Tempers flared in Canada's House of Commons after First Nations representative Romero Saganash accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of dismissing Indigenous concerns over the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
"When the prime minister says that this pipeline expansion will be done no matter what, and his minister adds that Canada will not be able to accommodate all Indigenous concerns, what that means is that they have decided to willfully violate their constitutional duties and obligations," Saganash said.
"Sounds like a most important relationship, doesn't it? Why doesn't the prime minister just say the truth and tell Indigenous peoples that he doesn't give a fuck about their rights?" the Quebecois New Democratic Party (NDP) member of parliament said.
Saganash later apologized for his language, but not before describing the current state of affairs as “insulting.”
The incident has since triggered online support among Indigenous activists, including Chelsea Vowel, who tweeted: “I’m team F-bomb, I heard not a single lie.”
Author Erica Violet Lee wrote: “Colonial respectability politics in Canada is a history of violently disciplining Indigenous folks into ‘polite’, ‘civil’ subjects of a state actively dispossessing us and destroying our homelands. Fuck that.”
Another Twitter user referenced the lack of clean drinking water in a number of Indigenous reservations: “If the F-word offends you, wait until you hear about the state of potable water on First Nations communities across the country.”
In response, Trudeau requested Opposition Conservatives exhibit greater decorum when addressing the House.
Late last month, the Federal Court suspended the multi-billion dollar pipeline project due to inadequate consultation with the First Nations. The Trans Mountain expansion would potentially triple capacity along the existing pipeline route, pumping out 890,000 barrels per day from Alberta to the British Columbia coast.