Protesters de­lay Trudeau’s speech

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - NATIONAL NEWS - KRISTY KIRKUP

OT­TAWA — Dozens of protesters de­layed an ap­pear­ance by the prime min­is­ter Tues­day af­ter­noon, drum­ming and chant­ing in a gov­ern­ment build­ing where Justin Trudeau was set to speak.

Po­lice kept the prime min­is­ter out of a Sus­sex Drive build­ing in Ot­tawa, where he was to ad­dress a fo­rum bring­ing to­gether fed­eral of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from self­gov­ern­ing First Na­tions that have “mod­ern” treaties with the Crown. Trudeau’s ad­dress was moved to an­other gov­ern­ment build­ing close to Par­lia­ment Hill.

“In this gov­ern­ment, you have a part­ner will­ing to fig­ure out the path for­ward that is right for each of you, and even­tu­ally right for ev­ery In­dige­nous per­son in this coun­try,” Trudeau said. “It’s not go­ing to be easy. It’s not go­ing to be done quickly.”

But Trudeau said the lead­er­ship ex­em­pli­fied by those gath­ered at the fo­rum gave him con­fi­dence in what can be ac­com­plished in the com­ing years. The protesters ex­pressed anger about the RCMP’s in­ter­ven­tion in a block­ade in north­ern Bri­tish Columbia, en­forc­ing an in­junc­tion from the B.C. Supreme Court.

The in­junc­tion is to re­move any­one who in­ter­feres with a Coastal GasLink pipe­line project in and around the Morice River Bridge. The fed­eral NDP’s rec­on­cil­i­a­tion critic said Tues­day the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion used for the RCMP’s in­ter­ven­tion is “pretty lame” in an era of sup­posed rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with In­dige­nous Peo­ples.

Romeo Sa­ganash joined demon­stra­tors on Par­lia­ment Hill be­fore the group marched through down­town Ot­tawa streets with signs in­clud­ing a large red one read­ing: “RCMP Off Wet’suwet’en Land.” Sa­ganash said he did not hear back from the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral In­dige­nous-af­fairs min­is­ters he asked to help al­le­vi­ate ten­sion in north­ern B.C. prior to the ar­rests by the Moun­ties.

Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale’s of­fice re­peated its pre­vi­ous re­marks on Tues­day, say­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to a re­newed re­la­tion­ship with In­dige­nous peo­ples based on the recog­ni­tion of rights, re­spect, co­op­er­a­tion, and part­ner­ship.

“The RCMP re­spects and pro­tects the right to peace­ful demon­stra­tions as guar­an­teed un­der the Cana­dian Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms,” it said.


Protesters storm a build­ing where Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau was sched­uled to ad­dress a fo­rum bring­ing to­gether fed­eral of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from self-gov­ern­ing First Na­tions that have “mod­ern” treaties with the Crown in Ot­tawa on Tues­day.

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