First Nations allege Hydro not waiting for proper construction permits with Site C

Hydro announced the week of March 28, 2016 that the temporary bridge for dam was completed. Photo by BC Hydro

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations have new grievances they’d like to get before the courts regarding what they view as BC Hydro’s, questionable Site C dam construction tactics.

At issue is Hydro’s recent application for a permit to extricate aquatic wildlife from a specific location along the Peace River in order to remove the water.

However, the First Nations say Hydro, under fast track pressure from the Province, has indicated it can’t wait for the permit to be issued.

West Moberly First Nation Chief Roland Wilson believes the government pressure is deliberate, and calculated, to spend enough construction money, to influence the outcome of four unresolved court case challenges, three of them now the subject of First Nation’s appeals of earlier rulings.

Chief Wilson also argues, even though the First Nations have grounds for another solid court challenge, based on the aforementioned work being done in advance of permit issuance, with the three appeal cases still before the courts, by initiating another one, the First Nations would add to what is already a heavy financial burden.

Two of the First Nations pending appeal cases are in the provincial court system and Chief Wilson doesn’t expect dates for them before the federal case is heard, appealing a lower court constitutional rights decision.

It’s now set for September 14th in Montreal and he says while that wasn’t their location of choice, given the distance, they took it because it was the earliest date they could get.