An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WHERE ARE ALL the responsible politicians in these Trans Mountain pipeline protests?
The ones who obey the law?
Sure, they’re out there, but why aren’t they front and centre condemning the headline-grabbing, publicity seeking likes of Elizabeth May and Kennedy Stewart?
May, of course, is the leader of the federal Green Party, and Stewart is the NDP MP for Burnaby South.
They seem proud of being arrested for civil contempt in blocking a road at a Kinder Morgan worksite in violation of a court injunction.
They’re among more than 170 — as of yesterday — who have been arrested in the past few days during protests in Burnaby.
May, a lawyer by profession, proclaims she respects the courts — “very, very committed to the rule of law,” she says. Ignoring a court order seems a strange way to go about it.
Non-violent legal protest is a time-honoured democratic right in Canada, but the key words are “legal protest.” No matter what you think of the pipeline project, for it or against it, it seems to me politicians have a special duty to lead by example on things like abiding by orders of the courts.
So where are BC Green leader Andrew Weaver, Premier John Horgan and other prominent politicians while this is going on? Wisely, they didn’t plant themselves in front of the Kinder Morgan gates with May and Stewart, but they should be making it very clear that even if they oppose the Trans Mountain project, respect for the law is one of our Canadian values.
Two things should happen here. May and Kennedy should be called on the carpet to explain themselves to Parliament, ands face possible sanctions.
And, their fellow elected representatives at both the federal and provincial levels — whatever their stand on the pipeline — should be making it clear that the actions of the two Members of Parliament are unacceptable.
After that, let the protests continue for as long as the protesters have the energy to protest peacefully, and legally.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.