The week opened with the Peace Valley Landowners Association contending the province broke the law by ignoring a portion of the recommendations that came from the project’s joint review panel.

Then at week’s end, a trio of First Nations, whose traditional territories would be impacted by the Peace River dam construction, went before the same Supreme Court justice to argue the province’s environmental approval of the project should be quashed because the decision making process was flawed and infringes on their treaty rights.

“We’re not saying no to the energy, we’re saying no to the structure of this valley,” says Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nation. “What they’re proposing with Site C is the last piece of the Peace Valley that we have left there, and it’s a critical area.”

“There is legal precedence saying that they can’t justify what they’re doing; they have options that they can do.”

Meantime, B.C. Hydro has laid out the land and cash being offered to the West Moberly, Prophet River, and McLeod Lake First Nations and says it would deliver $6.5 million upfront and another $42 million over 70 years.

The land offer translates into a third of the 6,500 hectares that would be either submerged or occupied by the dam, the generating station and the reservoir. It also intended to address the findings of the joint review panel regarding the impact of the project on First Nations’ hunting, fishing, trapping and other traditional activities.

Still pending are the PVLA and the Treaty 8 Federal Court challenges, along with those from two Alberta First Nations – slated to come in July after Hydro begins dam construction.