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BCNDP disgrace: throne speech hypocrisy

Bradley Hughes

February 14, 2020

NDP cabinet ministers and MLA’s got a taste of their own medicine in British Columbia on Tuesday when Indigenous youth and allies blocked MLA’s from entering the MLA’s traditional territory, the Legislature. 

As further evidence of how afraid the NDP is of the growing protest movement all NDP MLA offices are closed on Friday so that no MLA need risk defending their government's actions.

All of the pomp and ceremony of the Throne Speech was cancelled as hundreds joined an Indigenous youth-led protest at the legislature. (Canceled events included a 15-gun salute. Presumably this was on the agenda because nothing says democracy quite like a howitzer, right?) 

Indigenous youth have been blocking the doors to the legislature since right after the RCMP invaded the unceded land of Wet’suwet’en nation. They spent nights on the stone steps, as more and more joined them. They called for support to shut down the legislature on the day of the throne speech and hundreds answered the call. 

The protest was a resounding success. All entrances to the legislature were blocked. All of the pre-throne speech ceremonies were cancelled.  

Banners proclaimed, "reconciliation is dead." Instead of reading this, and thinking, "oh, what have we done? We need to fix this, " Premier Horgan, the cabinet ministers and the government MLAs all pushed through the demonstrators and proceeded with the throne speech. The galleries were empty because the government banned any observers to the proceedings.

Has a government in BC ever been seen as so illegitimate that protesters felt confident enough to shut down the proceedings of the legislature? 

There have been massive protests against previous Liberal and Social Credit governments, but I don’t think they have ever tried to prevent MLA’s from conducting the business of the legislature.  

In a news conference the following day NDP Premier Horgan trotted out the same arguments that we’ve heard from every Tory or Liberal Premier or Prime Minister threatened by protests that are winning. Premier Horgan claimed that blocking the legislature was inappropriate, the protests are not supported by the majority of people in BC, and that Indigenous people don’t support the demonstrators. 

Of course none of this is true, support for the Wet’suwet’en and Indigenous rights to their own land have spread across what is currently called Canada and around the world. At the time of writing, there are over 60 blockades and actions ongoing. 

Join the blockades, shut down Canada!

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