News Release. December 16, 2014
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC) This afternoon, BC Premier Christy Clark announced the Province has officially approved and will move ahead with the controversial 8.5 billion dollar Site C hydroelectric project. This project will construct a dam and operate an 1100 megawatt hydroelectric station on the Peace River in northeast BC.
“This is an ill-advised and incredibly stupid decision the Province has made regarding the Site C Project. BC Hydro has failed to make its case in terms of future energy demands and have not adequately outlined an economic business case for construction and repayment of the most expensive capital project in the history of BC. Accordingly, the Site C proposal needs to be properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission prior to any approvals. Further to this, the dam, associated structures and rights-of-ways will run directly through the heart of Treaty 8 First Nations territories and will have devastating impacts on Treaty rights of Treaty 8 First Nations. The project will gravely impact the ability of Treaty 8 communities way of life in exercising their treaty-protected constitutionally-enshrined rights to hunt, fish, trap, and harvest across their lands,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
“The government has determined to move this project forward without Treaty 8 First Nations free, prior and informed consent. The impacts caused by this project will violate Treaty 8 First Nations fundamental human rights and their rights as Indigenous Peoples as recognized in United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as set out in Article 26(1) and 32(2) that Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied, or otherwise used or acquired. The impacts this project will have on the environment, lands and resources will be deeply felt by all communities and represents environmental and cultural devastation for the Treaty 8 First Nations,” said Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson.
Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chief Bob Chamberlin stated, “Treaty 8 First Nations Aboriginal and Treaty rights have already been significantly infringed with existing hydro dams in their territories. This project represents stepping beyond acceptable cumulative rights infringement and crystallizes the disregard for Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in BC.” Chief Chamberlin concluded, “Approval of this projected signals to First Nations across BC that their values, beliefs, Title, Aboriginal Rights, and Treaty Rights will essentially be trampled upon, cast aside and disregarded whenever government deems a project economically important and significant. Treaty 8 First Nations and many others in northeast BC have raised serious concerns about this project. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs will continue to support and stand with the impacted Treaty 8 First Nations to ensure that this project does not proceed.”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip (604) 684-0231
Chief Bob Chamberlin (604) 684-0231
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson (604) 684-0231
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.