Justin Trudeau’s tears are worthless. This week’s assault shows he’s just another corporate stooge.

Left, Trudeau offers tearful apology to Indigenous groups; rights, Canadian state forces raid unceded Indigenous territory.
Support us and go ad-free

Through teary eyes, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau offered a “long, overdue apology” in November 2017 to Indigenous populations who had suffered at the hands of the Canadian state. “Saying that we are sorry today is not enough,” he continued, “it will not… undo the harm.”

But for as long as Trudeau continues Canada’s colonial legacy, his tears are worthless. And in the latest chapter of Trudeau’s subservience to corporate interests, Canadian state forces have invaded Indigenous land to defend a gas pipeline.

Unceded territory

During what Canadian activist Naomi Klein described as “a shameful day for Canada”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) raided protected Wet’suwet’en territory in the west of the country on 7 January. Those protecting the land’s boundaries captured the moment the RCMP – some heavily armed and wearing balaclavas – forcibly entered:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The Wet’suwet’en people have “unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals”. And they are resisting a court injunction ordering them to grant the Coastal GasLink project – operated by Canadian corporation TransCanada (which is currently considering a name change) – access to infrastructure within their territory. They claim the proposed pipeline is a threat to their rights, means of survival, and way of life.

Freda Huson, a spokesperson for one of the Wet’suwet’en clans, said:

I am here in my home, on my land… Without water, no human will survive and these projects like TransCanada’s Coastal Gaslink threatens the water.

Not the first time

For not the first time in Trudeau’s administration, Indigenous groups are claiming that the government did not adequately consult them about pipeline plans. Moreover, Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that “Indigenous Peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their land or territories”. So the invasion of Wet’suwet’en land and the subsequent arrest of 14 people seems to be in clear violation of international law.

The RCMP’s mobilisation into First Nations territory is also symbolically important. Though people romantically refer to them as the ‘mounties’, the RCMP was central to the dispossession of Indigenous groups during the “Great March West” of the 1800s. According to historian Katherine Pettipas, they were “employed to assert Canada’s hegemony in the Western interior”.

The world is watching

Protests across Canada quickly spread into expressions of solidarity worldwide:

And the Wet’suwet’en people responded by saying that they are “humbled by the outpouring of solidarity”:

Trudeau’s pandering to corporate interests threatens both Indigenous people and the environment. So we must look past his tears. Because the assault on Indigenous rights is unacceptable; and it exposes Trudeau for what he really is – just another corporate stooge.

Only sustained global pressure and solidarity can end this.

Featured image via Michael T /screengrab and CBC News

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

  • Support the Wet’suwet’en people by donating to their legal fund.
  • Follow the Unist’ot’en camp’s Twitter page to get the latest updates.
  • See more Environmental stories from The Canary.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Quite a few of us In Canda are feeling like we are natives too, and we are not indigineous,
      We have weak politicians accessing the public’s deep pockets of funds without our say to give to foreign corporate interests, and issuing a legally flawed rule book on how to behave, along with ” letters of mark” to these Social Godzillas to deposit money into the Account of Our State.
      It is for State Revenue without an accounting, or discussion by us in this democracy.
      To put this in perspective, in 1927 the governments of Canada conspired in preventing any land claims from going to Court.
      We have come a long ways without this kind of colonial dominance dictating to us how to think, and will do so in the future.
      We have England’s past to learn from for this, and I have a sympathy for what the people of England are suffering through now with austerity.
      Austerity is fascism’s visible social face.
      Without the austerity imposed on Germany in reparations for WW1 I don’t think you would of seen the rise of Hitler.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.