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A supporter of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, left, and a counter protestor remove a blockade after a lawsuit was served to protestors just west of Edmonton on Wednesday February 19, 2020.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.

Readers respond: Barricades at rail crossings must now come down, Trudeau says

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Day 16: Justin Trudeau just made the speech that he should have made weeks ago. It took a lot of Canadians’ loud voices and for the situation to get desperate to get this government to work for the majority of Wet’suwet’en who want the pipeline, and for Canadians who need the supplies that the railroads ship and passenger trains.

It seems Andrew Scheer was right. Will Mr. Trudeau support the process that gave Coastal GasLink the approval to continue construction? If that does not happen, investment is dead in Canada.

There is still a long way to go though. –ThinkAboutIt42

I don’t blame Justin Trudeau for trying to negotiate a solution to this crisis with the various groups. I do however blame him for failing to recognize that this was a situation you can’t negotiate a solution to. Or as Alfred put it in The Dark Knight film: “Some people aren’t looking for anything logical like money, they can’t be bought bullied, reasoned or negotiated with.” You can’t reconcile with a group that doesn’t respect the rule of law or believes that they are above the law.

Andrew Scheer had the right idea from the very beginning: Let the RCMP bring down the barriers and enforce the court order. –r2marsharye

I agree that the best course of action has been to make every effort at trying to dialogue and come to an agreement, and to do so for as long as possible so that if such an agreement could not be reached, at least a more direct course of action has the best defence.

I think allowing this time has been critical to maximizing support for the decision to dismantle, should there be significant negative fallout from having to take this action.

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I also agree that it is now time to accept that the other party has demonstrated no interest in finding a negotiated solution, and so it is time for the country to move forward and dismantle the barricades. I hope it can be done without violence and that everyone will be safe. –PagHoward

‘A feeble response would be almost as dangerous as an excessive one.’ Readers debate how Canadian pipeline protests should end, plus other letters to the editor

‘I believe this would replicate the original colonial error of domination through force and indifference.’ Readers debate pipeline protests and the rule of law, plus other letters to the editor

‘Maybe Jody Wilson-Raybould could have intervened.’ Readers wonder what’s next as pipeline protests continue, plus other letters to the editor

A woman rests on a walking stick as protesters block the intersection of Broadway and Commercial Drive in support of Wet'suwet'en Nation hereditary chiefs attempting to halt construction of a natural gas pipeline on their traditional territories, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Readers respond: Yes, the blockades are illegal. No, they should not be met with force

You don’t have to police every metre of territory. The police don’t monitor every home and business. Laws are enforced through the deterrent effect. I don’t speed because I don’t want to pay the fine, in the event I get caught. The issue here is the deterrent effect of the law has been removed for these protesters. And guess what, now you will get more of what you failed to deter. Pretty simple. –Mom’sMoney

The conclusion that the last thing we need is martyrs is true, of course, but why does it follow that because our officials enforce the law that there has to be martyrs?This has become an excuse, and not a good one, for not enforcing the law, and in fact creates expectations on both sides that there will be violence.

A large group within the Wet’suwet’en want the pipeline and all the ensuing benefits a small group doesn’t. This is an argument between these groups. The Mohawks, for whatever reason, have decided to side with one group over the other. Supporting a cause, however, shouldn’t give you the right to shut down a rail network, regardless of how sincere your convictions.

You can have all the dialogue you want with these groups, it is unlikely to change their position. In the meantime, the law is shoved aside in favour of those that would break the law. The spectre of past events like Oka are raised, implying that because one tragedy happened years ago, then it must follow that a tragedy must happen again. This reasoning has no bearing in fact and is simply an emotional response. The law should be enforced. –JeffSpooner

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For crying out loud! It’s a gas pipeline and global greenhouse-gas emissions will be lower because of it. Once the pipe is in the ground, nobody will know it is there. Nobody is stealing any land. –NormDPloom

How about the considerable harm being done right now, and likely in the future, to people who are losing their jobs and the ability to pay their mortgages; people who have small businesses and need goods and products for those businesses; and manufacturers, municipalities and everyone else who depend on goods by rail. Force is not the answer, but time is of the essence.

The gas pipeline has stepped into a family feud. The Wet’suwet’en need to make up their mind: Are they for the pipeline or against it? And they need to do it quickly. –Ian-2020

It is an impossible situation, made worse by old reactions proven to deepen the crisis.

It is as if two people speaking entirely different languages are screaming at each other to be heard, with one threatening to pull a gun if not heard. The difficulty for most with this type of dialogue, which respects and adapts to ancient, but proven, Indigenous ways, is that it doesn’t soothe the ever-anxious mind.

Business minds, government minds, civil society minds and Indigenous minds have a chance to reconcile, to repair old, broken relationships too long kicked down the track by all involved.

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This moment is pregnant with possibility or peril. Choose wisely. –Peter Bromley

A truck with flags and posters stand near the closed train tracks on ninth day of the train blockade in Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ont., on Friday Feb. 14, 2020,

Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Readers respond: Every day rail blockade lasts, Trudeau’s stock drops lower

Justin Trudeau’s stock is at rock bottom and so will the Canadian dollar shortly. No more sunny days. Time he’s gone and get on with enforcing the law. That’s what its all about! –bruane

I seriously doubt Justin Trudeau’s stock will decline over this issue even if the trains don’t move until early March. I have no confidence in Canadian voters to hold him accountable and truly demand a timely resolution! –K N0606II

A terrible precedent is getting set here. No matter what the issue, no matter where the issue, the democratically elected leaders become powerless to enforce the laws against a small minority of protesters pushing their own agenda –HabFan410

Thursday’s Angus Reid poll indicated about 40-per-cent support across Canada for the pipeline protesters. That’s almost 2 in 5! Supporters tended to be younger women, lower income, on the left politically, from Quebec and British Columbia. So more Canadians than who voted for Justin Trudeau think that illegal protests, commuter disruptions and railway blockades are justified as a means to their preferred end!

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Given that those folks tend to reflect the Liberal demographic, there’s not likely to be a resolution until they start to understand the serious consequences of the absence of law and order. Don’t hold your breathe. –pondus

The irony is that the Trudeau government has done more for First Nations than has occurred in the past 50 years. If the protesters push hard enough, Justin Trudeau may fall and the next government will be harsher with First Nations communities. To my mind, First Nations must give a lot at this point or they will lose for the next generation everything they gained in the last five years –wellworn

A number of years ago, a Miꞌkmaq graduate of Dalhousie law school, after spending five years on Bay Street, went home to Cape Breton with a radical idea for his uncle, the chief. He proposed to his uncle that the Membertou band leap into the future and reform the its practices and administration to the 9002 certification process. The chief agreed and the transformation has been astounding.

The government now sends other bands leaderships to Memebrtou to learn their ways. When I travel to Cape Breton on business, I stay at the Hampton Inn on the reserve and usually have dinner at the conference centre. That is my “reconciliation,” if you will, but it is also the only way forward for Canada’s indigenous people. –Dartguard

A Six Nations flag, left, and a Mohawk warrior flag fly over a camp near the closed train tracks in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ont. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in support of Wet'suwet'en's blockade of a natural gas pipeline in northern B.C.

Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Readers respond: If this is all Trudeau can offer on the blockades, perhaps he should have gone to Barbados

Exactly – the headline says it all! –VelvetSilk

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While I can’t say I’m thrilled with the lack of progress made during this standoff, can anyone reading this comment tell me that they truly think that Andrew Scheer or Jagmeet Singh would have had more success so far? Just curious. –Steve2210

Poor Meng Wanzhou. She is apparently the only inhabitant of Canada to whom the rule of law still applies. –dolier

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