The image of burning police cars played endlessly on the evening news. Television and talk radio blared out reports of "clashes" between police and indigenous protestors. Last Thursday in New Brunswick near the Elsipogtog First Nation, we were told the government had enforced an injunction against a blockade of a US shale gas company. There was nothing about the roots of a conflict years in the making. An appeal to the stereotype of indigenous violence was enough: once again, the natives were breaking the law; the police had to be sent in.
Canada's colonial past is present, however much Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeks to obfuscate the reality of the history of this land. This week has served as a prime example of how denial of past colonialism helps to perpetuate ongoing colonial relationships. The current flashpoint is the small town of Rexton, New Brunswick, where the Elsipogtog First Nation and their supporters are facing down massive RCMP repression of their protests against activity by SWN Resources, a company that is carrying out seismic testing for proposed oil and gas fracking operations in the area.
The BC First Nations' LNG Summit began in Prince George, on Wednesday. Chiefs around northern BC have gathered to discuss the effects of the liquefied natural gas industry with delegates from the provincial and federal government. Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources says he feels confident aboriginal communities, government and industry can get on the same page with development, saying chiefs are prepared to discuss economic benefits and environmental concerns with liquefied natural gas
September 18, 2013--For the second time in three months, a CP Rail train carrying toxic and flammable hydrocarbons has derailed in the city of Calgary. On September 11, eight railway wagons carrying close to one million liters of a highly flammable gasoline product (diluent) used in the pipeline transport of tar sands bitumen derailed in the Inglewood neighbourhood.