Current Problems

Justice (25-42)

Bill 1 – Critical Infrastruture Defence Act

June 11, 2020

HuffPost – “Bill 1 – The The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act” bans protests at critical infrastructure such as “pipelines, oilsands sites, mining sites as well as utilities, streets, highways, railways, and telecom towers and equipment. Violators who protest, trespass, interfere with operations, or cause damage around that kind of infrastructure will face fines as high as $10,000 or six months in jail or both. Further offences will garner fines of up to $25,000 and jail time.” The Bill was introduced specifically as a response to the Wetsu’wet’en Coastal GasLink protests in BC. and significantly impacts Indigenous rights and title especially given the governments lack of consultation on major projects that negatively impact Indigenous communities and lives.

Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, said the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act violates Indigenous and treaty rights, calling it a “racialized bill,” and one that will aggravate tensions between police and Indigenous people.

“We have a human right to voice our concerns. In our case, we have a treaty right and that’s not being respected,” explained Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief of Alberta, Marlene Poitras, “You’re going to criminalize the First Peoples of this land who agreed to share the lands with foreigners that came in. This impacts our way of life. There’s no chance of reconciliation with the UCP government with this.”