Landmark Treaty 8 lawsuit challenges Site C Dam, LNG
A sweeping lawsuit filed this week by the Blueberry River First Nations from northeast BC threatens the province’s resource agenda – including the proposed Site C Dam and shale gas and LNG development.
As a party to Treaty 8, the First Nation was guaranteed the right to continue practicing its traditional way of life on the land, but that promise has been repeatedly broken over the last century, the suit alleges. An time lapse map presented by the nation at a press conference in Vancouver yesterday graphically demonstrates how over 90% of critical watersheds have been heavily industrialized since 1950.
Chief Marvin Yahey calls the action “a last resort”, after countless failed attempts to engage with the province in meaningful consultation. Now, with BC Hydro planning to start construction on the 80 km-long Site C Dam and reservoir this summer – and a massive increase in fracking activities on the horizon to supply LNG pipelines and terminals – his nation was left with no other choice but to sue the government based on treaty rights violations.
Lead Counsel John Rich acknowledged that injunctions against projects like Site C could be sought by the nation through the lawsuit and related legal challenges.
CORRECTION: Steve DeRoy is misidentified in the video as representing Firelake Group – which should be The Firelight Group.