Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD) Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson - 52, rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)
I’m writing today, as a Canadian, in response to the Committee’s letter to halt the construction of the Site ‘C’ hydroelectric dam, Trans Mountain Pipeline and Coastal Gas Link Pipeline, all projects underway in Canada.
If “the Charter of the United Nations is based on the principles of the dignity and equality inherent in all human beings”, I would like to know why the UN felt it was necessary to target Canada and three of its energy projects?
By asking Canada to stop work on three megaprojects, the CERD does not “respect national policies and priorities”. Nor does the Committee’s targeting of these projects truly “promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,”.
As a long-standing, distinguished UN committee, I’m confident that you are well aware of how effectively Canada functions and how we rank compared to other jurisdictions when it comes to resource development. Here’s a wonderful, concise infographic from Canada Action that can serve as a reminder. I also encourage you to check out their website to get a complete, balanced picture of Canadian energy and resource development.
Could you please explain why the Committee, an unelected, global body, has decided to interfere in Canada’s resource development again? Are we an easy target because we have politicians whose agenda aligns with the UN’s? Is it because we have a Prime Minister who doesn’t stand up for Canada’s resource sector and the hundreds of thousands of workers it employs? Perhaps it’s because our Prime Minister doesn’t question any radical group’s motives or call out their lack of knowledge and expertise, particularly related to natural resource development?
I appreciate the CERD’s commitment to ensuring that impacted Indigenous groups who oppose projects are heard and their concerns seriously considered. However, it appears that the UN and the Committee isn’t aware of, or doesn’t care about, the First Nations, Indigenous, Aboriginal, and non-Indigenous peoples who support these important megaprojects. Why don’t those voices matter?
From the outside looking in, it appears that the CERD supports a small group of loud, radical voices who are trying to block prosperity for those who desperately want it. I can’t help but notice how many non-Indigenous people attend anti-development protests professing to be there in support of Indigenous rights. I suppose many of these people don’t realize that 7.8% of people working in the Canadian extractive sector identify as Aboriginal, compared to only 4.7% in the Federal public service, and only 3.9% in all other industries in Canada. The oil and gas, and resource sector in general, provide the best opportunities for well-paying jobs.
The Committee has completely ignored the will of all of the people who support these megaprojects. As a female working in the oil and gas sector, I’m directly, negatively affected when the Committee tries to impose stop-work orders because it jeopardizes the stability of the sector, a sector that has already been severely impacted by targeted misinformation campaigns. I’m disappointed that the Committee doesn’t care to represent people like me.
Environmental protection is extremely important to me because I’ve personally experienced the effects of extreme pollution due to lax environmental policy. This photo from the United Nations Environment Programme’s 2019 Emissions Gap Report is fantastic. It really highlights the countries the UN should be targeting to reduce emissions. Canada’s footprint is really small compared to many other countries; therefore, I have to question the sincerity of the UN’s environmental agenda.
“The top four emitters (China, USA, EU28 and India) contribute to over 55 per cent of the total emissions over the last decade”. Again, I have to ask why the UN is targeting Canada? Is it because of the wealth that has been cultivated over generations through hard work and ingenuity? I imagine it’s really attractive for the UN’s goal of “better redistribution of wealth and resources (both within and between countries)”
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look after the environment or help vulnerable populations. Not at all. What I am saying is that there should be less time spent on creating fear, pointing fingers, and demanding that the least culpable fix the problem on behalf of the entire globe. Instead, it would seem more beneficial to spend precious time actively working to find practicable solutions. The UN could use its global influence to encourage young people to attend school to gain an education that can help solve the world’s problems.
The discussion around the environment, greenhouse gases, and climate has been hijacked by morally bankrupt ENGO activists. Please don’t let the UN be hijacked too. I hope it isn’t too late. Isn’t it time that we all work together for the betterment of the global society?