The Site C project was approved in October 2015 by both the provincial and federal governments, after a three-year joint review panel overseen by the BC provincial government and the Harper regime. The joint panel stated that Site C would have severe and permanent adverse effects on traditional uses of the land by First Nations. The panel commented on the impact to local fisheries:
“the Project would cause significant adverse effects on fish and fish habitat,” and that “there would be a reduction to fish health and survival due to sedimentation during construction and headpond and reservoir filling.”
The federal government elected in November 2015 promised Canadians a new relationship with First Nations, based on respect for treaty and aboriginal rights. In a recent interview with the Hill Times, the Minister for Fisheries and Oceans, Hunter Tootoo, stated that there will be consultations with First Nations before issuing a permit for BC Hydro to proceed with the project.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed:
“DFO has received and is reviewing BC Hydro’s application for a Fisheries Act Section 35(2)(b) authorization for the Site C main civil works (i.e., dam, generating station, spillway, and associated works) and operations. DFO is currently consulting potentially affected indigenous groups prior to making a decision on issuance of an authorization.”
This may be the last opportunity to stop this massive, destructive project. The BC provincial government is still investing thousands of taxpayer dollars pushing the non-existent and unwanted Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry that would be the major benefactor of Site C.
Sierrra Club BC has a petition 'Respect for First Nations Means Stopping Site C' to stand in solidarity with the people of Treaty 8. Click here to sign.