"Every week we learn of a new reason why Site C should not proceed"
“We are inspired and deeply honoured to have the support of so many individuals in our fight to stop the proposed Site C Dam." - Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations
West Moberly is one of the First Nations in the Treaty 8 region of northeastern BC that vigorously objected to the Site C dam through the environmental assessment review process. The report of that independent review set out a clear case against the dam, including the irreversible harm that it will cause to one of the few remaining areas where West Moberly and other First Nations can exercise their rights, the destruction of hundreds of cultural sites, and the province's failure to properly other, less harmful alternatives.
Now, as BC rushes ahead with construction, new concerns continue to emerge, including new questions about the actual need for the project and BC Hydro's failure to abide by environmental conditions imposed when the project was approved.
In a public statement earlier this month, Chief Willson said, "Our Elders continue to remind us that we must protect the land, and exercise our Indigenous Rights and Treaty Rights. Every week we learn of a new reason why Site C should not proceed, from increases that ratepayers will face, to the severely detrimental impacts the project will have on life sustaining trout in the Peace River.”
West Moberly and the Prophet River First Nation have taken the case to court, arguing that the harm that would be done by the dam violates rights protected under their Treaty and the Canadian Constitution. Amnesty International supports this view.
In response to growing public demand to halt the dam, federal officials have repeatedly stated that they can’t comment on Site C because “it’s before the courts.”
However, the court process could take years to resolve. In fact, the federal government is arguing in the current case before the Federal Court of Appeal that the underlying issue of whether treaty rights have been violated requires First Nations to initiate another, much more lengthy court process.
Meanwhile construction of the dam continues at a rapid pace. BC Premier Christy Clark has even said that her goal is to get the dam to “the point of no return.”
In the coming weeks, the federal government will make decisions on permits necessary for continued construction of the Site C dam. The federal government will take a position one way or the other.
Before this decision is made, it’s crucial that the Trudeau government hears from all of us.
TAKE ACTION >>
We are continuing our online petition action. The 40,000 signatures we have already collected demonstrates just how broad the concern is. But we also need to show the depth of Canadians' concern on this issue. That's why we have also launched a new action to encourage individual letters and messages to Members of Parliament.