The campaign has shown opposition to details of Bill C-45, tabled by the federal government. Aboriginal people are frustrated with a lack of consultation displayed by the federal government when it comes to decisions and the environmental impact of natural-resource extraction and other issues.
For protester Kevin Joseph, Thursday’s demonstration possessed the added significance of Hoback being missing from his office.
Joseph said a call had been put in to Hoback’s office earlier in the day to confirm that he would be there all day. Once the protest got underway, Hoback was in Shellbrook, according to Joseph.
“You’re going to see a lot more zeroing in on the MPs, because I think they have kind of been getting off scot-free,” Joseph said. “They voted without any consultation, and Mr. Harper can’t just say, ‘This is the law.’ No. The MPs have to vote on it … They keep avoiding us, and they have their speaking points. And they won’t talk with us, but they continue talking at us.”
Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence was on her 24th day of a hunger strike, still waiting for the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“Either Mr. Harper is going to go to her teepee or he’s going to go to her funeral,” Joseph said. “It’s past that point where we don’t know what’s going through his head and there are human lives (at stake) here.”
According to organizer Colleen Whitedeer, Thursday’s demonstration was a reminder that the campaign is not slowing down.
“We’re going to continue doing this until Prime Minister Stephen Harper gives in,” she said.
Hoback could not be reached for comment.