Blueberry River First Nations lawsuit threatens Site C, fracking in B.C.

Protest by some Treaty 8 First Nations against Site c dam, 2013.

Protest by some Treaty 8 First Nations against Site c dam, 2013.

Suit alleges government violated Treaty 8 rights with cumulative impacts of oil and gas development

CBC News, Mar 04, 2015

The Blueberry River First Nations have launched a legal battle that could affect B.C.’s planned Site C hydroelectric dam, as well as oil and gas development both inside and outside the band’s territory.

The B.C. First Nation has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court that alleges years of development, including mining, forestry and oil and gas projects, have violated its treaty rights under Treaty 8.

“The province is not abiding by our treaty rights that were given to us back in 1900,” said Chief Marvin Yahey of the Blueberry River First Nations.

The band has raised concerns about hydraulic fracturing​ – or fracking – for natural gas in their territory for more than a decade, but the B.C. government hasn’t listened, said Yahey.

He said Blueberry River First Nations want the Site C dam and other projects slowed to provide time for consultation, which he called “disappointing” to date.

“There has always been talk, yes, but never a meaningful consultation to address our concerns,” said Yahey.

The area the band claims as its traditional territory is located in northeastern B.C. and includes the city of Fort St. John and the location of the proposed Site C dam.

It’s also the area that has seen rapid development in the natural gas sector.

Yahey said only a “very small” percentage of Blueberry River First Nations’ 470 band members make a living in the industry.

B.C. government calls lawsuit ‘unfortunate’

BC Hydro Site C dam map 2In a statement, the B.C. government said it is “committed to consulting with Blueberry River First Nations and all Treaty 8 First Nations” on decisions that affect their hunting, fishing and trapping treaty rights.

“We remain committed to reaching a respectful, long-term government-to-government relationship,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad in a statement.

He said he had been meeting with Chief Yahey and the Blueberry River First Nations.

“It’s unfortunate Blueberry River has chosen the path of litigation,” wrote Rustad.

Posted on March 4, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. In late December/2014….A couple of weeks after Christy Clark told Bloomberg in New York that British Columbia didn`t need Site C dam for the proposed LNG industry, Christy Clark also told Bloomberg the price of Site C was going up by potentially $billions of dollars, we are looking at $10 to $15 billion dollars to build Site C…Possibly $15 billion dollars for a very tiny bite of electric power…Expensive power, power we don`t need for LNG…The one group that looked at Site C and BC Hydro`s power for the future projected growth model…They came to the conclusion the power was not required, the case not made..!

    Meaning there is no need to spend $15 billion dollars we don`t have, no need to put BC Hydro over $20 billion dollars in debt($15 billion plus the $billions of debt hidden in BC Hydro`s deferral accounts), BC Hydro would have as a crown corporation almost as much debt as British Columbia had when the BC Liberals came into power in 2001…Our provincial debt in 2001, including contractual debt, crown debt stood at that time about $28 billion dollars(now it`s almost $80 billion dollars, not counting contractual debt and crown corporation debt)…And these BC Liberals want to add $15 billion dollars in more debt for power we don`t need?..

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