- Written by News Desk News Desk
- Category: Take Action! Take Action!
- Published: 30 April 2016 30 April 2016
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Tell Premier Clark: No Site C!
Send a Letter: I support Treaty 8 First Nations' opposition to the proposed Site C dam project! Site C is the very opposite of a climate solution. The proposed Site C hydroelectric dam project is not “clean energy.”
Use the tool below to send a message to Prime Minster Trudeau, Premier Clark and BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Clark, and Mrs. McDonald:
I am writing to provide support to the Treaty 8 First Nations in opposition to the proposed Site C dam project and call for construction by BC Hydro to be immediately halted.I am extremely alarmed that the proposed Site C dam project will flood over 5000 hectares of Treaty 8 First Nations territories, creating a reservoir over 83 kilometers long. Decision--making in relation to this project engages jurisdiction of Treaty 8 First Nations, thus engaging section 35(1) of the Canadian constitution, which recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Further, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was endorsed by Canada on November 12, 2010, and which Prime Minister Trudeau's government has committed to fully implement, clearly provides a framework for engagement with Indigenous peoples. It also requires their free, prior and informed consent for any State projects which may impact them, and recognizes Indigenous rights related to their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, water and coastal areas and other resources.
Provincial and federal governments have a constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Treaty 8 First Nations in making decisions in relation to the Site C Dam project, and they must obtain consent from Treaty 8 First Nations consistent with the recent Tsilhqot'in decision and with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Site C dam is an infringement of the Treaty 8 First Nations Treaty rights that will likely have significantly negative impacts on the ability of Treaty 8 First Nations to exercise their constitutionally-protected Treaty rights to harvest and to engage in various traditional activities.
I am aware that there have been numerous flaws in the way the Crown has approached First Nations consultation on the Site C Dam. BC Environment Minister Mary Polak has suggested that First Nations do not have a veto on the Site C Dam project and that mitigation and accommodation measures have been included in the province's environmental assessment certificate for the project. Despite a total lack of consent from Treaty 8 First Nations, both provincial and federal governments issued environmental approvals for Site C.I note that the Site C Dam project was exempted from review by the BC Utilities Commission, and is currently under review by the BC Auditor General.
I call for suspension of construction of the Site C dam pending completion and full consideration of the full and independent review by BC's Auditor General. Site C is the very opposite of a climate solution. The proposed Site C hydroelectric dam project is not "clean energy." A substantial amount of that power is intended to support expanded natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations on First Nation lands. First Nations in the Peace Region of the province have expressed grave concerns about the impacts that expanded natural gas drilling and fracking operations.
I support the Treaty 8 First Nations in their opposition to the proposed Site C Dam project and their assessment that the proposed project is a threat to their ability to exercise their constitutionally-protected Treaty rights, and to the survival of their culture and people. I call on the provincial and federal governments to immediately cease proceeding with the proposed Site C Dam project and revoke any environmental approvals or permits that have been issued.