September 29, 2021 - No. 89

Workers Step Up Defence of Their Right to Safe and
Healthy Working Conditions

Demonstration in Front of Quebec
National Assembly Demands Withdrawal
of Anti-Worker Law

Quebec National Assembly
Demonstration Against the Dismantling of the
Occupational Health and Safety Regime
Thursday, September 30 -- 12:00-
1:00 pm
Organized by: Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ)

Quebeckers Asked to Send a Message to Their Members of the National Assembly

Defend the Hereditary Rights of the Wet'suwet'en!
Stand With Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders
Coastal GasLink Destroys Archeological Site on Cas Yikh Territory - Indigenous Environmental Network
Call Out for Nationwide Support for Blockade on Unceded Territory

Workers Step Up Defence of Their Right to Safe and
Healthy Working Conditions

Demonstration in Front of Quebec National Assembly Demands Withdrawal of Anti-Worker Law

On Thursday, September 30, Quebec workers are holding a demonstration in front of the Quebec National Assembly to demand the withdrawal of Bill 59, An Act to modernize the occupational health and safety regime. Following clause-by-clause consideration in committee, the bill is now back in the National Assembly and rumour has it that it could be adopted tomorrow.

Workers, their unions and injured workers' defence organizations are unanimous in saying that the government does not have their consent to move forward with this legislation. The law is an undisguised negation of occupational injury treatment, compensation for injured workers and workplace prevention. It furthermore violates the right of workers to themselves determine what constitutes a healthy and safe work environment.

The Coalition Avenir Québec government has decided to impose the law on workers despite their opposition because it answers to narrow private interests that demand everything be done at this time to help them compete with one another for lucrative deals. They consider that the workers' health and safety is a cost to be cut and that workers are disposable. This abuse of power jeopardizes the lives of workers who have spoken out time and again to firmly reject it.

Workers' Forum vigorously denounces the arrogance and motivation of the CAQ and its mentors. This government is willing to force passage of this bill knowing full well that workers consider it a danger to their health, their safety and their lives.

All over the country workers are stepping up the defence of their right to healthy and safe workplaces. By fighting they will win because their cause is just, their cause meets the requirements of the times and the call of history. All out to support this fight!

(Photo: UTTAM)

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Quebeckers Asked to Send a Message to Their Members of the National Assembly

L'Union des travailleuses et travailleurs accidentés et malades (UTTAM) has launched an urgent action in the form of a letter campaign to the Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), asking them to vote against the adoption of Bill 59.

UTTAM writes:

"On September 28, the National Assembly began its work for its final adoption of Bill 59 modernizing the occupational health and safety regime. The modifications contained in this bill constitute a major attack on workers' rights.

"This is why, while there is still time, we are asking you to send a message to your MNA to let him or her know that you disagree with these major rollbacks on workers' rights and are asking them to oppose the adoption of this bill.

"Take action now!

"Take a few seconds to send an automated message to your MNA at

"Thank you for this gesture of solidarity."

(Quotation translated from original French by Workers' Forum. Photo: Syndicat des Metallos)

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Defend the Hereditary Rights of the Wet'suwet'en!

Stand With Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders

Workers' Forum stands with the Wet'suwet'en land defenders and calls on workers across the country to denounce the ongoing violation of Indigenous rights in the name of "the economy." All the fine words of ‘reconciliation' uttered by federal and provincial politicians cannot cover up the brutal colonial violence that has always been used to steal the land from Indigenous nations and is being used today to protect the oil and gas and pipeline companies that are given carte blanche to wreak havoc and trample Indigenous rights and the rights of all and of Mother Earth. It must not pass!

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Coastal GasLink Destroys Archeological Site
on Cas Yikh Territory

On September 22, 2021, after days of conflict between Gidimt'en/Cas Yikh Chiefs and members, Coastal GasLink (CGL) and the RCMP, contractors completely cleared an archaeological site which has been destroyed with heavy machinery for the construction of a methane gas pipeline.

Gidimt'en chiefs and supporters have been defending a number of culturally significant archeological sites from destruction on unceded Cas Yikh (Grizzly House) territory belonging to the Gidimt'en clan of the Wet'suwet'en people. The Coastal GasLink pipeline company has obtained a Site Alteration Permit (SAP) from the BC Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC) through a flawed and ineffective consultation process and without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs. The Wet'suwet'en have argued for years that the pipeline route endangers critical species, cultural use and heritage sites, and is not supported by Wet'suwet'en land use plans, particularly around the development of climate change policies. This archaeological site in particular, is significant to the Wet'suwet'en in the protection of our cultural heritage for future generations and for protecting our oral histories and heritage values for ongoing rights and title negotiations.

The company continues to violate their own regulations and conditions set forward by governing bodies such as the OGC and their own Environmental Assessment Certificates. Neither CGL nor the BCOGC undertook consultation with Cas Yikh or the Office of the Wet'suwet'en (OW) for the permit. The consultation process and the permitting system is deeply flawed and acts merely as a rubber stamp process to allow industry to continue. For example, files sent to the Office of the Wet'suwet'en were password protected and unable to be opened. Thus the information contained inside was never able to be reviewed, let alone consented to. Silence does not equal consent and to push forward with destroying a culturally significant heritage site is deeply disturbing and violent.

An archeologist working with Cas Yikh recently stated, about the cultural site that CGL is now threatening:

A site alteration permit was granted for the purpose of clearing GbSs-8 to make way for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, but no information on the proposed work/clearing activities has been shared with OW, Wo'os, Cas Yikh, or this report's author. What is known about the archaeology of Ts'elkay Kwe Ceek is dismal. This is especially concerning given the sheer intensity with which the landscape was inhabited and used (according to oral and written testimonies) and the concentration of habitation and use sites (lithics, trails, and cultural depressions). As a result, any destruction to archaeological heritage in Ts'elkay Kwe Ceek should be seen as a gross miscalculation on behalf of the proponent and their archaeologists. Indeed, given that no consultation or consent was granted for the site alteration permit, the course of site destruction is highly irregular and likely illegal.

Many measures were taken to prevent the destruction of this site, including a Cease and Desist letter sent to all parties, including provincial ministers in charge of lands and forests, in which hereditary chief Dini ze' Woos stated:

To be clear, we do not authorize or consent to the removal of, or any "alteration" or impacts to, our archaeological heritage. According to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -- a declaration implemented by the BC Government under Bill C41, which states:

4. Article 11 (1). Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature. (2). States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

The work that is continuing just hundreds of meters from Gidimt'en Checkpoint, a reoccupation site belonging to Cas Yikh, is in violation of the provincially legislated DRIPA [BC's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act passed in November 2019]. It is happening without the consent of Cas Yikh and therefore we demand that the permit be revoked and a proper consultation process begin.

For further information please go to:

Media contact:
Jennifer Wickham, Gidimt'en Checkpoint Media Coordinator

Phone number: 778-210-0067

(September 24, 2021. Photo: Gidimt'en Checkpoint)

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Call Out for Nationwide Support for Blockade on Unceded Territory

On September 25 Wet'suwet'en land defenders erected a blockade to prevent access by Coastal GasLink to a drill site at the Wedzin Kwa river. The blockade was established to stop the drilling under the sacred headwaters that nourish the Wet'suwet'en Yintah (land). Land defenders are calling for support and for those who can to come to the site of the blockade to assist.

This action follows a series of confrontations in recent months between Wet'suwet'en and Coastal GasLink (CGL) contractors, the latest of which was the destruction of an archeological site on September 22.

Gidimt'en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo' issued the call on the day the blockade was set up to all Wet'suwet'en and all supporters from across the country to take action in their support. The call pointed out that all five clans of the Wet'suwet'en have unanimously opposed all pipeline proposals and have not provided free, prior, and informed consent to Coastal Gaslink to do work on Wet'suwet'en lands. The Wet'suwet'en will do everything in their power to protect their waters and uphold their laws.

(Photos: Gidimt'en Checkpoint)

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