We are now weeks into a national crisis that has shown once again a lack of leadership on the part of the Liberal government. With ongoing illegal blockades happening throughout Canada, thousands have been laid off and industries across the country are suffering. Radical activists – many of whom have no connection to the Wet’suwet’en people – have been holding our economy hostage.
When Minister Bill Blair was asked repeatedly in the House of Commons what he, as Public Safety Minister, was doing to ensure the rule of law was being enforced in Canada, he kept relying on the same talking point again and again and again. That police independence prevents the government from telling the RCMP what to do and that “it is not the role of government to give instructions to the commander of the RCMP.”
And yet, that very same day in a media interview, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller refused to say no when asked multiple times if the Liberals would direct the RCMP to leave Wet’suwet’en territory, which was one of the demands of the Hereditary Chiefs who oppose the Coastal GasLink project.
Minister Blair’s response in the House of Commons is also in direct contradiction to what the Liberals are planning to do in handing over firearms classifications to the RCMP once Bill C-71 is fully implemented. Instead of having elected officials make the final decision on firearms classifications, the Liberals will be instructing RCMP bureaucrats to make these decisions instead.
Law enforcement officials have also publicly stated that they do not believe that blanket firearms bans will help make communities safer, and yet the Liberals seem determined to introduce such a ban through Order in Council, a move that will ultimately be up to the RCMP and police to enforce.
So, on the one hand in answering questions about the illegal blockades Minister Blair says they will not instruct the RCMP on how to do their jobs, and yet he contradicts this statement by continuously telling the RCMP what to do when it comes to firearms.
Minister Blair, you can’t have it both ways.
Bob Zimmer is Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.