BC's NDP Premier Glen Clark is mounting a massive PR campaign to promote a positive image of his government respecting Aboriginal rights as supposedly evidenced by the Nisga'a trick-or-treaty. Behind the scenes the NDP machine is still desperately trying to suppress a growing awareness of outrageous actions taken by the state in the summer of 1995 against Traditionalist Shuswap defending sacred Sundance grounds at Ts'peten, near Gustafsen Lake.
The following letter is in response to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)'s endorsement of a resolution from the Assembly of First Nations, calling for a public inquiry into "all aspects of the Gustafsen Lake matter." Clark's "one law for all" dissemblings and irrelevant platitudes on not interfering in judicial decision-making clearly don't deal with the issue. The struggle continues. Please add your voice to the demand for a full and open public inquiry into this government's attack upon the Gustafsen Lake Sundance camp.
The truth must prevail. To sign the petition demanding an inquiry by email, send a message to SISIS@envirolink.org with "petition" in the subject header and "I support the petition for a full public inquiry into the events surrounding the Gustafsen Lake crisis," your name, and your city & province/state of residence in the body of the message.
Thank you for your letter of August 26, 1998, requesting a public inquiry into the events at Gustafsen Lake. I apologize for the delay in my response.
As you know, the police are responsible for keeping the peace in British Columbia and for ensuring the public's safety. When incidents at protest sites involve violence, serious threats of violence or property damage, police act to investigate Criminal Code of Canada violations. The Criminal Code applies to everyone in British Columbia. Those charged with Criminal Code violations as a result of incidents at Gustafsen Lake have been before the Courts. As Premier, I cannot interfere in any particular judicial decision. In Canada, the judiciary function is a separate body and Court rulings are not subject to review by any level of Government.
The events at Gustafsen Lake have been dealt with appropriately by our criminal justice system. The Province has no intention of reviewing this matter further through a public inquiry.
I appreciate your taking the time to express your views.