Feb. 16, 2020

Is The UN the reason governments won’t enforce our laws?

Well, now.  In mulling the protest over this Coastal Gas Link Pipeline it is becoming clear that the reason the federal and provincial governments are playing soft is the United Nations.

The Federal Government approved The Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous People in 2016 with lots of applause. And the socialist government of B.C. delighted in the UN Declaration.

Article 19 of that Declaration reads:

“States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.” 

And then there is Article 26

“1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired.

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.”

Some say the elected Band Councils have given the consent of the Indigenous People regarding this project with agreements in place with the project operator. 

Others say the traditional chiefs still have a say and have not given their consent.  

It needs to be clarified who speaks for the Indigenous Peoples. Or should I be cynical and suggest that this confusion is deliberate? 

 Suffice it to say that there is sufficient grey area here for this kind of federal government in particular to preach the golden word “dialogue” and excuse themselves from enforcing the court injunction. You know we don’t push people around (enforce the laws), even though all processes have been followed, all laws have followed, everything that was supposed to be done was done.  

I heard Stephen Buffalo of the Indian Resource Council on the Roy Green Show today and when Green raised the idea of the protests and abiding by the law Buffalo was quick to invoke the “dialogue” word – even though there has been mountains of dialogue to get the agreements with Indigenous People that are in place. No, this is code for we can get more and code for the UN declaration. And this is nice-sounding stuff for those unfamiliar. He also mentioned the Indian Act and the UN Declaration. So he pulled out all the signs and symbols.  

The federal government and the province no doubt have been advised that given the nature of the courts these days who knows what they would say about the traditional chiefs versus the elected chiefs. Oh, and look, you signed the UN Declaration. 

All this is at play no doubt, especially with leaders and governments who have no backbone, follow the polls, and play the virtue-signalling exercise which is all the rage these days.  

Then there is the Title decision of 2014. And perhaps just claiming title now is enough to pause these governments and cause them to do nothing. 

The country? A sovereign state? The public good? The law? 

To amend Tina Turner’s song:

“What’s Common Sense Got To Do With It”?