To the editor:
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is grateful to the Treaty 8 First Nations taking Site C to court who have just secured a major work stoppage in the lead-up to a court injunction application.
In January 2018, the West Moberly First Nations and Prophet River First Nation (Treaty 8 First Nations) began civil actions to permanently enjoin Site C, along with an interim injunction application to suspend construction until a decision is reached at trial.
Although BC Hydro initially wrote that it would continue working until the court grants an injunction, it reversed its position in mid-February after Treaty 8 First Nations responded that it would prompt an “interim, interim injunction.”
The work stoppage that Treaty 8 First Nations have secured includes a tract of old growth forest spanning approximately 29 kilometres long.
Without a doubt, this critical work stoppage is a wake-up call to BC Hydro and the government of British Columbia that they will not be able to bulldoze through the costly, ill-conceived and destructive Site C project.
BC Hydro’s reversal of position is highly unusual and signifies it knows the end is near.
We are so thankful that Treaty 8 First Nations continue to protect our land and water for the benefit of future generations.
The approval and ongoing construction of Site C is in violation of Treaty 8 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is contrary to the interests of all British Columbians.
Without a change of position on Site C, how are we to believe the government of B.C. is sincere in its commitment to stop Kinder Morgan?
Premier John Horgan has a chance to show that his government is serious about upholding Indigenous Title and Rights, and the sooner the better.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Union of BC Indian Chiefs