View From the Legislature

Blockades Hurt Unity, Economy

  • Kelvin Goertzen, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Steinbach

Recent nationwide blockades which are designed to protest a pipeline in northern British Columbia are having an impact on both the economy and the unity of Canada. While our country does and should support peaceful protests, that right does not come at the expense of the rights of others.

This past week, when the rail blockades happened in Manitoba, our government moved quickly to seek an injunction that would remove the blockade of the CN Rail main line located west of Winnipeg. While the blockade came down, our government has indicated we would seek further injunctions against any future similar blockades as well.

The right to peacefully protest is one that is important in a free and democratic society. However, that right does not override the rights of others. Both the economic freedom and unity of Canada and Canadians has been negatively impacted by the blockades. Dialogue and discussions are important in resolving any issue. But government also needs to ensure that the rights of all its citizens are respected. Our government has committed to that action.