Call to action at the bottom of the page
November 29, 2021
Letter Re: Human rights violations of Indigenous peoples by RCMP for oil and gas development
Last week, we watched scenes of the RCMP armed with attack dogs, paramilitary gear and sniper guns pointed at unarmed Indigenous people protecting sacred Wet'suwet'en lands and waters. This was all seemingly authorized by a Court injunction obtained by a corporation - Coastal Gaslink, a subsidiary of TransCanada Energy and funded by financial institutions, including Canada’s major banks.
Horrified, we parents and grandparents are left to explain this blatant disregard for human rights and injustice to our children - children, who also heard in the last week, of a child orphaned and families displaced by extreme weather - all to add to their already high climate-anxiety. This too against the backdrop of their learning that Canada is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Indigenous children taken from their parents to residential schools.
For the last two years of the pandemic, we have watched you, our political leaders, repeatedly tell us to look after each other and to be kind to one another. We have watched you pour billions of government funds into protecting people at the expense of corporate interests. As you shut down the economy for the sake of health and safety, we were led to believe that people mattered more than money.
The hypocrisy of these actions is infuriating and deeply distressing as we watch Indigenous peoples and those reporting their stories being held in prison for days to be told, by Coastal GasLink, they are criminals for exercising their Indigenous rights and, ordered by the Court, not to access unceded lands. All of this just to ensure that oil and gas development proceeds for corporate profit while it destroys our planet; a planet that we, as parents, are doing everything in our power to protect for the health, safety and security of our children.
The legitimization and militarization of corporate power in this country has now become crystal clear and it is terrifying. The attempted silencing of reporters is Orwellian. The distortion of our government’s priorities is unnerving.
As we come to the despairing realization that our children’s future is ripe with the crisis of climate meltdown - all caused by corporate greed - we parents staunchly stand firm by the following principles that we demand you respect:
police force is never an acceptable manner to resolve legitimate disputes
- Canada’s colonial legal system cannot be relied upon if it authorizes injustices against Indigenous peoples and people of colour
- no one should be criminalized for standing up for their inherent basic rights
we all have a responsibility to uphold the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- police are to protect people and their rights, not corporate interests
With this, we call on you to immediately:
suspend Coastal GasLink’s operations until and only if the Free Prior and Informed Consent of all Wet'suwet'en hereditary leaders is granted
take concrete actions to dismantle and defund the Community-Industry Response Group arm of the RCMP in keeping with the basic principles of a free and democratic society
- legislate the prohibition of resource and oil and gas companies from seeking civil injunctions with respect to Indigenous lands and resources
We look forward to your prompt response and commitment to the demands stated above. We are available to meet with you.
For Our Kids Vancouver
For Our Kids Sunshine Coast
For Our Kids North Vancouver
For Our Kids Nelson
For Our Grandkids Victoria
Babies for Climate Action, New Westminster
For Our Kids Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Parents 4 Climate Victoria
For Our Kids Cowichan
Surrey For Future
Babies for Climate Action, Vancouver
For Our Kids groups across BC stand in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en and all Indigenous people whose human rights are violated by state, corporate and police action when exercising their inherent and basic human rights. We acknowledge Wet'suwet'en rights, title and pre-existing laws. We admire and express gratitude to all Indigenous peoples for their courage, strength and leadership in speaking against injustice and protecting what matters.
The signatories are For Our Kids and affiliated groups across BC made up of parents, grandparents and caregivers committed to taking climate action to address the climate crisis as the single greatest threat to the health, safety and security of our children. We acknowledge that we live, work and use traditional, ancestral, and unceded Indigenous lands. We are committed to contributing meaningfully to reconciliation and decolonization.
Hon. John Horgan, Premier of BC and President of the Executive Council, MLA Langford- Juan de Fuca
Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Deputy Premier, MLA Port Coquitlam
Hon. David Eby, QC, Attorney General, MLA Vancouver Point-Grey
Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, MLA Vancouver- Point Grey
Hon. Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, MLA Vancouver Kingsway
Hon. Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigeous Relations and Reconciliation, MLA Oak Bay- Gordon Head
Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure, MLA North Vancouver- Lonsdale
Hon. Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, MLA Powell River- Sunshine Coast
Susie Chant, MLA North Vancouver- Seymour
Brittny Anderson, MLA Nelson-Creston
Doug Routley, MLA Nanaimo-North Cowichan
Hon. Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, MLA New Westminster
Grace Lore, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill
Niki Sharma, MLA Vancouver Hastings
Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sports, MLA Vancouver- Mount Pleasant
Brenda Bailey, MLA Vancouver- False Creek
Jagrup Brar, MLA Surrey-Fleetwood
Rachna Singh, MLA Surrey-Green Timbers
Garry Begg, MLA Surrey-Guildford
Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, MLA Surrey-Newton
Jinny Sims, MLA Surrey-Panorama
Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, MLA Surrey-Whalley
Stephanie Cadieux, MLA Surrey South
Trevor Halford, MLA Surrey-White Rock
Mike Starchuk, MLA Surrey-Cloverdale
Hon. Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, MLA Victoria - Swan Lake
Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, MP North Vancouver, BC
Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, MP Laurier- Sainte-Marie, Quebec
Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, MP Ville-Marie - Le Sud Ouest - Ile-des-Souers, Quebec
Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, MP Eglinton- Lawrence, Ontario
François Poirier, TC Energy President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Tracy Robinson, President Coastal GasLink