Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Letter: Local BC NDP Stands with Land Defenders and Science

In an emergency motion passed on Nov. 30, 2021, the Shuswap NDP Executive endorsed a statement condemning both the provincial government for their actions against the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en, and the federal party leadership for their silence on the matter.

Although both branches of the party were quick to condemn RCMP violence, they failed to take responsibility for those actions, despite evidence that Minister (Mike) Farnworth signed orders to enforce the CGL court injunction.

Equally problematic, as Avi Lewis (former NDP federal candidate) stated at the BC NDP convention last weekend, is “the pipeline-sized elephant in the room.”

Continuing to build the Coastal Gas Link pipeline and fostering the LNG industry in British Columbia is suicidal. We will fail to meet the climate targets required to avert catastrophe if our political leadership continues to practise the “new climate denialism,” as Seth Klein calls it. While ostensibly accepting the existence of climate change, the practitioners of this insidious new form of denial construct an elaborate façade in the media to convince the public that they are effective champions against climate change. In reality, however, bureaucrats are appeasing the greedy fossil fuel industry in government back rooms, where there is no citizen representation. There’s just one problem with this approach: you can’t dupe science!

Read more: Three NDP MPs sign petition criticizing B.C.’s NDP government over pipeline protests

Read more: Northwest B.C. MLA calls on RCMP top cop to review pipeline opponents’ arrests in Hazelton

Besides signing the statement (which you can find at ndp-grassroots.ca), the local executive has issued a moratorium on fundraising and outreach until we are assured the government is accountable to the values of the NDP grassroots. If you are an NDP member or donor, we suggest diverting your donations to local Indigenous land defenders. Visit tinyhousewarriors.com to donate and learn about their efforts in Secwepemc territory.

As New Democrats, we want to protect our reputation as a party that is consistently on the right side of history. At this time, that means standing with Indigenous land defenders and climate scientists.

Kristine Wickner


newsroom@saobserver.net
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