Montreal court date set for First Nations’ Site C legal challenge

Four challenges against controversial project remain

Jonny Wakefield / Dawson Creek Mirror

June 23, 2016 02:59 PM

A federal court judge will hear an appeal from two First Nations impacted by the Site C dam in Montreal this September.

After months of waiting for a trial date, the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations will appear in federal court Sept. 14.

The Treaty 8 nations are appealing a federal judge’s decision on the project’s impact on constitutionally-protected rights to hunt, fish and trap. The challenge was dismissed by a judge in Vancouver last year.

According to a notice of civil claim BC Hydro filed against protesters blocking Site C construction earlier this year, the court found the Crown corporation’s consultation of Treaty 8 First Nations “was in good faith and extensive.”

West Moberly Chief Roland Willson disagreed, saying his nation was challenging what it saw as “a failure on (the government’s) part” to uphold treaty rights.

“When they’re making a decision of this magnitude—it’s the largest project in B.C. history, and there are already two existing dams that have previously infringed (on) the treaty—they should have had no other choice than to have (a justification for Treaty infringement),” he said. He said the the Montreal court date was the earliest available.

 

 

 

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