Federal Government needs to end the blockades

To the Editor;

Over the past few weeks in Canada, one issue has been front and center – the Wet’suwet’en blockades that plunged our country into a national crisis. We watched as radical activists – many of whom have no connection to the Wet’suwet’en people – put up blockades to hold our country’s economy hostage.

I believe that from the start, the Prime Minister’s response to this national crisis was weak. He refused to uphold the rule of law and denounce of these radical activists. He declined to offer a plan that would put an end to the illegal blockages and get our economy back on track. He said the barriers must come down, but wasn’t actually prepared to do anything to make that happen.

I believe that every single person in this country has the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to protest – regardless of how much we agree or disagree with their message. What they do NOT have a right to do is shut down our railways and ports. They do not have the right to block everyday, honest Canadians getting to and from work. And they do not have the right to block small businesses and farmers from getting their goods to market!

The Coastal GasLink project received approval to proceed after undergoing extensive regulatory and environmental reviews. The vast majority of the Wet’suwet’en people support this project and want it to proceed. We cannot be a country held hostage by radical activists.

The RCMP Act is clear (Section 5). The Minister of Public Safety has the ultimate authority over Canada’s national police force and has the power to direct the RCMP to enforce the law. The Prime Minister could have picked up the phone and told Minister Blair to put an end to this situation at any time. Instead he let the situation get completely out of control.

As always, I can be reached in Ottawa at martin.shields@parl.gc.ca. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or martin.shields.c1@parl.gc.ca, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any federal issue.

Martin Shields, MP

Bow River Const.