The Green Party of Canada today calls on the federal government to abide by the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling in the Tsilhqot’in land title case, and to honour the established treaty rights of the Treaty 8, Saulteau and Blueberry River First Nations, in rejecting BC Hydro’s application to build the Site C hydroelectric dam on the Peace River.
“We have time to get this right. Given the Joint Review Panel findings that there is no need for Site C in the near term, that its anticipated purpose is to generate power for the LNG industry — itself a shaky proposition — we urge both the federal and provincial cabinets to reconsider,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.
“At the very least, the treaty rights of the Treaty 8, Saulteau and Blueberry River First Nations must be protected, and the Supreme Court ruling in the Tsilhqot’in case respected.”
On October 10, Ms. May became the first MP to have risen in the House of Commons to ask whether the federal government would respect treaty rights of the Treaty 8, Saulteau and Blueberry River First Nations, and reject the application to build the dam.
The May 2014 federal-provincial Site C Joint Review Panel (JRP) report stated that the dam would have “significant adverse effects” on local vegetation, fish, birds, and some 23 protected wildlife species, and that these effects “cannot be mitigated.”
The JRP also found that the project would “accrue substantial financial losses” for several years, would not financially benefit local First Nations communities or contribute to job creation in the region, and that BC Hydro had not fully demonstrated the need for the project.