Canada’s racism and failure on the climate crisis

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According to a recent United Nations (UN) report, climate crisis disasters are now
happening at the rate of one/week, costing about $520 billion/year. One need look no further than the Australian wildfires ravaging that country and the Indonesian floods that have killed over 60 and displaced 400, 000 people from their homes as examples.

According to a recent United Nations (UN) report, climate crisis disasters are now
happening at the rate of one/week, costing about $520 billion/year. One need look no further than the Australian wildfires ravaging that country and the Indonesian floods that have killed over 60 and displaced 400, 000 people from their homes as examples.
Meanwhile, our leaders forge ahead with fossil fuel projects despite the incontrovertible evidence of the growing climate crisis. Another reason to suspend these projects is a recent report from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It urged Canada to immediately stop three major resource projects until it obtained approval from affected First Nations: the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Site C dam and Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline.
The UN report exposed concern about “forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment and intimidation” and “escalating threat of violence” against Indigenous peoples. This was on the heels of a Guardian newspaper report two months ago based on RCMP documents that Canadian police were prepared to shoot Indigenous land defenders blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia. The RCMP responded that they “were simply acting on a December 2018 injunction against the Wet’suwet’en who were interfering with the CGL pipeline.”
The RCMP’s brutal history against Indigenous peoples along with Global Witness’ report that over 164 environmental activists were killed in 2018 trying to protect their land, water or wildlife should be disturbing news to those concerned about
climate justice and the future of our planet.
Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts and often find themselves at the frontlines in the battle against climate change. Along with defending traditional territories from exploitation, Indigenous peoples are also a rich source of knowledge we can learn from in our attempt to transition to a just and sustainable world.
Communities across Canada must raise their collective voices in defence of Indigenous land protectors and do everything possible to support their struggles: supporting First Nations court costs, contacting your Member of Parliament and writing letters to the editor to raise  awareness are just some examples.

Vagner Castilho
WAKEFIELD