We need a firm combination of panache and purpose:
1. First and foremost, the government needs to restore public order, not through nebulous calls for dialogue, but by action. Declare that “Enough is Enough.” Restore our national transportation system and empower all federal law enforcement agencies, and if necessary the military, to uphold the rule of law. Instruct them to institute clear “cease and desist” ordinances, incarcerate offenders and deport non-Canadian protestors. Draw a line in the sand instead of having sand kicked in our face.
2. Second, instead of wallowing in a litany of historical grievances — real and perceived — and vacuous platitudes about reconciliation, pledge to provide clean water and basic medical services to all native reserves within a definite timeframe. Offer to work with native leaders who share the view that improving the well-being and livelihood of native people should be the overriding priority.
3. Stimulate and support responsible energy initiatives like the Coastal GasLink and Teck Resources Frontier oilsands project, which will bring billions of dollars of needed investment and provide economic benefits for western Canada, including for several native communities. Any mention of an aid package for Alberta as a substitute for project development would be as offensive as it is impractical.
Most of all, give real meaning to the “Peace, Order and Good Government” clause of our Constitution and prove that Lucien Bouchard was wrong. Canada is and can be a “real country.”