters must send a clear message to the NDP. We won’t accept this betrayal.

What have the Greens got to lose?

“Horgan says ‘rule of law applies,’ LNG pipeline will proceed despite protests” (Canadian Press: January 14, 2020)
A natural gas pipeline across northern British Columbia is vital to the region’s economic future and it will be built despite the objections of some Indigenous leaders, Premier John Horgan said Monday.
He said the courts have ruled in favour of the project and the RULE OF LAW will apply to ensure work continues on the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would start near Dawson Creek and extend to an export terminal at Kitimat.

Horgan told a news conference the project has received approval from 20 First Nations along the pipeline route.

“We want everyone to understand that there are agreements from the Peace Country to Kitimat with Indigenous communities that want to see economic activity and prosperity take place,” he said. “All the permits are in place for this project to proceed. This project is proceeding and the RULE OF LAW needs to prevail in B.C.”

Horgan’s government adopted legislation late last year to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It mandates the government to bring provincial laws and policies into harmony with the declaration’s aims of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The UN declaration says Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination, which means they can determine their political status and pursue economic, social and cultural development. It requires governments to obtain “free and informed consent” from Indigenous groups before approving projects affecting their lands or resources.
BUT HORGAN SAYS THE DECLARATION DOESN’T APPLY TO THE COASTAL GASLINK PROJECT.

“Our document, our legislation, our declaration is FORWARD LOOKING,” he said. “It’s NOT RETROSPECTIVE. We believe it will open up opportunities not just for Indigenous people but for all British Columbians.”

https://calgaryherald.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-

The BC Civil Liberties Association stands with the Wet’suwet’en, too:
https://bccla.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-01-10-LT-RCMP-et-al-re…

Our wee co-op has also made such a statement:
http://ecoreality.org/wiki/Statement_in_support_of_the_Wet%27suwet%27en

Do you belong to a church group, charity, civic organization, or serve in local government? Your group is invited to do so, as well!
http://unistoten.camp/support-us/solidarity-statements/

This whole thing is wrong on so many different levels. The Wet’suwet’en is reporting that the RCMP is blocking shipments of food to their camps, during a bitter cold snap! “Starve them out” That thinking is so 1876. It is immoral.  SOURCE

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Complaints filed against RCMP for blocking Wet’suwet’en access