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Fiddler, Collins plan peaceful protest at MacKay meet-and-greet

Conservative leadership hopeful will be at the Finlandia Club from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, 2017
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler,

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler plans to peacefully protest Thursday's visit to Thunder Bay by federal Conservative leadership hopeful Peter MacKay.

Fiddler and Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins say they plan to stand in solidarity, starting at 4:30 p.m., outside the Finlandia Club, where MacKay is scheduled to host a meet-and-greet with local Conservatives.

"Mr. MacKay’s recent social media comments amount to inciting violence against Indigenous people. The language he and his staff have used is offensive and dangerous, and we cannot tolerate this of any leader," Fiddler posted to Facebook.

“I'm inviting everyone in Thunder Bay to join Chief Collins and I tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. In front of the Finlandia Club during Peter MacKay's Meet & Greet as we peacefully stand in solidarity with land defenders and rights holders. We look forward to your support."

A digital poster attached the tweet includes previous tweets from MacKay's account, which Fiddler took offence to, surrounding nationwide protests in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their opposition to a proposed natural-gas pipeline project through the First Nation's unceded territory.

“Glad to see a couple Albertans with a pickup truck can do more for our economy in an afternoon than Justin Trudeau could do in four years,” MacKay wrote in response to a western Canadian blockade being torn down recently by vigilantes.

Another MacKay tweet was also included on the protest poster.

“We can't allow our economy to be hijacked by a small gang of professional protesters and thugs.”

MacKay is running for the leadership against several other candidates, including Erin O'Toole, Derek Sloan, Jim Karahalios, Marilyn Gladu and Leslyn Lewis.

O'Toole was in Thunder Bay earlier this month.

MacKay's 90-minute meet-and-greet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 17 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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