The capitalists won the B.C. election. Extractive industries make big profits in the province, and have bigger plans for its future. More port facilities for coal exports to China, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants, new pipelines across the mountains, increased tanker traffic in the Vancouver Harbour, and through coastal waters; these environmental disasters in the making represent lucrative ventures to Liberal backers.
Corporations support the BC Liberals as a form of insurance protecting shareholder privileges. Most of the business and commercial world follows the corporate lead.
In B.C., corporations contribute to political parties and have employees who contribute.
In December 2012, the Indigenous protests known as Idle No More exploded onto the Canadian political scene, with huge round dances taking place in shopping malls, busy intersections, and public spaces across North America, as well as solidarity actions as far away as New Zealand and Gaza. Though sparked by a series of legislative attacks on indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, the movement quickly became about much more: Canada's ongoing colonial policies, a transformative vision of decolonization, and the possibilities for a genuine alliance between natives and non-natives, one capable of re-imagining nationhood.
My recent column suggested that Canada implement a "Buy Canadian" strategy associated with major natural resource developments, with the goal of enhancing Canadian content in the overall value chain. Can we utilize our strong foothold in resource extraction, and try to leverage greater investment and value-added upstream in the value chain (for example, by stimulating more purchases of Canadian-made mining equipment)?
How refreshing it was to open Monday's Globe and Mail and actually see good news from the Canadian manufacturing heartland. Greg Keenan reported on the expansion of Hitachi's factory in Guelph, Ont., that makes enormous trucks for mining operations; the plant is doubling output and employment.
Without consent or consultation, God's Lake Resources, a junior gold exploration company, trespassed by exploring on Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) lands. God's Lake is now threatening to drill on sacred KI burial area. KI is saying NO to God's Lake Resources, just as the community opposed mining exploration by Platinex in 2008 and De Beers in 2010.
Not only is it repeatedly clear that the Canadian government excels at ignoring Indigenous communities' right to say NO, but it criminalizes them for their opposition to rights infringements.