Photo:  Rick Phillips

Federal government replies to joint letter from NGOs – but says nothing

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has replied to the February joint letter from Canadian NGOs. The Minister’s letter states that “we are determined to work with Canada’s Indigenous peoples to achieve mutually beneficial results for all Canadians and generations to come” and that the Minister has “heard [the Treaty 8 Chiefs] suggestions on how we can approach this new era of cooperation.” However, there is no acknowledgement of the call to rescind federal permits for Site C and there is no commitment to help protect Indigenous rights from the harm that the project will cause.

Federal government continues to defend Site C approval in court

The federal government has filed its written response to the First Nations legal challenge to the Site C dam, which is now at the Federal Court of Appeal. Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau government asserts that the onus is on First Nations to prove their Treaty rights are threatened – and that doing so would require an entirely different, more extensive, and much more costly process than either the current judicial review or the environmental assessment.

New resource: Why the Site C dam must be stopped and how you can help

The Peace Valley Environment Association has produced a short, powerful brochure setting out key arguments against the Site C dam and demonstrating the breadth of growing opposition. A PDF of the brochure is available online. Please feel encouraged to download, print and help circulate.


Upcoming events! Please promote.

There are four public events next week in the Okanagan and Kootenays, featuring Julian Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nation and Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Ana Simeon of Sierra Club

Vernon – April 18, 7 pm
The Schubert Centre, 3505 30th Avenue

Kelowna – April 19, 7 pm
Okanagan Mission Community Hall, 4409 Lakeshore Rd

Kamloops – April 20, 7 pm
Thompson Rivers University – Room IB 1015, 900 McGill Rd

Golden – April 21, 7 pm
St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace, #901- 11th Ave S.

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace

We hope to see as many allies and supporters as possible at the annual celebration of the Peace River, Saturday, July 9th, 2016, organized by the West Moberly First Nations and Peace Valley Environment Association. See www.PaddleforthePeace.ca

Site C in the news

The BC Environmental Assessment Office has ordered BC Hydro to correct its failure to properly control sediment and runoff into the Peace River from construction of the Site C dam.  The Peace Valley Landowners Association has been raising concerns about sediment and other impacts of construction since October of last year.

“If this is not a test of free, prior and informed consent, then nothing is.” Chief Roland Willson responds to BC Hydro’s efforts to keep Amnesty International and its arguments about international human rights protections out of the judicial review of the federal government’s decision on Site C. http://www.ammsa.com/publications/windspeaker/bc-hydro-argues-against-applying-undrip-site-c-dam-project

And as always:

Online actions:

·       Sierra Club BC’s letter-writing action to the federal government: http://sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action-centre/site-c-first-nations/

·       Amnesty’s online petition to the federal and provincial governments now has almost 40,000 signatures: http://bit.ly/1Uwwbnz

Also take action online at:

·       http://RealSiteCHearings.org

·       http://SaveBCfromSiteC.ca

Donate to the court cases:

Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched:

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau:

New organizations are most welcome to endorse: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam
Contact Craig Benjamin at Amnesty International cbenjamin@amnesty.ca

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