Scott Thompson: Two issues have risen out of anti-pipeline rail blockades

Activists with the Red Braid Alliance block rail tracks in Maple Ridge on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Global News

As rotating rail blockade disputes hit their third week, shutting down the transportation of goods across the country, two issues have risen out of the cloud of confusion that need immediate attention.

1) What does the ongoing dispute between the federal government and the Indigenous community over land title mean?

2) Who has the final word when it comes to leadership decisions within the Indigenous community, the hereditary chiefs or the elected band council, and who in this case represent the majority of the Indigenous community?

READ MORE: Wet’suwet’en chiefs say meeting with feds back on after ‘miscommunication’

That agreement can vary from community to community, depending on where you are.

What has happened is the hereditary chiefs have taken a “slam dunk” for the majority of the Indigenous community (and Canada) that provides hope and prosperity for Indigenous youth and used it to advance the discussion on land title. Good for them!

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That is one issue here.

The other is that the voice of the majority of the Indigenous community who want to prosper from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, or other projects like it — lifting them out of poverty — are being ignored. Why?

I would suggest the majority of the protesters across the country are only interested in the Wet’suwet’en who are against the pipeline, not the majority of the Indigenous community who are depending on it to get them out of government-subsidized poverty.

That is not democracy. That is special interest high-jacking leadership issues within the Indigenous community to advance their own anti-pipeline agenda.

It’s time for Canadians to wake up, on both fronts.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML — Hamilton.​​​​

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