Muir concerned First Nations being exploited by professional pipeline protestors

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In his latest interview with Jim Goddard, Stewart Muir of worries that the anti-Coastal GasLink pipeline protest in Northern B.C. that has included a blockade has little to do with indigenous rights and more to do with groups that do not want Canada to develop its hydrocarbon assets.

It doesn't have the feel of an authentic grass roots thing where there really is an issue here. There is a reason for that. This is a couple of groups...what they've done here is very clear, they have called their people out to come make a ruckus and try stop good things happening in clean energy and Canadian prosperity under the guise of it being an indigenous issue.

Muir traveled to the area last summer and respects the challenges that First Nations leaders are dealing with. However, this emergence of a protest sounds a little bit manufactured to Muir and says we should ask questions.

What are you really driving at here? Because it doesn't seem to be leading to a good place.

Could the issue end up back in court? Muir sounds doubtful but notes that the professional protest movement has a lot of money. Moreover, Muir is concerned the professional protest movement is not addressing real First Nations problems:

When you think aboriginal youth in Canada, five to six times higher suicide rate than non-aboriginal youth. That is deplorable and unacceptable and what is the pathway away from it? It certainly includes the path away from poverty. It includes how do you restore language and culture.

Muir notes, we have protestors strategized out of cities who are trying to stop jobs, and a project that brings benefits. On the barricade in Northern B.C., near Houston, Muir suggests:

It's being done for the theatrical benefit of this protest movement, and I think that's really a way that the First Nations in that area are being exploited.

We would add that it is more than just a little ironic to see so-called progressive democratic politicians and social justice activists backing hereditary chiefs protesting an approved pipeline which elected band chiefs have supported.

Listen to the interview here.

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