Roy Green: If Canada is a nation of laws, we should enforce them

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


That was the assessment of Ken Coates, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, on the show last week commenting on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to rail blockades damaging Canada’s economy, and perhaps just as significantly, further eroding confidence in the political apparatus that is supposedly geared to managing the well-being of Canadians.

Trudeau’s insistence that dialogue and negotiation with rail line blockaders is the only path toward a peaceable resolution to this crisis is indeed timid.

READ MORE: Trudeau calls premiers, stresses ‘peaceful’ resolution to Wet’suwet’en solidarity protests

It is lamentably inconsistent to insist that Canada is a nation of laws, while simultaneously publicly engaging in the appeasement of those defying court orders.

This nation’s justice system, through the British Columbia Supreme Court, has empowered its law enforcement arm to remove both obstructionists and their obstructions from blockading Canada’s national infrastructure. Enforcing that order has been another matter.

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No doubt there is strong support among Indigenous peoples for the position taken by five hereditary British Columbia chiefs against the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. There is also strong and signed support among First Nations along the route of the pipeline, for its construction service implementation.

Meanwhile, this crisis isn’t solely resting on Indigenous blockades of rail lines and interference with daily Canadian commerce and life. Anarchists are seizing the opportunity to cause disruption, not in support of Aboriginals but rather as a rally to their battle cry to shut down Canada.

What’s the nature of the timid argument against arresting and charging these individuals who are costing Canada dearly?

It is entirely fair to question Trudeau’s commitment to finding a resolution to the crisis. After all, as the unrest was developing, the prime minister’s focus was the pursuit of securing Canada’s temporary presence on the United Nations Security Council, limiting his direct engagement at home to long-distance missives from Africa and Munich.

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Scheer slams Trudeau on rail crisis: All talk and no action
Scheer slams Trudeau on rail crisis: All talk and no action

Furthermore, Trudeau’s churlish exclusion of Andrew Scheer from a meeting of federal party leaders — a meeting supposedly to work toward a peaceful conclusion of the national disruption — demonstrated a small-minded and petulant man at his politically most malevolent.

Canada is a nation of laws? Then enforce them.

Failure to do so does not demonstrate strength and resolve. Rather, it timidly green-lights even more disruptive and harming future behaviours.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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