Taylor Bachrach (left) and Nathan Cullen (right) pictured at Bachrach’s Smithers campaign office opening on Sept. 5. Bachrach is taking over Cullen’s place as the NDP candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Northern B.C. MP calls on Trudeau to meet with Indigenous group in middle of CGL dispute

The federal government maintains the issue is solely under provincial jurisdiction

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach might not have sat in Parliament long, but already he’s asking some pretty big questions.

During the Indigenous Affairs portion of oral question period on Feb. 5, Bachrach put the question to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as to why he has hasn’t been to Wet’suwet’en territory to meet with the hereditary chiefs.

“The issues surrounding Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en have been deeply divisive for communities in my riding,” said Bachrach, noting he did not want to see a repeat of the Jan. 7, 2019 enforcement of a previous injunction related to the matter.

The hereditary chiefs have stated on numerous occasions they wish to meet with Trudeau.

“The government’s promises of reconciliation are on the line, and the chiefs have asked to meet with the Prime Minister. Why is he refusing to meet with them?” Bachrach asked Trudeau.

READ MORE: Hereditary Chiefs say CGL asked B.C. to drop talks after making clear no access would be granted

In his response, Trudeau once again stressed the federal position that this is an issue of provincial jurisdiction.

He also pointed to the recent appointment of former Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen by the Province to engage in talks with the Wet’suwet’en.

“We have full confidence in the NDP government in British Columbia to move forward in the correct way,” said Trudeau. “Why do the NDP members in the House not have the same confidence in the NDP government of British Columbia?”

He added that the Liberal government is committed to renewing its relationship with Indigenous people and will continue to engage with leaders across the country.

But for hereditary chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale), those words aren’t enough. Na’Moks says if Trudeau really means what he is saying it’s important for him to visit with the hereditary chiefs.

“When they say that they’re going to have the best relationship with Indigenous people and then they ignore the Indigenous people, that is not fair, that is not proper and it most certainly is not respectful,” said Na’Moks.

“He needs to show respect to the Indigenous people. When we are changing the history of this country the Prime Minister should be here to listen to us.”



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Paddling through life

Pehowich is a mother, business owner, basketball coach and paddleboarder

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Okanagan racetrack owners apply for property rezoning

No events have been run at Spallumcheen’s Motoplex Speedway in four years, mainly due to legal action

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Most Read