Opposition to Site C Dam Continues
The Regional District of Peace River opposes Site C. The BC government ignored the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation about the proposed project. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs opposes the dam, and released the following statement on July 10.
On July 9, 2015, the Chiefs-in-Assembly at the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Meeting in Montreal, Quebec passed Emergency AFN Resolution 39/2015, Site C Hydroelectric Dam on the Peace River. The resolution calls on the Provincial and Federal governments to immediately cease proceeding with the proposed Site C Dam project, notwithstanding having issued environmental approvals and respective permits.
Treaty 8 First Nations have applied for judicial review of the project, stating the proposed Site C project infringes on the treaty rights of the Treaty 8 First Nations. The Federal Appeal begins the week of July 20, 2015. The BC government and BC Hydro have ignored the requests of Treaty 8 First Nations to put construction on hold until the outcomes of the court proceedings are known. In addition several other lawsuits have been filed in opposition to the project.
“Site C will destroy and flood over 5,000 hectares of Treaty 8 First Nation territories. Site C is a threat to Treaty 8 First Nations’ ability to exercise their constitutionally-protected Treaty and Aboriginal rights and will leave an irreversible and irrevocable wound on the land” said Chief Judy Wilson of Neskonlith Indian Band who presented and moved the resolution and is the Secretary-Treasurer of UBCIC. “These premeditated actions will forever affect BC’s interactions with First Nations.”
On July 3rd, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC, presented at a meeting of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) supporting a Metro Vancouver motion calling on the BC Government and Premier Christy Clark to enact a two year moratorium on the construction of Site C.
Grand Chief Phillip reiterated “If construction begins on Site C, it will be an obvious message that this government has deliberately ignored constitutionally protected Aboriginal Title, Rights, and Treaty Rights. The BC Government is hoping either Treaty 8 First Nations expend all of their energy and means to defend their territories in the courts or concede their rights for agreements that minimizes any benefits to Treaty 8 First Nations and absolves the government of any and all liabilities. UBCIC will always support Treaty 8 First Nations and if necessary I personally pledge that I will stand with the peoples of Treaty 8 and of the Peace Valley in front of bulldozers and dump trucks to prevent this project from proceeding.”