‘Canadians have been patient, our government has been patient. But it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared Friday that crippling rail blockades must end immediately, setting the stage for confrontation as Indigenous leaders said they were not yet prepared to move.

“Canadians have been patient. Our government has been patient, but it has been two weeks and the barricades need to come down now,” Trudeau said at a press conference Friday, as the crisis entered its third week.

The prime minister said he could no longer wait for Indigenous leaders to enter negotiations. He said his ministers had asked repeatedly for hereditary leaders from Wet’suwet’en territory for a meeting, but had not heard back.

“You can’t have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table,” he said. “Our hand remains extended should someone want to reach for it. We have come to a moment where the onus is now on Indigenous leadership.”

He added, “Let us be clear: all Canadians are paying the price. Some people can’t get to work, others have lost their jobs. Essential goods cannot get where they need to go.”

The situation was “unacceptable and untenable,” he said. “The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld.”

Read full article here.

Ryan Tumilty – February 21, 2020.

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