VANCOUVER, B.C. — Questions are being asked as comments against Site C made four years ago by the federal justice minister have surfaced.
According to the Globe and Mail, Jody Wilson-Raybould reportedly said there are other ways to create and preserve power that don’t involve destruction of ‘pristine valleys’ in a video posted by the Common Sense Canadian to YouTube this week.
The video in question was filmed at Paddle for the Peace in 2012, and uploaded to YouTube just days ago.
Elected in 2015 as the MP for Vancouver-Granville, Wilson-Raybould also remarked at the ‘country’s reputation is at stake with approval of projects like Site C, and Enbridge pipeline.’
The criticism she expressed in the video came as a surprise to some, like Nathan Cullen.
The NDP environment critic and MP for Skeena – Bulkley Valley said he thinks she still holds the views expressed in the video, and that raises some questions about why she is not speaking out now for stalling the project.
Cullen said Wilson-Raybould needs to be the same person she was before she was elected – one who had views and values he was familiar with.
According to him, her saying, ‘I fought for this, but lost in cabinet’ is a quote ‘very, very weak excuse for not doing the right thing.’
When it was asked about the matter, the B.C. government responded with a statement from its Energy Ministry — declaring Site C has been developed by BC Hydro over 35 years and then approved in 2014 after vast consultation that includes nine years of outreach to First Nations.
The statement said their government respects the right of anyone who wants to be involved in a peaceful protest, whether it be Site C or any other issue.
Wilson-Raybould’s spokesperson responded to inquiries about the video with a statement saying Site C was approved by the previous government, which set legally binding conditions with which the proponent must comply, and that the government is examining an appeal on the matter.
Opponents of Site C continue to fight to stop construction of the dam, which would flood 5,000 hectares of land in the Peace.
A group of protesters have initiated a hunger strike in Downtown Vancouver, outside of BC Hydro’s office — and have now abstained from eating for roughly two weeks.
One protester, Kristin Henry, says she will not eat until the project is stopped.
The Province says the $9-billion project will create hundreds of jobs over it’s 10-year construction period, and BC Hydro saw upwards of 5,000 people apply for work in the northern B.C. job fairs.
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