The Haisla First Nation live in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, on the west coast near the aluminum town of Kitimat. The town's massive smelter has long been a sore spot among the Haisla, dropped into their traditional territory in the pro-development 1950 without consultation or substantial compensation. Now, the Haisla find themselves on the front lines of one of the most important Canadian environmental and development debates of the 21st century, but they are no longer the powerless victims of a half century ago. If Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proceeds, it will terminate on Haisla territory.
Like Lady Edith of the hit series Downtown Abbey, Prime Minister Harper must feel frustrated that Obama expects him to stand aside while the U.S. courts China and simultaneously wait around for a decision on Keystone. Worse still, there is the fear that Chinese interest in Canada is only a ploy, Beijing using Ottawa to spark Obama's jealousy and get Washington's attention.