Wet'suwet'en supporters building pipeline through minister's St. John's office | CBC News
Nfld. & Labrador
Wet'suwet'en supporters building pipeline through minister's St. John's office
About 25 protesters occupying federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan's office
CBC News · Posted: Feb 27, 2020 11:44 AM NT | Last Updated: February 27
Supporters of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs — and opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline — built a symbolic "pipeline" Thursday inside the St. John's office of Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan.
About 25 people are occupying the office in St. John's, and some aren't saying when they plan to leave.
Indigenous members brought drums and are leading the group in singing of traditional songs, and some of the protesters have written "Reconciliation is Dead" on miniature Canadian flags.
Others are constructing a "pipeline," made of PVC pipe, through O'Regan's office. According to Robert Leamon, a member of the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation, it's a symbol of the disruption that a gas pipeline will cause in the Wet'suwet'en nation.
"It is obviously not a good situation to be in that there's a pipeline being built on the land, where it's getting in the way of everything else you are trying to do," he said. "Indigenous people have been trying to live peacefully on this land for generations."
Tensions between supporters of the Wet'suwet'en, police and government have begun to bubble over the last week as protesters have attempted to shut down rail lines across the country, some engaging in scuffles with officers.
Protests are being held to show solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline project that would cut through Wet'suwet'en territory in northern British Columbia.The St. John's protest on Thursday has been peaceful.
Office staff have been welcoming to protestors and say there is no plan to ask them to leave.
In a statement, the Department of Natural Resources said O'Regan and his staff "staff welcome the opportunity to speak to constituents about their views."
"Our work on this matter has always focused on finding a peaceful and lasting resolution in a way that builds trust and respect among all parties involved," says the statement.
Leamon said the group was targeting O'Regan's office because they believe he has the power to "put an end" to the conflict.
"He's the minister of natural resources, so he's clearly a very influential player in the way that pipelines proceed in this country," he said. "So yeah, we absolutely are hoping that he will step up and bring truth to the conversation around reconciliation."
In mid-February a group in St. John's blocked traffic on downtown streets on a Saturday, and about 100 people showed up to a Muskrat Falls announcement at Memorial University to stand in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Nation. A small group in Corner Brook took to Remembrance Square to do the same.
Stan Nochasak, an Inuk from Labrador who now lives in St. John's, said he has great environmental concerns about the Coastal GasLink pipeline. He said he decided to attend the protest at the last minute to support other protesters across the country.
"We all need land, and when you destroy it you eventually destroy generations," he said. "We can't see it, but the spirit has an eye that can see ahead of time."
Tags: Decolonization, CBC NL, Wet'suwet'en
Green New Drinks finds new home for environmental activism at St. John's brewery | Local | News | The TelegramRead Now
Green New Drinks finds new home for environmental activism at St. John's brewery | Local | News | The Telegram
Tags: Green New Drinks, The Telegram
The Coalition for a Green New Deal for NL is a group of citizen volunteers and local organizations that are working towards climate justice in Newfoundland and Labrador. On October 15th, the Coalition presented a petition to the City of St. John’s which led to the unanimous decision to declare a climate emergency on November 4th.
The petition asks that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador declare a climate emergency to follow suit with the City of St. John’s and the Government of Canada. Declaring a climate emergency acknowledges the severity of climate change and recognizes that it must be considered in all aspects of governance. Once a climate emergency is declared we are asking that the Government of NL strike a Premier’s Task Force on Climate Change. To date the province’s work on climate change has been minimal and time is running out. To move towards a stronger and more resilient future, a Premier’s Task Force on Climate Change would facilitate a shift towards governing with climate change front and centre in all policy and decision making.
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The House of Assembly requires that petitions include original signatures which means we cannot collect signatures online. Street addresses are required to prove that you are a resident of NL.
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The petition can be signed by any resident of Newfoundland and Labrador. This includes people of all ages, temporary and permanent residents, and citizens.
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We plan to present the petition in March when the House of Assembly re-opens. We will be collecting signatures through to the end of February.
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100 Debates on the Environment is a national initiative to hold non-partisan all-candidates debates on the environment in 100 ridings across Canada on October 3rd. The initiative now includes debates in over 120 ridings and 3 in Newfoundland! The debates will demonstrate to politicians what the polls and nation-wide climate action are indicating: the environment is front and centre this election and voters are paying attention. The 100 Debates project aims to create a wave of national discussion on some of the most challenging environmental questions facing ridings across the country.