Citizen Action Monitor

Harper’s mean-spirited treatment of First Nations at pipeline review gets thumbs down comments from Canadians

Will Harper’s arrogant rule lead to his own self-destruction? Let’s hope so.

No 452 Posted by fw, April 7, 2012

A recent story, which appeared in a leading Canadian news source, about a native band withdrawing from Harper’s sham federal review of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline drew over 400 comments. Browsing the responses revealed a decidedly anti-Harper tide of public opinion on this issue.  It goes without saying that one cannot generalize from a sample of 400 to the population at large. But personally speaking, any sign of anti-Harper opinion brightens my day considerably. (For the specific example of Harper’s “mean-spirited treatment” that prompted the band’s withdrawal see RELATED VIDEO below).

Here are the first 32 comments, all anti-Harper, and all pretty typical of the popular sentiment in the first hundred or so remarks that I skimmed.

  1. Harper is the Prime Minister of Alberta, other parts of Canada are meaningless to him. He lives and breathes for the oil companies. The pipeline is already approved by the Harper regime. All else is smoke & mirrors. Thankfully the First Nations will tie up the project in court until responsible adults can once again be elected to govern.
  2. Harper isn’t just shortening the timeline for the approval process, he’s also planning to gut the Fisheries Act. This is significant, especially for this project, since most of the potential environmental impacts would be related to fisheries habitat issues that would fall under federal jurisdiction. If the Fisheries Act is watered down, legitimate grounds for denying the project will be removed from consideration.
  3. All First Nations, thank you! Please let us know what and where we can help you stop this idiotic pipeline.
  4. The persons who are appearing before this panel are placed in the position of one who is going to be victimized, and, must explain why the victimization should not be allowed to happen.
  5. Why do I feel like I live in South Africa during apartheid? China? Human rights? First nations? OUT OF THE WAY!!! There’s gold in them thar hills! How can I wash the feeling of shame off my skin??? Where is the Canada I grew up in??
  6. Stephen Harper is just like Gordon “the liar ” Campbell. Harper just does not respect Canadians – that means First Nation peoples. Harper does not respect the people who live in Canada period. Harper insults the people of Canada who do not agree with the “extreme radical religious Conservative right wing government ! To disagree with the “radical Conservative federal government” gets you labelled as a “pedophile supporter” or the enemy of the government. Lying to parliament and the people of Canada for years, doesn’t make for good relations or support – as it has been so clearly shown these past few weeks between the Robo call scandal and the F-35 fighter plane “fustercluck”. Harpers days are numbered – he is being talked about as being incompetent, dishonest and deceitful – just like Campbell – and no doubt, will be ridiculed just as much or more for being such an idiot. Thank you.
  7. Enbridge would serve it’s own interests better if they took some time, took another proposal with a different route otherwise the shortest, cheapest route could become the most expensive route as Alberta can’t simply choose the least expensive, shortest route without considering their alternatives. Christy Clarke had better start making a stand on where she intends to go with her support of this issue as she can’t ignore it for as long as she ignores everyone else. Time is growing short on this issue and it will come with a lot of opposition before and after the next election as Harper is on thin ice with his demands. Small wonder Alberta is disliked so much when it refuses to oppose Enbridge on this route. Kitimat is not going to recover from any oil tanker accidents and the Mayor of Kitimat had better start making some moves before they start building this pipeline.
  8. Of course Harper has predetermined the outcome! He’ll use troops regardless of source to push this through!
  9. “Joe Oliver has said Ottawa will fulfill its constitutional duty to consult with first nations affected by the pipeline” We’ll do only what we absolutely have to in order to shove this down the throats of Canadians.
    China has given him his orders! Northern BC is about to become Tibet! First Nations get the staring roll.
  10. It would make a whole lot more sense to spend a few billion on our own refineries. Then we would be in a much better position to sell our own oil to the world. Not to mention, Canadians would be able to have cheaper gasoline. That would be better for drivers as well as industry.
  11. I expect this to be one of many snags. I foresee Supreme Court challenges, not only by our First Nations but also by those concerned about environmental degradation.In the last several years, there has been a global impetus to view the right to a clean environment as a “human right” and as such cannot be frustrated by legislation. The EU and several countries have already pronounced such a principle and it would not be a great leap for our court to find that environmental destruction engages our Charter. If it is against the Charter to refuse drugs to an addict, then perhaps it is also against the Charter to destroy the space we live in.
  12. The illegitimate Harper party lying about, well, pretty much everything are doing and disrespecting and in contempt of our Parliament will lie and cheat their way into putting a pipeline wherever whomever they are working for. They are not working for Canadians, their lies prove this. Hopefully what can be streamlined and shortened is their occupation of our government. They are extremists, terrorists and anti-Canadian to use their kinds of labelling.
  13. “saying the Harper government has predetermined the outcome.” EVERYONE knew this once the oil project was announced. T’is the unfailing Harper way. Love the idea of Steelhead fishing; I’m sure Mr.McKay could arrange for a helicopter.
  14. Joe Oliver needs to get back in his time machine and go back to the 17th century. We have no place for such a racist in modern day Canada.
  15. I get so tired of the comments” environmentalists are paid shills of the U.S.” The Conservative gov. are the Haa ha ha paid shills of the U.S. oil industry and China.
  16. I have no confidence the Harper Government is listening, however. Don’t know who they’re listening these days but it doesn’t seem to be Canadians.
  17. Good for the Band that pulled out. Harper is trying to do this un democratically and in an underhanded way. I hope this project won’t go through, as it is incredibly desctructive to the environment. I hope Harper resigns over the F-35 fiasco. It is clear that he has lied to Canadians and held back key information on the F-35s. He stole the election and should be held accountable over the robo calls
  18. According to the CBC news, the price of gas is going up because of maintanence shutdowns and refineries being taken offline in the U.S. to increase profit. Canada should buy these offline refineries and set up shop in Canada, thus creating value added and reasonable gas prices.
  19. they better bury the pipeline deeeeeeeeeeeeeep if they build it without the approval of the First Nations because it will be repeatedly sabotaged if they build it without that approval
  20. Just expand the existing pipeline that goes thru the mountains into Vancouver. The Right-of-Way already exists, all you need to do is make it a lot bigger. Another idea would be to build it thru Quebec and provide Eastern Canada’s requirements with oil from Alberta and not Saudi Arabia as is now the case. There are lots of options, we just need to make up our mind and go with a good one or two.
  21. Can’t blame them for their actions history has shown the harper’s government sandbox is more like a fully loaded kitty litter box. What will happen if oil can harper rams this through will be a police state set up on first nations lands, how you ask? Easy disable a pumping station by persons ‘unknown’ this will give the corporations the right to send in their private armies to protect this vital source of dirty money. “And anybody who gets in the way” to quote harper “will be stepped over” to quote harper again.
  22. What you ‘boneheads’ don’t understand is that we’re even more opposed to the super tankers than the pipeline. If you are ignorant of the environmental aspects of this project, you have no right to even comment on it.
  23. People have to wonder how bad this situation will get; I mean with the F-35s can people in Canada really trust the Conservatives? They are speeding the process along and not giving Canadians the whole truth around what their true intentions are; they are also not saying what will happen if there are roadblocks and if this pipeline goes through any sensitive territory. Natives will challenge this government every step of the way and be hated by conservative supporters. It has already happened many times on these forums. Natives and people across BC will have their say and the Conservatives may get shutout in that province maybe next election or the one after that. It is going to be painful to watch and the Conservatives recently have been getting themselves into some real hot water. The Conservative party, the way it stands now, has a lot of problems plaguing it. I wonder if by next election you could start seeing a Reform party, the Libertarian party, the Christian Heritage party or some other conservative option popping up of people who are dissatisfied with the current Conservative party. They may want another option if people start sensing that these conservatives are starting to become corrupt and another party is necessary. Just wondering because it happened in 1988 but the results were not seen until 1993. Just wondering if that may happen again. Western Canada started that tradition and one has to wonder if they will start a regional party again. Of course I support the Progressive Canadian party and with Mulcair as leader of the NDP I believe that the Liberals may merge with them soon. That leaves a huge gap between the NDP and the Conservatives. I think, if the Liberals want to merge eventually, that there needs to be a moderate conservative party or a conservative-minded liberal party that is big tent between the NDP and the Conservatives. Just for when the time comes. I feel the time should be soon and Canadian politics is headed towards a two-party system. Also, this article is about the pipeline, but I thought I would also inject some politics about the major parties in this debate as well.
  24. The NDP is projected to win in BC and with that occurring it leaves Harper vulnerable because he can’t get his wish of having a pipeline in BC. The NDP will listen to the people in BC and they will overwhelmingly support getting rid of tanker traffic as well as not having a pipeline. That will be put on hold until after the NDP leaves office. People may not see it for at least a decade.
  25. If these native bands are willing to fight this dictatorial CON govt then maybe the people in the south should be doing what we can to help them out financially ect. These people are defending our province and I don’t think they should have to do that on thier own. I never thought I would see the day when Canadains have to band together to prevent the federal govt going agains the will of the majority.
  26. Lucky that a native hunter happened to notice this one!!! Enbridge originally said when the spill was discovered by an aboriginal hunter last May that only four barrels of sweet crude leaked from the Norman Wells pipeline, which takes as much as 39,400 barrels per day 869 kilometres from Norman Wells, N.W.T., to Zama, Alta.
    He also questioned why the company didn’t detect the spill long before 1,500 barrels had escaped.
  27. No matter what Harper tries to force through, it should be put on hold until a new government takes over who can check out what he’s done. Canada is no longer safe because of Harper being in power. His people are not qualified nor evolved enough to make decisions that affect our lives.
  28. There are a lot of posters who mistakenly think that it’s just First Nations that don’t want this pipeline. I’m as white as they come, and I think the pipeline is a terrible idea. This WILL be an issue that will mobilize people who are neither First Nations or environmentalist “shills”. I will be standing arm in arm with the First Nations in front of the bulldozers.
  29. Harper is treating the native population the same way our forefathers treated them. No respect. Told to shut up and get out of our way. Stay on the reserves and stay out of the white man’s way. If the natives don’t stand up to Harper on this issue they will never again have the opportunity or the clout to stop the potential destruction of their environment.
  30. “Much of the land is still open to aboriginal land claims” It in’t the aboriginals who are making “claims”, it’s Canada . There is no question that the land belongs to the First Nations.
  31. The band is absolutely correct, the hearings are a farce as the government will force this project through no matter what the result.
  32. This is a Government about Government for the Government answering only to the Government and out of control, like a spoiled child running amok with scissors.


  • Cancelled Enbridge Hearings to Resume in Bella Bella, Youth Embark on Hunger Strike — “A lively but peaceful greeting by First Nation’s youth and community leaders of the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel team as it arrived in Bella Bella yesterday for scheduled hearings on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline prompted a surprise cancellation of today’s hearings. Representatives of the panel informed Heiltsuk First Nation leaders late yesterday afternoon that they felt threatened by the gathering.” Later the panel changed its story attributing the cancellation to “logistical problems”. Then an email from the National Energy Board, backtracked: “The Panel cannot be in a situation where it is unsure that the crowd will be peaceful.” It was this mean-spirited treatment that prompted a nearby native band to withdraw from the Panel hearings. This 3:21-minute video about the Bella Bella incident reveals all —
Fair Use Notice: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.

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