153265
154842

Canada  

Scheer says protests 'illegal,' tells Trudeau to order enforcement

PM won't force police hand

UPDATE: 10:25 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has no plans to order the RCMP to end the blockades of vital rail links across the country.

"We are not the kind of country where politicians get to tell the police what to do in operational matters," Trudeau said Friday in Munich, where he was attending a global security conference.

That message stood in contrast to one from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who earlier Friday called on Trudeau to order Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to use his authority under the RCMP Act to end what he called the "illegal blockades" by Indigenous Peoples at the centre of a dispute over a British Columbia pipeline project.

He said they are harming the Canadian economy and disrupting the livelihoods of farmers and small-business owners.

"These blockades are illegal," Scheer told reporters in Ottawa. "So far, the prime minister has refused to come out and call them that, himself."

Earlier Friday, Trudeau had said there are no easy answers to the dispute.

"You need to know we have failed our Indigenous peoples over generations, over centuries. And there is no quick fix to it," Trudeau said, adding that all parties must move towards reconciliation.

"We also are, obviously, a country of laws. And making sure that those laws are enforced, even as there is, of course, freedom to demonstrate free and to protest," he said. "Getting that balance right and wrapping it up in the path forward ... is really important."


ORIGINAL: 9:20 a.m.

It is time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to order the RCMP to end the "illegal" blockades of vital rail links, says Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

Scheer says Trudeau should order Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to use his authority under the RCMP Act to put an end to protests by Indigenous Peoples at the centre of the dispute over a British Columbia pipeline project.

He says they are harming the Canadian economy and disrupting the livelihoods of farmers and small-business owners.

"These blockades are illegal," Scheer Friday said in Ottawa. "So far, the prime minister has refused to come out and call them that, himself."

Earlier Friday, Trudeau said while travelling in Germany that there are no easy answers to the dispute.

In his most extensive public comments since anti-pipeline protests began affecting freight and passenger rail traffic across Canada last week, Trudeau said the path forward is "fraught with challenges and obstacles to overcome."

"You need to know we have failed our Indigenous peoples over generations, over centuries. And there is no quick fix to it," Trudeau said, adding that all parties must move towards reconciliation.

"We also are, obviously, a country of laws. And making sure that those laws are enforced, even as there is, of course, freedom to demonstrate free and to protest," he said.

"Getting that balance right and wrapping it up in the path forward ... is really important."

But Scheer said the RCMP needs to respond to restore order and uphold the law — and the government needs to demand that. He said the pipeline project has support among many elected band councils from First Nations along the pipeline route, including the Wet'suwet'en.

If the law isn't enforced, Scheer said the Trudeau government will be setting a "dangerous precedent that a small few can have a devastating impact on the lives of countless Canadians."

"For many of these anti-energy activists, this is just a warm-up act" to block other energy projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and the Teck Frontier oilsands mine in northeastern Alberta, he said.

"We cannot allow a small number of activists to hold our economy hostage and threaten thousands of jobs," said Scheer.



More Canada News

Canada
151858
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
143436
Recent Trending
Soft 103.9
154314
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
153933





153979
154899