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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce is holding a meeting to update interested parties on the delays in resource permit approvals.

The meeting will be held over Zoom on November 3rd, 2022, at 9 a.m. and will include government representatives from relevant ministries.

The commerce asks those interested to register in advance, and then once registered, attendees will receive a confirmation email with information to join the meeting.

This meeting will be a follow-up to last year’s meeting about resource development permits and the Yahey ruling.

Kathleen Connolly, CEO of the Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce, explains that in June 2021, the Supreme Court of B.C. ruled in favour of Yahey from Blueberry First Nation.

“[He] had concerns about resource development and cumulative impacts on their traditional territory,” she said.

“So what the ruling essentially said is the government will no longer be issuing permits on Blueberry River First Nation. The nation would be approving any resource development.”

This includes oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, and mining resource development projects.

Connolly says the remaining First Nations also filed an injunction saying they should have the right to manage cumulative impacts on their traditional territory.

“What we’ve seen in the last, over a year now is that permits are being held up because there has not been a clear permit process identified for First Nations,” Connolly said.

She says Treaty Eight and the individual First Nations have not decided on a permitting process.

“Industry has been waiting patiently for their permits to be approved so that they can actually do work,” she added.

According to Connolly, close to 2,000 permits are waiting to be approved.

There was a Zoom meeting last year where government officials briefed interested parties on where they were at in the process.

“The purpose of the November 3rd meeting is to better understand where they are in that process,” Connolly explained.

Connolly says the Ministry of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, the BC Oil and Gas Commission and two environmental sector ministries will participate in the meeting.

To join the meeting, visit the Facebook event hosted by the Dawson Creek & District Chamber of Commerce.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.