By Roy L Hales
It has been two and a half years since Brenda Sayers came to national attention, as the leader of the “Hupacasath’s” court challenge of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China. Sayers agrees they were leading the fight, but it was really a people’s struggle for all Canadians. They were not able to stop the Harper Government from making a secret deal which she says, “gives another country control over our resources, our labor laws and how how we protect our environment.” In the process, Sayers came into contact with Elizabeth May and the Green Party. Now she is the Green Candidate for Powell River – North Island.
Powell River-North Island
This is one of the key ridings that could determine whether the Harper Conservatives win or lose in this election. It has been split in two. The incumbent MLA, John Duncan (PC), will be running in what is now Courtenay-Alberni. Three women will be contest the newly created Powell River – North Island.
We are setting up a date to interview NDP candidate Rachel Blaney.
I’ve also been talking to the Conservatives, but it is not yet certain if their candidate, Laura Smith, is willing to answer questions about energy, the environment or the need for social license.
All three of these topics are of importance to Brenda Sayers, who is not a typical politician.
She is a former counsellor of the Hupacasath First Nation, whose introduction to public speaking largely came through fighting the FIPA agreement.
One of her concerns was the lack of social license in the way the FIPA deal was made. Canadians will have to live with the consequences for the next three decades, but were not given a voice in the decision. Most of us are only dimly aware of what Prime Minister Harper did.
Sayers is also deeply concerned about environmental issues such as the nation’s emissions, the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline project and the deforestation of British Columbia.
She shares the Green party’s zeal for the development of a more efficient mass transit system.
In the interview above, Brenda Sayers looks forward to the Green party eventually becoming a major n national party and gives a personal guesstimate about how many seats they will win this October.
The video below was made during the Hupacasath court challenge of the FIPA agreement. That struggle is now over, the next one has already began.
Photo at top of Page: Brenda Sayers speaking at press conference during the Hupacasath’s challenge of FIPA. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, is standing to her immediate left.